Remember the amazing, melt-in-your-mouth steak you had at that restaurant on vacation? Chances are, it was cooked sous-vide. A method of slowly cooking vacuum-packed food in a low-temperature water bath, this genius technique seals in juices, moisture and flavor. It also virtually eliminates the risk of over or under cooking your dinner (more on that later). And while a sous-vide machine makes the whole process easy, it can also be kind of pricey (and take up valuable cupboard space). Here’s how to achieve the same delicious result using items you already have at home.
What you’ll need: A digital thermometer, a pot, a binder clip or clothespin, Ziploc bags, a skewer or heavy-duty clip clamp and your choice of protein (steak, pork, chicken or fish all work great) and seasoning.
Step one: Heat up a large pot of water to your desired cooking temperature—here’s a handy sous-vide temperature and time guide for various foods. (FYI, it’s 136 degrees Fahrenheit for a medium-rare steak.)
Step two: Mount the thermometer to the pot, using either the skewer or clip clamp. (For the skewer, balance it on top of the pot and thread the thermometer through it—this will only work if your thermometer has a hole on top.)