Sous vide is a special type of cooking method that involves placing food in a container or a plastic bag and sealing it properly by eliminating all of the air, and cooking at a particular temperature while the food remains submerged in water with the proper seal in place.
Using sous vide to cook anything and preparing perfect food that is tender, juicy, and almost unlikely to overcook, makes it a popular method of cooking.
Using modern equipment like sous vide bath or immersion circulator, sous vide cooking can provide a carefree type of cooking method which is one of the most appealing aspects of sous vide cooking.
If you are skilled enough and have the right equipment, foods cooked using the sous vide method will cook perfectly on their own while freeing up the chef’s hands to perform other activities!
However, there is one thing. When talking about sous vide cooking, most experts mention using immersion circulators! In fact, we also mention it above.
But what is an immersion circulator, and more importantly, is it a prime requirement for sous vide cooking?
These are the questions that bother most people who are new to sous vide cooking. But there is nothing to worry about as we are here to clear all your doubts and answer all your queries!
Keep reading to know more…
What is a circulator?
Sous vide immersion circulators are electrical devices that are half-submerged in water in the container to heat the water and circulate it.
Their task is to ensure that the water remains at a precise and constant temperature during the entire cooking process.
To be more specific, a circulator performs the following functions
1. It measures the temperature of the water using a thermometer.
2. It ascertains the difference between the temperature of the water and the temperature that you want to set.
3. It heats the water based on the temperature difference.
4. It circulates the water
Why do you need a circulator?
The primary function of an immersion circulator is to maintain a consistent temperature in the water surrounding the actual food being cooked.
Without circulation, water in the bath that is closest to your food will be cooler than the water that is farther away from it. That’s why the circulation of water is important.
See also: Breville HydroPro Immersion Circulator
Can sous vide be done without a circulator?
Let’s understand it with a bit of detail.
The term Sous vide is a French word that literally translates to vacuum-sealed. It refers to the bags that are frequently used when using this method of cooking.
However, in present times, when someone talks about sous vide cooking, they’re often referring to any type of food preparation that occurs in perfectly regulated water baths with controlled temperatures, regardless of whether you’re really utilizing a vacuum-sealed bag.
You can see that in present times, the main requirement of sous vide cooking is to have controlled temperatures.
What actually is a circulator?
The immersion circulators that we use are one method of obtaining the appropriate level of temperature control. However, there may be alternative options.
In fact, if you have one, you are set to go. Basically, you don’t need an immersion circulator; what you do need is the ability to regulate the temperature precisely.
What are other methods of temperature control?
There are various products, such as Sous Vide Supreme Baths, that may assist you in controlling the temperature of your food.
Despite the fact that both types of instruments provide the precise temperature control required for sous vide cooking, they work in quite different ways.
When compared to single-point heating systems found in immersion circulators, Sous Vide Supreme Baths’ design and technology provide consistently warm water without circulation.
Modern tools like Immersion circulators and Sous Vide baths, for example, can make the procedure go more quickly and easily, but they are not the primary requirement.
If not necessary, then why we use circulators?
Immersion circulators particularly are designed to make cooking sous vide easy. Using an immersion circulator for sous vide is a great method to save time and headaches.
It allows you to cook your food at exact temperatures for as much time as you want.
It is a great piece of equipment that makes the process semi-automatic in nature and reduces the need for your interference.
How to use Immersion Circulators?
If you want to use immersion circulators, then follow the following easy to use guide:
1. Put it in a bag:
Place the meal in a sealable bag with all of the spices and herbs you wish to use.
2. Find the right container
In order to cook, you’ll need to find sous vide container that is both large enough and appropriate in size for the amount and type of food you’ll be preparing.
3. Fill your container with water
Use the right amount of water. If you are using a modern container made especially for sous vide, then most such containers have markings to specify the level to which the water must be filled.
4. Time to use the circulator
It’s time to put the circulator to work.
It should be placed into the container and connected to an electrical outlet.
Set it to the appropriate cooking temperature which can vary substantially based on what you’re cooking.
Finally, switch the circulator on.
5. Put the food in
As soon as the water reaches the proper temperature, its time to take your bagged food and immerse it in the water.
You must make sure that the bag is well sealed before putting it in the container.
6. Time to wait
It is now only a matter of time!
Take out the bag and place them on a serving platter. Your properly cooked dinner is now ready to be served and enjoyed!
Among modern sous vide devices, the immersion circulator is a special piece of equipment.
That’s because it is a self-contained unit that simultaneously warms and circulates water to prepare food for sous vide.
It allows for precise precision in cooking while also providing the extra benefit of being extremely simple to use at home.
You can certainly do sous vide without it or with other ways, but this one definitely makes it really simple and produces flawless results every time!