The immersion circulator is no longer the “it girl” she once was. Her status as the most buzzed-about and sought-after appliance has faltered, and some might say she’s been replaced by the Instant Pot and air fryer (even though they do completely different things). But I’d bet more than a few foodies (sorry) received some sort of sous-vide contraption as a gift this holiday season, and those people are looking for recipes.
[referenced id=”1041150″ url=”https://www.lifehacker.com.au/2020/12/what-to-make-with-your-new-air-fryer/” thumb=”https://www.gizmodo.com.au/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2020/12/26/oist2okuuai6mdlkriml-300×169.jpg” title=”What to Make With Your New Air Fryer” excerpt=”The air fryer certainly had a dramatic, messy year, but it’s not her fault. All she wanted to do was serve up hot and crispy food in record time, but all the pedants of the world wanted to talk about was how she was “just a small convection oven” that…”]
Given that sous-vide cooking has been mainstream for quite some time now, there is no shortage of (very good) recipes for this type of cooking, especially if you are looking to cook meat. But big chunks of meat with lots of connective tissue aren’t the only things that benefit from this low-temperature, super moist cooking method. I have been sous-vide-ing for a few years now, which means I have quite the catalogue of unexpected, slightly unconventional recipes that benefit from this particular cooking method.
If — like me — you appreciate a good tuna sandwich, you should make some sous-vide tuna confit. All you need is tuna, salt, and top-quality olive oil. The tuna is gently poached in olive oil until it firms up ever so slightly, resulting in a tender, moist piece of fish. If all you’ve ever had is the canned stuff, this sous-vide tuna will completely change your life.
[referenced id=”1033000″ url=”https://www.lifehacker.com.au/2020/10/precision-cooked-tuna-confit-is-way-better-than-the-canned-stuff/” thumb=”https://www.gizmodo.com.au/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2020/10/14/precision-cooked-tuna-300×165.png” title=”Precision-Cooked Tuna Confit Is Way Better Than the Canned Stuff” excerpt=”I have always appreciated a good tuna sandwich. You can make a good one even with mediocre, water-packed fish, though you will have to lean heavily on condiments and seasonings. Fancy oil-packed tuna lets one highlight the fish a little more. But tuna confit? That fish is so good, it…”]
Faster, crisper pickles
If you love homemade pickles, but would rather not stand in front of a big pot of boiling water for an hour each time you make them, give these FDA-approved sous-vide pickles a try. Sous-vide canning not only lets you enjoy a more comfortable pickling experience, but pickles canned this way come out crisper than they do with boiling water, without any need for Pickle Crisp.
[referenced id=”1014390″ url=”https://www.lifehacker.com.au/2020/09/use-your-sous-vide-circulator-to-can-pickles/” thumb=”https://www.gizmodo.com.au/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2017/03/Pickles-300×169.jpg” title=”Use Your Sous-Vide Circulator to Can Pickles” excerpt=”Like many of us living in these dystopian, apocalyptic, puff-sleeved, cottagecore times, I have ramped up my pickling efforts this year — partly because who knows if plants will even still exist by next summer, and partly because well, I’m home a lot, and I have the time. Why not…”]
Really lazy “tomagoyaki”
While this is by no means a true Japanese grilled omelette, it’s a good, lazy approximation, with a texture that lives in between an omelette and chawanmushi. If you can beat some eggs and pour them in a bag, you can make this. (I like mine chilled, served over a bed of rice with some soy sauce.)
The benefits to making cheese with your immersion circulator are three-fold: You have precise control over the temperature, you don’t have to stir a dang thing, and you can add all of your ingredients — dairy and acid — all at once, rather than waiting for the dairy to reach a certain target temperature first. Let curds form, strain, and chill. Boom. You made cheese.
[referenced id=”796781″ url=”https://www.lifehacker.com.au/2017/08/will-it-sous-vide-fresh-homemade-cheese/” thumb=”https://www.gizmodo.com.au/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2019/08/29/z9pymte82mza9lpxg0sa-300×169.jpg” title=”Will It Sous Vide?: Fresh Homemade Cheese” excerpt=”Welcome to a very cheesy edition of Will It Sous Vide?, the weekly column where I make things with my immersion circulator. This week we’re dealing with a subject that is very near and dear to the very centre of my heart and being: Cheese.”]
Alligator, as a food, is more than a punchline about Florida, particularly when it’s rubbed with garlic and cumin and sous vided in butter. It’s like a more flavorful, slightly gamier chicken, but with the toothsome texture of a steak. Look for it in the freezer aisle, or ask your butcher to order some for you.
[referenced id=”783629″ url=”https://www.lifehacker.com.au/2017/04/will-it-sous-vide-tasty-gator-bites/” thumb=”https://www.gizmodo.com.au/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2017/04/28/bo6ypvibpy1cjxeo7fd6-300×169.png” title=”Will It Sous Vide? Tasty Gator Bites” excerpt=”Hello everyone, and welcome back to a very chompy edition of Will It Sous Vide?, the column where I make things with my immersion circulator.”]
An entire pig’s head
This is a visceral experience and full-on project, but it’s a fun, ultimately delicious one. Once the pig’s face has been (carefully) removed from its skull, you pack it with herbs and seasonings, roll it up, and sous vide it for a long time, before chilling it fully and slicing it thin. Eat it like you would any charcuterie (with mustard), then clean the skull up and display it proudly in your home.
[referenced id=”798735″ url=”https://www.lifehacker.com.au/2018/08/will-it-sous-vide-the-head-of-a-pig/” thumb=”” title=”Will It Sous Vide?: The Head Of A Pig” excerpt=”Hello, and welcome to a very special edition of Will It Sous Vide?, the column where I usually make whatever you want me to with my immersion circulator. Not only are we finally cooking a long-requested dish — porchetta di testa — but we have video.”]
Vegetables (in fruit juice)
Sous vide-ing root vegetables in a complimentary juice infuses them with fruity flavour without overwhelming their own. Bright, acidic orange juice complements the sweetness of a carrot, and apple juice matches up exceedingly well with the parsnip’s autumnal, spicy flavours. Finish with browned butter, and you have one sexy vegetable.
[referenced id=”819764″ url=”https://www.lifehacker.com.au/2018/01/sous-vide-your-root-vegetables-with-fruit-juice/” thumb=”https://www.gizmodo.com.au/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2018/01/20/kosbepu1w2yngzsmxjhw-300×169.jpg” title=”Sous Vide Your Root Vegetables With Fruit Juice” excerpt=”Hello friends, and welcome back to Will It Sous Vide?, the column where I make whatever I want to with my immersion circulator. Today we are taking a break from more meaty pursuits, and focusing our sous vide sights on a few friendly root vegetables.”]
“Dirty water” dogs
A bag of hot dogs and diluted vinegar can be an off-putting sight, but the juicy, flavour-infused wieners make the mild visual trauma worth it. They come out plump and juicy, with just the right amount of snap, and they can be held at temperature in the bath for a few hours, meaning your guests can serve themselves a hot dog whenever they desire one without any help from you, the host, who is busy hosting.
[referenced id=”843574″ url=”https://www.lifehacker.com.au/2018/06/make-your-own-dirty-water-dogs-with-a-sous-vide-setup/” thumb=”https://www.gizmodo.com.au/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2018/06/30/qmksghafc3lca4nlohdz-300×169.jpg” title=”Make Your Own ‘Dirty Water Dogs’ With A Sous-Vide Setup” excerpt=”Hot dogs are the ultimate easy crowd-pleaser. They’re already cooked, so you don’t have to worry about poisoning anyone, and even the pickiest youth can rarely resist a good dog. “Dirty water dogs” – the ones you get from a cart that sit in a vat of salty…”]
I didn’t think DIY cold cuts were something I needed in my life until I made these, but a little Quick Cure and a couple of tablespoons of brown sugar is all it takes to make a tender and flavorful cold cut with all of the flavour — but none of the rubbery texture — of store-bought sliced and packaged ham.