If there’s one gadget that has the biggest effect on the food we cook at home, it’s the sous vide. Professional chefs rely on it for consistently cooked food that’s perfect every time, and now the technology is available for domestic use, keen cooks have been experimenting and tinkering with times and temperatures every chance they get. The one thing they’ve all found is that sous vide isn’t just for showing off at dinner parties with Michelin-style cuisine; it can vastly improve all aspects of cooking – particularly barbecue.
In the video above, Sally Abé shows us how easy barbecuing can be if a sous vide is used to cook the food first. No more overdone outsides and raw middles when it comes to meat; with sous vide, they’re fully cooked and ready to be grilled for a nice charred finish. It’s particularly good if you want to serve up slow-cooked meat such as pulled pork or beef brisket, as you don’t have to tend to the barbecue for hours, constantly adding coals and maintaining the correct temperature. Instead you simply marinade, vacuum pack and leave in the bath for 36 hours – producing perfectly cooked, falling apart flakes of meat ready to be stuffed in buns with a dollop of sauce.
It’s not just US-style low and slow barbecuing that benefits from sous vide; as you can see in the above video, Sally cooks a rack of lamb for just one hour in the water bath to produce perfectly juicy and pink meat, so there’s no risk of over or undercooking this expensive (but absolutely show-stopping) cut of meat. The same goes for fish, vegetables and basically any other ingredient – cook it to perfection in the sous vide, then get the barbecue red hot and just sear the food for a few minutes each side to get that smoky, charred crust – the thing we like best about flame-grilled dishes.