It’s been a record-breaking May in terms of temperature, and I don’t know about you, but I really hate turning on the oven when it’s this hot. Of course, grilling is always an option, but between the mosquitoes and the sweltering sun, it’s pretty far down on my list.
So, we’ve nixed the oven and the grill. Now what?
Sous Vide (soo-VEED) is a French word that translates to "under vacuum”, and that pretty much says it all! Sous Vide is a method of cooking food that has been vacuum-sealed and is immersed in a regulated, low-temperature water bath.
- Perfectly-cooked protein. Every single time. Just like the fancy restaurants. No more overcooked steaks. No more bone-dry chicken breasts. Seriously. The water bath never goes past the desired temperature of doneness, it’s almost impossible to ruin.
- You season before sealing, so once you take it out of the bath, all you do is sear and serve. It really is that simple!
- It’s extremely small and can be stored in a drawer or cabinet (no clutter on the counter!)
- It’s relatively inexpensive. The Joule, one of the most popular Sous Vides, is around $200. And you can control it completely from your phone. The Joule app gives you cooking temperatures and guidelines for doneness, so it’s super-helpful. You can drop your protein in a pot of water and walk away. The app does the rest.
- You don’t need a vacuum sealer. A sturdy zip lock freezer bag will do the trick (assuming you get all the air out).
CONS: A 2” thick tenderloin will need to cook for about an hour, so it takes longer than more conventional methods.
Other great options?
Air fryers are basically miniature ovens with powerful fans that help circulate the hot air. Some of the more recent versions are multifunctional: air fryer, convection bake, convection broil, bake, broil, warm, and toast. Yay! Let’s get rid of those other appliances and clear some counter space!
- They’re extremely efficient (30-50% less cooking time).
- They require very minimal preheating time (if any at all).
- You can put frozen foods directly into the air fryer.
- Foods require very little oil.
CONS: They take up a lot of counter space, and because they cook so quickly, it’s easy to accidentally burn your dinner!
An Instant Pot is not just a pressure cooker. It can make yogurt, cook rice, sauté vegetables, or slow cook a roast. Basically, it can do everything that a stove or oven can do… without heating up the whole house.
- It can reduce cooking time by up to 70%, so it’s extremely efficient.
- You can add frozen meat, so if you forget to thaw something for dinner… you won’t go hungry.
- There’s just one pot, so clean-up is easy!
There's nothing “instant” about it! Pressure has to build before it actually starts cooking, and then the pressure has to come back down once the set cooking time has ended, and much like the air fryer, it takes up a lot of counter space!
So, it is possible to prepare a healthy meal at home... without heating up the entire house!