You know how chicken breasts can shrink up and dry out? I don’t. At least not anymore.
You know how steak has that pink center and the gray flesh toward the edges? I don’t. Not anymore.
This may sound a tad dramatic, but a device called the Sansaire changed my life. It’s an “immersion circulator,” which is a fancy name for a sous vide cooking tool. I had been interested in sous vide for a while because I heard many restaurants used this method to ensure they produced identical meals at scale each and every day. But the sous-vide ovens I knew were big, bulky, expensive machines that just wouldn’t work in my kitchen.
The Sansaire produces the same results in a way that works way better for my home kitchen. It’s hard to describe my passion for it, but here are the top four reasons for my all-out love affair with this thing.
1. Perfectly cooked meat
Steak, chicken, fish, pork. You name it. With my Sansaire I can now cook it to perfection. If I want a perfect shade of juicy, pink, medium rare meat I can have it. Every time. Now I get juicy, plump chicken breasts that practically melt in my mouth. I’d previously found salmon difficult to cook just right and the resulting flavor suffered, but my Sansaire now helps me knock out perfect salmon every time.
2. No timing issues
Nothing causes me more stress in the kitchen than trying to time various parts of the meal to be ready at the same time. The Sansaire helps immensely with that because you basically can’t overcook anything using sous-vide methods. Because the Sansaire precisely maintains the temperature of the water bath, my food gets to the right temperature and then stays there. Leaving it in forever will cause texture problems, but in general I have a wide swath of time to work with while preparing other components of the meal.
3. Ease of cooking
Sous-vide cooking is incredibly easy. All I generally do is drop some aromatics in a plastic bag along with my meat of choice, set my Sansaire to the desired temperature and walk away for a while. In most cases, I’ll sear the meat in a piping hot cast iron skillet at the end to get some browning, and that’s it. It’s ready to serve.
4. Space and flexibility
The Sansaire is not much bigger than a bottle of wine, so storage is pretty easy. It works in every pot that I have, so I’ve found I can flex from smaller to bigger pots depending on the amount of food I’m cooking. Also, because it provides its own heat, I don’t need to use a burner on the stove at all until I’m ready for some searing. This means that the burners are freed up for other parts of the meal. Heck, it’s small enough that I can even travel with it. I’m planning on bringing it on our summer vacation so I can whip up some tasty meals in our rental vacation home.
Everything I’ve cooked in my Sansaire has been a huge hit with my friends and family. In fact, many have ordered their own Sansaires right after dinner. And my carnitas recipe below was an especially big crowd pleaser at this year’s Super Bowl party.
Have you tried sous-vide cooking? Do you have any favorite meals to share?