PSA: Sous Vide At Home

Sometimes I think there’s a place you’ve just got to know about and my Public Service Announcements (PSAs) will give you the full skinny.

Two years ago, Santa brought me a Nomiku sous vide contraption after my beau and I saw it on Shark Tank. Soon after, we put most of our belongings in storage in preparation of putting our apartment on the market. It only came back into my life 6 months ago, when I was far too intimidated to try it out. I was sure I’d screw it up or burn the house down. Now I’m bummed I waited so long because it’s pretty amazing.

Here’s some background:

  • Sous vide is a method where you cook something that’s been vacuum sealed for an extended period of time in a water bath.
  • The reason this technique is so great is because it circulates water to evenly cook to a very specific (and perfect) internal temperature.
  • Previously, sous vide was restaurant territory. Traditionally, it took up tons of space and cost a lot of money.
  • Now, a few companies have come out with small devices that you simply attach to a normal pot so any at-home cook can be a sous vide master. They’re pretty affordable, costing $90-$200, and can be WiFi enabled. You also don’t need a vacuum sealer – a ziplock bag works perfectly. Nomiku was the first, but it seems they’ve pivoted their business plan to focus more on prepared sous vide meals (not a bad idea – differentiation is key). There are now several brands on the market.

I found the device super easy to use. It easily clicks onto the side of a soup pot and it takes only about two clicks of a button to set it. I googled sous vide recipes to know the temperature to use and how long it would take. After that it was pretty much a set-it-and-forget-it mentality.

I chose to cook steak, per the request of my beau. I picked top sirloin because it was on super sale at Whole Foods ($6.99/lb plus 10% off as a Prime member) and I got a humongo cut for about $12. A cheap cut of meat like this is normally cheap for a reason. When you cook it like a normal steak it’ll end up rubbery…but I had a hunch if I cooked it sous vide it would actually come out tender and yummy.

I was right! I read that for top sirloin, you set the device to 113 degrees and let it go for two hours. I merely flavored it with some everyday seasoning before sealing it in the ziplock bag. When it was done, I seared it off in a cast iron skillet. This only takes about two minutes and gives it a nice crust.

It was the perfect medium rare and cut like buttah. Usually if you get this much steak for $12, it’s like chewing burlap. Thanks to sous vide, I feel like I cheated the system. I served it over a gorgeous salad and everyone was much happier than on a standard Thursday. I’m still a little scared to attempt any of the 30 hour recipes because it seems odd to leave it plugged in so long while I’m out of the house. I suppose if it’s fine for a crockpot, it’s fine for this. Either way, there are plenty of recipes that take just a few hours and are greatly improved thanks to this lil gadget.