I've always been intrigued by sous vide cooking. The thought of being able to cook a protein to a perfect doneness each and every time, without the stressful guesswork of just over or just under-done meat/fish, is a major plus point for investing in a sous vide machine. However, until recently, most home sous vide machines were still quite expensive and most of all, still occupied quite a large footprint in the kitchen.
All that's changed in the last year or so. Portable sous vide machines for approximately US$200, which you simply attach to your pot or other receptacle, make it so much more practical for home cooks to make sous vide part of their cooking routine.
I did a fair amount of research, and it came down to 2 brands - Sansaire and Anova. Honestly, both looked good, and the only reason I went with the Anova is because they had stock of the International version; Sansaire was sold out.
The device clamps onto the side of any receptacle, and heats and circulates the water, effectively turning any pot or even plastic container into a sous vide machine. What I love about it is that when you're done with it, you just put it away; it doesn't take any countertop space at all.
Ever since I got it, I've been on a sous vice rampage. It's especially good for salmon and chicken breast. Salmon overvcooks way too easily, particularly when we (and especially A) like our salmon very much on the rare side.
Chicken breast also dries out when cooked using normal methods (roasting or pan frying), because by the time the centre is cooked, the outside is overdone and dry. When cooked sous vide, it's perfectly moist all the way through, and just needs a quick sear to finish it off and add some colour and flavour.
Note: after I bought my Anova Precision Cooker in June, they've since launched a Wifi version. In theory it sounds amazing, since it lets you program and operate it remotely. However, from a food safety perspective, I don't think there'll be much practical benefit.
Think about it - if you leave the house at 8 am, and want the Anova to start at 6 pm for a 90 minute cooking time so that the food is ready at 7.30 pm, that means the meat has to be in room temperature water from 8 am to 6 pm, which is a big no-no, especially at Singapore's room temperature.
This may not be for everyone, because it does have the potential to be a white elephant if you buy it just for the novelty, but I've been using it every weekend since I got it, and eating much healthier as a result.
Sous vide, so good.