The word sous vide is French for under vacuum. It is a method of cooking in which food is vacuum-sealed and placed in a hot water bath. It is then cooked at a highly regulated temperature for typically between 1 and several hours using a sous vide device. The food is then done and can be consumed immediately or seared to improve the outside texture using a torch, grill, or pan. The advantages to sous vide include hands-free cooking, perfect consistency, precise timing, and a very moist final product.
How Can It Help Me Cook Wild Game?
Sous vide is an excellent option for wild game meats because of its ability to keep the meat juicy and tender. It excels on cuts of meat that are normally considered tough by keeping all the natural juices in the meat and using them to cook it. It also takes the guesswork out of cooking by allowing you to set a specific time for when the item will be done cooking. By cooking the meat in a sealed bag none of the juices will escape and it is easy to add spices and seasonings. It is an improved alternative to slow cookers because of the increased volume (no loss due to evaporation) and consistency of the cooking.
What Do I Need to Get Started?
You will need a sous vide device, a large pot or bowl, and a sealed bag. The Anova Precision Cooker Nano is a great starter sous vide that can be purchased for $100. It is simple to use, can cook enough food at one time for the average family, and works very well. As far as a sealed bag to place your meat in, you can use a simple heavy-duty Ziploc bag and clip it to the side of your water container or you can use a dedicated vacuum sealer. The benefit of having a vacuum sealer is you can let the sealed bag free float in your water container and can use the sealing machine for food storage as well.
The great thing about sous vide cooking is it’s almost impossible to screw up. If you can seal a bag, set a temperature and time, and fill a vessel with water you can sous vide. It is also great to be able to have something cooking while you prepare other more complicated dishes or accomplish other tasks. When done, you just cut the bag open, sear the meat quickly if desired, and enjoy. I highly recommend giving it a shot.