I’m not sure what’s sexier: a laser thermometer, or cooking food without reaching a boiling temperature. Hm….
The other week I tried cooking chicken breast using the sous vide method – that is, under vacuum. If food is under vacuum, then the cooking temperature doesn’t have to be as high for the food to cook. The result is usually more tender and juicy, but what I was really interested in was not overheating my humid and non-air-conditioned apartment in the summer by making dinner.
As this was my first foray into vacuum cooking, I decided to keep things basic by cooking boneless, skinless chicken breast that had been lightly seasoned with salt, pepper and vegetable oil. I placed individual boobs into Ziploc bags, made sure to squeeze as much air out as possible (partially submerging the bags in water helps with this, as the water pushes the air out) and dropped the bags in a water bath around 60 degrees C.
Checking the water temperature every half hour or so and maintaining a temperature between 60 and 70 degrees C, the chicken steeped for 80 minutes. They emerged tender and ready!
Delicious as it was, I’m not sure if poaching the chicken would have yielded a similar, equally pleasing result. I suppose the next step will be to do an experiment and see. In the meantime, I’m going to test the temperature of the water in my bathtub with my laser thermometer.