A nice piece of protein is expensive, which is why I hate to screw up cooking it, as I've done many times with on my backyard grill. So, I was pretty excited to give sous vide cooking a shot. Sous vide is a simple technique in which you place the food in a sealed plastic bag and immerse it in a bath of precisely controlled low-temperature water—for a long time. Steak takes an hour and eggs usually need about 45 minutes.
The reward of slow, low-temp cooking is that you never under- or over-cook food because it can never get hotter than the water bath. Restaurants have used sous vide for years; now, devices are available for home use.
Recently, I tried out a sous vide machine from Sansaire to cook a thick filet mignon. I placed the machine in a pot of water and plugged it in. A small motor circulates the water while a heating element maintains the chosen temperature. I dialed in 129° F for medium rare. I sprinkled my steak with sea salt and cracked black pepper and added a little olive oil to the bag. Then, I set it in the bath and went back to work. An hour and a quarter later, I pulled the steak out of the bag and seared both sides in a cast-iron skillet, forming a nice crust.
The meat was perfectly cooked, medium rare. Without a doubt, it was the best steak I had ever made because, well, I let a machine do the hard part. For more clever products to purchase, check out these 20 Genius Healthy Cooking Gadgets!