Originally Posted by Kayelle
........ I suspect as time goes on and the novelty wears off that they will go the way of the pocket calculator.
I don't think so. People scoffed at the microwave at first, but now you don't find many kitchens without one. As an example of how ubiquitous they've become, Nathan Myhrvold even addressed microwaves in Modernist Cuisine
. As more options for sous vide equipment come available, the prices keep coming down, and people can afford some of the options. More restaurants are utilizing sous vide all the time.
Unlike the OP, I use mine several times a week, not a couple times a month. It's my go-to method for almost any protein, sometimes followed by a quick sear in a hot CI skillet or a hot blast with my Home Depot blow torch. Like most of you, I've been cooking for a very long time, and I make a pretty mean steak by conventional methods. But nothing prepared me for the even perfection of my first sous vide steak! I haven't looked back. I now use it a lot more than I do all conventional methods combined.
Any kind of seafood is a natural for the sous vide method. Never
dry or overcooked. No lingering smell of fish cooking for 2 days. I can prepare any kind of fish or shellfish better than anything I can get in a restaurant. Depending on the thickness & the density, 15 to 30 minutes usually does the trick - just long enough to make a salad or side and set the table. I am eating a lot more fish at home since I got my water oven.
I do differ with the OP, however, on the timing. An inch-thick steak takes about an hour, not 4 hours. Most seafood takes only 15-30 minutes. Reserve the long cooking times for tough cuts that need tenderizing. Although the beauty of sous vide is that you can leave it in the water until you're ready (it can't overcook), if you cook it for an excessive amount of time you will start to break down the tissue and it can get mushy.
Temperature is more critical than time in the sous vide process. You can make perfectly tender short ribs, cooked to medium rare. In spite of the long cook time (like a braise), you can still set your preferred temperature.
I belong to another BB where members (including a couple of pros) have been using sous vide equipment and discussing it for about 3 years now. Like me, they are converting almost all of their recipes to sous vide. The control and consistency are unrivaled.
The BBB price is actually very good for that machine, especially since they are including the sealer. And if you don't already have a sealer, you'll find a lot of other uses for it.
Last night I made sous vide shrimp in a lemon-vanilla-paprika butter sauce over avocado halves. Clean up was a breeze - just one knife to hand wash, and throw away the bag. My Sous Vide Supreme is not moving to the basement!