Sous La Vie byIftach Gazit. Image courtesy of gray-design.squarespace.com
Sous La Vie byIftach Gazit. Image courtesy of gray-design.squarespace.com

Would you cook sous vide in a washing machine?

For steaks choose a synthetics cycle, for peas try the cottons setting says design student

Sous vide might sound like a complicated cooking term, but it’s actually fairly simple. “You simply seal the ingredients in a plastic bag and place them in a water bath, a combi oven, or any other cooker that can set and hold a target temperature to within a degree or two,” explains Nathan Myhrvold in Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking. “When the food reaches your target temperature or time, you take it out, give it a quick sear or other finish, and serve it. That’s it.”

Sous vide, which is French for ‘under vacuum’, as the bagged ingredients are often vacuum sealed, allows chefs to cook meat and fish without losing a cut’s juicy tenderness. Unfortunately, sous vide cookers can prove costly. However, one Israeli student has designed a new set of bags for a home appliance almost all of us already have access to: a washing machine.

 

Sous La Vie byIftach Gazit. Image courtesy of gray-design.squarespace.com
Sous La Vie byIftach Gazit. Image courtesy of gray-design.squarespace.com

Sous La Vie is a waterproof, polythene tyvek bag for vacuum-cooking created by the Israeli design student Iftach Gazit.

Gazit developed the bags at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, under the guidance of Liora Rozinn; he believes the jump from laundry to haute cuisine should be pretty easily accomplished, once you’ve figured out which setting suits which dish.

“In sous vide the food is cooked in a bath-like device at temperatures usually around 50 to 70 degrees Celsius. The same conditions can be found in a washing machine,” he says. “Instead of following a sous vide recipe and cooking a piece of meat at 58˚C for two and a half hours, just set your washing machine to “synthetics” for a long duration program. Cooking vegetables? Set your machine to “cotton” for a short duration program.”

Just remember to not add detergent, and check the bags for signs of wear - or those steaks might end with a little soapy sauce the recipe didn't originally make provision for. For more on sous vide and other cookery techniques take a look at Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking, here.