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Sous Vide for the Home Cook cookbook Paperback – April 12, 2010

81 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Sous vide-the slow cooking method that set the standard among gourmet chefs-is simplified for the home cook in over 200 easy and delicious recipes.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Sous Vide (April 12, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0984493603
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984493609
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #98,211 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

165 of 166 people found the following review helpful By Hugh B. Anderson on July 7, 2010
Format: Paperback
Sous vide cooking, once the province of the elite chefs of the world, is quickly becoming a reality for many home cooks thanks to both the introduction of sous vide appliances and to the resourcefulness of foodie geeks who have devised methods of simulating sous vide cooking in vessels ranging from crockpots to beer coolers. However, having pieced together or purchased a sous vide device, the final obstacle for many a home cook is locating reliable recipes for what is, in essence, an entirely new method of cooking. Sure, it is possible to cobble together a ragged list of recipes and loose formulations of times and temperatures through much Googling and forum reading, but nowhere is there as comprehensive a starting point as can be found here.

That said, here are some of the pros and cons of this cookbook as I see it:

-First and foremost in many people's minds is food safety. The author literally "wrote the webpage" on food safety for sous vide cooking, and all of that information has been distilled into this book.
-A comprehensive chart of cooking times and temperatures for most cuts of beef, pork, lamb, chicken, duck, venison, fish, and shellfish, plus times for eggs, vegetables, beans, and fruit.
-An introductory chapter that walks through cooking several different types of food, along with the reasoning behind the methods.
-Recipes that help one think out of the standard sous vide box, including custard/ice cream bases, chocolate and caramel sauces, and even yogurt

-Home cooks experienced with sous vide cooking will likely not find anything new techniquewise. Most of the meats are cooked very simply, with little more than salt and pepper, followed by recipes for various sauces to add once the meat is done.
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93 of 93 people found the following review helpful By Corgi Lover on September 24, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is an excellent introduction to sous vide cooking. It has the science info, it has the safety info and it has very useful cooking times and temperatures for many different proteins, fruits and vegetables. These things alone make the book invaluable.

The recipes I've tried work, sometimes quite well. But the approach here is not that of a chef. Mr. Baldwin most of the time takes a "let's cook the main ingredient first and after it's done we'll sauce it and give it its individuality." For example you'll find several chicken recipes where the chicken is cooked exactly the same way, and then you create a sauce and put it on it for flavor in the finished dish. This happens with a lot of the red meat recipes, too. I look forward to a sous vide cookbook that has moderately involved recipes where multiple ingredients are combined in the vacuum pouch and they are cooked all together to totally infuse the flavors into the primary ingredient, not just a cook the protein and then paint it with sauce approach. You'll find what I'm talking about in Thomas Keller's UNDER PRESSURE. But that book is mostly to the other extreme with recipes the home cook won't or can't deal with in their complexity, but some are simple and wonderful.

Let me reiterate that the science, safety, cooking time and temperature information make this book invaluable for the imaginative home cook.
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72 of 74 people found the following review helpful By E. B. on February 21, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you want a book to pull it all together then this book is not it. I expected it to be a comprehensive beginner's guide but it really isn't. Derek Henry's review covered many of my points.

Now before you begin to think that I hate this book, I'll tell you that I do not. It's actually a good book. Just unbelievably incomplete. With sous vide there is pasteurization and there is a good cooking time/temp combo. They are not the same. Some things you can cook enough to make it safe but it would be disgustingly under-cooked to eat. Also, sous vide time/temp is very dependent upon thickness.

As previously stated Baldwin did practically "write the book" on sous vide cooking times....on his website, not in his actual book. Surprisingly, he doesn't even mention thickness in his charts. I'm not sure he mentions it anywhere in his book except when talking about eggs. There are also somewhat of inconsistencies in parts of the book, especially when cross referencing his website. The information is not wrong but confusingly inconsistent.

There is very good information in this book and (what looks like) very good recipes. It would be great if this book was as is but had charts clearly listing cooking times/temp based on thickness while differentiating between pasteurization, actual recommended cooking time to taste good, and max time that you can leave the food at target temperature before it starts to degrade (in taste.) Those charts alone could make this book a 5/5 and make it complete.

It would be nice to have recommendations of side dishes to serve with the recipes (not a dealbreaker.) If this book had full meal recipes planned by time, that would be amazing. However I wouldn't deduct any stars for not having either of these.
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107 of 113 people found the following review helpful By Robert Jueneman on August 14, 2011
Format: Paperback
I have been doing sous vide cooking at home for about five years, and I own virtually every book on the subject that has ever been printed, including the huge Modernist Cuisine set, as well as those by Ferran Adria, Heston Blumenthal, Grant Achatz, Thomas Keller, Robuchon, Joan Roca, Harold McGee, Kamozawa & Talbot, and Jeff Potter. I love them all, and consult them frequently, and I almost never turn on the oven any more, or even the grill. But the book that I am most likely to grab when I want to fix some thing sous vide that is quick and easy is Douglas Baldwin's "Sous Vide for the Home Cook."

Most of those other authors are world famous chefs with multiple Michelin stars. Their recipes are delicious, but elaborate, and it would help if you had two or three assistants to prep for you.

Douglas, on the other hand, is an applied mathematician who quite literally "wrote the book" on food safety and sous vide cooking, after researching hundreds of scholarly articles on microbiology. He then put his knowledge of mathematics to use and calculated the time and temperature tables that are fundamental to the science of sous vide. If the time and temperature recommendations in the front of the book are too simplistic for you, see his inestimable "Practical Guide to Sous Vide Cooking" at [...], which should be required reading for all students of sous vide, and is used in courses from Harvard to New Zealand.

In many respects, the most valuable part of the book for the beginner is the Appendix, where he discusses the various types of sous vide water baths and their calibration; plastic pouches and sealers; and food safety, including pasteurization times for meat and poultry.
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