Yes, restaurants cook sous vide for many reasons — precision, reproducibility, hands-off cooking. The technique, which simply means cooking sealed food in a low-temperature water bath, has its benefits — but it can cost you around $800.
Good thing you can make one, with just a rice cooker and a temperature controller, in your own kitchen. For less than $35.
Here’s how it works.
The rice cooker is filled with water and plugged into the controller, which reads the ambient temperature of the water bath. If the temperature of the water bath goes above the desired temperature, it shuts off the rice cooker. Vice versa if the temperature goes below the programmed temperature.
Disclaimer: Low-temperature cooking can lead to unsafe food conditions, especially when left in the danger zone (41-135F). Please read up on acceptable times and temperatures on Dave Arnold’s primer on Low Temperature and Sous Vide Cooking.