5 Common Misconceptions About Sous Vide Cooking

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In the past few years, sous vide cooking—already ubiquitous in fine-dining restaurants—has gained a foothold in home kitchens as well. That’s thanks to newly affordable equipment and cameos on TV shows like The Simpsons and Adventure Time, along with the publication of groundbreaking books such as Modernist Cuisine and Thomas Keller’s Under Pressure.

But despite the technique’s rocketing popularity, it’s still plagued by many-a-misconception. Below, we debunk five common myths surrounding sous vide. Still have questions? Please share them in the comments.

1. “Sous vide” means “under vacuum,” and that means I need to pony up for an expensive, space-hogging chamber-style vacuum sealer if I want to try it.

Yes, “sous vide” is French for “under vacuum.” And yes, it’s a very confusing name. Because in fact, you don’t need a pricey vacuum sealer—or even an inexpensive countertop one—to successfully cook food at a low temperature in a water bath. To get started with sous vide, regular-old ziplock-style bags will do just fine. In fact, in some applications they are preferable to vacuum-sealed bags. Use the simple water displacement method (instructions in sidebar here) to remove the air from the bags, then get cooking.

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2. Okay, but I still need to buy pricey sous vide equipment.

It’s true that cooks who regularly cook sous vide often opt to invest in an immersion circulator or SousVide Supreme bath. In the last few years, however, a number of affordable models have emerged for home use. (Popular Science has published a helpful roundup of those). And if you’re just looking to test the method out, you can improvise a sous vide setup with nothing more than a pot, a stove, a digital thermometer, and some plastic bags. Allow us to show you how.

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3. I don’t need a circulator to get started, got it—that doesn’t change the fact that it’s not safe to cook food in plastic bags.

According to the latest research, the safest plastics for use with food are high-density polyethylene, low-density polyethylene, and polypropylene. Virtually all sous vide bags are made from these plastics (the inner layer of nearly all sous vide bags is polyethylene). And most name-brand food storage bags and plastic wraps such as Ziploc and Saran Wrap are also made from safe plastics like polyethylene.

Now, other plastics that may be in your kitchen, such as inexpensive, bulk plastic wraps (still commonly made from polyvinyl chloride or polyvinylidene chloride), can contain harmful plasticizers that have been shown to leach into fatty foods such as cheese and meat. Legitimate concerns exist about food exposed to these plastics at higher temperatures—when you microwave food wrapped in plastic, for instance. Spend a little extra on one of the brand-name options, and you will be good to go.

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4. But why do I need a whole new cooking technique just to get tender steak, fish, and chicken?

People unfamiliar with sous vide often think it’s only useful for preparing proteins. While all three of those foods taste great cooked sous vide, there are so many more delicious options. Our gallery of sous vide recipes should provide you with plenty of further inspiration.

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5. Alright, ChefSteps. I’m convinced this could be a good way to go when I have plenty of time on my hands, but for day-to-day use, my trusty old oven is way more efficient.

We often reach for the circulator when it’s time to give tough cuts the slow-and-low treatment, but we also prepare sous vide mashed potatoes in 45 minutes flat, and fish, steak, and chicken usually cook in under an hour. And remember, instead of staring hopelessly into your oven window, hoping that chicken breast hasn’t turned to stringy shoe leather, you can allow food to cook largely unattended, safe in the knowledge that results will be predictable every time—and freeing you to focus on other things. Like, say, what you’re going to whip up next.

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10 Foods You Didn’t Know You Could Cook Sous Vide

Flourless Carrot Cake ChefSteps

Thinking about investing in sous vide equipment for your kitchen? Here at ChefSteps, we’re unabashed fans—we love the way sous vide requires little micromanagement, and predictably cooks all sorts of food. Sous vide recipes you find online tend to focus on steak and fish—two excellent options—but when it comes to cooking in a water bath, proteins are just the beginning. Read on for 10 of our favorite unexpected uses for sous vide. Got faves of your own? Go ahead and share them in the comments

1. Custards

Yup, you can prepare crème brûlée and other custardy desserts sous vide. We use it to create the carrot custard for our Flourless Carrot Cake—a sous vide recipe that’s gluten-free and about as modernist as they come.

Get the recipe: Flourless Carrot Cake

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2. Purées

We like making purées well in advance—cooking them in a circulator is often the simplest way to do so. When it comes time to reheat them, it’s much easier to warm them in a sous vide bath than on the stovetop, where uneven heating sometimes means the purée near the heat is getting scorched while the portion near the surface is barely warm.

Get the recipe: Celery Root Purée

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3. Burgers

Think we’re crazy for publishing a sous vide burger recipe? Don’t knock it ’til you’ve served a bunch of perfect patties to a large group, no grill-manning required.

Get the recipe: Beef Burger Patties

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4. Flavored oils 

Got a recipe that calls for a flavored oil, but don’t want to pony up the cash for something you’ll probably only use once or twice? Make it at home instead. We cook flavored oil for three hours in a sous vide bath—yes, that’s far longer than most stovetop infusions call for, but the precise low temperature results in a flavorful oil that will keep for months.

Get the recipe: Thyme Oil

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5. Cheese curds

Super-geeky, yet also super-great: using a SousVide Supreme to make your own squeaky cheese curds. You’ll need some funny ingredients, but how cool is it to be crafting curds like a pro in your own kitchen? And teachers, this would make an awesome classroom activity.

Get the recipe: Squeaky Cheese Curds

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6. French fries

For these crispy-soft fries, we use a triple-cooking process made famous by British chef Heston Blumenthal. Once you recreate them at home, you’ll see why the method has set a new standard by which the world’s greatest French fries are judged.

Get the recipe: Thin-Cut French Fries

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7. Mashed potatoes

Think cooking sous vide means waiting a long time for your food? Well, er, often it does. But here’s an exception—you can make these rich, creamy mashed potatoes (or pomme purée, as chefs and French people call them) in 45 minutes flat.

Get the recipe: Pomme Purée

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8. Oysters

Weird but true: You can use sous vide to help you shuck oysters! Blanching oysters in a water bath at 140 °F / 60 °C for just a few minutes makes them easy to open. Time it right, and the oyster won’t cook but will wind up with a gorgeous plump appearance and an appealing firm texture that heightens their freshness. And because this technique makes it easy to pop the oyster open, you’re less likely to end up with shell debris floating in the salty brine surrounding the oyster.

Get the technique: Firming oysters

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9. Stock

Using sous vide equipment to make stocks gives us the ultimate temperature control—for the richest, flavor-forward broth, we like to cook ours for a full day when time allows.

Get the recipe: Beef Stock

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10. Eggnog

Yup, not even this most traditional of holiday libations is safe from our relentless need to sous vide everything. But seriously, that time of year has enough stresses—instead of slaving over your egg-and-booze beverage, drop it in the bath and occupy yourself with the million other tasks at hand.

Get the recipe: Eggnog

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Join the ChefSteps community to get access to more than 100 sous vide recipes, talk sous vide with other enthusiasts on our lively forum, and get the first word on exciting new recipes, videos, and techniques. 

A Quick Announcement About Content

Camp the ChefSteps dog takes a nap.

Camp takes a quick break from a long research session.

Hello there, ChefSteps community. As you’ve likely noticed, our hard-working team of cooks, designers, writers, photographers, and musicians has settled into a pattern of delivering new content every Tuesday. This weekly schedule has allowed us to populate the site with tons of new content that, on the whole, you’ve responded to with great enthusiasm—which we appreciate greatly. We’ve been pushing hard to provide you with plenty of kitchen inspiration—from tips and tricks on how to level up your sous vide game, to a grow-your-own microgreens project and the launch of the ChefSteps Egg Calculator.

Recently, we began developing some ambitious new releases that we believe are shaping up to be among the best stuff we’ve produced yet. In the next few weeks you’ll get a thorough, behind-the-scenes account of how chefs design and plate their own dishes. Then, with the help of some of the best baristas and roasters in the biz, we’ll dig deep into the science of espresso—teaching you to pull perfect shots and make sexy latte art, among other things. After that, prepare for an epic launch of new sous vide content, featuring exclusive, essential information you won’t find anywhere else, period. Whether you’re just getting curious about this revolutionary cooking method or are looking to improve your already considerable skills, you’ll discover plenty there to enrich your sous vide experience.

But here’s the thing: Ensuring this content is the best it can be is going to require massive amounts of research, plus more photo and film shoots, writing, original graphics, and input and innovation from our kitchen than we’ve ever brought you before. Plus, we want to get better at supporting content once it has been published. So while you can continue to expect lots of new stuff from us, we will no longer be adhering to a strict weekly schedule. Stay tuned for more information, and don’t forget to explore the hundreds of recipes, techniques, and articles that currently populate the site. Get ready for some great stuff coming soon. We can’t wait to share it with you.

Hans’ Hit List: Music Picks From Our Staff Musician

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As some of you will remember, this isn’t the first time this blog has highlighted the work of ChefSteps audio director Hans Twite—Twite told us all about his covetable job in this post from September 2013. What you might not know: One of the perks of working with Hans is that he’s a veritable wellspring of awesome music recommendations, and he’s always enthusiastic about sharing the stuff that inspires him. So we asked him to share that stuff with you. Below, Hans details the weird and fascinating tracks he’s listening to right now. Enjoy, and please share your own current favorites in the comments.

Shabazz Palaces: “They Come in Gold”
Ishmael Butler and Tendai “Baba” Maraire, the amazing duo known as Shabazz Palaces, are never far from reach in my record collection. This track—from the highly anticipated, recently released Lese Majesty—is just a taste of the amazing and creative production that these guys have to offer. The feats of musical ingenuity they pull off in the studio are also on display during their captivating live shows . 

Oneohtrix Point Never: “Ships Without Meaning”
Daniel Lopatin, also known as Oneohtrix Point Never, is lauded for his minimalist, yet multi-layered, experimental music. I am constantly gravitating towards his stuff and admire his ability to take simple patterns or arpeggiated synthesizer lines, and completely breathe life and feeling into them with his arsenal of musical machines.

Iska Dhaaf: “Happiness”
Nathan Quiroga and Benjamin Verdoes are two Seattleites with a long history in the local scene. Known locally for his successful hip hop group called Mad Rad, Quiroga found himself looking to expand his musical and artistic outlets, and formed this duo with drummer Verdoes. This hypnotic and honest music is some of my favorite to come out of Seattle in recent years.

NetCat: “The Internet is an Apt Motherfucker”
Hilarious song title, right? NetCat (Brandon Lucia, David Balatero, and Andrew Olmstead) are definitely on the edge of where technology and music meet. Equipped with both musical and computer programing backgrounds, these guys are pushing the limits of live improvisation, and humanizing the technological world of modern music production.

Swans: “Screen Shot”
Michael Gira and his band Swans are not for the faint of heart. But they are influential and compelling to me, thanks to their willingness to completely commit to whatever they are working on—no matter where that work leads them. They have come a long way since the early days, when they played with nothing but a tape recorder of samples and a wall of amps.

Tim Hecker: “Amps, Drugs, Mellotron”
A lot of my life is about plugging and unplugging cords, setting up microphones, moving amps, restringing guitars, and attempting to tune old synthesizers. When I am actively working in my studio, I need to concentrate. But I want to still listen to music. Enter Tim Hecker, who creates the perfect atmospheric background music for when you need to be able to think, but also to keep moving.

P.J. Harvey: “Black Hearted Love”
Polly Jean Harvey has always been a musical innovator—and a subtle comedian. She has the ability to make some of the most earthy and natural-sounding recordings sound completely fresh and of the future. I chose this track, from an overlooked album she created with John Parish in 2009, because it really demonstrates her thematic writing, not to mention her dry humor.

Beck: “Wave”
Morning Phase, a late follow-up to 2002’s Sea Change, has been a welcome addition to Beck’s already substantial discography. This direct and atmospheric piece exemplifies my favorite aspects of Beck’s music: his ability to find the essence of a song; his ability to craft that perfect melody on top of his music; and his ability to get out of the way of the music when the occasion calls for it.

Ben Frost: “Venter”
Are you going on a long road trip, or driving very late at night? Put on some Ben Frost to transform your journey into an epic cinematic experience that keeps you alert and makes you feel like you’re in some weird and awesome Icelandic movie.

Death Grips: “Black Quarterback”
Death Grips just broke up! I really wish I could have seen them live, but from what I have heard even if you bought the ticket, they may not have shown up anyways! These guys were pretty much the essence of punk in a hip-hop world. Vicious, unrelenting beats and polyrhythms assault your senses, but they still manage to engage listeners and create something completely unique.

Robin Guthrie: “Some Sort of Paradise”
Guitarist and founder of Cocteau Twins, Robin Guthrie and his use of live looping have always been a huge influence on what I do. I got into Cocteau Twins much later than many of my musician buddies because I sometimes found the vocals distracting when I wanted to hear more of what Robin was creating in the background. This album is always around, and a great one to listen to when you are relaxing late at night.

David Bowie “TVC15″
David Bowie—where to begin? This guy is pretty much the reason I try to do what I do. His drive to keep pushing for new ideas, and ability to never settle on a technique or hit neutral on his “gear box,” are completely inspiring. I could tell you how I feel about the albums Low, or Aladdin Sane, or Heroes, but instead I give you “TVC15” from Station To Station. I DARE you to try and get that chorus out of your head!

So there you have it folks, a new playlist for yahs from a guy who pretty much lives for this stuff. To hear Hans’ own inspiring creations (and get access to recipes, techniques, and our lively forum), join the ChefSteps community. Then, check out original Twite tracks like this recent Starburst-Style Chewy Candy composition—featuring Macklemore trombonist Greg Kramer—or the breezy, evocative score to our Kouign-Amann video.

How Do You Like Your Burger?

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Mmmm…burgers.

Here at ChefSteps, we have burgers on the brain. Our kitchen crew has been working hard on an upcoming project that will delve real deep into the matter. One thing we’ve discovered along the way: Everybody has opinions about this most American of sandwiches. Well, we want to hear yours. Do you like your patty piled high with wet and dry toppings, or more minimally dressed? Are you a year-round griller, or do you prefer broiling your burgs in the cold months? What are your feelings about fat content in the beef? Perfect melting cheese? Shake Shack vs. In-N-Out? Whatever. Share your thoughts here, and look out for the ChefSteps Burger class—coming your way soon.

Join the ChefSteps community for all the latest recipes and techniques, plus the chance to chat with our outgoing community of home cooks. 

Yup, You Can Make That at Home: 5 Homemade Takes on Storebought Stuff

There’s something uniquely satisfying about making your own version of storebought foods using fresh, quality ingredients. It’s also a great way to cook with kids (and keep them from destroying the house on a rainy day). From Starburst-Style Chews to Nacho Cheese, here are five of our favorite ways to recreate supermarket treats without having to leave the house. Try these recipes, and if you’d like us to develop techniques for other stuff on your grocery list, tell us about those in the comments.

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Starburst-Style Chewy Candy—so pretty.

Nooks and crannies! Thomas isn’t the only one who can make English Muffins. Since 1747, baking enthusiasts (or, you know, people who just wanted to eat) have been doing their own versions of this comforting breakfast treat, and you can too.

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English muffins, fresh from the oven.

What’s the best thing to serve with pulled pork and crunchy coleslaw? King’s Hawaiian Sweet Rolls, of course. The only way to improve on that satisfying summer meal is to make the rolls yourself and serve ‘em up fresh.

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Hawaiian Sweet Rolls, always great with pulled pork.

Life hack alert: If you only make one recipe on this list, let it be homemade Ice Cream Cones. Because it’s so easy you won’t believe you ever bought that stack of styrofoam-esque sugar cones. This is how you get fast-tracked to parent of the year, and you don’t even have to attend one PTA meeting.

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Homemade Ice Cream Cones—as impressive as they are easy.

Nacho Cheese is one of those foods you eat with the blinds drawn when your significant other goes out of town. Well come out into the light, Velveeta lovers. ‘Cause there’s no shame in indulging in creamy, chip-coating cheese sauce when it came out of your own kitchen. The secret—melting salts. And they’re about to change your life.

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Homemade nacho cheese—so creamy.

That’s right, you can make your own Starburst-style Chewy Candy—all you need is a stand mixer and a set of really strong arms. (The more sets of really strong arms you have, the better. So invite your gym-iest friends over to help you pull.)

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Stretch your confectionery skills with Starburst-Style Chewy Candy.

Want to find more great recipes to enhance your experience in the kitchen? Chat with other modernist cuisine enthusiasts? Get the first word on ChefSteps news and events? Join our community and get cooking. 

Salad Days: Lighten Up With Summer-Friendly Sides and Starters

In between sous viding the World’s Largest Pastrami, scarfing down Kouign-Amann, and reconstructing beef roasts like a bunch of modernist Dr. Frankensteins, we like to work in the occasional salad. But we’re not talking about the sort of iceburg-and-stale-crouton situation you find beneath the sneeze guard at a supermarket salad bar. Oh no. With ingredients like pork belly, fresh Parmesan, and albacore tuna, these salads are far, far sexier than all that. Read on for our favorite ways to lighten up at dinner.

Fun fact: Radicchio is not a lettuce. It’s a member of the chicory family, and it’s super tasty, especially when you accessorize it with creamy buttermilk, verdant chive oil, and funky blue cheese—which is exactly what we do in this Microwaved Radicchio Salad. An elegant warm salad you can make in the microwave? Radicch.

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Salads are a magical thing. You can top them with stuff like fried chicken and fatty cheese, and somehow they still feel healthy. Our Endive Salad works in skinny rolls of braised pork belly, so you get that hit of salty fat without getting too weighed down. It’s a great one for a dinner party, but give yourself time—that belly’ll need a minute to brine. (And by “a minute,” we mean 48 to 72 hours).

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So, your kids complain that chickpeas look like little butts. Don’t let that deter you from serving this Chickpea Tuna Salad. You can substitute all sorts of non-butt-like beans for the chickpeas, and your picky little legacies will never know the difference. Ha, tricked ‘em. That’s called good parenting.

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Speaking of microwaves, did you know you can confit vegetables up in there? True story. In fact, that’s how we prepare the squash for this Confit Squash Salad. Then we cut it into cubes and let a blizzard of ricotta salata rain down upon them, tossing on some toasted hazelnuts for good measure. Use kabocha squash and you don’t even have to peel the skin off. Come on, people. The only way we could make this easier on you is to come over and make it ourselves. (Not right now, we’re at work.)

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“You can’t please everybody,” your wise uncle Fred used to tell you. But here’s the thing: You can. Case in point: our two versions of coleslaw–creamy, and red. Because some people love their coleslaw all mayo-slicked and fatty, and other people like it red. Can’t please everybody? Have some coleslaw, Uncle Fred.

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The Germans like to lay claim on potato salad. Man, Germany. Is winning the World Cup not enough? Right here, right now, we’re calling on America to claim this carbiest of side salads. After all, there are few foods that feel as U-S-A! U-S-A! as potato salad. And okay, our version involves homemade mayo and homemade pickled mustard seed—look, if you want something quick go back to that confit squash dish—but it’s stupidly delicious. Bring it to a barbecue and watch it upstage the ribs and the keg of lager and the tall, handsome German guy teaching the kids to play soccer properly.

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Want to make chef-level dishes at home? Chat with other modern cuisine enthusiasts about all sorts of stuff? Watch beautiful, inspiring videos filmed in our test kitchen? Join our community and get cooking. 

Tips for Better Food Photography

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Just like an eager home cook peeking into a professional kitchen, a behind-the-scenes look at a professional photography studio is often enough inspiration for nascent food photographers to take their images to the next level. Whether you’re picking up a camera for the first time, or are looking to improve your skills, we hope these tips will get you snapping in no time. (Yes, smart-phone photographers, everything here applies to you, too!)

We’re starting with the basics, and will build future blog posts that are geared towards different concepts and skills. Please always ask if you have specific questions about how we shot a particular still image or video—we’ll happily share the details.

Read on for some basic tips on planning, equipment, and technique.

PRE-SHOOT PLANNING

Here’s the scenario: You’re in the kitchen preparing a sumptuous meal, and you want to share it with the world (or your Instagram buddies, at least). The first rule is this: keep it simple. Before you even start cooking, remove clutter from the area and make sure everything is clean and orderly. Set up your tripod, and any tools you might need, within an arm’s reach. In a professional kitchen, this process is called mise en place; the same principle works for food photography.

Before we document anything at ChefSteps, we also discuss exactly what we want to shoot. Since prepared food changes rapidly, it’s best to think about these elements and stage your shooting area before you cook. When you’re all set up in advance, you can work fast to capture a frozen dessert at that perfect icy temperature, or show hot steam escaping off of warm rolls just out of the oven.

BASIC LIGHTING

If you can get it, natural light will show off your food to its best advantage. We’re lucky to have huge windows lining our kitchen, so we can shoot almost everything using natural light—even on those famously dreary Seattle days. Lighting your food evenly is one of the easiest ways to create a delicious-looking photo, so a bright but cloudy day is actually the perfect time to shoot.

But still, too much or too little light can affect your outcome. If it’s too dark outside (at dawn or dusk, for example), we use artificial lights, or we move very close to the window to make use of whatever light we can. And while they’re great for sunbathing and barbecues, sunny summer days can create harsh shadows and overexposed highlights in photos. When it’s too bright, we’ll pull the shades to diffuse the light, or just move plated food further from the window. To get rid of heavy shadows cast from bright light, we’ll hold up a piece of poster board to reflect light onto the shadowy areas. This reflector can also be used on darker days, to reflect whatever light there is evenly onto the subject of the image.

COMPOSITION: SIMPLE IS BEST

Make the food the star of the show by keeping compositions clean and simple. We like a bright, minimalist look, so we use white or black plates set against clean backgrounds like butcher blocks. Personal styles vary, of course, but even if you’re after a more homey, rustic look, less is often more. Play with different surfaces around the house to see what works best for you.

EXTRA EQUIPMENT

If you’re shooting solo, we highly recommend using a tripod. That way, you can “style to the camera”—positioning your tripod first and then plating with a set angle in mind. With a hand-held camera, it’s more difficult to remember camera positioning as you adjust items in the shot. Working with a tripod will also reduce the blur that comes from accidentally moving the camera while shooting.

Another great item to invest in is a remote for your camera—you can capture sprinkling powdered sugar over the moist doughnut you just baked without having to lean over and snap the photo at the same time.

How to Photograph Food – Lighting

We hope these tips are helpful and inspiring enough to get you cooking and shooting. Let us know if you any specific questions—we’re always here to help.

Join our community for empowering recipes and techniques, access to our lively forum, and lots more behind-the-scenes stuff. 

Get Fried All Summer Long

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A lot of people like to spend the summer smoking meats—trust us, we are among them. In fact, our devotion is such that we created this in-depth barbecue class complete with techniques, science, 20 recipes, and a method for making smoked Bloody Mary ice. So, you probably want to check that out.

But lazy, sunny weekends are also a festive excuse to chow down on some fried goodness—and despite what your “health-conscious” friends might have you believe, the deep-fried foods are inevitably the most popular dishes at any party. So without further ado, here ya go: five crispy, crunchy party foods for all your summer celebrations.

1. Potato Chips: Make them yourself and they don’t count as junk food. (The same applies if you eat ice cream standing up. Or eat pizza for breakfast. Or—this is getting kind of sad, isn’t it?)

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2. Some people might not love the idea of eating poutine in the hot season. They’re clearly not staying up late enough. No matter the time of year, any evening at the bars should end with gravy-covered fries studded with cheese curds. We’ve got two versions: old school, and new. This may be the most patriotic weekend of the year, but we salute the Canadians nonetheless.

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3. Chicken Wings are right up there with ribs when it comes to food that sticks to your face. That’s why we love to eat them with family and other assorted loved ones—anybody who can’t leave you even after they’ve seen your lips stained orange.

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4. Man, we love snacking on Fried Tendon Puffs. Wait, where are you going? Seriously, try these salty, crunchy treats and you will end up dreaming of them at meetings when you’re supposed to be analyzing web metrics.

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5.  Imagine you, only with a great Fish & Chips recipe you can whip out whenever your friends are hungry and looking to be impressed. Oh hey there buddy, no need to thank us! The joy is in the giving. Enjoy your summer!

Fish and Chips recipe – ChefSteps

For more great recipes, plus cooking classes, game-changing techniques, and more, join the ChefSteps culinary community

 

 

 

 

Recipe Inspiration: Five Meaty Meals

In honor of this week’s Barbecue Class, we’re putting all things meat at center stage. Read on for the makings of your next carnivorous feast.

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1. If you’ve gone through life thinking your tiny urban kitchen wasn’t up to the task of producing the sort of deeply delicious ribs you get with an outdoor smoker, prepare for a life-altering experience. Cooked sous vide for four hours—followed by a quick stint in the oven—our Apartment Ribs recipe produces juicy, tender meat, chewy bark, and plenty of great flavor—no backyard (or even sunscreen) required.

PSST: Don’t have sous vide equipment? Never fear, we’ve got a hack right this way.

Serve with: Baked Beans, Rich as F*¢k Biscuits.

 

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2. Pitmasters who have a smoker at the ready, this one’s for you. Dry rub a pork butt with a blend of mustard seed, paprika, and lots of other stuff, then leave it to do its thing for 12 hours. The result: rich, succulent pieces of delicious piggy guaranteed to up your barbecue game.

Serve with: Creamy Coleslaw or Red Coleslaw.

 

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3. Brined for 48 hours, this Braised Pork Belly recipe takes a well-loved pig part to a whole new level.

Serve the pork belly in our Kung Pao Carnitas.

 

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4. For the hi-tech type looking to take beef to the next level, we offer our Reconstructed Roast. Via the magic of Activa, you can remove all the unwanted bits, then glue the good parts back together. Okay, it sounds a little strange, but trust us: It’s amazing.

Serve with: Thin-Cut French Fries.

 

Sous-Vide-Steak-ChefSteps

5. A steak dinner is as classic as it gets, but preparing steak the old-fashioned way—pan-roasting or grilling—is tricky. Guarantee yourself a perfect slab of beef by opting to cook it sous vide instead. We baste our Sous Vide Steak in butter and thyme for an even more decadent flavor.

Serve with: Microwaved Radicchio Salad as a starter; Pomme Purée as a side; and a good bottle of red wine to wash it all down.

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