Sous vide — once an obscure French cooking technique relegated to the back kitchens of fancy restaurants — has become mainstream and trendy. But if you’re still intimidated by cooking steak or chicken in a vacuum-sealed bag, this innovation from a graduate student might help: “Sous la Vie” lets you cook food sous vide in your washing machine.
Gray Design’s prepackaged steam bag meals imitate the traditional sous vide style of cooking and let you cook dinner in the same place — and at the same time — as you wash your underwear. (Don’t worry, the bags are sealed tight). The prepackaged foods range from mixed vegetables to steak with garlic and herbs to salmon in teriyaki sauce.
Traditional sous vide calls for vacuum-sealing food inside bags and using precise temperature control to deliver the best (and most tender) results.
“Rather than cooking a piece of meat at 58 degrees Celsius for two and a half hours, you could just set your washing machine to ‘synthetics’ for a long cycle,” inventor and Israeli design student Iftach Gazit told The Guardian. “For vegetables, you could set it to a short hot ‘cotton’ program.”
Originally Gazit was inspired by a solution for homeless people who could use laundromats to cook food. He calls the results (after many failed trials where he ended up with mushy and soggy meals) “the future of the TV dinner.”