There's something magical about the exquisite ease of sous vide cooking: Seal raw ingredients in an airtight bag, hold them under water at a precise, relatively low temperature for a relatively long amount of time, and open to reveal the most custardy poached eggs, velvety fruit and vegetable purees, and stunningly perfect meats and fish (a lightning-quick sear in a very hot pan adds the caramelized crust the water bath can't provide). You could pull off at-home sous vide cooking with a pricey institutional immersion circulator and a cumbersome plastic tub — or if you're feeling dangerous, a jacuzzi tub and a prayer — but the Sous Vide Supreme makes it so easy that I don't understand why you'd do it any other way. Just seal your food, set the temperature, shut the lid, and wait for the machine to do its magic. Your kitchen may never be the same.
Sous Vide Supreme Demi, $329 at Amazon.com
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