Becoming popular for all the right reasons

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The rise of sous vide The rise of sous vide in restaurant food preparation

Sous Vide cooking is growing in popularity in commercial kitchens and even your customers have an increasing awareness of what it is. In part this might be because these days it is almost impossible to watch a food reality show without some form of sous vide cooking being used or discussed.

What is sous vide?

Basically, Sous vide cooking is a combination of two very distinct process.

The first is vacuum packaging.

Prepared food items are sealed in plastic pouches in a vacuum sealer.

The vacuum sealing process has many benefits to a chef:

  • • marinade volumes can be reduced with enhanced results,
  • • likely hood of cross-contamination after sealing is greatly reduced,
  • • likelihood of accidental food spillages are minimised
  • • food is held firmly so that the rigors of cooking will not damage the presentation of the food item.

The second part of the process is precisely controlled low temperature cooking.

This is achieved by either submerging the vacuum pouch of prepared food in to a water bath, controlled by an immersion circulator or on racks of your Combi oven on the steam or mixed steam convection setting. Cooking temperatures are generally between 55°C to 90°C. Cooking times can vary from 10 minutes up to 72 hours. Using an immersion circulator allows you to accurately regulate the cooking temperatures.

Note: the use of combi ovens for short cooks of less than 2 hours or below 70°C is not recommended as these ovens are not designed to control heat with the required accuracy nor is air a satisfactory medium for heat transfer.

The benefits of sous vide cooking to the chef are;

  • • control of doneness to one tenth of a degree Celsius,
  • • complete consistency,
  • • the ability to hold product long enough to achieve pathogen kill steps for HACCP without compromising doneness,
  • • improved moisture or texture of the cooked item,
  • • the ability to cook tough cuts of meat- meltingly tender- whilst retaining a medium rare appearance.
  • • Sous vide also allows the chef to cook with the sole aim of achieving 6-7 decimal reductions of Salmonella, Listeria and E.coli and still have a desirable food product.
  • • Most of all sous vide spreads the work load of a chef across the whole working day and creates a more managed work flow during the pressures of service.
  • • Sous vide items are precooked to predetermined time/temperature values then chilled rapidly in a way not possible with any other method of cookery as the food is vacuum packaged allowing for direct contact in an ice slurry,
  • • Items are then stored at fridge temperatures then reheated using one or a mix of water-bath, grill, pan, oven or deep fryer. Sous Vide cooking removes the possibility of undercooked food being accidently served to consumers. The chef at the pass is only required to achieve appearance and correct reheat temperature,
  • • doneness has already been achieved.
  • • In affect sous vide low temperature cooking is a refined extension of the cook chill process.

Advantages of Sous Vide Cooking

  • • Sous vide allows for the retention of all the cooking juices and aroma that otherwise would be lost in the cooking process.
  • • Prevents overcooking
  • • Higher product succulence at these lower temperatures, as cell walls in plant-based food do not burst.
  • • From a food storage perspective, while the exclusion of air is secondary, it does allow cooked food to be stored, still sealed and refrigerated, for longer periods than are normally achieved.

PolyScience Sous Vide Professional

The Sous Vide Professional™ Chef series sets the standards for sous vide cooking. It was developed to meet the requirements of the world’s best chefs and adds a whole new dimension of control to your kitchen. Its aesthetics, easy handling and flexibility are unique and without compromise. Professional and aspiring home chefs achieve perfect, repeatable results every time with the PolyScience Sous Vide Professional™ – Chef series.

The Sous Vide Professional Classic Thermal Circulator™ model 7306C is used by the world’s best chefs. It has proven itself as the highest standard in sous vide cooking. The work horse of the PolyScience range, the Classic has stood the test of time, at the heart of some of the world best kitchens. Transform the way you cook.

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