French for “under vacuum”, Sous Vide is a cooking method in which food is sealed in airtight plastic bags then placed in a water bath for longer than normal cooking times at an accurately regulated temperature much lower than normally used for cooking. The intent is to cook the item evenly, ensuring that the inside is properly cooked without overcooking the outside, and retain moisture.
Being able to manipulate temperatures to 1/10 of a degree allows chefs a lot of flexibility in the kitchen. Cooking 2,000 fillets to perfection for a banquet is not longer nearly impossible. The risk of having a steak sent back to the kitchen because it is over or under cooked is dramatically reduced when cooking Sous Vide.
Cooking Sous Vide yields approximately 8-15% more in volume, depending on the cut. This equates to more food on the plate, and more money in your wallet.Although the equipment may seem like an investment, when factoring in labor and food waste, the equipment can pay for itself in 1-2 years.
Indian Ridge Corporate Chef, Shawn Doyle, shows us the basics of how to cook Sous Vide, as well as different use ideas for your restaurant.
You can watch the full Chef Demo here:
Applications and Ideas:
Smashed Fingerling Potatoes, Duck Fat, Salt
Watermelon, Soy Sauce
Salmon, Salt, Sugar, Red Beets
Caramelized Cobia Medallions, Miso, Honey, Lime.
Cooked Sous Vide at 131 degrees for 15-18 minutes then caramelized. Can also use Sable Fish or Black Cod.
Heat foods such as yam puree, creamy grits, etc. and use the bag similar to a pastry bag to pipe them right onto a plate for a clean and easy presentation.
When Cooking Fish Sous Vide, to prevent myoglobin from pinching off and keeping a perfect texture, follow these quick steps before sealing fish in an airtight bag: Roll the fish in salt. Let it sit for 5 minutes. Then rinse and put inside plastic bag to seal. This will keep the myoglobin inside the fish throughout the cooking process.
There are apps available that can tell you how long it takes to get internal temperature up to what you want, and how long it takes to cook different products Sous Vide. Try either of these Apps:
- Sous Vide Dashboard
- Sous Vide Pro
The Sous Vide cooking method literally “took off” and became popular in airplanes and high end cooking. The only way to serve gourmet food in an airplane is to cook it on the ground and then reheat and finish it in the airplane.