How Often is ‘Sous Vide’ Used in Restaurant Kitchens?
What Exactly is ‘Sous Vide’?
Sous vide is a French term that literally translates to “under vacuum.” It’s a slow-cooking method that involves vacuum-sealed food that’s placed in a water bath set to a specific, unchanging temperature. The cooking method was developed in the 70s by a French chef and has since become one of today’s most popular cooking methods. Although up until recently, you’d only find sous vide dishes in the most upscale restaurants, modern technology has made it easier now for any restaurant or catering company to employ sous vide methods in the kitchen. You can use it to cook everything from meat to vegetables to produce one-of-a-kind dishes.
What Do You Need to Cook Sous Vide?
One of the first things you’ll need to cook sous vide in the kitchen is a vacuum sealer that can seal what you plan on cooking; you’ll also need quality vacuum sealer bags. You’ll also need an immersion circulator designed to keep your cooking water at a constant temperature. It uses heated metal coils to accomplish this. For those who may want to sear their food as a final touch, a quality pan is recommended as well.
What Are the Benefits of Cooking Sous Vide?
There are a host of benefits to using the sous vide cooking method, the primary one being that it’s incredibly simple. You just program your immersion circulator and forget it until the meal is done. Additionally, sous vide cooking equipment uses much less energy than cooking with more traditional cooking methods because it only uses one single power outlet, rather than a grill or gas range. When cooking with sous vide techniques, you’ll be able to have precise quality with every meal you cook since overcooking is virtually impossible with a programmable immersion circulator. Since you’ll be cooking with vacuum-sealed bags, you’ll also reduce the risk of food contamination.
Lastly, but certainly not least, sous vide cooking can help foods retain more of their nutrients, vitamins, and natural flavors. The juices produced by different meats and vegetables remain trapped inside the vacuum-sealed bags and leads to a marinating effect that drastically enhances their taste.
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