There was a time when only chefs working in high-end restaurants used sous vide cooking methods to cook and prepare meals, however, it seems like all types of restaurants are taking the technique on board. Don’t be surprised if you come across chefs working in your school cafeteria or in your local Starbucks using the method.
Foodies across the globe use Instagram and other popular social networking platforms to show off the food they are about to eat, or the food they have cooked. It’s difficult to scroll through images of food without noticing a meal created with a sous vide tool. There are several sous vide cookers and other tools that allow you to cook finger licking food at low temperatures.
In the restaurant world, this technique has been welcomed with open arms, and restaurant owners are splashing out on the latest sous vide equipment.
What is Sous Vide Cooking?
Although the technique is growing in popularity, especially in the restaurant industry, many people still don’t know what sous vide cooking is. First of all, you will need to be able to pronounce sous vide properly. It is French for ‘under vacuum’ and it is pronounced ‘So Veed’.
To carry out the method, you must put your ingredients into a vacuum sealed pouch, and add them to water. The water can be in any type of vessel, and you must make sure the pouch is fully immersed in the liquid. The water must be regulated at a low temperature so that the food cooks evenly. By setting the water at a low temperature, you won’t have to worry about the food being overcooked, which is a problem all chefs face with other cooking methods. Also, you won’t have to worry about your protein shrinking during the cooking process.
Even if you haven’t undergone any professional culinary training, why not try out the technique yourself. If you are able to make pasta at home, you should have no problems figuring out the method!
Kitchen Workers can Spend Less Time Prepping
When running a busy restaurant, the way you manage your time and your workload is of vital importance. To avoid disgruntled customers posting negative reviews online, it is important that they get their meals on time.
By embracing sous vide methods, kitchen staff can reduce the amount of time they spend actively prepping. You can leave the ingredients cooking at low temperatures for multiple hours, and you will only need a few seconds to finish off the proteins that have been cooking slowly in the pouches. You can throw them on the grill for a few seconds to make them look and smell good before you serve the customers. The technique gives chefs and their team more time to spend focusing on other areas of the kitchen.
Restaurateurs are finding sous vide cooking a game-changer, so you can expect more and more businesses to follow in their footsteps in the near future. It’s extremely difficult to succeed in the restaurant industry, especially during these unprecedented times, so it’s not surprising so many kitchens are taking on this technique.
It Cooks Great Tasting Meals
Cooking meals in a short space of time is great, but there is no point in cooking food unless it tastes good. Most people are happy to wait for their meals as long as the chef does a good job. Sous vide cooking allows people to cook amazing food under low temperatures.
Even if the restaurant decides to use inexpensive cuts of meat, this technique will be able to improve the protein’s textures. Lower food costs mean more profit in the restaurant business, but it has to taste incredible if you want your customers to return. Without using this method, serving low-cost cuts of meat wasn’t something many restaurants thought they could get away with. Slow and low cooking methods make even cheap cuts of meat taste succulent, so don’t be surprised if you get served a great tasting oxtail.
There are Sous Vide Tools available that can Benefit Chefs
Restaurateurs are not afraid to spend their hard earned money on a variety of tools to help their chefs carry out the technique. There are sous vide kits, immersion circulators, water ovens and sous vide cookers readily available in most online marketplaces and traditional electrical stores.
If you plan on investing in a water oven, keep in mind that these devices can take up a lot of countertop space in your kitchen. On top of that, these ovens can cost a pretty penny. You will want to measure your countertop before spending a small fortune on a water oven.
Immersion circulators are used by home chefs and professionals, and they are a popular tool for those wanting to experiment with the technique. Unlike water ovens, these devices won’t break the bank. They are portable and lightweight, so moving them around the kitchen won’t be difficult. The device will heat the water and keep the water moving in the vessel so that the ingredients are cooked evenly.
Most restaurateurs invest in additional tools that might prove useful, such as food smokers and blow torches. However, these tools aren’t essential, because you can use other kitchen equipment to finish off your meals such as a cast iron skillet.
What other Products do Restaurants Invest in
Professional chefs working in busy restaurants often purchase industrial-quality vacuum pouches in bulk. These vacuum sealer bags are ideal for those expecting to serve multiple people, but home chefs should look at buying bags designed for home use instead.
The vessel used to put the water and the ingredients in varies from restaurant to restaurant, but many of them invest in polycarbonate containers. Before purchasing a vessel, the chef will have to think about the size of the water bath that they need, and the amount of free space on their kitchen counter. The size of the container won’t impact the way the food is cooked, as long as the water temperature is regulated.
Do Steakhouses use Sous Vide Cooking Methods?
Pre-cooking juicy steaks using sous vide is common in steakhouses across the United States. This might come as a surprise to frequent steakhouse customers, but using the technique allows chefs to cook great tasting steaks every time.
Busy steakhouses need to prepare large quantities of beef if they are expecting a lot of customers through their doors. Although it doesn’t take long to cook a steak, it can prove extremely challenging to cook large quantities of steaks at one time, especially considering each steak will be cooked differently. By using sous vide cooking, the steakhouse will be able to reduce the amount of time they spend preparing the food.
If you are looking for a new culinary challenge, why not give the technique a go at home. There are several sous vide video tutorials uploaded to streaming platforms like Youtube, and there are several websites dedicated to the unique cooking method. You’ll find all of the essential cooking tools needed online, and they all come with instructions on how to use them. Who knows, it might turn out to be the best cooking technique you’ve ever tried!