TIPS FOR USING A SOUS VIDE

What is Sous Vide ?
 
This is a process whereby a chef seals food into a vacuum bag. Place the bag into a water bath at the required temperature/time which allows the warmth of the hot water to cook the food.
The food will cook through completely. There will be the same level of doneness throughout the food.
This process produces results impossible to achieve by other cooking methods.
 
Benefits of Sous Vide Cooking
  • Consistency:- Food cooks at a precise temperature for a precise time so the results are always the same.  Cooked from edge to edge i.e. no overcooked edges as when pan frying .
  • Taste of the Food:- As the food will cook in its juices the result is juicy ,moist and tender .
  •  Flexible Cooking:- The Sous Vide brings the food to the required temperature and then held at that temperature it doesn’t require constant attention .
  •  Reduction in waste loss: Food prepared by a traditional method can dry out. An average steak loses up to 40% of its volume because of drying out .
Tips for using the Souse Vide Cooking Method.
  • Cover your bath:-Remember to cover your water bath with either a special lid designed to seal off the container or stretch wrap. The unit that Island Supply sells is designed for commercial use and comes with a pre-cut lid that will fit around the circulator and seal off the bath. This will hold the heat in the bath and prevent drying out and damage to the circulator. This is especially important when cooking time is extended.
  • Add oil to your Vacuum Bag:- This is especially important if you a cooking delicate or small pieces of food. It prevents warping and helps keep the food in its natural shape. It also helps keep the edges sharp -beneficial with fish. The white albumin (a soluble protein) will run off in the bag and sink to the bottom keeping the nice sharp edges that look so great on presentation .
  • Be careful with Herbs and Seasonings:- Some herbs will overpower the natural flavour of food if left in the bag too long. Seasonings and herbs will intensify in the bag. Be especially careful if you pre-sear meat with garlic or black pepper.
  • Make sure the vacuum bag seals tight:- There must be no air gaps as this results in uneven cooking .
  • Don’t overfill the vacuum bag:-Resist the temptation to cram food in. It results in uneven cooking. A good tip is to lay the bag flat on a counter before sealing. If the food overlaps, then there is too much in the bag .
Pre-searing Food:-
This is a much-debated process. In commercial kitchens food is often only seared after the sous vide cooking.
Some home cooks pre-sear (in steaks) as they feel that the flavour of caramelization will then cook and penetrate throughout the sous vide process. Others only sear after sous vide. Pre searing is generally accepted that to pre-sear is optional, but post searing is a must. It is advisable to cool the meat after pre-searing in the bag, before removing the air(a bowl of ice water will help) .
 
Don’t pre-slice food.:-
If you want to serve up food that has sharp clean edges, then don’t pre-slice before cooking. Also, when cooking the pre-sliced pieces may rub up against each other in the bag and end up clumped together unevenly cooked .
 
Lower the Temperature:- This is advisable when cooking vegetables particularly green ones.  The higher the temperature then the more rapidly the chlorophyll (which gives the green colour) will breakdown .
 
Some Recommended Temperatures:
38-43°C (100-109°F): Very rare to rare tuna
39-49°C (101-120°F): Rare to medium-rare salmon
49-55°C (120-130°F): Medium-rare to medium fish and shellfish (unpasteurized)
55-60°C (131-140°F): Beef
60°C (140°F): Pork and chicken (pasteurized)
63-65°C (145-149°F): Poached eggs
82-85°C (180-185°F): Root vegetables
 
Sous vide cooking has revolutionised the cooking world .
 
See the link below for further details on the Sous Vide that Island Supply sell .