What Is the Sous Vide Technique?
By Stana Peete
In cooking there are many different methods that can be used. You can fry, grill, and sautee foods, amongst others. The Sous Vide technique is another cooking method that you can use and it has some great benefits. If you’re not familiar with it, this is what it is and how it works.
The Sous Vide technique is a method of low temperature cooking that was developed in 1974. It is a technique that came about to reduce the shrinkage that occurred when preparing foie gras. With general cooking methods, foods such as chicken, meat and fish tend to shrink tremendously. This technique showed unexpected low shrinkage results of 5% compared to a previous 40% when using generic cooking methods. Since then, it is a method that has been preferred by many chefs.
With this method it retains the vitamins and micro nutrients in the food. In addition, it does not alter the mineral salt fat compositions. Due to the aforementioned, a noticeable improved taste and texture is achieved. Consequently, the Sous Vide technique produces consistent results every time.
With this technique the temperature remains consistent therefore chefs can prepare fish, meat or vegetables as they desire while not worrying about shrinkage or loss of flavour. When the favoured temperature is reached, it can remain constant for hours. This makes it practically impossible to over cook the food. With this technique water is used which means that the heating medium ensures that the temperature is evenly spread throughout the Sous Vide Bath.
The Sous Vide technique is an alternative to the generic cooking methods and to achieve it, you require specific catering equipment such as a Sous Vide Bath. As a result you can maximise kitchen efficiency as well as save on overhead expenses. This is what all chefs want to achieve because improved efficiency in the kitchen means that more customer orders can be taken and this leads to restaurant growth.
This technique has many benefits for the chef. It retains all the nutrients, gives you the highest food quality, improves time management, is efficient, reduces shrinkage to 5%, and preserves the natural food flavour. There is no over cooking and no moisture is lost with this method. It gives you constant results due to a consistent temperature management system. The freshness, colour and appearance of the food remain unchanged which makes it more presentable and flavourful. In addition, it saves you money due to efficient cooking and reduced spoilage.
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