Utilizing the sous vide cooking method is a growing trend for commercial kitchens looking for new ways to bring custom dishes to their diners. It's known for producing tastier dishes that retain moisture, and for those in the back-of-the-house, it can be a huge timesaver and increase consistency.
Many restaurants and commercial kitchens have adopted the sous vide method, often introducing dishes through weekly specials. It's a growing trend that's becoming more popular, and there are a number of benefits for foodservice operators who wish to move into this innovative style.
Complete Cooking in a Vacuum Seal
The sous vide cooking method is a slow-cooking process that encloses proteins, fruits, and or vegetables with unique seasonings and marinades to maximize flavor while cooking. The items are placed in a vacuum-sealed bag in a pot of water with a preset temperature. This water temperature will stay consistent while cooking and needs no further attention until it is done. Because there is no further action required on this cooking method, it can be managed by any member of your brigade. Many line cooks are able to manage the sous vide while managing their own station because it requires little effort and labor.
Spend Time on Other Dishes
Many commercial kitchens have one or two dishes that require more attention to detail than others. With sous vide cooking, several of your dishes can be cooking, and your staff can spend their time on dishes that require more focused attention. With a trained staff, your team can set the sous vide and redirect their attention to the dishes that require it.
One of the major concerns for any commercial kitchen is the risk of cross-contamination. With sous vide cooking, the raw food is enclosed and sealed, preventing anything from entering the bag and contaminating the product. Sous vide cooking also prevents the current dish from contaminating others in the kitchen. When it is finally removed from its enclosure, it is fully-cooked. You may have noticed that dietary restrictions are more popular within the restaurant realm, and being able to properly and assuredly cater to guest's needs and allergies is something that is going to set your sous vide kitchen apart from others within the same genre.
Stop Overcooking Dishes
Another concern found in commercial kitchens is overcooking a dish on a mass scale. With sous vide cooking, however, overcooking any food, whether it be protein, vegetable, or fruit, is difficult with this cooking method. When the water temperature is set in the immersion circulator, it does not rise or lower, allowing the dish to cook evenly and at a steady pace. With a set water temperature and cooking time, it is guaranteed to produce the same results each time.
Moving Sous Vide Cooking to High Volume
Because of the steady cooking consistently and effortless method, sous vide cooking can achieve great success in high volume applications. It maintains consistency among the dishes, allowing each guest to receive the same quality dish as the next. The flavor that is infused into these dishes will also be maintained with this cooking method. With the minimal chance of contamination and overcooking, safe foods are able to leave your kitchen at a rapid pace.
An Important tool you might want or need...
If you want to use a circulator to execute your Sous Vide menu, you will need a vacuum sealer to seal your food. There are many, MANY options for sealers in our industry. Many are made with inexpensive parts and cheap pumps that will not last. We believe that your investment should be in solid, long lasting piece of equipment which is why we recommend Henkelman. Henkelman is the largest producer of vacuum sealers in the world, not the cheapest but built with the intent to last you years. Click here to learn more about Henkelman and the many things you can accomplish with their machines (Spoiler Alert: more than just vacuum sealing).
Let Winston CVap® Transform Your Sous Vide Cooking
Traditionally, sous vide cooking has been used with smaller circulators of water, making it more of a challenge in commercial kitchens. With Winston CVap® Cook N Hold ovens, this is changing. Commercial kitchens are able to produce a larger volume of sous vide cooking with Cvap® that include water vapor. This allows items to maintain their quality much longer in the kitchen, increasing the use of sous vide cooking. Depending on the size of the kitchen and their daily production, drawers or cabinets of varying sizes can be used to fit specific needs.
Ready to upgrade your kitchen? Get a foodservice E&S assessment from GMV. Let us help you find the right tools for your foodservice operation.