The sous vide cooking method is very simple.
Prepare, package and cook food, then refrigerate or finish it.
This technology requires minimal training and workload to achieve outstanding firing results.
Throughout the cooking process, some good practices should be followed, which will help to improve the quality and safety of the final product.
Please note the seasonings:
When it comes to animal protein, it is important to consider seasoning with salt before cooking.
-If you wish to cook the product and refrigerate it after sous vide for later use, pre-seasoning may produce a firmer texture.
-If you plan to consume the product immediately after cooking, it is best to season with salt before vacuum sealing.
-Fats, herbs and spices can be added at any stage of the process.
For many proteins, it is advisable to pre-cook and post-cook when cooking under vacuum.
Pre-cooking has 3 key benefits.
– Pasteurises surface bacteria.
– Initiates the development of flavour and aroma of the Maillard reaction.
– Fixes the shape of the food.
Post-cooking re-crisps the exterior after softening in the sous vide bag.
Cool before vacuum sealing:
Even if the food is not pre-sealed, the food should be cooled to a temperature of approximately 41ºF / 5ºC before vacuum sealing.
This will prevent the liquid trapped in the cellular structure of the food from boiling under vacuum.
If this liquid is allowed to boil, it will break down the cell walls, resulting in a poor, mealy texture.
Cook at different temperatures:
This vacuum cooking technique can be used for many proteins. However, it works perfectly well with fish.
Rapid blanching at 84°C before cooking in a temperature-controlled bath will benefit the final product.
– The 84°C bath will pasteurise the surface bacteria.
– It will also create a textural contrast between the outside and the centre, creating a much nicer textured product.
For many proteins, staged cooling will improve the texture of foods that have been cooked and are being cooled for reheating and serving later.
– Let the product stand at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the size.
– Fill a container with the coldest water that comes out of the tap. Start cooling the product in this water for 10 – 15 minutes depending on the size.
– Fill the container with fresh cold water and add enough ice to make a very cold bath. Chill the product for 2 hours or until it reaches a temperature of 41ºF / 5ºC. Replenish the ice as needed.
by David Pietranczyk