A trend in the largest restaurants that support molecular cuisine, which combines cutting-edge technology with haute cuisine, sous vide is a preparation method that consists of cooking food properly vacuum-packed in heat-resistant packaging and at lower than conventional temperatures for extended periods of time.

Known in the scientific literature as low-temperature long-time cooking, the technique involves precise control of temperature and cooking time, aiming to offer minimally processed foods with practicality and without compromising a high level of quality, texture and flavor.

Follow us to understand in detail what sous vide is and what are the advantages of applying this method in your kitchen in addition to its benefits for consumption and the main care needed to deliver a quality product to the customer.

What is sous vide used for?

With the application of sous vides, heat transfer below traditional levels occurs evenly throughout the food, allowing a higher quality level to be achieved without major nutritional losses and without the risks of preparation at high temperatures.

In addition, the process facilitates the packaging of the product in freezers after cooking in its own package, reducing the risk of contamination in an extra step of direct manipulation to repackage the ingredient.

However, it is worth mentioning that traditional cooking methods that use high temperatures have nutritional advantages, facilitating the consumption and digestion of complex proteins present in foods such as meat, in addition to considerably improving the texture, aroma and flavor of the dish.

However, there is also a decrease in certain nutritional qualities due to exposure to these temperatures, such as loss of water, vitamins and minerals, reduction in levels of long-chain fatty acids, such as omegas 3 and 6, in addition to the chance of formation of certain carcinogenic compounds.

On the other hand, sous vide allows you to store the product already properly seasoned, which saves time during preparation, in addition to providing greater contact between the food and the seasonings, resulting in even more flavor in the final dish.

How does sous vide work?

Heat-resistant and hermetically sealed packages are used and submerged in hot water at a temperature below the boiling point. Depending on the type of food, this temperature can range between 60 and 85º C.

It also requires precise temperature control combined with prolonged heat exposure time to make preparation safer and protect the consumer from contamination. It is recommended to subject the food to refrigeration, preferably using the deep-freezing technique, to maintain safety levels and preserve the quality of the product. Taking into account the rigor that sous vide preparation requires, it is essential to invest in the technology involved in the process.

What is the technology behind sous vide?

Widespread by molecular gastronomy, the concept combined the segment’s technology with the demand for ready-to-eat foods with prolonged storage capacity and minimally processed, but without giving up a high-quality standard.

To achieve these characteristics, the method requires some equipment. To begin with, you need to have a professional vacuum sealer to pack your food. It is also necessary to use a thermal circulator to obtain precise temperature control.

To store ingredients ensuring microbiological safety, it is important to have a deep freezer. The device allows food to be frozen at extremely low temperatures in a short time, preventing the growth of more heat-tolerant bacteria that can survive the moderate cooking temperatures of sous vide.

Despite the relatively high turnover of stock in restaurants, it is recommended to use preservative additives or even natural antimicrobials such as essential oils and organic acids for prolonged periods of storage.

In which foods can you use sous vide?

It is ideal for preparing meat, fish, vegetables, and sous vide egg bites. The uniform cooking provided by the LTLT technique gives the vegetables a firm and crunchy texture, maintaining as much fidelity as possible to the natural flavor of the food.

Its main effect on meat is the maintenance of juiciness since sous vide considerably reduces the loss of water to the preparation medium, allowing the proteins to integrate more uniformly, and maintaining the desired tenderness.

It is worth mentioning that the consensus of the specific literature for this area points out that the attractive flavor of the meat is formed in exposure to high temperatures. Therefore, meats cooked by sous vide are usually seared at high temperatures (between 130 and 150º C) for a few seconds, combining the traditional flavor with the superior texture and juiciness achieved by the method.

Advantages and benefits of sous vide for your restaurant

Implementing this concept in the kitchen of your restaurant allows you to offer the public a product with greater added value, in addition to being a great attraction for a clientele with more purchasing power who are looking for gastronomic experiences with elements of haute cuisine on their plate.

Also notable is the gain in time in food preparation, which reflects on the quality of the service offered to the public, in addition to allowing the fulfilment of a greater volume of orders, resulting in an increase in the establishment’s profit.

Sous vide is also an ally in stock control, facilitating the safe packing of ingredients in their own hermetic packaging for long periods, reducing possible waste. Modernizing your kitchen through the implementation of this method is an investment with a guaranteed return, but it is necessary to emphasize the attention to the specific care that sous vide requires from your team.