What is Sous Vide Cooking?
The word Sous Vide (pronounced Su-Vid) comes from the French for ‘Under Vacuum’. The term ‘Sous Vide Cooking’ is used today, to describe a method of slow cooking that allows for the food to retain much of its original flavour and texture and has become very popular with leading Chefs and Restaurants.
What is different about Sous Vide Cooking?
Sous Vide differs in many ways from conventional cooking methods, not least of which are the two main characteristics; all food is placed into sealed vacuum bags and all the cooking is done in a temperature controlled water bath. Neither of which would you have found in a Kitchen, until recently.
Sous Vide cooks by heating the food at a constant temperature until it is cooked through. This method of cooking takes longer, but can be extremely useful for cooking food that might otherwise be very over-done, for example rare beef, using conventional cooking methods. This requires a centre cooked temperature of 54°C / 129°F , which when completed by a conventional method would involve placing the whole joint inside an oven at say 280°C / 536°F and by the time the centre is cooked to 54°C / 129°F , the outside could be well done, clearly not ideal.
However, roasting the joint at 54°C / 129°F would mean that none of the joint was overdone, but due to the time taken to cook fully the meat, it would be dry and unappetising.
Where Sous Vide comes into its own, is the addition of the vacuum sealing, which prevents the joint, in this case, from drying out and maintains all the nutrients and original flavour . Some final cooking, using conventional methods, is often required just to give the outside of the food some colour and to seal in the flavour .
Precise Temperature Control is Vital
Sous Vide as a method of cooking is so different from conventional methods that an amount of trial and error is required with each dish, ensuring that the final product achieves the correct taste and texture required by the Chef. This is done by adjusting the temperature of the water bath accordingly. Note, that the change in temperature for the cooking process might be only the odd degree or two. The same dish from two Chefs, cooked at a slightly different temperature, can result in the finished product being very different. As we know, Chefs like to be different!
Why use Foam Tape?
As we have seen above, the temperature used and the final cooked temperature of the food, is critical to the process and of course being able to repeat the cooking process time after time, to achieve the same result. Therefore, it’s very important to be able to measure the product temperature accurately. But, isn’t the food sealed in a bag? Yes, it is, which is where the foam tape comes in. The FDA approved Sous Vide tape, from Comark, has a density specifically designed to allow a micro-thin tipped probe through and penetrate the food inside the bag, but to then re-seal when the probe is removed. In this way you can keep track of your food cooking, in the water bath, without fear that removing the probe will leave a hole allowing those all-important juices and flavours to leak out or worse still, water to leak in.
How can Comark Help?
Comark has two products specifically for measuring the temperature of your food, during Sous Vide Cooking. The Sous Vide Foam Tape (SVTAPE) as described above and the Micro-Tip Penetration Probe (PK15M). Combine this with a C28 Waterproof Thermometer and you have the perfect tools to compliment your Sous Vide cooking experience. The components are available individually or as part of the C28/P21 Sous Vide Kit.
The C28/P21 Sous Vide Kit is a simple to use, food thermometer kit containing a C28 Type K Thermocouple Thermometer for reliable and accurate temperature measurement, as well as a PK15M MicroTip Penetration Probe and a roll of Sous Vide Foam Tape.
This specially made Sous Vide Foam Tape is designed for use with all types of temperature probes and vacuum pouches. It comes in a 1m length and is FDA approved.
The PK15M MicroTip Penetration Probe is a Type K Thermocouple Probe for checking meat and food temperatures during cooking, fitted with a 1m curly cable. There is also BioCote Antimicrobial Protection in the probe handle to avoid the risk of cross contamination.
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