Sous vide in restaurant kitchens

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by santona 1937, Apr 24, 2014.

  1. santona 1937

    santona 1937

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     as mentioned on another thread I thought would start a thread on Sous Vide.  Iput it here as it is much less about cooking, than about a commercial kitchen developing sous vide techniques.

     first off; an immersion circulator is more efficient than a water bath, but most places- mine included- use water baths as they cost a bit less and the  difference is not so great.

     Cheaper cuts of meat.Sous vide is perfect for Chuck, give

     n proper timing Chuck  will come out like filet mignon.

     In order for chuck steak to do this you need to  heat in water bath at 55-60 degrees C or 135 to 140 F for about 30 hours. In reality depending on the thickness of the cut the timing can be anywhere from 24 to 48 hours.  At these times the tough connective dissue will begin to dissolve and decrease the myofibrillar tensile strength.

     In effect sous vide is a very long and very controlled poach. so meat will need to be finished for service, we either sear in a hot pan and then oven or  sear with blow torch  straight out of the water bath.  to serve meat at around 60deg.C 

     The big advantage to using sous vide is the ability to hold cooked meat for a long time, as in effect you are pasteurizing the meat.

     If you do this  it is important to keep a very close eye on the cooling. ideally you should use a blast chiller. There is a lot of info on cooling after sous vide, and it would be very wise to research as pathogenic spores can be hard to get rid of. I say this  in order to protect myself :) we have not had problems cooling and holding.

     Hope this helps and that this thread is useful to those wanting to use sous vide to reduce food costs.

     If you can get chuck steak to the texture of filet mignon you can charge  filet mignon prices. That looks good on your balance sheet :) 
     
  2. nicity

    nicity

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    I remember working at a restaurant where they would Sous Vide all their steaks, and all they would be using would be filets and rib-eyes. There were some leftover steaks from a banquet party that were passed around. Very tender, I was looking around for another piece.

    Now, for my question. Cost wise, how much extra would it cost per steak for Sous Vide? Considering you already have the Vacuum Sealer and the Immersion Circulator. I never really looked into it, and I would be guessing probably a couple of cents per serving.
     
  3. santona 1937

    santona 1937

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     overall it reduces cost per  item, we use it on all our proteins,  reduces wastage, less plates returned as the cooking process is more accurate, storage time is extended, allows us to use cheaper cuts and not reduce price. 

     It works really well on our buffet for athletes, where we can offer a greater variety of proteins, with differing calorific values, which for the super- elite athletes is very important.

     We are able to more accurately tailor our product offering both in the fine dining outlet, and in the Athletes buffet, which gives us better customer service, without increasing our costs.

    What is the most interesting from a chefs point of view though, is it shows how aware we need to be these days of product offering and customer service quantitative,  something that  I never thought I would have to speak of.

     AS we have moved into  more modernist cuisine, primarily in a la carte dining, the chefs role has become much more specialised and  technical. One of our prospective hires is a science major at university, who we think might be able to develop our techniques and scientific base. It really is just an extension of using robot coupes instead of apprentices :)

     AS chefs we have  understood that we need to take advantage of every technological advance possible. For instance we use pro cotta. which is a carageenan product ( a  polysaccharide extracted from red seaweed) and gives our pannacottas a more perfect texture, consistently, and allows us to offer pannacottas to vegans and veggies. We use Xantana for emulsions, agar for thickening ,etc etc. All of these like sous vide allows us to  offer better customer service and allows us to expand our art. 
     
  4. beastmasterflex

    beastmasterflex

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    Thanks for the info I'm gonna give some a try next week. For what it's worth I've found eggs done at 75 degrees C for 10.5 minute produce a wonderful poached egg firm white with liquid yolk, need to be chilled after cooking and dropped in simmering water to serve. Give them a try. I really love my poached eggs :) did 15 dozen to get it right
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2014
  5. ali1971

    ali1971

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    How do you hold steaks for service once cooked? Do you sear them straight from refrigeration or do you somehow bring them to temp first? timing?
     
  6. davidchef

    davidchef

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    If indirect cooking(cook minimun 2 hours at 60C, no bacteria, and keep) you can put it at room temp and then on a pan or grill to do maillard reaction.
     
  7. jrlowey

    jrlowey

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    Does anyone have an answer/explanation or the above question?
     
  8. chefbillyb

    chefbillyb

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  9. dreamshards8

    dreamshards8

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    I cooked at a restaurant who was having a sous vide phase. They would pre cook their salmon, duck breast, and chicken breast in the sous vide. During service the salmon was reheated in sous vide and the chicken and duck were seared and thrown in the oven to bring up to temp. It made for much more moist protein and shorter fire times. The only downfall was the space the circulator and water bath took up.
     
  10. cook1st

    cook1st

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    ill try that, right now i am doing 63C for 45 min and the outer white part is still loose. 
     
  11. someday

    someday

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    For service, you re-heat the protein in a water bath at a lower temp than you cooked. For example, if I cook my beef at 56c, then quick chill in ice and then store, for service I'd drop it in water bath set to 50c and warm all proteins up this way. They then get seared in a pan and finished. 
     
  12. alaminute

    alaminute

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    We've done petite filets sous vide at my place for years. First we clean and portion the steaks and then put the raw meat in the vacuum bag -4 10 oz portions per bag- with a little butter, thyme and garlic for aromatics. Then drop two to four bags in your bath at a time at 117 degrees f for at least an hour before pick up- longer is better as it will help break the meat down slightly. To pick up, open the bag one at a time and season and sear your steaks. Since the steaks are already 117 degrees when you start, after the seat they reach an internal temp of around135-140 or a nice rare steak. Then it only takes a minute in the oven for mr, two for medium and about three for mid well. The steaks are better because they've been slowly cooked essentially in aromatics before being pushed to the exact temp. Gauge how many steaks you'll use depending on the night and never try to put more than four bags or so in at once. As you pull some just cycle more in behind as you feel you'll need. At the end of service simply place any remaining bags in an ice bath- they will be safe to reheat the same way at least once and as long as you watch how many bags you drop you should never have to reheat more than once.
     
  13. capecodchef

    capecodchef

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    A 10 oz. 'petit' filet. I want to eat at YOUR place!
     
  14. chefbillyb

    chefbillyb

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    I agree, I think Sous Vide was made for a thick cut Filet Mignon. 
     
  15. jonnyhotcakes

    jonnyhotcakes

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    Ditto.  
     
  16. alaminute

    alaminute

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    lol, it's definitely a misnomer. The cut is also known as a bistro steak and it comes from the center of the shoulder clod. It's so named because of how phenomenally it resembles a miniature psmo. This particular cut works amazing sous vide.
     
  17. capecodchef

    capecodchef

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    Ahhh....teres major. Got it now.
     
  18. dueh

    dueh

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    I am absolutely in love with sous vide! The first restaurant i worked in used it for steak, chicken, even scallops at one point. 

    I see quite a bit of pastry application for it aswell. gently cooking lemon/ fruit curds with zero moisture loss, cooking fruits for desserts gently or infusing them with syrups/flavorings while gently breaking down the fiber. 

    the restaurant i worked for used it it gently cook large portions of meat in a marinade, that they later sliced for sandwiches. the cryo vac bags were nice for storage and labeling. 

    we did have some failures though. Within the company was a butcher who made bratwurst, which they decided to sousvide. During the cooking, all of the fat had melted and settled to one side of the links.
     
  19. someday

    someday

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    That sounds more like a failure with the emulsion not forming properly or poaching it at too high a temp. I've done sous vide sausage before with marvelous results. 
     
  20. kenthachef

    kenthachef

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    We sous vide so many things where I work. Everything from chicken, scallops, shrimp and lobsters all the way to New York Strips and Dry Aged Ribeyes. Even some veg like asparagus and baby carrots. Veg usually at higher temp, shorter time. We are the only restaurant around where I am that does sous vide cooking. For our larger steaks such as our 21oz veal chops we drop it in a tank slightly lower than it was cooked in until it is up to temp then take it out and sear it in a bag. Others like our new York Strip get a nice sear on the cast iron flattop.

    We also sous vide bratwurst for our Currywurst at lunch. Off the chain. In fact almost everything I have had sous vide is out of this world. Bone in 14oz Berkshire porkchop sous vide with bacon fat! Out of this world.