This great guide is written by Phil Preston the CEO of PolyScience. PolyScience continue to be the leaders in sous vide, rotary evaporation, sonicprep, anti griddle and The Smoking Gun for all of your molecular food and cooking hardware. Sous Vide Australia bring PolyScience to Australia giving you access to the most creative, reliable and useful food tools to enhance your culinary creativity.
When Cooking Sous Vide, Food Safety Should be Your #1 Priority
By: Philip Preston
The sous vide cooking method can provide tremendous culinary benefits in both home and professional kitchens. Most notably, the method allows users to control heat with extraordinary precision. In fact, no other process enables both chefs and home cooks to monitor temperature with such ease. However, as with any cooking method, technology alone cannot guarantee results if it is not used correctly.
Fundamentals of food safety are especially important when cooking sous vide because the easy-of-use nature that makes the method so attractive, may also create complacency among users. Consequently, even seemingly basic and logical kitchen safety steps should be reviewed by everyone involved to avoid potential problems. (more…)
Sous Vide Australia are a sponsor of the ‘Chef’ competition at Food Service Australia for the third consecutive year. Now in the round under the dome of the stunning Melbourne Exhibition buildings June 2-4 2013 the competition will be quite the spectacle. Cameron Smith will as always be taking us blow by blow through the action and asking the chefs to think and talk whilst competing, this always separates out the geniuses from the good cooks.
The one hour heats will see these chef pushed to the limits and sous vide as a way to achieve reliable results under pressure. Each competitor will have PolyScience state of the art Sous Vide Professional – Chef series circulator attached to our 18 litre custom Cambro tank. The powerful Henkleman Jumbo 35 is the chamber vacuum machine of choice, fast and efficient. With $10000 for first prize and a PolyScience – Sous Vide Professional -Chef Series immersion circulator for the runner up provide by Sous Vide Australia these high caliber chefs are going to be performing at their best.
FSA 2013 will also host Apprentice of the year, Callebaut Chocolate Grand Prix sculpture competition judged by Adrian Zumbo, Global pizza challenge, Australia’s best pie, Bakery & Pastry Theatre and restaurant theatre.
Sous Vide Australia will be there right next to the ‘Chef 2013′ stage at stand F7. All of our circulator’s will be on working display including theNew Creative series and the amazing fully programmable 7312. We also now carry the largest range of hypodermic temperature probes for sous vide available in Australia and some great new data loggers for uploading HACCP data straight to your lap top.
The new PolyScience brochures will also be available, these are a 26 page glossy with as much about sous vide cooking as there is about the products them selves.
See you June 2nd-4th 2013 at the Royal Exhibition Buildings, Melbourne.
In the rush to explore molecular gastronomy as one of the new fads in the culinary arts, a few very practical finds have been discovered by chefs around the country. One of them is sous-vide cooking, which is a process that uses low, highly controlled temperatures over a long period of time. Ultimately, the temperature at which food is served is equal to the temperature at which it is cooked. Food is cooked in a vacuum-sealed bag inside a water bath, allowing no natural flavor to be lost and ensuring great texture.
One of the biggest advantages of sous-vide cooking is the use of controlled low heat. Every other type of cooking uses very high heat that requires food to be removed at precisely the right time. This yields a layered effect, in which outside layers are cooked more thoroughly and the inside remains at a constantly lower temperature. Additionally, the cell structure of the food dictates the time necessary to keep it under high heat. In this way, a New York Strip and a Filet Mignon that are an identical weight and shape take different amounts of time to cook. Sous-vide cooking occurs at the same low temperature over the course of hours, so that an entire piece of meat will be cooked the same throughout.
The advantages for a steakhouse are obvious – narrowing the process down to a precise temperature and time would ensure that sous-vide cooked steaks are not only cooked accurately, but that they are cooked evenly throughout. According to Thomas Keller, renowned New York chef and sous-vide savant, his restaurant Per Se saw nary a re-cook in the months following their conversion to sous-vide preparation for beef.
In addition, steaks would be par-cooked (as is routine in most larger steakhouses) based on preparation standards and cooked up on a broiler to get the essential char that steak-lovers crave. In this way, cook times on the broiler would be the same for any steak, regardless of the way it is ordered. This has already provided huge benefits for fast-paced steakhouses around the world, who only need one broil cook and can spend more time in the prep than in the service.
The primary concern about cooking at low temperatures is the fear of contracting a bacterial infection or food poisoning. In fact, this danger has been long eliminated, as sous-vide users alternately chill and heat food to eliminate bacteria. This process maintains the cell-structure of the protein, allow it to maintain the natural flavor it would normally lose when being cooked at high temperatures. By all accounts, guest feedback to this process has been overwhelmingly positive, and has opened up new possibilities for traditional proteins such as chicken and fish. For example, adding herbs or seasoning to the vacuum-sealing process gives food an outstanding, bold taste.
Whether or not to use a sous-vide on a regular basis is up to the individual. Guests in most restaurants know what they like, and what they want out of a dining experience. That doesn’t mean that experimenting on daily specials or a menu item or two can’t lead to a new opportunity.
Sous-vide systems (including a vacuum machine and bags) run between $1000 and $10000, which can be steep when being considered for occasional use. That said, sous-vides have many uses, such as cooking vegetable mixes and poaching eggs. However, the accuracy with which temperatures must be maintained requires regular attention, which is not always possible in a fast-paced environment. Ultimately, sous-vide cooking could be the biggest impact from the gastro pub trend of recent years.
I came across this great artical today day wanted to share it, Posted Feb 11 2013 3:02 AM by Elizabeth Shoop
It’s not uncommon for trends within the foodservice industry to start at the figurative “top” and work their way “down”.
Such is the case for sous vide cooking, which had its ground-breaking moments in fine dining establishments, and is now taking off in fast casual operations.
Sous Vide is French for “under vacuum” and it is the process by which some combination of protein, fruits, vegetables and spices is vacuum-packed in food-grade plastic. The packet is then submerged in a warm water bath for an extended period of time until its contents are cooked to the desired internal temperature.
This method of cooking fits perfectly in fast casual operations primarily because of its reliability. The sous vide method makes it easy to cook a high-quality dish repeatedly. This characteristic is especially important in operations that may experience high turnover, have a majority of part-time staff and/or minimal training resources.
Powered by polyScience
For operations that have locations nationwide, sous vide is a great method because it provides a way for the operation to ensure the quality of its food across the board. One example of this comes from Chipotle, which sous vide cooks all of the meat for its barbacoa and carnitas in one central location and then ships the meat to its stores to be finished on the flattop grill before service. This process allows Chipotle to ensure that its meat is cooked to the proper internal temperature, without compromising a precise, pure and consistent flavor. Because the product is vacuum-packed before it’s cooked, it is also easy to ship.
In a market segment where signature flavor is also a huge point of differentiation, sous vide becomes a great tool. The reason is that the process eliminates several variables that can alter flavor. Once the food is vacuum-packed the only things that can influence the flavor are the ingredients in the packet. This measure of control practically guarantees that the flavor will be consistently pure, making it great for a company like Panera to use on its new menu items including steak, turkey and salmon for sandwiches.
Recognizing that a key component to a successful sous vide process is using the proper equipment, manufacturers like Vollrath and Randell have introduced products specifically designed for sous vide cooking.
Sous vide cooking is a burgeoning trend in fast casual dining. It’s a reliable, easy-to-teach cooking method that produces consistently high-quality product. Now that sounds like a recipe for success in any operation.
This article from Chicago business looks at the wonderful new facility at Kendel powered by PolyScience, are any Australian colleges interested in being the leader in Sous Vide training?
Kendall College’s sous-vide kitchen teaches school a lesson
October 24, 2012
TAFE college training in sous vide
Sous-vide cooking in the Kendall kitchens
Kendall College’s new sous-vide kitchen has been open for less than a week, but it has already taught the school, city and state a lesson in the French cooking technique and its legality.
Kendall administrators, as well as some chefs in the city, believed that the vacuum sealing component of the sous-vide technique was illegal in Chicago without proper paperwork — and authorization meant lots of paperwork. But the 1,300-square-foot kitchen, which opened Oct. 19 and is officially called the Cuisine Solutions Sous-Vide Training Kitchen, wasn’t subject to the same level of scrutiny as originally believed.
“We thought we had to go through the exact application process as a major food processor,” said Joe Monastero, Kendall’s director of food and beverage event operations.
In fact, Kendall and Cuisine Solutions managers heard tales of restaurant employees stashing vacuum-sealing equipment in offices, cars or even under desks to avoid being fined by City of Chicago health inspectors. Turns out, that has been a misunderstanding, Mr. Monastero said.
The training kitchen allows Kendall to offer certification through a five-class program. The first course begins in November and is open to culinary professionals, but will be extended to degree-seeking Kendall students in January. Classes are taught in partnership with Culinary Research and Education Academy of Alexandria, Va., the education unit of Cuisine Solutions.
Bruno Goussault, who developed sous vide in 1971, will teach some courses. Mr. Goussault, chief scientist at Cuisine Solutions, trained many chefs on the technique including Charlie Trotter, Dan Barber and Jean Georges Vongerichten.
Sous vide is a two-part preparation method that calls for vacuum sealed food (typically meat or fish) to be cooked at a constant low temperature. A circulating water bath is usually involved to keep cooking temperatures constant.
PolyScience, an equipment manufacturer in Niles, makes the water bath that most chefs use for sous vide. While the firm’s products are typically for industrial applications, a phone call from Yusho owner Matthias Merges nearly a decade ago introduced PolyScience to the culinary industry.
Mr. Merges, who was cooking at Charlie Trotter’s at the time, thought PolyScience’s immersion circulator would provide the ideal environment for sous vide. Not long after Mr. Merges called, New York chef Wylie Dufresne got in touch, too, said Philip Preston, PolyScience’s president. (The technique has become popular enough that PolyScience produces home versions for the domestic market.)
Meanwhile, Kendall administrators are glad they don’t have to pursue the legal strategy it had prepared. The school lined up sponsors to push legislation to allow restaurants and culinary schools the ability to conduct sous-vide cooking with less paperwork. (President Emily Williams Knight previously succeeded in passing a law that allows underage students to sip and spit alcoholic beverages as part of culinary training.)
In part two we look at how shape and thickness affect cooking times.
If it takes one hour and six minutes to cook a steak twenty millimetres thick at 58?C how long will it take to cook to 58?C if it is 40 millimetres thick? Most of us would assume that this would take twice as long, wouldn’t we? In actual fact it takes over three times as long.
Slab, cylinder, sphere which will cook faster? The transfer of heat through an object is directly relational to the distance that the heat needs to travel from every point to the centre of the object. This means that a sphere which is equidistant to the centre from all points has the most efficient heating to the core properties. The other factor that we need to consider is that the closer the core temperature of an item is to the external temperature applied to the item the less effective the heat transfer to the core becomes. In practice this means that the last two degree Celsius at the core can take up to 40% of the cooking time, for items that require a specific core temperature to be achieved.
With this in mind it beckons the question what would happen if we set the sous vide immersion circulator 2?C higher than the core temperature desired. If we take the example of the steak at 40 millimetres thick it would take 3:37:32 to reach a core temperature of 58?C, if we increase the bath temperature to 60?C it would take 1:46:20 to reach a core temperature of 58?C. That sounds great all except one minor point, at the higher temperature our steak is at 58?C at the core but at 59.6?C on the surface. We also need to remove our steak at the time it is ready so as not to overcook it, keep in mind that 2?C in cooking a steak is the difference between medium rare and medium.
Sous vide chicken core temperature with probe thermometer
The only way to monitor exact core temperature of sous vide items is to use hypodermic thermocouple probes. When used correctly a hypodermic probe thermometer gives you the power to control exact core temperature and exact doneness of your sous vide foods. Closed cell tape is fixed to the outside of the vacuum pouch using the self-adhesive strip on the tape. The hypodermic probe is then pushed through the tape to the core of the food item, the tape reduces the chance of the vacuum in the pouch being lost. The food is then placed in to controlled temperature water using you PolyScience – sous vide professional – chef series immersion circulator. Set the thermocouple to “auto cut out off” and the high warning alarm to the desired core temperature, so that the temperature at the foods core will trigger an alarm when core temperature is reached.
Sous Vide Hypodermic temperature probes
HH801A Sous vide temperature thermocouple
Using Sous Vide Australia’s Omega thermocouples and hypodermic probes will change the way you cook sous vide. Experience the difference by ordering your Sous Vide Australia temperature control kit today and receive two rolls of closed cell tape completely free. Order now whilst stock last!
When cooking sous vide at low temperatures we are trying to achieve two very important things. The first is to produce stunningly tender food of exceptional quality and the second is to make food safe. No chef would ever desire to make their customers sick.
How do we then determine the length of time that will give us the correct result when we use low temperature to cook food. The best tool on the market is the Polyscience ‘SousVide Toolbox’ this app is available for both the iPad and iPhone. The thermo dynamics of food are fairly consistent, so mapping out the heating curve of food items as they come to temperature can be mathematically determined using a few basic parameters. The PolyScience SousVide Toolbox works all of this maths out for us. You enter in the basic information, what is to be cooked, what shape or cut is it, how thick is it, the temperature you have set the water bath to. It then suggests known cooking temperatures for doneness off your food item. When you have entered the correct information in to the ‘SousVide Toolbox’ it not only shows you the time it will take to cook, it displays a chart showing heating and cooking times as well as decimal reduction of known pathogens and works as a countdown timer.
PolyScience Sousvide Toolbox
Reduction of known pathogens (E.coli, Listeria, Salmonella) is worked out using what is referred to as decimal reduction. The formula for this is simple if you have a Phd in applied mathamatics, for the rest of us Douglas Baldwin has done all of the maths and set it out in charts in has essay “A practical guide to sous vide cooking” you can follow his charts or you can allow the Toolbox to work all of that out for you.
Low temperature Salmon 50C shallot-tomato-caper-chive
Low temperature cooking of sous vide salmon using your PolyScience – Sous Vide Professional – Classic series immersion circulator is one of of the easiest and most delicious fish dishes you can create. I have used tomato, chives, shallots, creme fraiche, lemon zest and extra virgin olive oil to create my lunch.
I always use the freshest sashimi grade salmon when cooking at low temperatures. The fish is prepared fresh, vacuum packed and cooked all within a safe two hour time frame. Food safety rules tell us that food that is held between 5°C – 60°C is safe for four hours then it must be discarded. If food is held for two hour between 5°C – 60°C it may be returned to the fridge and used first next time. When cooking at low temperatures between 40°C – 55°C I always play it safe and consume my fish immediately it is cooked. Never chill fish to use it more than three hours after it was taken from the fridge for the first cook.
The New South Wales health department has just released a very useful document on sous vide safety for Restaurants and Home check it out here .
Before starting this recipe I place 500 ml of water in a pot with 50 grams of natural salt, bring this to the boil then allow to cool for ten minutes. Put a hand full of ice into a container and pour this brine (salt water) over the ice and place in the fridge. We will need this later. Skin and pin bone the salmon or cut the pieces on either side of the bones and discard the bones and skin.
This is were we need that brine we just made, it should be really cold. Place the prepared fish in the cold brine for ten to twenty minutes. This process washes the slimy protein off the outside of the fish and helps with retained moisture. Our finished low temperature salmon will look much more presentable for this step.
Now finely dice equal parts of shallot, tomato flesh, chives and a few rinsed capers. Dress these together with extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and salt to taste.
Peel and slice a shallot along its length then vacuum package in a vacuum pouch with a pinch of salt, sugar and a splash of cider vinegar. Seal on high. Using a PolyScience – sous vide professional – classic series immersion circulator preheat a water bath to 83°C and then add the pouch of shallot for thirty minutes to cook.
Whip a little creme fraiche till it is the consistency of soft whipped cream then season to taste with lemon zest, salt and pepper.
Using a PolyScience – sous vide professional – classic series immersion circulator preheat a water bath to 50°C and then add the pouch of salmon for fifteen minutes. Remove the pouch from your water bath, cut one corner off the pouch and using Applewood in ‘The Smoking Gun’ gently smoke the salmon.
PolyScience 'The Smoking Gun' cold smoking sous vide salmon
I shape the creme fraiche with two soup spoons then make an indent in the top with the back of a wet spoon. Place the salmon on the plate, place spoons of the tomato dressing around the plate. Garnish with the pickled onions and a drop of extra virgin olive oil in the well in the creme fraiche.
Enjoy this dish with a glass of Australian, Yarra Valley Chardonnay
Low temperature cooking Salmon at 50C creme fraiche pickled onion
This is the same ingredients used to make a canape.
The Smoking Gun - low temperature cooked salmon with lemon creme fraiche
Poussin sous vide two ways on red quinoa wit coriander yohgurt
I thought I would treat Libby (wife) to something special for her home cooked dinner tonight. She had purchased me a spatchcock or Poussin form the local supermarket after a discussion over one of the dishes we had been working on earlier in the week. But it is Sunday to day not a work day and that poor little chicken was calling out from the fridge for some one make the end of its life meaningful.
Their is not all ways a lot left in the cupboards on a Sunday night so this dish took some working out. I started with;
1/2 brown onion
4 Button mushrooms
1 Spring onion
1 zucchini from the garden
1 stick celery
the heart of a coss lettuce
100 gm of snow peas
The freezer had a vacuum bag with 250 mls brown veal stock. Pine nuts and red Quinoa.
I decided the menu would be Poussin two ways – mushroom and pine nut stuffed leg cooked with breast poached in master stock – and braised greens.
First to the stuffing, this was a very slow sweating off of the brown onion diced in butter, then the sliced mushrooms followed by pine nuts and a touch of Chinese five spice to give it a little more depth of flavour. This was finished with the sliced spring onion.
Mushroom and pine nut filling
While the filling was cooling I took a knife to the Poussin. Legs off, thigh bone out, wings Frenched at the first joint and the back bone and rib bones removed from the crown.
Poussin trimmed and ready
The PolyScience sous vide professional – chef series was cranked up to 75°C to preheat whilst I went about rolling the legs. The filling was probably a little generous for the size of the poussin legs but with a deft hand and some good cling film I managed to form a nice tight cylinder and tie off the ends just like tying a balloon.
Mushroom and pine nut filling ready to roll
They were then gentley vacuum packaged so as not to crush the cylinder shape I had just battled to create.
The stuffed poussin legs rolled and tied off
They went in to the preheated PolyScience water bath while I started on the crown. What to give the breast meat flavour? My 15 year old master stock, I keep it vacuum packed in in 250 ml lots in the freezer so that I can break a piece off as need, for just this sort of occasion. I will have to bring that master stock up and feed it soon sounds like twice cooked pork hock will be on the menu latter in the week. I put a frozen corner of master stock in the vacuum pouch with the poussin crown, gentley vacuum sealed it and popped it in the fridge till I was ready for it.
The legs got one hour Sous vide at 75°C then I turned the PolyScience immersion circulator down to 62.5°C add some cold water to help the temperature drop then add the master stock crown for 30 minutes when the Poly Science water bath stabilized. The legs stayed in till I was ready to finish the dish.
Poussin sous vide in master stock and legs balintine
I cut the snow peas, zucchini, lutuce and the peeled celery up and sauteed them in a nob of butter in a pan whilst the veal stock reduce in a small pot over the back. When the greens where softened and starting to get some colour half of the reduced veal stock and a pinch of seasoning were added. The red quinoa was boiled in plenty off salted water for tirteen minutes, drained then sauteed in a nob of butter in the pan I made the mushroom filling in and the filling that fell out of the over filled legs was added to it at the end.
The two pouches of chicken were taken from the PolyScience sous vide bath, cut form their bags and wrapping then colored quickly under the grill, this took no more than five minutes. The master stock and chicken jus from the pouch that had the crown in it were added to the remaining veal stock to make the sauce.
The greens went into a black Asian rice bowl for contrast and the Poussin was plated with the Quinoa and a yohgurt coriander sauce that I put together in the middle their some where out of sliced coriander and no fat yohgurt with a pinch of salt. Master stock sauce was served at the candle lit table on the balcony watching a Yarra Valley sunset.
Poussin sous vide two ways with red quinoa and braised greens
The plates were clean, so I guess that means success, and the only dishes were one milk saucepan(Quinoa then sauce) a pizza tray that I grilled the poussin on and a 15 cm non-stick pan (mushroom, green veg then quinoa).
I have been working on recipes for our up coming sous vide cook book. This was a play on the chicken caeser salad. Crisp Bacon, Cos, and sour dough croutons dressed in an anchovy and Parmesan dressing with sous vide quail.
Caesar salad with quail sous vide 2 ways
The recipe will be in the book, with a Parmesan crusted sous vide soft cooked quail egg. Quail is a very delicate game bird that requires careful cooking if you want a succulent meat, as a dish overall it works very well. I look forward to a few more trials of this one for lunch.