A closer look at Sous Vide Cooking

With the exciting launch of DC Norris’ new Commercial Sous Vide Cook Tank – the CT-1 this year, we thought we’d take a closer look at this increasingly popular method of cooking, and why so many chefs and food manufacturers are choosing it above conventional meat cooking.   

Sous Vide or “Low Temperature / Long Time”  

Texture:  This method of cooking has many benefits; the most obvious is the tender succulent food that it produces.  Slow cooking at a low temperature means the cell walls in the food don’t burst and so the tough collagen which is found in the connective tissues is broken down without the protein being heated so much that it toughens and loses moisture.

Flavour: Sous Vide products are cooked in vacuum-sealed bags which retain moisture and flavour which would be lost in conventional methods.  The bags also allow meats to be cooked in seasonings and flavourings giving a finished product which is fully marinated.  Because of the precise temperature control, vegetables can be cooked as well as meat products, retaining firmness and cooked properly without loss of flavour.

Yields:   Yields are much higher in the finished Sous Vide cooked product when compared to conventional methods.   Generally meats cooked traditionally will lose about 25% of their uncooked weight compared to only 8-10% with Sous Vide.

Control & Food Safety: Times and temperatures are rigidly controlled so you can be sure that the results will be the same every time and easily replicable.  Products can even be left to cook unattended overnight with guaranteed results, leaving you with perfectly cooked steak, tender chicken breasts and ribs with the meat falling off the bone. 

Conventional Cooking


The window for perfect cooking using conventional methods is very small, so it is all too easy to over or under-cook food.  Because of the significantly higher temTraditional vs Sous Vide Cookingperatures used, conventional cooking will always give more cooking to the outside edges than the centre, and in fact this method dehydrates the meat.  If the temperature drops too low, more fat is absorbed into the food and it becomes greasy. If the temperature gets too hot, the food burns on the surface before it is cooked through.   You lose this margin of error with Sous Vide, because the food will never get hotter than the cooking water, so a slightly longer cook will give little or indeed no loss of flavour.

Cooking Time:  The downside to Sous Vide is the long cooking time.  A tender cut of beef can take between 1-4 hours compared to minutes in a pan, however many believe the benefits are worth the extra time!  We have found that our customers like to run their Cook Tank Water Baths overnight as they can be left unmanned due to our sophisticated control software.

Appearance:  Conventional cooking gives a desirable appearance to food – a nicely browned seared steak or griddled ribs for example.  Sous Vide meat may need browning to finish, which can be done on a griddle or flash fry.  In a restaurant this is normally the “Final Show” in view of the customer. 

Many chefs prefer the sous vide method as it takes away the anxiety of cooking meat on demand and ensures it is cooked through.

To find out more about DC Norris' Cook Tank Range – visit https://www.dcnorris.com/systems/cook-chill/sous-vide-equipment





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