Sous Vide Equipment vs a Sous Vide Food Supplier, which Investment is Right for the Commercial Kitchen?
An investment in sous vide offers many benefits for the commercial kitchen. The precision temperature-controlled process takes the guesswork out of food preparation and production. It allows you to create consistent, high-quality food cooked to exact specifications and temperatures.
In addition to giving you greater control in the kitchen, sous vide has a significant impact on food quality, service, and guest satisfaction. It’s quickly becoming one of the foundations of any competitive and successful food business.
While sous vide offers many benefits, here are a few of the highlights:
Impact on Food
- Better taste and texture
- Enhanced flavors, colors, and aromas
- Bigger portions and less shrinkage
- Greater retention of key nutrients
- Healthier options that need less salt and oil
Impact on Operations
- Precise and consistent execution of recipes
- You can prepare food in advance, and retain it for longer periods of time
- Helps staff plan for peak, busy times and events
- Frees chefs and kitchen staff to complete other tasks, and can reduce labor costs
- Reduces food waste due to overcooking
- Reduces the risk of food contamination
- Allows you to get better food to the table faster
To get these benefits and many more from sous vide, you have two main options. You can invest in sous vide equipment for your operation, or you can purchase food that’s been prepared using sous vide methods from a supplier.
BUYING SOUS VIDE FOOD FROM A SUPPLIER
This solution works well for those looking to incorporate the benefits of sous vide food without purchasing any additional equipment. It’s designed for kitchens that are led by a production team rather than a chef.
Here’s how it works. Food is manufactured off-site, portioned, packaged and shipped to your kitchen, where it’s reheated and served.
- You don’t have to buy, store or maintain any equipment.
- There’s very little staff training required to incorporate this the method into your process.
- Chefs working for the supplier prepare the food in advance.
- Food comes pre-cooked reducing timelines and staff requirements.
- The food is often more expensive, leading to a rise in food costs. You aren’t just buying the food; you’re buying the process and the costs associated with it.
- There’s little control of where the food comes from, which reduces the ability to offer “farm to table” and local sourcing.
- You could overcook the food during the reheating process. Many suppliers suggest reheating the food using things like microwaves or convection ovens. Ideally, sous vide food should be reheated in a precise temperature-controlled environment like the ones used for the sous vide process. So, you may need to purchase additional equipment after all.
- You may encounter additional costs for menu development if the item you’re looking for isn’t in the supplier’s portfolio.
- The chefs preparing your food may be using the same recipe for competitors. You may have to pay more to keep a recipe exclusive.
- You have less control over key ingredients used in your recipe.
- It increases the supply chain making it harder to meet fluctuating demands. Deliveries could be delayed, and food generally takes longer to arrive because it’s cooked and processed offsite.
- Depending on where you’re located, how the food is rethermed and other factors, you may need to comply with a HACCP safety program.
INVESTING IN SOUS VIDE EQUIPMENT
This solution is designed for the chef-led kitchen that wants to create the highest quality food on their terms. It provides greater control for operational costs, food production, and creativity.
Here’s how it works. You dial in your cooking temperature; prepare the food to your recipe; seal it in a vacuum pack bag; cook it; walk away; chill it until needed; return it to the immersion circulator to bring it back up to a precise temperature; finish it and plate it.
- Your chefs prepare the food and control the recipe.
- Anyone on the kitchen staff can easily follow the process.
- You control the menu, the process, the ingredients and where the food is sourced.
- You control food costs and don’t have any surprises related to operational costs during the sous vide process.
- You can use the same precision-temperature controller to bring the food back up to temperature after it’s been chilled, reducing the risk of overcooking.
- Equipment needs are minimal and pay for themselves quickly.
- The process is easy to learn and replicate, and you can begin to use it more frequently for more recipes.
- The equipment is mobile and easy to move or relocate as needed.
- Sous vide cooking can save on energy and reduce the amount of heat output in kitchens.
- You have to buy, store, and maintain the equipment.
- You need to train staff on how to use it and follow the recommended temperature guidelines.
- You have to comply with a regulated HACCP program to ensure food safety.
While sous vide offers many benefits, it also raises a lot of questions. Sous vide doesn’t have to be intimidating. At fusionchef, we work with professional chefs and culinary teams to help them understand how to incorporate sous vide food as part of their restaurant, food service or catering operations.
Once you’re familiar with the process, you’ll understand how easy it is to produce high-quality food on demand using less labor and fewer ingredients. Working with a provider who understands the regulations relating to HACCP is essential, and our HACCP solutions thoroughly prepare you for compliance. Our goal is to help those interested in sous vide learn how to incorporate the equipment in a way that reduces food costs and provides full creative control of food production.
If you’re interested in learning more about sous vide equipment and how it can help your organization, or if you still have questions, give us a call at 610-231-0250. If you’re ready to start using sous vide, you can request a quote, and we’ll have you cooking sous vide as soon as possible.