Sous vide cooking has historically been regarded as the domain of high-end restaurants, but experts in the field insist it is perfectly placed to service the growing trend of food delivery.
Current sous vide technology facilitates advanced preparation of pre-cooked food and offers accurate portion control to reduce food wastage and achieve greater yields.
“Because many establishments are diversifying during the current restrictions, sous vide cooking can prove a cost-effective vehicle when providing a home delivery or takeout service,” says Sandro Wulkan, managing director at Pantheon Catering Equipment.
“By batch cooking various dishes, portioning them into sous vide bags and vacuum packing them, chilling them and then either freezing or refrigerating them, a restaurant can function with minimal staff and generate a wide range of dishes with virtually no food wastage.”
Melvin Dickson, managing director at Clifton Food Range, agrees that sous vide cooking equipment works perfectly well with the format of dark kitchens.
He says: “These growing facilities respond to a high demand for delivered food and therefore, advanced preparation of pre-cooked, high quality food using sous vide water baths speeds up delivery time leading to customer satisfaction. From the operator’s point of view, accurate portion control, reduced food wastage and greater yield all lead to improved margin.
Alex Shannon, managing director of Sous Vide Tools, said the use of sous vide appliances to assist in batch cooking within production kitchens is likely to increase.
“This is already really big in America where Pret A Manger is using a large ghost kitchen facility to distribute their food right across New York. The benefits are threefold. Firstly, the consistency of sous vide cooking means that every product cooked is exactly the same high quality. Secondly, the yield is maximised for every product. And thirdly, the vacuum packing and sous vide cooking process offers the highest levels of food hygiene, which is especially important right now.
“We fully expect more and more ‘dark’ kitchens to open across the UK using sous vide cooking as this will reduce the requirement for individual sites to have their own on-site kitchen as food can be cooked and delivered either directly to the store or to the customer via services such as Deliveroo.”