Vacuum packaging: how does sous-vide work?

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Are you familiar with sous-vide cooking? It is the cooking method that uses vacuum packing and low temperatures: ideal for tender meat, fish, fruit and vegetable dishes. Let's see how it works.
Minipack Torre spa
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Sous-vide cooking (French for "under vacuum") is highly appreciated by starred chefs because it combines simplicity and excellent results. Its process is in fact pretty elementary: the raw food is first vacuum packed and then the sealed bag is immersed in moderately hot water.

The advantages? Succulent:

  • The food cooks slowly, and therefore more evenly
  • sealed in the bag, the food retains all the flavour and organoleptic properties
  • reduced exposure to air prevents bacteria from proliferating.

But how does sous-vide cooking really work?

First step: vacuum packing

To cook food at low temperatures, it must first be vacuum-packed. The polyethylene bag prevents the natural juices of the food from dispersing in the water or evaporating, which occurs in traditional cooking methods. Some food, such as meat, can be marinated first, so as to obtain a tender and juicy product, imbued with all the marinating aromas.

How to seal the food perfectly? With a vacuum packaging machine. Minipack®-torre has designed a specific line, MVS, dedicated to packaging food products.

The MVS range consists of tabletop and trolley bell packaging machines. The tabletop versions are smaller than other bell packaging machines and are ideal for packing small to medium-sized food products: perfect for sous-vide cooking.

The minipack®-torre MVS can create a 99% vacuum: an important fact because the less air is left in the package, the better the sous-vide cooking.

Machine design is also important in aesthetic terms; they are equipped with control displays and 10 custom preset programs.


Second step: cooking in the thermostatic bath

Once vacuum packed, the food can be cooked. Bain-marie is generally used for low temperature cooking: a pot is filled with hot water and the same temperature is maintained throughout the cooking cycle.

Best results are achieved by using a roner, a specific machine for sous-vide cooking.

The roner is a stainless steel tank with a resistor within: the resistor evenly heats the water that is made to circulate by a pump. Perfect cooking requires a core probe: this can measure the temperature at the core of the food, and indicate the perfect time to remove the food from the water.

What temperature must the water be brought to? It depends on the food and the desired degree of cooking. In general, these temperatures can be considered as reference:

  • 60°-70° for red meat and more delicate fish
  • 75°-80° for white meat
  • 80°-90° for classic fish and seafood
  • 100° for fruit and vegetables.

The result is guaranteed by combining vacuum packing and low temperature cooking: no more meat that is burnt on the outside and raw on the inside, but only food that is well-cooked, tasty and rich in nutrients. Chef Angè’s word!


Take a look at all the vacuum packed minipack®-torre machines available!

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