Montibella Sausage Company is the only sausage manufacturer to use this cooking process in the United States.
The Basics Food is vacuum–sealed in a pouch and then cooked slowly at low temperatures. The food becomes tender without losing its original colour, nutrients, and texture. This technique involves heating foods to the right temperature, for the right length of time. Temperature depends on the kind of food and would vary for meat, fish and vegetables, but also depends on personal taste. For example whether a customer prefers it cooked rare or medium.
With all cooking techniques heat penetrates the outside of the food until the centre gets to the right temperature. If you wanted a rare piece of beef you would cook the centre to 54°C. To do this you may roast it in an oven at around 280°C. By the time the centre of the beef is at 54°C the outside of the beef is way overdone. In fact most of the joint would be well done and grey.
But if you roasted it at 54°C, none of the meat would get overdone, but it takes so long for the centre to get to the right temperature the meat would dry out. If you stopped roasting too early so it didn’t dry out, the centre would still be raw.
With the sous vide technique; you cook food at the temperature you want the whole joint to be at. By sealing it in a vacuumed bag none of it is overdone and the meat doesn’t dry out, lose nutrients or flavour.
The art of sous vide cooking is finding the perfect core temperature to achieve the desired taste and textures. Think of a dish that features an egg with a creamy, custard–like texture. One chef might cook that egg to a core temperature of 61.7°C, while another may prefer cooking it to 63.3°C. The finished eggs will be very different from each other. It makes each chef’s dish unique.
When cooking, the heat induces chemical reactions with different effects at different temperatures. For example, the different proteins in the albumen of eggs coagulate at specific temperatures. Just a few degrees difference in cooking temperature will affect just how much the egg white solidifies. Temperature affects meat in the same way. Cuts with high collagen content, such as a pork belly, should be cooked for longer and at higher temperatures. This will break down the tough connective tissue. Meat with little connective tissue, like fillet steak, would get tough if cooked at those temperatures. Just a few degrees can make a difference in an expensive cut of meat.