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Introduction to Low Temperature Cooking

We often hear about Low Temperature Cooking (or find CBT written on some menus). We also often use it as a term when we illustrate some dishes, praising the characteristics and advantages that this cooking technique brings, both to the customer who will have the opportunity to savor the result of the cooks’ work, and to those who work in the kitchen.

With this post we start a small series dedicated to explaining what it is and its usefulness in the world of catering.

Low-temperature cooking, also called CBT or sous vide, is a cooking method that combines vacuum packing in special bags with cooking in hot water at a temperature that is not too high, between 48° and 85-90°C.

This cooking method has several advantages, including:

Increased shelf life: cooking at a low temperature helps to preserve the nutritional properties of food, reducing the proliferation of bacteria and water loss. This results in a longer shelf life for foods cooked at a low temperature.
Reduction of raw material waste: cooking at a low temperature allows you to obtain a uniform result, even on large quantities of food. This means that food is less likely to be discarded due to uneven cooking.
Possibility to standardize the production process: Low-temperature cooking is a precise and reproducible cooking method. This makes it ideal for industrial food production.

Shelf life

Shelf life is the length of time during which a food can be safely stored and consumed. Cooking at a low temperature can help extend the shelf life of food in a number of ways.

First of all, cooking at a low temperature helps to preserve the nutritional properties of food. Vitamins and minerals are more sensitive to oxidation and thermal degradation than proteins and carbohydrates. Low-temperature cooking reduces food exposure to oxygen and heat, helping to preserve its nutritional properties.

Secondly, cooking at a low temperature helps to reduce the proliferation of bacteria. Bacteria grow faster at high temperatures. Cooking at a low temperature allows you to kill the bacteria present in food without damaging its nutritional properties.

Third, cooking at a low temperature helps reduce water loss. Water is an ideal environment for bacteria to grow. Cooking at a low temperature helps keep water inside food, reducing the risk of bacterial contamination.

Advantages of low-temperature cooking

In addition to increasing shelf life, low-temperature cooking also offers other benefits, including:

Juice storage: Low-temperature cooking takes place at lower temperatures than other cooking methods, such as boiling or frying. This helps to preserve the juices inside the foods, making them more tender and flavorful.
Preservation of nutritional properties: Cooking at a low temperature helps to preserve vitamins, minerals and proteins in food.
Cooking uniformity: Low-temperature cooking is a precise and reproducible cooking method. This means that food is less likely to be cooked unevenly.
Definition of reproducible standards: Low-temperature cooking is a cooking method that allows you to define a standard, such as the texture you want to achieve, the cooking, and other characteristics you want to achieve as a result. Once defined and parameterized, it allows chefs to achieve the same result at every production cycle.

Conclusion

Low-temperature cooking is a versatile and beneficial cooking method. It can be used to cook a variety of foods, from meat and fish to vegetables and fruits. Low-temperature cooking offers numerous advantages, including increased shelf life, reduced waste of raw materials, the possibility of standardizing the production process, and the preservation of juices and nutritional properties of food.

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