The popularity of sous-vide cooking continues to grow as chefs look for new ways to stretch the boundaries in the kitchen and perfect their menus. The benefits, which include minimal loss of size, moisture and weight; the preservation of vitamins and nutrients; reduced wastage; and the minimisation of preparation time all add to the appeal of sous-vide.
Sous-vide differs from conventional cooking methods in that the raw food is vacuum-sealed in plastic pouches before being cooked using precisely controlled heating.
The method is like a controlled and precise poach, so foods such as fish, shellfish, eggs and skinless poultry can be served as-is. However, meat such as steaks and pork chops usually require searing. This is done by using very high temperatures over a short period of time (5-30 seconds) in order to avoid overcooking the meat's interior. One of the best ways to do this is by using a heavy skillet with just-smoking vegetable or nut oil (200-250°C), which produces a particularly nice crust on beef.
The winner will receive a newly launched Instanta SV38 digital water bath. Designed to the specification of award-winning chefs, this 38-litre machine features a 588mm-deep insulated tank with a built-in circulating pump for even temperature distribution over a range from room temperature to 99°C. The machine has a low water level warning and boil-dry protection. The digital display shows set and actual temperature to within 0.1°C and there are five timers showing hours, minutes and seconds.
And the winner is… The winner of the [June competition to win a Roband Six Grill Station ](http://www.caterersearch.com/Articles/2012/06/28/344249/win-a-roband-six-slice-grill-station-from-metcalfe-catering.html)from Metcalfe Catering is Les Chappell, domestic bursar, Merchant Taylors School, Middlesex.TERMS AND CONDITIONS1. This competition is not open to employees or agents of Reed Business Information or Instanta. 2. We reserve the right to change the prize without notice and no cash alternative will be offered. 3. The winner will be selected at random from correct entries, and the publisher's decision is final. 4. Reed Business Information will use the contact information you provide to communicate with you on behalf of *Caterer and Hotelkeeper*. We may also use the information you have provided to send direct marketing material from ourselves relating to other products and services that may be of interest to you. Your information may also be disclosed to other companies who wish to send you information about their products and services including our sponsor, Instanta. This could involve data transfer to countries outside the European Economic Area. For further information and choices please visit our data protection page at [www.reedbusiness.co.uk/dataprotection](http://www.reedbusiness.co.uk/dataprotection) or write to us at RBI, Freepost RCC2619, Haywards Heath, RH16 3BR, UK. 5\. The winner's name will appear in *Caterer and Hotelkeeper* and on [www.catererandhotelkeeper.com.
How to enter
One lucky reader who can answer the question correctly will win this fantastic prize. All entries must be received by midnight on Friday 28 September. Entrants should include their name, job title, company name and address, and telephone number. Send entries on a postcard to Instanta Sous-vide Competition, Caterer and Hotelkeeper, Quadrant House, The Quadrant, Sutton, Surrey SM2 5AS.You can also enter online by using the form below.