Why not try cooking your food vacuum-packed at lower temperatures to retain its full flavour? Instanta is offering its newly developed sous-vide machine to one lucky reader.
Sous-vide is French for "under vacuum" and is a method of cooking intended to maintain the integrity of ingredients by heating them for an extended period of time at relatively low temperatures.
Food is cooked for a long time, sometimes well over 24 hours. Unlike cooking in a slow cooker, sous-vide cooking uses airtight plastic bags placed in hot water well below boiling point (usually around 60°C).
The method is believed to have been developed by Georges Pralus in the mid-1970s for the Restaurant Troisgros (of Pierre and Michel Troigros) in Roanne, France. He discovered that, when cooking foie gras in this manner, it kept its original appearance, did not lose excess amounts of fat and had better texture.
Sous-vide differs from conventional cooking methods in two fundamental ways. First, the raw food is vacuum-sealed in plastic pouches and, second, the food is cooked using precisely controlled heating. Since sous-vide is essentially a very controlled and precise poach, most food cooked sous-vide has the appearance of being poached, so foods like fish, shellfish, eggs and skinless poultry can be served as is. However, steaks and pork chops, which are not traditionally poached, usually require searing.
Buy It! has teamed up with Instanta to offer readers the chance to win a SV25 sous-vide machine worth over £1,000.
HOW TO ENTER
One lucky reader who can answer the question below correctly will win this prize. All entries must be submitted by 15 August 2009. Entrants can send a postcard including their name, job title, company name and address, contact telephone number and email address to Buy It!/Instanta Sous-Vide Competition, Caterer and Hotelkeeper, Quadrant House, The Quadrant, Sutton, Surrey SM2 5AS, or enter online at by submitting your answer below.
Who is believed to have developed the sous-vide method of cooking?
a) Boy George
b) George Best
c) Georges Pralus
The winner will receive a newly launched Instanta SV25 digital sous-vide machine. Specifically designed for the purpose of sous-vide cooking, this 25-litre machine features a 290mm-deep, energy-efficient, insulated tank with a built-in circulating pump for even temperature distribution - which can be set between room temperature and 99°C.
Pouches can be suspended from the removable stainless-steel rack which comes with the unit and it can be segmented using optional stainless-steel dividers. The machine is easy to drain for cleaning, and has an audible low-water warning signal, plus boil-dry protection to safeguard the element.
Five digital timers display hours, minutes and seconds, while the actual water temperature is also prominently displayed. The units come complete with a hinged glass safety lid and a two-year guarantee.
For further information, visitwww.instanta.comorcall 01704 501114.
AND THE WINNER IS…
The winners of the P&G Professional competition for £250-worth of Richard Haworth linen in the 29 May issue of Buy It! are: S Painton, the Walnut Tree Hotel, North Petherton; R Whitaker, the Clarendon Suites, Edgbaston; L Smith, Holiday Inn Regent's Park, London; E Larquier, ISS Eaton at Hewlett Packard, London; J Rossi, the Ancient Gate Hotel, Wells.
TERMS & CONDITIONS
- This competition is not open to employees or agents of Reed Business Information, or Instanta.
- We reserve the right to change the prize without notice, and no cash alternative will be offered.
- The winner will be selected at random from correct entries, and the publisher's decision is final.
- Reed Business Information will use the contact information you provide to communicate with you on behalf of the Caterer Group. 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 or write to us at:RBI, Freepost RCC2619, Haywards Heath, RH16 3BR, UK.
- The winner's name will appear in Caterer and Hotelkeeper and on Caterersearch.com.