Anova in Restaurants

Hello. We
are planning on using the APC on our restaurant.

  1. Any tips on how to manage cooking time for say a number of orders of steaks?
  2. Can we pre-cook and just sear upon customer order?
  3. Any tips on storage of pre-cooked meals using the APC?

No restaurant experience here, but from my own use of the anova, I think you might want to have several units at different temperatures, and start your cooking about 2 hours before service. You can probably cook in advance, shock chill, then reheat and seat when orders come in, but you still might need a degree of anticipation since relating takes about 30 minutes. Good luck!

Thank you. We have purchased two APC and is planning to use it for medium and medium rare, then refrigerate instead of freezing to store. Then just reheat and grill to finish. Is that ok?

I would think it’s fine, provided you use a good vacuum sealer and durable bags.

Simon, welcome, - and the answers to your questions have all been previously provided here by members of our Community.

Judging from your questions you have a lot of detailed planning work ahead of you to prevent a disaster. Restaurant failures are built on dreams. Successes are all built on systems.

The key to every successful restaurant is systematic planning and execution. You must develop, or steal, a documented system for everything you plan to do. And i don’t mean that in an unfavourable sense at all. Walt Disney, who achieved some degree of success in serving people, referred to his R & D department as his, “Rip-off and Duplication folks.” He sent his people out to discover the best way to do everything and then they made it the Disney-way.

Do the work.

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Simon, on re-reading my earlier response to your question i regret i was more than somewhat curt to you.

Here’s a few suggestion to consider in respect to your numbered questions:

1 You don’t. Read Dr. Doug Baldwin’s work that’s often cited here. Get to know and love it. Right next to your big Rule #1 - The Customer is Always Right sign i want you to post your new Rule #2 - Cooking Time Does Not Vary With Volume of Food in SV Cooking. Read them and repeat them both to yourself out loud everyday.

  1. First, let’s take a few steps back in your food production system. Most restaurants using SV build an inventory of menu items cooked well in advance. Steaks will be cooked SV in numbers according to varying degrees of doneness based on your records of customer preferences. You do keep accurate Sales records, don’t you? That Sales knowledge allows you to forecast your menu item requirements in terms of both number and doneness. Are you really planning on only serving Medium and Medium Rare steaks?

  2. Every package of food stored must be dated and precisely labeled. Unless you have a blast chiller, ice-bath shock everything after cooking and before storing. Organize and use by FIFO, first items in, first out. Don’t store items randomly. Organize your refrigerator by menu item velocity. High volume items are always kept at eye level on the right hand side. Vertical shelf dividers or open bins help you optimize and organize space, - plus they simplify taking inventory frequently. (Hint.) Label shelves too so a cook doesn’t waste time searching for menu items. Use two thermometers in every refrigerator and record temperatures 2x daily in a binder. (Why two? How else will you know if one is inaccurate?) Keep raw product as far away as possible from, and lower than, cooked menu items.

I hope you are also going to consider cooking and storing SV boneless-skinless chicken breasts. They can be used in a significant variety of menu items, hot and cold. Plus, they will quickly become your greatest unfair competitive advantage.

Do the work, Simon.

Best wishes for all the success possible.

Records for everything will be vital. I don’t know where you are based, but you will need a written management plan and running records on food safety, temperature check logs etc not only during storage, but processing as well. The Food Safety agencies in all countries require it. And with low temperature processing like sous vide it is absolutely vital for public safety. But I’m sure you already know this.