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NutsAboutGolf

Why don't cruise lines use Sous Vide the majority of the time?

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Sous Vide can make some of the best tasting food out there (if for no other reason than they can't under/cook it) and is perfect for an active kitchen as it saves a lot of time.  Wonder why they don't use it more?

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I am guessing but I believe it has to do with food safety standard practices and temperature. I work at an upscale restaurant, we had Beef Tenderloin on the menu that was prepared sous vide, and the health department made the chef stop serving it. The state I live in doesn't "recognize" it as a cooking method as I understand it so it can't pass inspection.

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That much hot water sloshing around might be problematic. 

 

Items can have different cooking temperatures which likely means more equipment. 

 

Since portions have to be individually vacuum packed there would be an increase in storage requirements and plastic waste.

 

Increased labor costs as each portion has to be cut out of its cooking package.

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Sous Vide is very nice and convenient.

It is also more expensive than “regular” food preparation.

Unfortunately the higher cost would translate into higher fares.

Most of the people on this website (a good representation of mass market) are not too fond of higher fares.

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On 6/11/2019 at 12:14 AM, NutsAboutGolf said:

Sous Vide can make some of the best tasting food out there (if for no other reason than they can't under/cook it) and is perfect for an active kitchen as it saves a lot of time.  Wonder why they don't use it more?

 

We were on a recent TA and I spoke with the Head/Exec Chef--thinking they used SV for things.

There isn't even a SV on the ship.

Was surprised as it seems it would be an excellent way to handle proteins..and it is very successful on land based operations. So its not a food safety thing at all

 

I think the grill masters/kitchens  are just THAT good at timing of cooking..whether it is roasting chickens or grilling steaks and chops. Even things like poached eggs are done traditionally and not SV. 

 

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On 6/13/2019 at 5:37 AM, BruceMuzz said:

Sous Vide is very nice and convenient.

It is also more expensive than “regular” food preparation.

 

How is it more expensive? Preparation takes more time, but you'd remove a lot of work during rush hours. I.e. less cooks. 

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You need to understand cruise line food cost to understand the answer.

You also need to understand cruise line labor cost.

 

A medium size cruise ship (2000-2500 pax) with reasonable quality food (this would not include any Carnival Corp ships) has a food cost of around US$40,000 per day. Using Sous-vide for protein items would effectively double that number.

The line cooks and butchers who produce the food that sous-vide would replace are paid just a few dollars per day.

$40,000 per day would pay for far more butchers and cooks any ship would ever need.

Those butchers and cooks would not be needed for the meals where sous-vide is used, but they are still needed for things like BBQ, breakfast, buffets.

As I stated earlier, it just doesn't make financial sense - unless you want to pay more for your cruise.

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I agree with much of what was said.  I think the logistics of having that many water-baths going, coupled with much longer cooking times than a stovetop, would be a few more reasons against trying to do it on a cruise ship.  I certainly wouldn't be surprised if they offered something sous-vide in the specialty restaurant onboard (they could drag out your appetizer course while they prepared your entree!), but I don't know how they could pull it off for meals in the MDR.  

 

I've been cooking sous-vide at home for a couple of years now, but by no means has it been so amazing that it would replace other ways to prepare food. I often still combine sous-vide cooking with a quick sear, as the meat doesn't have the same expected (appetizing) appearance that we associate with meats/fish that are charred or golden brown.   As for clean-up, I have all my sous-vide gear out and still have to dirty another pan and add another cooking step before plating it.  You can get some beautiful results with sous-vide, but in the right hands a pan and some tongs will be enough.

 

Cheers.

 

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