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Vacuum cooking in contemporary cuisine: what is a Softcooker, and where did it come from?

News | 9th October 2023

From scientific research, to the kitchens of Michelin-starred chefs

Various world-renowned chefs began experimenting with the process of slow cooking in a vacuum as early as the 1970s, but it wasn’t until the year 2000 that sous vide appeared in its present form, although it still remained an experimental technique. Up until then, there were no appliances designed specifically for the food service industry, and the machines that were used came from the medical research sector.

Vacuum cooking requires extremely high standards and precision in terms of temperature management. And the thermostatic tanks used in the medical laboratories met these requirements. They were high-tech devices, built to maintain a constant temperature through the circulation of the water, and to reduce temperature fluctuations to just a few fractions of a degree.

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During the early days of the sous vide era, it was precisely these devices that chefs purchased and adapted for use in the kitchen. However, these machines were extremely expensive, not very versatile, built for laboratories, and couldn’t always be adapted to the needs of the food service industry. This gave rise to the need to produce a low-temperature cooking machine designed specifically for use in kitchens.

The SIRMAN Softcooker: technology, quality, and practicality

SIRMAN is one of the first companies in the world to market a sous vide machine designed for the food service industry. The idea arose from a meeting with chef Paolo Rossetti, who was already using medical vacuum cooking equipment back in 2005. The chef’s creative flair and expertise convinced the company to make the investment.

In 2008, SIRMAN created the first prototype of the Softcooker, a highly specialised piece of equipment, which, once launched on the market, was an immediate success thanks to its high quality components, durability, and more affordable price point compared to the equipment offered in the medical sector.

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Since then, the company has continued to invest in the development of new and increasingly sophisticated vacuum cooking machines, in order to meet all the needs of this expanding market. The product catalogue currently contains two types of sous vide machines:

  • the thermocirculators, which offer more precise temperature management and are suitable for particularly demanding consumers.
  • the sous vide tanks, which consist of more convenient static models, and are also available as built-in appliances.

One of the most noteworthy features to have been added to SIRMAN’s products over the years are the advanced software controls, which allow the cooking times and temperatures to be managed with maximum safety and efficiency, even remotely via the app. Inizia ad usare anche tu SRCS nella tua cucina

Vacuum cooking in contemporary cuisine: who uses the Softcooker?

Sous vide cooking offers numerous advantages. These include the quality of the food prepared and the possibility of obtaining precise and reliable cooking levels. Sous vide cooking is also advantageous from an economic standpoint, as well as in terms of the planning and management of the coking times and resources utilised.

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These characteristics have allowed it to gain popularity even beyond the kitchens of Michelin-starred chefs, and to spread to other areas of the food service industry. From top restaurants, to small local establishments, pastry shops, and canteens, the sous vide cooking method is rapidly taking hold in every professional kitchen environment.


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