TASTY DISH: It might look like a normal steak, but this fillet was slow-cooked with the latest molecular gastronomy methods.
TASTY DISH: It might look like a normal steak, but this fillet was slow-cooked with the latest molecular gastronomy methods. Barclay White

Cooking made exact science at South West TAFE

DO YOU like your steak boiled?

It might seem like an unusual way to cook, but for chef Jason Ford it's the cutting edge of commercial cookery.

Mr Ford, who teaches cooking students at South West TAFE in Kingaroy, the immersion circulator can make dishes that could not be created any other way.

The device that heats water to scientific precision was common in science labs but over the past 15 years has been used by chefs in the growing molecular gastronomy cooking movement.

Mr Ford said the type of cooking had been popularised by celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal and was being introduced around the world.

The precision of the heat gives chefs the opportunity to cook and create meals in ways that have not previously been done.

"Water is one of your best circulators for heat," Mr Ford said.

It might look strange, But Jason Ford said this was the best way to cook a steak. Photo Barclay White / South Burnett Times
It might look strange, But Jason Ford said this was the best way to cook a steak. Photo Barclay White / South Burnett Times Barclay White

"It's taken a while for Queensland restaurants to catch up but if the industry is doing something you have to train your students to adapt to it."

He has been teaching his students new ways to cook classic dishes, including steak vacuum-sealed in plastic and slow-cooked and slow-boiled eggs.

A difference of just two degrees in the immersion circulator cooked two eggs very differently. Photo Barclay White / South Burnett Times
A difference of just two degrees in the immersion circulator cooked two eggs very differently. Photo Barclay White / South Burnett Times Barclay White

Slow-cooking his fillet steak for 50 minutes, it might have looked unusual but the exact temperature gave the finished product a unique look and taste.

"When you get your steak off the grill it's cooked at three different levels," he said. "But here if you ask for a medium, you get your whole steak cooked at medium."

As a relatively new field of cooking, exciting dishes were being created all the time, and Mr Ford said the method would not remain niche forever.

"This wasn't around when I started cooking, it wasn't even imagined," he said. "But I've no doubt that ALDI will be selling these in a few years."

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