How to serve the food hot

A user has asked us: “… I have a problem serving the food hot. I cook sous-vide and plate the food straight after taking it out of the immersion bath. I have the garnishing already prepared and it is just a case of taking it out of the bag and serving. But when I put the dish on the table it is tepid, not to say cold. It happens to me especially with food cooked between 40 and 50ºC, with fish … How can I heat the dish without overcooking it?”

Response from our chef:

To serve food hot after cooking at low temperature, a plate temperature of between 45ºC and 55ºC is an ideal temperature for serving. If we place a portion of fish on a plate at 55ºC, to plate and serve immediately, the plate will not be able to transmit heat to the food to the extent that it increases its temperature, but it will help to maintain the temperature of the food.

As a technical reference, the time it takes to heat a dish not only on the surface but from its centre is about 20 minutes in a standard plate warmer.

In other words, to heat a plate so that it maintains its heat on serving, and after arriving at the table, the temperature and heating time must be greater than if you are only trying to heat the surface.