There’s only one way to cook a thick, juicy steak, and maintain the perfect temperature throughout the entire piece of meat. One way to ensure you haven’t over cooked it or under cooked it. One way to take all of the guess work out of cooking meat forever – and that is sous vide.
If you’ve ever had steak in a fancy restaurant, chances are it was cooked this way. The process of vacuum-packing meat and cooking it in a precise temperature-controlled water bath has been used in restaurants for ages, and has only recently become widely (and affordably) available to the home chef. And the beauty of having this option available to the home chef is that it takes away the stress of having to perfectly time your meal. Since your steaks are sitting at a perfectly controlled temperature, there’s no chance for them to overcook. So if your guests are a bit late, or your side dishes just need another minute or two, you won’t be scrambling around the kitchen.
I prefer my steaks done medium rare. Let’s take a look at the difference between a steak cooked to 130F (54.4C) using a traditional method (pan roasting) and one cooked sous vide.
As you can see, the traditional method gives us a bullseye of different temperatures. It’s the perfect at the core, but overdone as we get to the outside. In
In contrast, the sous vide steak is a perfect medium rare all the way to the seared outer crust.
So if you’ve been on the fence at all about getting set up with a new sous vide rig, I hope this helps make that decision easier for you.
- Steak (filet, ribeye, strip, etc.)
- Salt + Pepper
- Seasonings to taste
- Preheat water bath to 130°F(55°C) for medium-rare, or anywhere between 122°F(50°C) [rare] and 140°F(60°C) [medium] to suit your preference.
- Seal your steaks, either by using the water displacement method, or by using a vacuum sealer.
- Cook in water bath for 60 minutes for 1” thick cuts, or 30 minutes for ½" thick cuts.
- Remove the steaks from the bags and pat them dry.
- Sear the outside of the steaks using your preferred method. I like to use a raging hot cast iron skillet with a pat of butter added at the end.
- Season with salt and pepper, and garnish to taste.
- You can leave a tender steak in the bath for up to 4 hours without any noticeable loss of quality. Longer than that, however, and “tenderness” will begin to give way to “mushiness”. While the steak can’t overcook with respect to doneness, it can cook for too long.