Achieving a perfect steak requires a lot of experience and practice. Controlling cooking temperature, an important factor of the doneness level may be challenging even for a skilled chef.
Sous vide allows you to get precise results matching your steak preference, every time you decide to turn it on.
Delicious Sous Vide Steak Recipe
Sous Vide is a French term for cooking that translates to “Under Vacuum”. It cooks food in hot water. Sealed in a food-friendly plastic bag, without any air inside.
The main benefit of sous vide cooking is that no flavours escape from the food by dissolving in the boiling water or evaporating into the air while grilling or roasting. Food, especially steak, being “stewed” in its own juices will become incredibly tender, juicy and evenly cooked.
This cooking technique was originally used only in high-end restaurants. These days, however, this technology becomes more and more accessible. Sous vide machines allows manual setting of time and duration of cooking. Some advanced models can pair with an app on your smartphone and keep you updated on the cooking process or help you set the settings accordingly to the food you cook. Cooking food in this controlled environment will be done evenly and with high precision.
One of the main reasons why it is broadly adopted in professional kitchens is consistency. Your sous vide steaks will all be cooked the same. Especially handy when you need to cook bigger amounts, for a large family or a football afternoon with friends.
Sous vide steak will be tender and juicy as it is being cooked at an optimal temperature for a longer period of time. It is the best way to target medium-rare to the medium-well doneness range.
Cooking a well-done steak using sous vide is not necessary. The easier, and faster, way to cook it will be throwing it on a grill or pan-frying directly.
After the timer goes off, steaks don’t have to be removed from warm water immediately. The temperature control will make sure that they will not get cooked further. This perk gives you time to leisurely set the table and fill the glasses with beer or wine.
Choose Your Cut
Use sous vide to cook any cut you like; it is an amazing machine capable of cooking way more than just meat.
The steak cooking range spans from 49℃ to 69℃. Each cut of beef steak has its own characteristic; therefore the sous vide needs to be set accordingly for the best results.
Choose the thicker cut, make it at least 2,5 cm. It will help maintain the tender interior of your steak during the searing process.
Temperature is the main factor that decides how deep into the interior the steak will cook. The extended period will not overcook it. Instead, it will change the structure of protein fibres as they will start breaking down. The longer you’ll cook it, the softer it will get. You may end up with a nice medium-rare steak with a soft falling-apart texture like if it was cooked in a slow cooker. However, a steak should still have some bite into it. Try and see what cooking time works for you the best.
Sous vide steak cooking temperatures, at 2.5cm thick and cooking time of 1h:
- Medium-rare: 57 to 60℃
- Medium: 61 to 64℃
- Medium-well: 65 to 67℃
(The results may vary, based on the cut of meat and how lean it is. Follow the instruction of your sous vide machine.)
Searing The Sous Vide Steak
To develop the flavours of sous vide steak we need to bring in the char and sear it on a hot pan or grill. This, finishing touch will give its characteristic brown colour and rich flavours.
After the steak is finished, take it out of the bag and pat dry to remove moisture. Fire up a stainless steel pan or skillet, add oil and pan-fry the steak. Flipping it every 20s until it will brown up evenly. It shouldn’t take you longer than 1.5 minutes.
A blazing hot, cast-iron skillet will sear the meat quickly, without overcooking it. Adding a bit of butter into the hot oil will help develop a dark layer and charred, slightly bitter, taste.
Alternatively, you can sear it with a quality kitchen blowtorch.
The Seasoning Time
When you use high-quality steak, adding too much seasoning may unnecessarily hide its own unique flavour. Keep it simple. Most of the time, salt and black pepper will do the trick.
To cook your sous vide steak together with seasoning, use fresh herbs for best results. Add them to the hot pan during searing as well, for an extra flavour.
Dry spices work better after the meat is cooked. Rub it on a finished steak before searing it.
Sous Vide Steak, Step-By-Step
Simplicity is one of the best benefits of cooking with sous vide, as you can see. Use the free time to set the table or watch football. The machine will let you know when it’s finished. Set-it, forget-it.
- Turn on and set up your sous vide machine accordingly. Preheat the water for the best results.
- Season the steak with salt and pepper and transfer it into the sous vide food-safe bag.
You can put multiple pieces in one bag and cook them at the same time. Just make sure that they will be evenly spread.
- Remove the air using the vacuum sealer.
If that’s not available, use a ziploc bag and remove the air using the water displacement method. To do this, put the meat in the bag and leave it open. Slowly put it into the water and seal it just above the waterline.
- After the cooking is finished, sear the steak on a super hot cast-iron skillet or stainless steel pan.
Searing one side on a scorching pan while blowtorching the other is the fastest way to develop the charred-umami flavours.
Steak cooked with sous vide doesn’t need to “rest” before serving, as it is being cooked evenly for a long time. Try it with an air fryer baked potato.
Sous vide allows you to cook the most tender steak you can imagine almost effortlessly. You may experience a few trials and errors while experimenting with different types of meat and cuts.
The use of this machine is limited only by your creativity. Go for it not only if you want to save time cooking but especially if you like bringing your own ideas to the table.