Sous Vide Steak
Make the best steak you’ve ever eaten with this foolproof Sous Vide Steak recipe. It is incredibly easy and gives you perfectly cooked restaurant quality results every single time. After your first bite of deliciously tender steak, you won’t want to make it any other way.
About This Recipe
Sous vide is hands down the best way to prepare steak. It cooks low and slow to the exact right temperature which guarantees incredibly tender and perfectly cooked steaks every time. This is an easy set it and forget it method that removes unnecessary stress from the kitchen. If you want to impress the socks off dinner guests, this is the way to do it!
This post includes a how-to video, Q&A, equipment overview, process overview and a chart with cooking times and temperatures based on desired doneness. Oh and the recipe of course! Enjoy!
How to Sous Vide Steak
Sous Vide Q&A
What is sous vide?
Sous vide is a cooking method that cooks food (in a sealed baggie) in a water bath at very precise temperatures to get consistent restaurant quality results. It is truthfully incredible and makes the BEST food, especially steak!
How does sous vide work?
I’ll start with explaining stove and oven cooking. The heat that transfers to the pan or to the air when cooking on the stove or in the oven is a much hotter than we want our food to be. Because of this we have to stop cooking our food at the exact right moment to avoid over or under cooking it.
When you sous vide food, heat is transferred to the water at a precise temperature and circulated around the food. The temperature should be set to the temperature you want your food at. So once the food has reached that perfect temperature, it remains at that temperature because it is the same temperature as the water circulating around it. This ensures food is cooked perfectly every single time and is never overdone.
So, you can take the food out of the water bath as soon as it is done cooking or leave it in there until you’re ready to eat (within a reasonable timeframe) and it won’t overcook!
Why sous vide steak?
You should sous vide steak because it is the best, most tender steak you will ever eat. It is…
- So tender it melts in your mouth
- Takes out any guesswork
- Impresses the hell out of dinner guests
- Cooks perfectly every single time
- Consistent doneness throughout the steak
Which steak to choose?
Sous vide turns most cuts of steak into amazing tender perfectly cooked masterpieces. However, the secret is in the thickness. Your steak should be 1″-2″+ thick. Also, it is important to note that tenderloins require less cooking time that other cuts of steak simply because of the cylinder shape. This note is also included in the cooking chart and recipe below.
Can you sous vide more than one steak at a time?
Yes! Absolutely! Just make sure each steak is in its own baggie (more instructions on that below) so the water can easily circulate around each steak.
Sous Vide Equipment
There are three items you need for sous vide cooking. Below includes more detail about each item.
- Sous vide/precision cooker
- gallon ziplock bags
- container + lid
1. Sous Vide Machine
The actual piece of equipment needed for sous vide cooking is referred to as a precision cooker, sous vide machine, sous vide cooker or just a sous vide. It is about the size of a wine bottle and very easy to store!
I personally have the sous vide precision cooker from Anova. It is really easy to use and has bluetooth so you can control it from your phone which is a nice perk. I also keep it in a sous vide case which is entirely unnecessary but it does store it very nicely! I love it!
2. Sous Vide Bags
Some people think you need to have a vacuum sealer and special vacuum sealer bags for sous vide. If you have those items, great! If you don’t, you absolutely do not need them. Gallon zip-lock baggies (smaller baggies for tenderloins/medallions) work just as well.
Note: If cooking more than one steak at a time, make sure to put each individual steak in its own baggie.
3. Sous Vide Container
There are two container options for sous vide cooking.
- Option 1 – Sous Vide Container + Lid: This is basically a large plastic food container with a lid that has a hole for the sous vide. I have a container and lid that specifically fits my Anova sous vide precision cooker. However, I’ve included a universal option below that fits most sous vide precision cookers.
- Option 2 – Pot + Lid: This option utilizes any large pot you already have. Then all you need is a sous vide lid for the pot that has a hole for the sous vide to fit through. See below for an option.
The sous vide attaches to the side of the plastic container or pot and the lid helps maintain a precise temperature by keeping the heat in.
Note: The container or pot should be able to hold at least 12 quarts of water. If you plan on cooking more than 4 or so steaks at a time, opt for a larger one!
Sous Vide Step by Step
- Season Steak – Generously season all sides of your steak with your favorite steak seasoning. Really rub the seasoning in there for good flavor.
- Put Steak in Baggie – You can either vacuum seal your steak or put it in a ziplock baggie. Skip step 3 if going the vacuum seal route. If using a ziplock baggie, do not seal it yet and go to step 3.
3. Remove Air & Seal – The goal is to remove as much as as possible from the baggie. This is actually pretty easy. Slowly lower the baggie into the container of water until completely submerged EXCEPT for the top inch or so of the baggie. Then seal the baggie shut and leave the steak in the water bath. The pressure from the water will force out most of the air and voila! Your steak is ready to be sous vide!
You can clip the baggie to the side of the container to keep it upright in the container. However, I have skipped this step many times when only cooking one or two steaks with no issues. If cooking more than two steaks, I recommend clipping them to the side of the container.
4. Attach Sous Vide & Lid – Attach the sous vide to the container of water. Put the lid on the container.
5. Set Temperature – Set the temperature on the sous vide to your desired doneness. For medium rare set it to 129°F-131°F. See the temperature chart below for other cooking temperatures and doneness.
6. Let It Do Its Magic – Set the timer and let the sous vide do its magic! For a steak that is 1″ thick it will be medium rare in about 1 hour and 15-30 minutes at 130°F. See chart below for other cooking times and temperatures.
Reminder: It is possible to undercook food with sous vide but you can’t really overcook it. So, when in doubt let is sous vide for an extra 15 minutes.
7. Sear Steak – Once your steak is done cooking, remove it from the water and baggie. Then sear it in a smoking hot skillet with a little canola or vegetable oil to give it a nice crust. This should only take a minute or so on each side.
8. Enjoy – No need to let your sous vide steak rest. Feel free to eat your deliciously tender steak immediately.
Recipes to Go With Sous Vide Steak
Don’t know what to season your steak with? No problem! I got you covered. Try my homemade Steak Seasoning recipe. I usually make a big batch and keep it in the pantry for whenever I need it!
For a special dinner you could serve your steak with baked asparagus and hollandaise. Then top off the meal with mini cheesecakes for dessert.
Sous Vide Cooking Times
For the most accurate reading of doneness, put a cooking thermometer in the thickest part of the steak. If it hasn’t reached an internal temperature of your desired doneness. (eg. 129-134 for medium rare) just pop it back in the water bath for a bit longer! Easy peasy!
Sous Vide Steak
- 16 oz. steak at least 1″ thick, see note 1
- Your favorite steak seasoning
- 1 Tbsp. canola or vegetable oil
- Prep Steak: Generously season all sides of your steak with your favorite steak seasoning and put it in a gallon ziplock baggie (see note 2).
- Remove Air From Baggie: To remove as much air as possible, slowly lower the baggie into the large container or pot full of water until completely submerged EXCEPT for the top inch or so of the baggie. Then seal the baggie shut. Clip the baggie to the side of the container to keep the steak upright in the container.
- Attach Sous Vide & Lid: Attach the sous vide to the container of water. Put the lid on the container.
- Set Temperature: Set the temperature on the sous vide to your desired doneness. For medium rare set it to 129°F-131°F (see note 3).
- Let It Do Its Magic: Set the timer and let the sous vide do its magic! For a steak that is 1" thick it will be medium rare in about 1 hour and 15-30 minutes at 130°F (see note 3).
- Sear Steak: Once the steak is done cooking, sear it in a smoking hot skillet with a little canola or vegetable oil to give it a nice crust. This should only take a minute or so on each side.
- Enjoy: No need to let your sous vide steak rest. Feel free to eat your deliciously tender steak immediately.