The Perfect Sous Vide Medium Rare Steak
Sous vide cooking gets you perfect results every time and there is no other way I’d rather cook meat. If you want the perfect medium rare steak, or any doneness of choice, then cooking your steak in the sous vide is the way to go!
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If you don’t have a sous vide it is the one kitchen gadget that will change cooking for you!
I’m sure you’re thinking another kitchen gadget is the last thing you need, but the sous vide is going to make your life so much better!
Everytime I cook something new in the sous vide it turns out amazing. Plus it’s small so it doesn’t take up much space.
How to Make Sous Vide Medium Rare Steak
Have you ever wanted to cook a perfect steak but then by the time all of your other sides get done the steak is either too cold or overdone?
Well with a sous vide steak you’ll never have this problem.
You can keep the meat in the sous vide as long as you want and it will never overcook.
All you need other than the sous vide is a vacuum sealer.
Recommended Products for Sous Vide Cooking
We have the Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker Nano and I love it.
It’s pretty small which is great because nobody has space for another large kitchen gadget. This one can easily fit in a drawer or slipped into a cabinet.
The next thing you will need is a vacuum sealer.
We have this Food Saver Vacuum Seal Machine and it’s been great!
Food Saver is a well-known, high-quality brand and it’s very easy to find the refill rolls and bags no matter where you shop which is one of my favorite things about it.
It’s also nice to have a large stock pot like this one if you’re going to be making something big like a pot roast, prime rib, or multiple tri-tips.
But you can also use a smaller 3-4 qt. stock pot as long as the water will fill past the minimum line on the sous vide.
Steak of choice (I usually make ribeye steaks or New York steaks)
Seasoning of choice (I like garlic salt, seasoning salt, and pepper)
First, put your steaks on a plate and season both sides with whatever your favorite seasonings are.
Second, place the steaks in a vacuum seal bag and seal them.
Third, attach your sous vide to a large pot and fill it with hot water past the minimum watermark line on the sous vide.
Then set the temperature to 131 degrees F and turn it on.
Fourth, drop your sealed steaks into the water bath.
Fifth, cover the pot with a piece of foil to help keep the heat in. This helps the sous vide not work as hard to keep a constant temperature.
Sixth, once the sous vide reaches 131 degrees let the steaks cook in the sous vide for 2-4 hours.
An average 1 inch steak can be taken out after 1 hour, but can be kept in for longer as well.
Thicker steaks seem to taste best because after you remove the steaks from the sous vide and sear, the inside is still perfect.
Too thin of a steak can quickly overdo during the sear.
Seventh, once your steaks have cooked for 2-4 hours, remove them from the plastic bag and quickly sear the steaks on high heat, either on the BBQ, in a cast iron pan, or on a griddle.
I usually sear 1-2 minutes on each side, but you can adjust the time either way if needed.
Eighth, enjoy your perfectly cooked steak!
Frequently Asked Questions
1.) How long can you leave steak in the sous vide?
In most cases you should only leave your steaks in for 1-3 hours. But it can vary depending on the cut of meat, thickness, and fat.
Thicker steaks with more fat can sous vide for longer without any change in quality. While thinner, more lean steaks should only sous vide for 1-2 hours.
Although, leaving steaks in for long periods of time won’t hurt anything. The texture and quality of the steak may just not be as perfect.
This article at Serious Eats, The Complete Guide to Sous Vide Steak has a helpful article.
2.) Can I sous vide steak for 8 hours?
Yes you can, although depending on the cut of meat, the texture and quality may decrease, but it will never overcook and be too done.
3.) Can you sous vide more than one steak at a time?
Yes. You can package as many steaks as you want, side by side in the plastic bags, not stacked on top of each other. And then as long as they fit in the water bath you are good.
Or you can individually package each steak and add them all to the water bath.
4.) Should you salt your steak before adding to the sous vide?
Yes I always salt and season my steaks prior to vacuum sealing them.
5.) What happens if you sous vide steak too long?
If you sous vide too long the meat will never be cooked over whatever temperature you have set, which is the great part.
However cooking meat longer than the recommended time will mean that the meat is continuing to break down. As the meat is cooking in the sous vide enzymes will continue to break down which effects the texture.
So for example if you sous vide a steak for 4 hours it will be tender, taste like steak, and have some chew to it.
But if you cook the steak for 24 hours it will still be juicy but will pretty much shred apart and won’t have the texture of a good steak.
6.) Is it safe to sous vide in ziploc bags?
Vacuum sealing is your best option but it’s still safe to sous vide most foods in ziploc bags.
But if you are going to do so you should use high quality bags and not at temperatures of 158 degrees F and higher.
At the high temperatures it can cause the seems to split.
You can also use sous vide bags which can be clipped to the side of your pot and don’t have to be sealed with a vacuum sealer.
They have stronger seems and you can use them at higher cooking temperatures.
This article by Chef Steps, A Complete Guide to Sous Vide Packaging has some great information.
7.) Do you have to cook everything in plastic bags?
No not always. There are other foods you can cook in the sous vide like hard boiled eggs that can just be set in the pot of water.
Or other sous vide recipes that are cooked in mason jars. So there’s all kinds of options!
The Perfect Sous Vide Medium Rare Steak
- Sous Vide
- Vacuum Sealer
- Large Pot
- Steaks your choice, I like ribeyes and new yorks
- Seasoning your choice, I like garlic salt, pepper, and seasoning salt
- Put your steaks on a plate and season both sides with whatever your favorite seasonings are.
- Place the steaks in a vacuum seal bag and seal them.
- Attach your sous vide to a large pot and fill it with hot water past the minimum water mark line on the sous vide.
- Then set the temperature to 131 degrees F and turn it on.
- Drop your sealed steaks into the water bath.
- Cover the pot with a piece of foil to help keep the heat in. This helps the sous vide not work as hard to keep a constant temperature.
- Once the sous vide reaches 128 degrees let the steaks cook in the sous vide for 3-4 hours.
- Once your steaks have cooked for 2-4 hours, remove them from the plastic bag and quickly sear the steaks on high heat, either on the BBQ, in a cast iron pan, or on a griddle.I usually sear 1-2 minutes on each side, but you can adjust the time either way if needed.
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This was really good, very comprehensive and simple, Thank you. One thing missing for me, though, is more detail on searing. Given how much I paid for the steaks I don’t want to screw up on the final step. I’m famous in my family for failing on my first, second, or even third attempt at a new cooking technique.
Hi David, thank you! I’m glad it was helpful! I totally get not wanting to mess up expensive steaks. I’m sorry for not providing more detail on searing. So the great part is that your steaks are already cooked all the way through after you cook them in the sous vide. So you are just searing them quickly to get them hot and to brown the outside just a bit. So the trick is to just sear quickly and so you don’t cook them more in the middle, just on the outside.