Main & Side Dishes - Sous Vide Cooking

Sous Vide Cooking

Sous vide (French for ‘under vacuum’) refers to the process of vacuum-sealing food and cooking it in an accurately regulated,  temperature controlled water bath until the food reaches the set temperature throughout.

Sealing the food in sturdy plastic bags retains juices and aroma that otherwise would be lost in the process.

Placing the food in a water bath, with the temperature set at the desired final cooking temperature of the food, prevents overcooking, because the food cannot get hotter than the bath it is in.

Sous Vide Steak

I have found this method produces the best and most consistent steak I have ever prepared. You can buy a cheaper cut of steak, like sirloin, and produce a tasty and very tender result that is cooked just right.

The process is straightforward:

  • Get a good cut of sirloin (Angus is best)
  • Cut the steak into individual portions (6-10 ounces)
  • Season the steak with your favorite seasoning or just salt and pepper
  • Place the steaks into a sturdy plastic bag and vacuum seal the bag
  • Prepare the water bath and set the temperature controller to the desired temperature of the steak (136 degrees F for medium throughout)
  • Place the sealed bags in the water bath making sure that they are fully submerged
  • Cook long enough for the steak to reach the set temperature throughout. This depends on the thickness of the steak. I cook it longer to make the meat more tender. 
  • Remove the steak from the bags and pat dry with a paper towel
  • Add one more application of seasoning and sear the steak on all sides using a broiler, oil in a hot pan, or a hot grill. About 2 minutes on each side is enough.
  • Serve the steak immediately after the sear.

Guides are available for temperatures and cooking times to achieve desired doneness. For my 2 inch sirloin, I cooked it at 136 degrees F for 5 hours to get a very tender medium steak. If you like medium-rare, the temperature setting would be 132 degrees F. 

Copyright ©  Mike Perry, 2011