There are many ways to cook steak, and perhaps one of the most unique and successful methods for creating a tender and juicy steak is sous vide.
This method involves A French technique that infuses the steak with its moisture and creates a softer, more delicate texture that makes eating steak more enjoyable and flavorful.
What is Sous Vide?
The process of sous vide involves vacuum sealing the meat in an air-tight bag designed for vacuum sealing foods. Once the steak is vacuum sealed correctly, you then submerge the steak in a temperature-controlled bath of water.
The proper method for sous vide is to keep the liquid at a constant temperature to avoid overcooking or undercooking. Special kitchen devices are created especially for making sous vide foods, including steak. They come with a thermometer and temperature-controlled tub.
Proper Temperatures for Sous Vide Steak
There are a few temperatures to know to get your steak done to the correct doneness. They include the following temperature guidelines.
Rare: 120 degrees Fahrenheit
Medium: 140 degrees Fahrenheit
Well: 160 degrees Fahrenheit
It’s important to know that the more well-done the steak, the less fat remains, and thus the tougher the meat becomes. The key is to keep the temperature constant to avoid overcooking. The time in the immersion doesn’t matter in terms of doneness once the steak reaches the ideal temperature, but the texture of the steak begins to change after one hour of immersion.
How to Store Sous Vide Steak
Many people like to sous vide their steak and seal it frozen for a few months. This process is ideal for those who want to portion out their steaks to use over time. The best idea is to immediately soak the sealed steak in ice water to halt cooking, label it in the same bag, and store it in the freezer.
One word of caution for those planning to sous vide and then freeze. You may want to skip using salt on the meat until after you thaw it because it tends to dry out the steak.
However, those who don’t choose to freeze their steaks may sous vide them in advance and safely store them in the refrigerator for up to six days.
Once a steak is sous vide, the individuals may choose to eat it, or they may sear it in a pan, depending on the cut of meat and its purpose. For example, prime rib can be eaten right away or may even be put on a grill or smoker to add extra flavor.
Others who want classic cuts of steak such as strip or ribeye likely want to sear it to get that tasty crust on the outside. It’s worth noting that searing should only occur for a short time to avoid further cooking in the center.
If you plan to sous vide a cut of steak and not eat it right away, you can safely store it in the refrigerator or freezer. Be sure to keep it sealed in its vacuum bag and thaw slowly. You’ll want to avoid using heat to thaw your sous vide steak so it stays the correct doneness.
Once it thaws, you may season it and sear it or use any other cooking method briefly to improve the outside texture and the overall flavor. Don’t store sous vide steak for more than three months in the freezer and six days in the refrigerator.