Every item on this page was chosen by The Fed & Fit team. The site may earn a commission on some products (read more here).
While sous vide steak may sound intimidating, I promise it’s not – it’s actually the easiest way to get perfectly-cooked steak every single time!
Sous Vide Steak Recipe
Sous vide steak …sounds intimidating, right? Here’s the kicker: IT’S NOT! I’ve always thought this method was probably way too advanced for my (Brandi) intermediate cooking level. I mean, sous viding is something that only the top chefs in the world do, right? Wrong! This method is incredibly easy, so *not* intimidating, and yields perfectly cooked steak every single time.
How long does it take to sous vide a steak?
One of the really wonderful things about the sous vide is that as long as the actual sous vide gadget itself is set to a perfect temperature (anywhere between 130°F and 160°F depending on how you like your steak), a really precise amount of cooking time isn’t necessary. As long as your vacuum sealed steak hangs out in the water bath for at least 1 hour (or up to 3 hours), you’ll be good to go!
Sous Vide Steak Ingredients
While the ingredients needed here are incredibly simple, there will be NO shortage of flavor in the finished product (which is part of what makes the sous vide such a magical little machine!)
- Steaks – to start, you’ll need 2, 1-inch-thick steaks.
- Seasoning – to season the steaks before they head into the water, you’ll need 1½ teaspoons of fine sea salt and a ½ teaspoon of cracked black pepper.
- Garlic – 2 cloves of thinly sliced garlic get vacuum sealed with the steaks to add some really delicious flavor.
- Ghee – once the steaks are out of the water, you’ll sear them in 1 tablespoon of ghee.
- Flaky Salt – to finish the steaks off, you’ll dust them with a pinch of flaky salt!
This recipe is incredibly simple, so there aren’t a ton of ways to modify it, but feel free to experiment as much as you’d like! Here are a few ideas:
- Add tomatoes to the sous vide bag – Cassy actually did this during our FF cooking challenge we hosted in June of 2021 on Instagram! She essentially just added cherry tomatoes, more sliced garlic, salt, lemon, and olive oil to a separate sous vide bag + let that combo cook in the water at the same temperature and for the same amount of time as the steak. This made for such a yummy side to serve with the steaks! Learn more HERE.
- Use different seasonings – don’t be afraid to play with the seasonings here. Though a simple salt and pepper combo makes for a really delicious end product, you aren’t limited to those two seasonings alone. Use your favorite blend or mix and match solo seasonings as you wish!
Is it better to sous vide frozen steak or fresh/thawed steak?
While this recipe was developed using fresh steak, you can absolutely use frozen steak if you’d like. Sous viding frozen steak does require more time (an additional hour, to be exact), so be sure to account for that!
Should I season steak before sous vide?
Yes! This recipe calls for a super simple salt and pepper seasoning combo (and, of course, fresh sliced garlic), all of which get paired with the steak ahead of it being vacuum sealed and submerged in the water.
Supplies Needed for This Recipe
The equipment is actually really straightforward to sous vide from home! Essentially, all you need is a sous vide machine itself (this is the part you plug in that sits in the water and controls the temperature), a bag to cook your food in, and a bucket or pot of water. I know it can sound intimidating, but honestly, it can take up about as much space as an immersion blender. I also know that it can be intimidating to buy a new piece of kitchen equipment without a recommendation. I’ve personally used a handful of the top sous vides on the market and the one below is my absolute favorite.
- The Anova Sous Vide is the most highly-rated sous vide for very good reason. The sous vide itself is a (roughly) foot-long gadget that controls the temperature of the water and keeps it whirling in your pot. It’s slick, easy to use, compact, and will work with any container you already have on hand. I really love mine.
As for the other pieces of equipment, there are some options. First, you will need some kind of waterproof bag to cook your food in. You’ll want to be able to remove all the air from this bag so that the food and any flavors or marinades in the bag infuse with each other without any air interfering (which could cause uneven cooking). Here are some bag options:
- SousBear bag kit: these bags are neat in that they come with a hand pump you can use to remove the air in addition to little clips you’d use to secure your bag to the side wall of the container. This system works as long as the vacuum seal hole stays above the water line. A pro of this system is that it doesn’t require a large vacuum sealer while a con is that you have to secure the bag to the side wall (vs. just plopping the bag in the water).
- Anova Precision Vacuum Sealer: this is the vacuum sealer featured in the photos above! I love it, but I’d definitely consider it a luxury kitchen gadget. It’s very easy to use, both removes the air and adds a quick seal to a bag, and stores easily in a drawer.
- Anova Vacuum Sealer Bags: I do love these pre-cut vacuum sealer bags from Anova. They fit perfectly in with the vacuum sealer (for obvious reasons), don’t leak, and are pretty minimal. They also freeze really well if you’re ever wanting to stock your freezer with sous vide goodies.
- Plastic ziplock bags: yes, you can sous vide in your ordinary freezer bag! Do your best to remove the air from it (you know, the “squish and roll” method), and pop it right in.
- Silicone ziplock bags: even though most sous vide bags are BPA-free, you may still prefer a silicone option. These will work in just about any sous vide setup! My favorite brand is the Stasher bag because they’re incredible versatile (you can pop popcorn in them, use them to carry snacks, and even sous vide a chicken breast).
- A bucket: this Rubbermaid 12-quart bucket is the exact bucket I have, but please know you do NOT need one. You can use a large pot and it will work just as well. I do love this bucket and find myself using it to brine larger proteins, but again, it’s a luxury buy (in my opinion).
How To Sous Vide Steak
If you’re intimidated by the idea of sous viding your steak, don’t be. You’re just three steps (and very little hands-on time) away from a perfectly tender, juicy sous vide steak!
- Season and vacuum seal – to start, season the steaks with sea salt and cracked black pepper, then place in a sous vide bag along with the sliced garlic. Vacuum seal.
- Sous vide – cook the steak at 130°F for at least 1 hour (for medium-rare).
- Sear – add the ghee to a cast-iron skillet over high heat, then add the steak to the pan. Sear for about 2 minutes per side, until a crust forms, then finish with the flaky salt.
- Serve and enjoy!
Sous Vide Steak Temp – Best Temperature to Sous Vide Steak
Cassy found 130°F to be the ideal temperature for sous vide steak. This will cook your steak to a perfect medium-rare doneness. If you prefer a more done steak, feel free to raise the temperature according to the guide below.
- Medium-rare: 130°F
- Medium: 140°F
- Medium-well: 150°F
- Well-done: 160°F
How long to Sous Vide Steak from Room Temperature
Sous viding a fresh steak takes an hour minimum, though you can absolutely leave it in the water bath for longer – up to 3 hours – if desired. Because the water is set at the exact temperature for the doneness that you’re looking for, cooking it for longer won’t actually compromise the doneness of the steak at all.
How long to Sous Vide Steak from Frozen
The general rule of thumb here is to let your steak hang out in the water bath for an extra hour if it’s frozen. This recipe calls for sous viding fresh steaks for at least an hour, so the minimum time for frozen steaks would be 2 hours. Again, leaving the steaks in the water for longer (up to 3 hours) won’t compromise quality or doneness!
Does the sous vide cooking time vary based on the cut of meat or thickness?
It does. This recipe was written for 1-inch-thick steaks, so you’ll want to get as close to that as possible. If your steaks are much thicker than 1-inch, you’ll want to let them hang out in the water bath for a bit longer (an hour and a half for a 1½-inch steak and 2 hours for a 2-inch steak). Remember, the steaks can stay in the water for up to 3 hours – any amount of time past that, though, has the ability to compromise the texture of the steak.
How can you tell when the steak is done?
You can absolutely use a meat thermometer to check the doneness of your steak (once it’s out of the bag, of course), but rest assured that if your sous vide is set to a steak-safe temperature (anywhere between 130°F and 160°F) and your steak has been in the water for 1-3 hours, it should definitely be good to go!
Finishing the Sous Vide Steak
You’ll finish your sous vide steak off with a quick reverse sear. Why is it called a reverse sear? Typically we sear meat BEFORE cooking it, then let the oven (or another cooking appliance/gadget) do the rest of the work. When it comes to sous viding, though, it’s best to first cook your meat to temperature and then give it a quick sear in a hot, ghee-coated skillet! Sprinkle with flaky sea salt, and voila!, perfectly cooked steak is yours for the eating!
- 2 1-inch-thick steaks
- 1½ teaspoons fine sea salt
- ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 2 cloves garlic thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon ghee
- Pinch flaky sea salt to finish
- Season the steaks with sea salt and cracked black pepper, then place in a sous vide bag along with the sliced garlic, and vacuum seal.
- Cook the steak at 130°F for 1-3 hours (for medium-rare). See notes for a full temperature chart.
- Once the steaks are finished, add the ghee to a skillet over high heat, then add the steak to the pan. Sear for about 2 minutes per side, until a crust forms, then finish with the flaky salt.
- Serve and enjoy!
- Medium-rare: 130°F
- Medium: 140°F
- Medium-well: 150°F
- Well-done: 160°F
We love sous vide steaks! However, I don’t love giving the steak a water bath in a plastic bag. I know you’re also leery about plastics. Do you have a preferred, better-for-you, safer vacuum seal bag brand? Thank you!!
Melissa Guevara says
Hi Kate! I apologize for the delay in getting back to you! Anova has a reusable silicone bag (linked here) that you could try. I’ve also read that Stasher bags can be used to Sous Vide, you just have to make sure to get as much air out as possible. I hope that is helpful! ~Melissa