your guide to steak sous vide

Level Up Your Dinner with Beef Sous Vide – An Easy Way to Make Steak

Dec 1, 2020 |  ,

Maybe you’re hosting a small get together, serving a special family dinner, or treating yourself to a fancy meal after a long work week. You want to serve a chef-level steak—evenly cooked, perfectly seared, and with mouthwatering, beefy flavors. And, you also want to keep it simple.

Enter sous vide: a cooking trend and method perfect for delivering a consistent, succulent steak no matter the occasion.

So, what is it?

Steak Sous Vide: The Basics

Once a cooking method reserved for chefs at high-end restaurants, sous vide cooking has now made its way into home kitchens due to the greater availability of affordable kitchen appliances, in this case, immersion circulators—or, as they’re commonly called, sous vide machines.

Sous vide cooking involves placing food in a vacuum-sealed bag and cooking it in water at a consistent, low temperature. In fact, “sous vide” loosely translates to “under vacuum” in French. The method is so popular (particularly for meats) because of its ease and convenience, but also because it delivers a delicious, evenly cooked product every time. It’s virtually impossible to overcook a steak using sous vide, as the temperature is controlled and consistent.

So, if you’re hosting, multitasking, or want an easy, hands-off method for cooking steak, sous vide might just be your new favorite cooking technique.

Fresh beef steak for sous vide cooking

What You’ll Need to Cook Beef Sous Vide

Beyond the immersion circulator, you can likely find the appliances you’ll need right in your own kitchen:

  • A pot, filled with water
  • Vacuum-sealable bags or heavy-duty, BPA-free resealable bags (reusable silicon bags work, too)
  • Vacuum sealer (if using vacuum-sealable bags)
  • Salt and pepper (you can also add butter, a sprig of rosemary, or touch of garlic, although not required for excellent flavor)
  • A frying pan for searing (we recommend using a cast iron skillet, but any pan will do)

And, of course, you’ll need your favorite cut of beef and the sides you’d like to serve with it.

Choosing Steak Cuts for Sous Vide

You can cook almost anything sous vide, and you can’t go wrong with Aspen Ridge® Natural Angus steak products, but the rule of thumb for cooking steak sous vide is to choose thicker cuts (at least 1.5 inches thick) of USDA Prime or Choice beef. New York Strip, Ribeye, Tenderloin, and Top Sirloin Steaks are classic cuts to use, and Flap Steak and Strip Loin also work well. The steak you choose largely depends on your personal preferences on marbling, leanness, and desired portion size. Read our breakdown of Natural Angus beef cuts if you need help deciding!

Natural Angus New York Strip Steaks

A classic choice for sous vide, Natural Angus New York Strip is a tender, lean cut with bold, beefy flavors.

Steps for Cooking Steak Sous Vide

Once you’ve chosen your steak, follow the below steps for preparing:

  1. Choose a 12-26 qt container and fill about 3/4 full. Place the immersion circulator in the water and clip it to the container’s side. Set the immersion circulator to the desired doneness of your steak (see below for temperature ranges).
  2. While water bath is heating, prepare your steak. Pat it dry and season both sides with salt and pepper. Place the steak inside a vacuum bag*, along with any additional herbs or spices you’d like to use.
  3. Vacuum seal the bag and cook the steak according to the times listed below.
  4. About 5 minutes before the end of the cooking time, preheat a frying pan over medium to medium-high heat and add a tablespoon of olive oil for searing the steak.
  5. Remove the bag from the water bath and remove the steak. Pat dry before searing.
  6. Sear about one minute per side or until desired sear is achieved.
  7. Top with butter if you’d like and serve!

*Note: Aspen Ridge vacuum-sealed packaging is not suitable for sous vide cooking. Remove steak from original packaging and transfer to one of the options listed above before cooking.

Beef Sous Vide Cooking Times and Temperatures

Note: According to foodsafety.gov, the minimum safe temperature is 145°F for fresh beef and 160°F for ground beef.

immersion circulator steak sous vide cooking chart

Get Started with Aspen Ridge Natural Angus Beef

Choose Aspen Ridge Natural Angus Beef for cooking sous vide for a high-quality option that not only provides an exceptional eating experience, but one you can feel good about eating. Natural, nutritious, and delicious, Aspen Ridge products are perfect for any eating occasion—whether with friends, family, for a date night, or for yourself. Get more easy tips for cooking steak or get inspired with these exclusive recipes for Natural Angus beef!