Keto Sous Vide Steak Recipe
Cooking a steak in the sous vide produces the best steak. It’s the quality of steak you could find at your favorite steak house. And the best part is, it’s an easy, fool proof way to cook at delicious, juicy, restaurant quality steak.
Seriously, you can put your steaks in the water bath for an hour or two, walk away, and come back to perfect medium rare cooked steak. Sous vide cooking works by heating up a water bath and the proteins in your water bath to a desired temperature. The temperature remains precise and consistent and cooks the proteins to the set temperature and not beyond. So it’s really hard overcook and undercook your steak.
When you cook your steak on a grill, stove top or oven, it’s hard to precisely control the temperature and maintain it at a perfect medium rare temperature. The oven can even fluctuate by 20 degrees over or under! You easily run the risk of under or over cooking your steak unless you babysit it with a thermometer.
Sous vide cooking used to be only a thing high end restaurants would do; however, with the invent of the home immersion cooking, now home cooks around the work can make the best steaks, chicken, and other proteins. The sous vide immersion circulator I use is by Anova. It has wi-fi and bluetooth so you can control it with your smart device.
All you need after the immersion circulator is a really big pot to hold the water, some ziploc bags, and a few clips like clothpins or binder clips to hold the plastic bag to the side of the pot.
The Sous Vide Water Bath
The prepare the water bath for sous vide cooking, all you need is a pot that is big enough to fully submerge your bagged proteins. You can use a big stockpot or a plastic tube. If you really get into cooking sous vide, you can invest in a special plastic tub for cooking your proteins. This tub has four walls so you can clip lots of bags to it and cook up a bunch of steak or different protiens at the same time.
Bagging the Steak for Sous Vide
For bagging your steak in preparation for sous vide cooking, you can use a vacuumed sealed bag or a basic gallon sized ziploc bag. My favorite is the ziplock bag, it is inexpensive and doesn’t snuggle the meat too much. Vacuum sealing can work; however, it can deform the food, especially if more than one protein is going into the bag. If you choose to vacuum seal, only put one steak per vacuum sealed pouch. A ziploc bag, you can get away from adding two steaks to one bag.
If you do add two steaks to one bag, make sure you slide them in so they hang vertically and not horizontally on top of each other. This will allow for more even cooking. If they lay horiontally, one steak could slide on top of the other and you won’t have even consistent cooking all around.
If you are using a ziploc bag to cook your steaks in, it’s important to get as much air out as possible in the plastic bag. Put the bag in the water and partially close the ziploc bag. Gently submerge the bag, seal side up, into the water. As the bag moves, down the water surrounding the bag will for the air out of the bag. Once you have sunk the bag enough that the top of the ziplock seal is slightly above the water, then seal the bag. If the bag wants to sink at this point, you have successful removed all the air. If it floats, you still have air trapped inside, so open it up and repeat again.
Cooking the meat with air trapped in the bag will cause the meat to cook unevenly too. You want the temperature controlled water to nestle up to all sides of the side.
Once your bag is air free, clip it to the side of the water bath vessel using a binder clip, paper clip, chip clip or any clip you have. Make sure that the entire steak if submerged in the water. If it is not, then add more water.
Can you Overcook Steak Sous Vide?
Although the immersion circulator manufacturers will claim that it is impossible to overcook your steak when you cook it sous vide, that is very misleading. Sure, the internal temperature of your meat will stay at a perfect medium rare temperature and the inside will be a redish pink; however, the texture will change if you cook the steak in the water bath too long. The longer you cook the steak, the more tender it becomes but it becomes less juicy and dries out the meat.
This is especially apparent if you overcook seafood in a sous vide water bath, the seafood becomes mushy if cooked too long. With seafood, you should always stick to the recommened sous vide cooking times. Steak is a little more forgiving, so if you go over the recommended cooking time of 1 to 2 hours, you won’t notice a difference. But I wouldn’t let it go past 4 hours sous vide cooking time or else your steak my dry out.
Cooling the Steak Before Searing
Once your steak is done cooking in the sous vide water bath, remove it from the plastic bag and pat it dry with a paper towel. Moisture is the enemy when you try finish your steak with a sear. You will also notice your steak is an unappetizing gray color. That is normal. Once you sear your steak, it will develop that nice brown coloring with an outer crust.
It’s also important to let the steak cool before you sear the steak. Directly out of the water bath, the steak is a perfect 131 degrees or whatever you set you immersion circulator to. If you go straight to a pan or grill to sear the meat, it will heat the inside up past 131 degrees.
If you cool the dried steak in the refrigerator for 10 minutes before searing, this will cool the steak down just enough to allow it to not overcook during searing. This way you can keep it on the skillet or grill for 2 minutes per side resulting in the perfect crust.
Grill Finished Sous Vide Steak
One way to give your sous vide steak a final sear is to throw it on the grill for a couple of minutes. Make sure you are starting with a hot preheated grill. Spray the grill plates with oil or use an oil dipped paper towel and tongs to grease the grill plates. Cook the steaks on the hot grill over direct heat for 1-2 minutes per side.
Pan Seared Sous Vide Steak
One of the most popular wasy to finish a steak is in a skillet. I love to use cast iron to pan sear my proteins. My favorite cast iron pans are by Finex. This cast iron pan provides even heat distribution and the Finex handles are made of stainless steel and cool off faster than a cast iron handle.
My other favorite skillet is are these pans by All-Clad. If you are looking for a good set of stainless steel skillets that provide the best heat distribution and are easy to clean and worth the investment.
Pour in a couple tablespoons of avocado oil or neutrol oil with a high smoke point into your preheated skillet over medium high heat. Add your steak, then add the butter. Sear on each side for 1-2 minutes. I like to scoop up the melted butter and oil and pour it over the steak throughout the cooking process because that’s what I saw Gordon Ramsay do one time. But I also think it adds a buttery flavor throughout and helps to form the perfect crust.
Blow Torch Finished Sous Vide Steak
One final way you can finish your Sous Vide Steak to give it a perfect sear and outer crust, is to sear it with a blow torch. This will cook the outside of the steak under direct flame and will crip up any fat perfectly and quickly. The only downside is that it can give you steak a gasy flavor if you give torch it for too long.
Some people recommend pan searing the steak on one side while torching the steak at the same time from the top. This helps to limit the time spent searing in the pan since you get target all sides of the steak at the same time. And you don’t run the risk of over cooking your perfectly cooked medium rare steak.
Meal Prep Sous Vide Ideas
One of the coolest features of cooking with sous vide, is that you can use it to meal prep your proteins! You can sous vide cook your desired proteins ahead of time, i.e over the weekend if you are prepping food for the week. Pat the meat dry and store in the refrigerator.
When you are ready to eat, pull the protein out and pop it back in the sous vide water bath for 30 minutes. This will heat the inside of the meat so that the interior of the meat gets warm. Nobody wants to eat a cold steak. Then give your protein a final sear like normal in a pan, grill or via torch.
Marinades and Aromatics
If desired, you can add marinades to the bag with your steak while it is cooking in the water bath. The warm bath temperature will help marinade the steak while it cooks.
You can also add armoatics to the bag to infuse different flavors and seasonings to the meat. Try adding a sprig of thyme or rosemary. Garlic cloves can be added to the bag as well.