There are a myriad of methodologies when it comes to cooking the perfect steak. Some prefer to season and throw it on the grill, while others might prefer to pan fry it. Some prefer to sear then bake it, while others prefer to bake and then sear it(reverse sear method). So which one works best and what is this Sous Vide mentioned in the title?
When it comes to cooking the perfect steak, the most common and crucial component to any method is temperature control. No matter how good of a crust you form or how well you season the steak, if it comes out medium well, when you really wanted a medium rare, it's not going to be a desirable or memorable meal. The Sous Vide cooking method is kind of like the scientific approach to cooking a steak where you can dial the finish temperature in down to the degree so the end product is exactly where you want it.
How does a Sous Vide work?
The process is fairly straight forward. You vacuum seal your steak in a BPA free plastic bag. At this stage, feel free to add seasoning or even a light marinade for the steak to be exposed to while cooking. You then place this sealed bag into a water bath where the water is set to the desired finished temperature of your steak. The actual Sous Vide device clips onto the edge of the container you are using and it circulates the water while also heating it to the set temperature. The steak should stay in this water for a minimum of 1 hour to a max of 4 hours but the minimum time should really be based on how thick the steak is. After the steak is fully cooked to the desired temperature, let the steak rest and then sear it for a perfect crust. Whether the steak is 3/4 inch thick or and entire prime rib, this method will produce a perfectly cooked steak throughout, every time.
How do I Sous Vide at home?
This is how I personally prepare my steaks when using a Sous Vide: Step 1) Using a medium stock pot, I fill it with hot water, clip the Sous Vide on the side and set it to my desired finish temp of 127 degrees(using my Sous Vide - temperatures vary so find the right temp with your own Sous Vide). Step 2) Season the steak with salt and pepper(Feel free to experiment at this point) and place into a BPA free vacuum seal bag and seal it with a vacuum sealer. If you don't have a vacuum sealer, place the steak in a BPA free ziplock bag and slowly lower the bag into water to create a vacuum. Seal the bag when water is almost to the top. Step 3) The easy part. Let the steak cook in the Sous Vide for about 1.5 hours. Step 4) Remove the steak from the Sous Vide and remove the steak from the bag. Using paper towels, pat the steak dry to remove as much moisture as possible from the outside of the steak. Step 5) Heat up a cast iron skillet on the stove on high. Add 3 tablespoons of clarified butter. Clarified butter has a higher smoke point than regular butter so it's better to use when doing a hot sear.
Step 6) When the butter is nice and hot, sear each side of the steak for 30-45 seconds per side. Spoon the hot butter from the pan over the top of the steak as each side cook. Remove from the pan after each side sears.
Step 7) Let it rest for 5 minutes before cutting into it.
Step 8) Enjoy!
Post Note: This is the Sous Vide I use. It connects to wifi so temperature adjustments can be made via an app. LINK