Saturday, January 3, 2015

Sous Vide Strip Steak

Imagine a world where every time you cooked a steak it would be a perfect medium rare. Exactly and precisely 131º at the center of the meat, every time. Not 127º or 135º, but an absolute perfect 131º every time. Thanks to my girlfriend's Christmas gift to me, I have entered that world.

That world is made possible by sous vide cooking. It's pronounced "soo veed" and it means "under vacuum". Here's today's recipe in a nutshell: You put the steak in a vacuum bag and then cook it in a water bath at 131º for one hour. Pull the steak out of the bag and sear on each side for 1 minute...then season and serve.

Sous vide used to be the sole domain of high end restaurants, largely because the the equipment cost thousands of dollars to install. A few years back a few consumer models popped up, but they were close to $1,000. In the last few years a few models have been popping up that are very affordable and user friendly. The model I got is made by Anova and it's available on Amazon for just $199. (

It couldn't be any simpler to operate. You simply clamp it to the side of a tall pot, fill with water and then set the time and temperature. Steaks, fish, eggs, vegetables, poultry.......all are cooked to an exact and precise temperature every time. There's no under-cooking....every meal is cooked to the perfect, absolute temperature. Throw out your meat thermometers...they are rendered obsolete by sous vide cooking.

My one piece of advice would be to always sear any meat/poultry/seafood for one minute per side after cooking sous vide. You can pan-sear or grill, it makes no difference. The food will benefit from the resulting maillard reaction and the sear will give it a little structure. Also, I would suggest you serve all sous vide dishes on warmed plates as sous vide cooked-dishes tend to lose their heat more quickly than conventionally cooked dishes.

If you're just starting out, I'd recommend Grace Lee's cookbook. ( It  will give you a good command of the basics and some really good recipes to begin your sous vide journey. This recipe serves two.

Two,  8-ounce New York Strip Steaks, about 1 1/2 inches thick
1 vacuum bag


  1. Clamp sous vide cooker to a tall pot and fill water to designated level.
  2. Adjust temperature for desired doneness: 122º for rare; 131º for medium rare; 140º for medium; 158º for well done.
  3. Seal steaks in vacuum bag and insert into water when the correct water temperature is reached.
  4. After 1 hour, remove steaks from bag. Sear on each side for 1 minute. Then season and serve.

Wine pairing: Cabernet Sauvignon

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