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How do I prepare the perfect steak?

Many amateur cooks find it difficult to prepare a steak perfectly. The solution is to prepare the steak sous vide. In this blog you will find the most important parts to prepare a steak sous vide perfectly.

Anyone can prepare sous vide steak

The best way to cook a steak is to prepare it sous vide. The outside of the meat has a crispy golden brown crust. The inside of the meat is juicy, full of flavor and has an even pink color. Match it with a red wine for the perfect combination.

Everyone has tried cooking a tender steak sous vide at least once anyway. They have probably come out in all kinds of variations: too raw, cold, bloody or even tough. During the preparation there can be stress. The steak has to be taken out of the oven or pan in time, which in a traditional preparation is a second job.

In addition, many people think that the perfect steak is only available in a restaurant. This is not true. Not anymore at least. The reason for this is that everyone can now cook sous vide at home. It is therefore possible to prepare the perfect steak at home , exactly how you like your steak. From dummy to star chef, everyone can now prepare steak perfectly with sous vide.

What do I need for the perfect steak?

To cook a steak sous vide, you obviously need a sous vide appliance. The bags used in this blog are special sous vide bags. If you want to have everything you need at home to cook sous vide, then we have put together a all-in-one package set up for you. You can start right away with this.

We can't wait for you to try sous vide. So I suggest you learn all about sous vide here, then come back and we'll make the most flavorful and stunning steak together 🙂

Sous-vide-complete-package

Ingredients

  • Steak
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh herbs such as thyme, rosemary or bay leaf
  • Butter

Preparation of sous vide steak

  1. Bring the steak up to temperature
    Take the steak out of the fridge about 30 minutes before cooking. The reason for this is that the core temperature of the meat rises, making the sous vide process more effective.
  2. Geteverything ready Take a pan or sous vide container and fill it with hot water. Set the sous vide device to the desired temperature (see table below) and let the water heat up.
  3. Give 't taste Season the steak with salt and pepper. Put the steak together with olive oil, thyme or bay leaf in the Souvy sous vide bags.
  4. Curing Place the sous vide bag in the water bath and set the timer properly. The correct time is shown in the table at the bottom of this article. You can see the correct temperature in the table in the next paragraph. When the timer has gone off, remove the steak from the sous vide bag and pat it dry with a cloth or kitchen roll.
  5. Fry Heat a pan with oil and fry the steak briefly on high heat until lightly browned. Finally, add a knob of butter.
  6. Serve Serve immediately and enjoy the steak.

Go to the butcher for a nice steak. The better the quality of the steak, the better the results! Lower the airtight steak into a preheated water container. Don't have a vacuming machine? You can easily do this here. Take the steak out when you are ready to enjoy it. Forget about time pressure and stress when preparing a steak. Forget about checking every minute to see if the steak is done. From now on you can leave the steak in the sous vide tray or pan until you are ready to eat it.

The only thing left to do is to fry the outside of the steak until golden brown. You can briefly fry the steak in a red-hot pan until golden brown. Grilling it on the barbecue is also an option. Sous vide is the simplest way to prepare a steak, and yet the taste is fascinating. It is a way to prepare a steak tasteful, tender, juicy and with an even color. There is only one way to be convinced; that is to taste it.

Cooking temperature

With sous vide cooking, the right temperature of the product is very important. A few degrees higher or lower will already give a different result. In the picture below you can see the difference in colour of a steak. To give a good example we prepared steak sous vide on three temperatures. Namely at 51 degrees, 55 degrees and 61 degrees. The type of steak is also important.

Below the image you can read which species can be prepared sous vide using these cooking times and temperatures.

sous vide steak

 Doneness Celsius °C Fahrenheit ºF
Weird 50 – 52 °C 122 – 125 °F
Medium rare 53 – 58 °C 127 – 136 °F
Medium 59 – 63 °C 138 – 145 °F
Medium well 64 – 67 °C 147 – 152 °F
Well done. 68°C + 154 °F +

Different kinds of steak

Each type of steak has its own specific taste and tenderness. To make clear what types of meat we are talking about, below are some examples and explanations. This mainly concerns the following types of beef:

  • Beef

    Beef tenderloin is considered the softest and most tender piece of beef. This piece runs along the back and loin. If the tenderloin together with the loin is attached to the vertebra, it is also called a T-bone. The reason for this is that the vertebra has the shape of a 'T'.

  • Steak

    Steak is the general name for tender, lean muscle meat. The name comes from the Englishbeefsteakand comes in many variations. But if you order it from the butcher, it is mainly cut from the thick parts of the top of the rump. The rump steak is cut from a part of the top of the rump and the muscle (the ball) of the cow. The tenderness of the steak is determined by a number of factors, including the breed, age and sex of the animal. Furthermore, the maturity plays an important role in the quality of the meat.

  • Sirloin steak

    The sirloin steak comes from the striploin and is recognizable by its shape and the edge of fat. This rim of fat is attached to the meat and imparts flavour during frying. So leave it on! The sirloin steak is slightly firmer than the tournedos and has a little more flavour.

  • Ribeye

    The rib eye comes from the same part as the sirloin steak. The ribeye is the fat edge through the meat. The name ribeye comes from the fact that with some imagination the fat in the meat looks like an eye. A large piece of sirloin steak or ribeye is also called a Côte de Boeuf. Discover here the ribeye sous vide recipe.

  • T-bone

    The so-called t-bone is the piece of meat between the ribs, like a sirloin steak, but with bone. Therefore there is another piece of meat on it, namely the tenderloin. It is an ideal piece of meat for the real meat lover because there are two different steaks: tenderloin and sirloin.

  • Sukade

    For a long time, people thought that sukkot was only a steak. Nothing is less true. Sucade is cut from the shoulder. A large tendon runs through the meat. This type of meat has a characteristic taste and structure. This makes this steak definitely worth preparing! Curious about sous vide prepared stew meat? Then take a look at the sous vide stew meat recipe.

  • Bavette

    An increasingly popular cut of beef is the bavette. This piece comes from the so-called catch and is also called the catching flank. It is a piece of meat from the bottom of the animal. The structure is coarse, but it has a lot of flavour. Bavette is also referred to as flank steak and striploin. A piece of meat with many names!

  • Tailpiece

    A relatively unknown piece of meat in the Netherlands is the Picanha. It is also called tail meat. The piece is recognizable by its triangular shape and the clear creamy white layer of fat. The meat is on the back of the back above the tail, hence the name tail.

  • Jew's tenderloin

    Diamond fillet, shoulder fillet or Jew fillet is the piece of meat that can be found between the shoulders of the ox. The Jew's hare owes its name to the fact that Jews are not allowed to eat meat from the hind legs, due to the food laws. The Jew's hare is on the front of the animal and may therefore be eaten. View the sous vide tenderloin recipe here.

  • Lung tenderloin

    The lung tenderloin owes its name to the fact that the muscle causes the lungs to move. The fillet runs along the diaphragm of the animal. This piece of meat is also becoming more famous in the Netherlands, while it has been on the menu in French bistros for years. The fillet is also known as the onglet.

Maillaird response

After the sous vide preparation of meat there is also a need for finishing. Because the meat is slow cooked as it were, it partly misses the well-known Maillard reaction which occurs when frying meat. The lower the temperature at which the meat is cooked, the slower the reaction. In short: the Maillard reaction does occur when cooking at a lower temperature, but to a lesser extent.

The solution to this is simple: after the sous vide preparation, fry the food briefly on high heat. This creates that pleasant recognisable baking flavour! This reaction occurs when something is heated for a crispy crust or roasted taste. The three important elements for this reaction are:

  1. Sugars
  2. Amino acids
  3. Heating

sous vide steak

How does it work exactly?

In a Maillard reaction, the sugars in the meat give roasted meat that specific smell and taste experience. There are various ways to create this reaction, for example by briefly frying the meat in the pan or broiling it.

There are several ways to give steak that crispy golden brown exterior. Depending on which way you choose, you can decide whether you can season the steak with salt and pepper before or after. When this should be done before or after you see in the next paragraph. A number of ways to give the steak that reaction are:

  1. Baking
  2. Roast
  3. Grilling
  4. Frying
  1. Frying steak in the pan

    The most common way to cook a steak is in the pan. This can be done before or after the meat has been cooked sous vide. Season the steak generously with salt and pepper. Then preheat the pan with oil, for example sunflower oil, peanut oil or olive oil. Briefly fry the steak in the pan and make sure it gets a golden brown crust. This takes less than a minute per side. Remove it from the pan, place the steak on a warm plate and serve immediately.
    Fry steak in a pan

  2. Roasting in the oven

    Preheat the oven to 250 °C. Season the steak generously with salt and pepper. Place it on a grill in the oven for about three to four minutes. Take it out, let the meat rest for a while and then serve immediately.

  3. Grilling

    You can grill the steak for example in a grill pan or on a barbecue. Make sure that the grill is glowing hot, because you only want to give the steak that golden brown crust and not cook it. Grill the steak for about 1 minute and then turn it over. A big advantage of the charcoal from the barbecue is the nice grill marks and the smoky taste. Remove from the grill and place on a warm plate or serve immediately.
    sous vide steak grilling

  4. Frying

    Yes seriously, frying. When deep-frying, it is important to season the steak afterwards. Because the fryer is very hot the pepper will burn immediately if it is put on beforehand. Set the fryer to 200 °C. Pat the steak dry before frying and then lower it into the oil. The steak should be in the fryer for about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the fryer and place on a warm plate. Season the steak and serve immediately.

Salting before or after?

There are many stories about whether meat should be seasoned with salt before or after cooking. Chefs or cooks often have different opinions about it. It is a fact that salt can change the structure of the meat. This is a matter of time, because the longer the meat is in contact with salt, the more the structure of the meat changes.

With sous vide cooking of a steak, it doesn't matter if before or after the meat is salted. So you can choose to do this before or after. It works perfectly both ways.

sous vide steak salting

Preparation time for a steak sous vide

To figure out how long to cook a steak sous vide, you need to know the thickness of the meat. Grab a ruler or tape measure and measure the meat. This table is mainly about the minimum time a steak should be in the water bath.

If a steak is twice as thick as a certain thickness in the table below, it does not mean that the minimum cooking time is also twice as much. As the thickness of the meat increases, it takes exponentially more time to reach the core of the meat and heat it up. A steak with a thickness of 2.5 centimeters is ready after 60 minutes, but it can lie in the water bath for an hour longer without further cooking. That is the beauty of sous vide cooking. While the steak is cooking sous vide, you have the opportunity to prepare the rest of the dish. Check out the table below for all the guidelines of the thicknesses.

Thickness in centimetres Thickness in inches Duration in minutes
0,60 0,25 23
1,25 0,5 31
2,5 1 60
5 2 173
7,5 3 354

Recipes of sous vide steak

For the recipes below, you will definitely need a sous vide appliance. Check out our range of the best sous vide appliances here. Or check out one of the sous vide steak recipes below: