Sous-Vide Steaks

Note: The science behind sous-vide is fascinating. Check it out here.

About the author: After graduating from MIT, J. Kenji Lopez-Alt spent many years as a chef, recipe developer, writer, and editor in Boston. He now lives in New York with his wife, where he runs a private chef business, KA Cuisine, and co-writes the blog about sustainable food enjoyment. Become a fan of The Food Lab on Facebook for play-by-plays on future kitchen tests and recipe experiments.

Sous-Vide Steaks


  • 4 steaks, 1/2 pound each (see note)
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 sprigs thyme (optional)
  • 2 garlic cloves (optional)
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil


  1. 1

    Season steaks generously with salt and pepper. Place in sous-vide bags along with aromatics and distribute evenly. Seal bags and place in water bath set at desired temperature (see note). Allow steaks to cook for at least 45 minutes, and up to 12 hours.

  2. 2

    When ready to eat, add oil to heavy-bottomed stainless-steel or cast iron skillet large enough to hold steaks comfortably in single layer. Heat over high heat until oil is beginning to smoke. Meanwhile, remove steaks from bag and carefully pat dry on paper towels. Carefully steaks to smoking oil and cook until well browned on all sides, about 2 minutes total. Transfer to paper towels to drain, and serve.


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