If you’re interested in trying out sous vide cooking with steak, then the strip steak is an excellent cut to try with. It’s a relatively simple cut to cook with just about any method, and a couple of hours in a precision sous vide cooker brings it to your ideal cook without much work from you.
This method is almost like slow cooking, but without needing the same length of time. Learn how to sous vide strip steak like professional chefs do.
Table of Contents
Preparation for Sous Vide Strip Steak
Cooking sous vide requires a precision cooker or a large pot with a thermometer clicked to its side. Prepare the water bath to 130 degrees for medium-rare. Then, season your strip steak to your liking on both sides. Place one steak in each bag before removing the bag’s air and sealing it. Submerge the bags in the water to begin cooking.
For a medium-rare strip steak cooked with sous vide, you’ll need about 2 to 2 ½ hours in the precision cooker and 4-6 minutes in a skillet to sear. Higher levels of doneness can cook for up to 4 hours.
Use the following temperature guide based on your preferred doneness level. Set the water bath to the first temperature, and use a meat thermometer to check the final temperature after cooking and resting.
Cooking to Medium Rare
A medium-rare strip steak leaves a pink, juicy middle to enjoy. Start by setting a water bath to 130 degrees. Season the steaks and add one steak to each bag. Seal the bags and submerge them in the water. Cook for up to 2 ½ hours. Then, sear the steaks on each side for 2-3 minutes in a preheated skillet with a drizzle of oil.
Strip Steak Sous Vide Tips
Here are a few tips to use as you learn how to sous vide strip steak.
Thickness is key with sous vide cooking, as thinner steaks can easily overcook to the point of getting a bit chewy with sous vide. Look for strip steaks at least 1 ½ inches thick, or closer or over two inches, if possible. This thickness allows the inside of the steak to cook more evenly with the outside, resulting in that juicy pink middle you want for medium-rare.
Season Well Before Bagging
Part of the fun of sous vide cooking is seasoning your steaks to your liking. As the steaks cook via the water bath, the seasonings you include in each bag permeate through the meat to enhance its flavor. We always suggest a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper but feel free to add garlic powder, cayenne pepper, or some fresh thyme or rosemary to really bring out your favorite flavors in the end result.
Use a Thermometer to Check the Temperature
Check the temperature of your steak with a thermometer after removing it from its bags and before searing. For medium-rare, it should be around 128-132 degrees. During the searing and resting processes, the steak will rise a few more degrees, giving you a final temperature of about 135 degrees. If it needs a little more time, you can put it back in the skillet for another minute or two.
Choosing the Right Cut
Are you torn between different types of strip steaks you find in the grocery store or at the butcher? Here’s what to know:
- Aged vs. Non-Aged: Aged steaks go through a process that enhances their flavor and texture through the gradual breakdown of enzymes. Aging can benefit sous vide steaks, allowing you to get the highest-quality results from the sous vide process.
- Labels: Steaks come labeled as USDA Choice, USDA Prime, Wagyu, etc. Premium Angus, USDA Prime, and Wagyu, respectively, are the top tiers in steak quality. If they fit your budget, choose one of these options for the best results.
Sous Vide Strip Steak Instructions
Follow along with these instructions to learn how to sous vide strip steak:
Step 1: Prepare the Steak and Bags
Season each steak generously with salt and pepper on both sides. Add your choice of other seasonings, if desired, like garlic powder or smoked paprika. You can also add a sprig or two of thyme or rosemary to each bag. Place one steak in each bag and seal them, removing as much air as possible.
Step 2: Cook Strip Steak
Carefully lower the bags into a preheated water bath set to 130 degrees, making sure they’re fully submerged. Allow to cook for up to 2 ½ hours for medium-rare. For a higher doneness level, cook for up to 4 hours.
Step 3: Sear and Rest the Strip Steak
Preheat a skillet to medium-high heat with a drizzle of oil. Remove steaks from the bags and pat them dry thoroughly. Rest them for 5 minutes while skillet heats. Then, sear on each side for 2-3 minutes until golden-brown. Rest on a foil-tented plate for 5-10 minutes. Enjoy!
Sous Vide Strip Steak Recipe
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 2 ½ hours
- 2 strip steaks
- Fresh herbs of choice, like thyme or rosemary
- Olive oil
- Prepare the water bath, setting it to 130 degrees for medium-rare. Sprinkle salt and pepper and your choice of other seasonings on both sides of the steaks. Add one steak per sous vide bag, along with a sprig or two of thyme or rosemary (optional). Seal the bags, removing all air.
- Place the bags carefully into the water, allowing them to submerge fully. Cook for 2-2 ½ hours.
- Remove steaks from their bags. Pat dry and let rest for 5 minutes. Preheat a skillet with one tablespoon of oil. Then, sear the steaks on each side for 2-3 minutes. Rest on a foil-tented plate for 5-10 minutes prior to serving.
Sous Vide FAQ’s
How long should you sous vide a strip steak?
Most strip steaks will be ready via sous vide cooking within 2-4 hours. Avoid cooking past 4 hours to prevent the steak from becoming mushy.
Should I marinade sous vide strip steak?
You can marinate strip steak before using the sous vide cooking method if you want to add a little flavor to the steak. Keep the steak in the marinade for at least two hours prior to cooking. Add a couple of teaspoons of the marinade to the sous vide bag to help the flavor penetrate the steak while cooking.
How can I sous vide strip steak to medium-rare?
Set the water bath to 130 degrees. Add your steak and choice of herbs to a sous vide bag and seal the bag. Submerge it in the water bath and cook for 2-2 ½ hours for medium-rare. Then, sear in a skillet on both sides. Rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.
Can you sous vide strip steak from frozen?
Yes, although it’s recommended to defrost and bring the steak to room temperature before cooking. To cook from frozen, allow for about 4 hours of cooking rather than the usual 2-2 ½ hours.
Sous Vide Strip Steak
- 2 strip steaks
- fresh herbs of choice, like rosemary or thyme
- olive oil
- Prepare the water bath, setting it to 130 degrees for medium-rare. Sprinkle salt and pepper and your choice of other seasonings on both sides of the steaks. Add one steak per sous vide bag, along with a sprig or two of thyme or rosemary (optional). Seal the bags, removing all air
- Place the bags carefully into the water, allowing them to submerge fully. Cook for 2-2 ½ hours
- Remove steaks from their bags. Pat dry and let rest for 5 minutes. Preheat a skillet with one tablespoon of oil. Then, sear the steaks on each side for 2-3 minutes. Rest on a foil-tented plate for 5-10 minutes prior to serving