Mastering Sous Vide: Discovering Beef Cooking Techniques from Herd 77

Photo Credit: The New York Times

Mastering Sous Vide: Discovering Beef Cooking Techniques from Herd 77

Welcome to our prime quality beef farm, where we're always exploring ways to elevate the flavor of our premium beef with innovative cooking methods. In this post, we're diving into the world of sous vide – a culinary technique that's revolutionizing the way beef is cooked. Join us as we explore the origins, techniques, and benefits of sous vide, and discover how this method can take your beef dishes to new heights of perfection. 

The Origins of Sous Vide:

Sous vide, which translates to "under vacuum" in French, is a cooking technique that originated in the 1970s. It was pioneered by French chef Georges Pralus and later popularized by renowned chef Bruno Goussault. Sous vide involves vacuum-sealing food in a plastic pouch and cooking it in a water bath at a precisely controlled temperature for an extended period. This gentle, low-temperature cooking method ensures consistent results and allows for precise control over the cooking process. 

Equipment Required:

These are the basic equipment requirements for sous vide cooking steaks. As you become more experienced, you may discover additional accessories or tools that enhance your sous vide cooking experience.

  1. Sous Vide Precision Cooker: This is the main device used for sous vide cooking. It heats and circulates water to a precise temperature, allowing you to cook food evenly. This one from Amazon is a popular choice that is budget friendly and highly rated.
  2. Water Container: You'll need a container large enough to hold enough water to fully submerge your food while leaving room for circulation. This can be a large pot, a plastic container, or even a dedicated sous vide container.
  3. Vacuum Sealer (optional): While not strictly necessary, a vacuum sealer helps remove air from the cooking bags, ensuring a good seal and efficient heat transfer. However, you can also use zip-top bags and the water displacement method (explained below) as an alternative. This one from Amazon is by the popular brand, FoodSaver.
  4. Sous Vide Bags: Specialized bags designed for sous vide cooking are heat-resistant and allow for efficient heat transfer. However, you can also use high-quality zip-top bags, ensuring they are labeled as safe for sous vide cooking.

If you don’t have a vacuum sealer, the water displacement method is a simple and effective way to remove air from zip-top bags without requiring a vacuum sealer. Here's how to do it:

  1. Place your seasoned food item (such as a steak) into a high-quality zip-top bag. Ensure that the opening of the bag is at the top.
  2. Slowly lower the bag with the food into a container of water, leaving the opening of the bag above the water's surface.
  3. As you lower the bag, the water pressure will push air out of the bag. This creates a vacuum effect. Make sure to keep the opening of the bag above the waterline to prevent water from entering the bag.
  4. Once most of the air has been pushed out and the bag is almost fully submerged, carefully seal the bag. You can use this opportunity to check for any remaining air pockets and push them out before sealing completely.
  5. Your food is now ready for sous vide cooking using the sealed bag. Make sure to follow the recommended cooking times and temperatures for your recipe.

 Techniques for Cooking Various Cuts of Beef by Sous Vide:

Sous vide cooking is a great way to achieve precise temperature control and consistent results, especially with steaks. Sous vide is particularly well-suited for cooking beef, as it allows for precise temperature control and ensures optimal tenderness and flavor. Here are some techniques for cooking various cuts of beef using sous vide.

Sous Vide Steaks:



  1. Preheat your sous vide water bath to your desired doneness temperature. Here are some general guidelines for steak doneness:
    • Rare: 120°F
    • Medium Rare: 130°F
    • Medium: 140°F
    • Medium Well: 150°F
    • Well Done: 160°F
  2. Season your steaks generously with salt and pepper. Optionally, you can add herbs like thyme or rosemary and a clove of garlic to the bag for extra flavor.
  3. Place each steak in a separate vacuum-sealed bag. If you don't have a vacuum sealer, you can use the water displacement method.
  4. Once the water bath has reached the desired temperature, carefully submerge the sealed bags into the water bath. Make sure the steaks are fully submerged and not crowded.
  5. Cook the steaks for 1 to 2 hours. The longer cooking time will result in a more tender steak, but even an hour will yield good results.
  6. After the cooking time is up, remove the steaks from the water bath and carefully take them out of the bags. Pat them dry with paper towels.
  7. Preheat a cast-iron skillet or grill to high heat.
  8. Sear the steaks for about 1 minute on each side, or until a nice crust forms. Optionally, you can add a pat of butter to the skillet for extra flavor.
  9. Remove the steaks from the skillet and let them rest for a few minutes before serving.
  10. Enjoy your perfectly cooked sous vide steaks!

Remember that sous vide cooking provides precise control over the doneness of the steak, so you can adjust the temperature and cooking time according to your preferences.

Benefits of Sous Vide vs Other Methods:

Sous vide offers several advantages over traditional cooking methods such as grilling, roasting, or pan-searing:

Precise Temperature Control: Sous vide allows for precise control over the cooking temperature, resulting in evenly cooked beef with perfect doneness every time. 

Consistent Results: With sous vide, there's minimal risk of overcooking or undercooking the beef, ensuring consistently tender and flavorful results. 

Optimal Tenderness: The gentle, low-temperature cooking process of sous vide breaks down tough connective tissues in beef cuts, resulting in exceptionally tender and juicy meat. 

Enhanced Flavor Retention: Vacuum-sealing the beef in a plastic pouch helps retain moisture and flavor during the cooking process, resulting in beef that's moist, flavorful, and succulent. 

Convenience and Flexibility: Sous vide allows for hands-off cooking, freeing up time to prepare other components of the meal. Additionally, beef can be cooked in advance and held at the desired temperature until ready to serve, making it a convenient option for entertaining or meal prep.

Incorporating sous vide into your cooking repertoire opens up a world of culinary possibilities and allows you to create restaurant-quality beef dishes in the comfort of your own home. 

Whether you're cooking steaks, brisket, or a prime rib roast, sous vide ensures perfect results every time, leaving you with tender, flavorful beef that's sure to impress. So, stock up on our prime beef cuts, and get ready to elevate your cooking game with the art of sous vide.

Click here to shop for prime-quality beef from our family farm in Southern Iowa. We ship nationwide and orders over $150 qualify for free shipping!

Shop our entire collection or choose from prime quality steaks, samplers and specialty beef items.