Sousvide is a method of cooking which submerges a sealed food in to a constant temperature water bath for several hours. A Strip Steak cooked at 132°F for 2 hours results in a perfect medium rare interior temperature.
I’ve been on the Souvide train for a little over a year now. I don’t think there’s any argument that it’s one of the best cooking methods for steaks, chops, or chicken. There’s plenty more you can sousvide like fish, eggs, and yogurt but I’ve yet to dip my toe in those circulating water baths. Ew, gross.
What sousvide does is brings your food up to temperature and keeps it right there for as long as you want. The benefit is two fold. One, there are no hot spots; from tip to tip and inside and out, the food is exactly the same temperature. Two, the precision of getting your food to the exact temperature you want. This is ideal for steaks where a few degrees can be the difference between medium and medium rare. Medium rare is 129°F to 134°F so I usually set my circulator to 132°F. A smaller steak like a strip steak will cook at this temp for a couple hours. For something a little bigger or that has a higher fat content, you’ll want to cook it for another hour or more. The cooking time is flexible though because we have such a precise temperature to cook with. It takes some time for the meat to ‘cook’ or get up to temp but then it just stays there so there’s little fear of overcooking.
There’s actually a third benefit; comparatively little loss of juices when you’re cooking sousvide. On a hot grill or skillet your meat would constrict and release juices which would cook off. This is not the case when your food is sealed in a plastic bag. This produces a much more tender and juicy steak.
Prep the steak (or any meat) by lightly salting it and placing it in a plastic zip top bag. Seal the bag most of the way then submerge it in the water leaving just the unsealed portion above the water. As you lower the bag in to the water the air will be pushed out. Seal the bag and make sure all the meat is below the water.
One note with the sousvide method is although the meat is cooked and safe to eat, it’s not the prettiest or tastiest steak. To finish the steak you need to apply direct heat to the exterior for a minute or so. This will give you that nice crust which not only looks better, it adds a ton of flavor. A skillet, the broiler, a grill or even a blow torch can all accomplish this. Just be careful not too cook it a moment longer than you need to. You just want to develop some flavor and color while retaining as much of that edge to edge medium rare on the interior of the steak.
I use the Anova Bluetooth Precision Cooker. There’s a newer, more powerful model with WiFi. The WiFi model is pretty awesome. You could set the unit to cook your food as you leave for work in the morning then turn it off after a couple hours regardless of where you are. It even has Amazon Alexa integration so you can ask Alexa to cook your steak. The future is here and it can cook you a perfect steak!!