Ingredients to Put in a Sous Vide Steak Bag

When it comes to cooking the perfect sous vide steak, the ingredients you put in the bag are crucial. The right combination of steak, seasonings, aromatics, and fats will ensure your steak turns out juicy and bursting with flavor after its gentle sous vide cook and quick sear at the end. Here’s a breakdown of what you should put in your sous vide steak bag.


Sous Vide Products I Use Every Day

As an Amazon affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Anova Culinary AN400-US00 Nano Sous Vide Precision Cooker, 12.8" x 2.2" x 4.1", Black
Anova Precision Cooker Container 12L
IMPRESA [10 pack] Sous Vide Magnets to Keep Bags Submerged & In Place - Sous Vide Accessories to Stop Floating Bags & Undercooking - Great Alternative to Sous Vide Weights, Balls, Clips, & Racks
Anova Culinary ANVS01-US00 Anova Precision Vacuum Sealer, Includes 10 Precut Bags, For Sous Vide and Food Storage
Wevac Vacuum Sealer Bags 8x50, 11x50 Rolls 2 pack for Food Saver, Seal a Meal, Weston. Commercial Grade, BPA Free, Heavy Duty, Great for vac storage, Meal Prep or Sous Vide
Anova Culinary AN400-US00 Nano Sous Vide Precision Cooker, 12.8" x 2.2" x 4.1", Black
Anova Precision Cooker Container 12L
IMPRESA [10 pack] Sous Vide Magnets to Keep Bags Submerged & In Place - Sous Vide Accessories to Stop Floating Bags & Undercooking - Great Alternative to Sous Vide Weights, Balls, Clips, & Racks
Anova Culinary ANVS01-US00 Anova Precision Vacuum Sealer, Includes 10 Precut Bags, For Sous Vide and Food Storage
Wevac Vacuum Sealer Bags 8x50, 11x50 Rolls 2 pack for Food Saver, Seal a Meal, Weston. Commercial Grade, BPA Free, Heavy Duty, Great for vac storage, Meal Prep or Sous Vide
$99.00
$129.00
$24.99
$59.90
$18.99
Anova Culinary AN400-US00 Nano Sous Vide Precision Cooker, 12.8" x 2.2" x 4.1", Black
Anova Culinary AN400-US00 Nano Sous Vide Precision Cooker, 12.8" x 2.2" x 4.1", Black
$99.00
Anova Precision Cooker Container 12L
Anova Precision Cooker Container 12L
$129.00
IMPRESA [10 pack] Sous Vide Magnets to Keep Bags Submerged & In Place - Sous Vide Accessories to Stop Floating Bags & Undercooking - Great Alternative to Sous Vide Weights, Balls, Clips, & Racks
IMPRESA [10 pack] Sous Vide Magnets to Keep Bags Submerged & In Place - Sous Vide Accessories to Stop Floating Bags & Undercooking - Great Alternative to Sous Vide Weights, Balls, Clips, & Racks
$24.99
Anova Culinary ANVS01-US00 Anova Precision Vacuum Sealer, Includes 10 Precut Bags, For Sous Vide and Food Storage
Anova Culinary ANVS01-US00 Anova Precision Vacuum Sealer, Includes 10 Precut Bags, For Sous Vide and Food Storage
$59.90
Wevac Vacuum Sealer Bags 8x50, 11x50 Rolls 2 pack for Food Saver, Seal a Meal, Weston. Commercial Grade, BPA Free, Heavy Duty, Great for vac storage, Meal Prep or Sous Vide
Wevac Vacuum Sealer Bags 8x50, 11x50 Rolls 2 pack for Food Saver, Seal a Meal, Weston. Commercial Grade, BPA Free, Heavy Duty, Great for vac storage, Meal Prep or Sous Vide
$18.99

Last update on 2024-06-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Steak Selection

Choosing the right cut of steak is one of the most important factors for sous vide success. Though you can cook any steak with the sous vide method, the best cuts to use are:

  • Ribeye – This well-marbled and tender cut is perfect for sous vide cooking. The fat renders gently, basting the steak in its own juices.
  • Strip Steak – Also known as New York Strip, this cut has great beefy flavor and responds well to sous vide‘s gentle cooking. The fat content keeps it moist.
  • Filet Mignon – Extremely tender, this lean cut benefits from the moisture-locking powers of sous vide. The texture comes out velvety smooth.
  • Sirloin – Less expensive but still flavorful, sirloin steak has a moderate fat content that holds up well to sous vide.

No matter the cut, choose steaks that are 1-2 inches thick. This thickness allows short cook times while still producing that perfect medium-rare interior.

Seasonings

Seasoning is vital for adding big, bold flavor to sous vide steak. Use these pantry staples:

  • Salt and Pepper – This classic duo enhances beefiness and seasons the meat from edge to edge.
  • Garlic Powder – Adds a sweet, roasted garlic flavor. Use instead of raw garlic to avoid bitterness.
  • Onion Powder – Provides just a hint of onion flavor with no harshness.
  • Paprika – Increases umami for a more savory steak. Smoked paprika adds even more depth.
  • Dried Herbs – Rosemary, thyme, oregano all add woodsy notes while complementing the beef.

Exact amounts will vary based on personal taste, but a good starting point is 1 teaspoon each of the dried seasonings per 1 pound of meat. Salt and pepper are added more heavily, about 1 tablespoon each.

Aromatics

Adding aromatics to the sous vide steak bag provides a flavor boost as they infuse into the meat during the long, low cook time.

  • Fresh Garlic – The mellow sweetness of garlic perfectly matches steak. Use cloves or minced.
  • Fresh Herbs – Rosemary and thyme are classic picks, but basil, sage, and marjoram also pair well. Use whole sprigs or rough chopped leaves.
  • Sliced Onion – The subtle flavor of onions accentuates the natural beefiness.

Keep aromatics minimal – no more than 2-3 cloves of garlic, a couple small sprigs of herbs, and 1-2 thin onion slices per steak. You want a light enhancement, not overpowering flavor.

Fats

Adding a small amount of supplemental fat ensures your sous vide steak comes out juicy and well-lubricated. The water displacement method of sous vide cooking requires a bit of extra fat for best results.

  • Olive Oil – A brisk drizzle of good EVOO provides a rich, fruity note.
  • Butter – A knob of butter melts into the meat, providing unctuousness. Clarified butter works best.
  • Ghee – Similar to butter but with milk solids removed, ghee adds smooth richness.

1-2 tablespoons of added fat per steak is sufficient. Pour oil or ghee over the meat before sealing the bag. Butter can be frozen into a cube and dropped into the bag raw to melt during cooking.

Optional Marinades

While seasoning and aromatics in the bag provide plenty of flavor for most sous vide steaks, you can optionally marinate before sealing for even more flavor impact.

Some good marinade options include:

  • Soy Sauce – Provides salty umami and tenderizes the meat. Combine with ginger, garlic, honey, and sesame oil.
  • Wine – Red wine marinades impart fruity complexity. Pair with herbs and peppercorns.
  • Chimichurri – This fresh herb sauce adds intense herby garlic flavor to steak.
  • Teriyaki – The sweet and salty mix nicely coats steak before sous vide cooking.

Only marinate for 1-2 hours maximum to avoid overly softening the meat texture. Rinse off excess marinade before cooking if it’s especially salty.

Tips for Perfect Sous Vide Steak

With your seasoned and aromatized steaks ready in their sealed bags, it’s time to tackle the sous vide cooking process for steakhouse quality results:

Pre-Searing the Steak

Pre-searing adds caramelized flavor and color to the exterior of the steak before it goes into the water bath. It also helps prevent the loss of juices during cooking.

  • Pat steaks dry and season with salt and pepper
  • Heat canola oil in cast iron skillet until very hot
  • Place steaks in skillet for 60-90 seconds per side until well browned

Vacuum Sealing the Bag

Proper sealing is vital for sous vide success. Vacuum sealers remove oxygen from the bag, preventing unwanted bacteria growth and loss of flavors/juices.

  • Use thick, BPA-free bags designed specifically for sous vide cooking
  • Arrange seasoned steaks and aromatics in bags
  • Vacuum seal on moist setting with machine
  • Remove as much air as possible

Sous Vide Cooking Time and Temperature

Precision temperature control is what makes sous vide excel at cooking steak perfectly edge to edge.

  • 115-125°F for rare steak
  • 125-135°F for medium rare steak
  • 135-145°F for medium steak

Cook for 1-4 hours depending on thickness. 1 inch steaks take 1-2 hours, while 2 inch steaks take 3-4 hours. The longer, gentler cook tenderizes the meat.

Post-Cooking Searing

A hard, fast sear at the end firms up the exterior of the steak for textural contrast and adds browning for rich flavor.

  • Dry steaks thoroughly and add seasoning
  • Heat cast iron skillet with oil until smoking
  • Sear 60-90 seconds per side
  • Add butter during last 30 seconds to baste steak

Resting the Steak

Letting the steak rest after searing allows juices to redistribute evenly throughout the meat. Rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Conclusion: Enjoying Your Perfectly Cooked Sous Vide Steak

With premium steak, flavor-enhancing ingredients, precise sous vide cooking, and quick searing, you’ve created the ultimate steakhouse-quality steak at home. Slicing into that perfect rosy medium-rare interior after all your effort provides an incredibly satisfying and delicious payoff. Savor every last juicy, beefy morsel of your flawlessly cooked sous vide steak!