How to Pick the Best Cut of Beef to Cook Sous Vide

The summer months are finally upon us and it’s time for you to start preparing for those larger get-togethers! There is almost nothing worse than feeling unprepared to entertain your guests with a killer menu. Learn how to pick the best cut of beef to cook sous vide.

A traditional cookout can always be a good time, but there is also nothing wrong with spicing up your cooking habits a bit with learning how to cook your beef to tender perfection by using the method of sous vide.

Let’s get started.

What is Sous Vide?

This is a precise method for cooking beef that will allow you to produce restaurant-quality food every time. As you know, restaurants must cook their beef to precision to make sure their customers are always satisfied.

To cook your meat sous vide, you will be vacuum-sealing your beef and placing it in the water bath at the precise temperature you desire. A vacuum sealer will ensure no air is still in the plastic bag. If your bag still contains any air, then your meat may float which results in uneven cooking. No other cooking technique will allow you to produce this level of results.

Unique Cooking Equipment You Need

Sous Vide Machine

Sous vide machines are the most important piece of equipment, that’s why they’re first on the list! Without this tool, you won’t be able to cook your meat to perfection every time. This machine is capable of maintaining your bath at a constant temperature, so you know the exact internal temperature of your meat. Additionally, when you consistently know the temperature, you can correlate this with the amount of time your cut of beef needs to cook for it to become tender. You should either get the Anova Precision Cooker or the Breville Joule.

These are both extremely high-tech pieces of machinery that won’t disappoint you on your cooking journey. With the Anova Precision Cooker, you can control the settings both with your mobile device and manually. On the other hand, you are only able to control the machine settings with your mobile device if you choose to purchase the Breville Joule.

12-quart Container & Lid

Investing in a large plastic container will make your life easier when you choose to start cooking sous vide. Given this tool is more on the expensive side, there is nothing wrong with trying to save a little bit of money here and there! A large plastic container will be cheaper and more spacious to satisfy all of your cooking needs. With this, you won’t feel like you need to minimize the amount of meat you cook simply because you don’t have space!

The 12-quart Rubbermaid container is a great option for everyone! This container is inexpensive, BPA-free, and large enough for you to cook a big roast.

When you purchase your large container, make sure you get a lid for it as well. No matter the cut of beef you choose to buy, sous vide is known to be a slow cooking process. While you’re cooking the meat for long periods of time, the high water temperature will cause evaporation. Fortunately, if you have a lid, you will also have minimum water evaporation. This will allow you to cook high-quality meat for as little as 2 hours and as long as 48 hours depending on the cut!

Cast Iron Skillet

For every cut of meat you cook, you also need to sear it. This ensures you get a great outer crust. You can always just use a regular skillet to get the sear you think you want, but it won’t give you the deep sear you need! If you are serious about cooking sous vide, you should purchase a cast-iron skillet. This skillet will give you a nice, deep sear on any cut of beef.

The 3 Best Cuts of Beef

You are probably eager to get started on this new cooking journey that will make you the master chef of any social gathering. Before you jump in, you need to make sure you’re properly prepared with the correct type of meat.

Although most cuts of beef can be cooked sous vide, there are certain kinds that are best for this specific method. Tougher and larger cuts of beef such as short rib and chuck roast will accept this technique the best and have the opportunity to become extremely tender and irresistible!

English Style Short Rib with Red Wine Reduction

English style short rib with red velvet

Short Ribs are one of the best cuts of beef to cook utilizing the sous vide technique. Cooking this meat sous vide will produce a tender steak meal that will satisfy your taste buds and your appetite. In addition, using a red wine reduction sauce provides a rich glaze on the rib that adds an extra layer of savory flavor.

The key to ensuring your beef cut is tender every time, is knowing the perfect time and temperature combination. You don’t want to cook your beef cut on extremely high heat because this will just result in an overcooked meal that you worked hard on, but no one will enjoy. I know this may seem intimidating, but you came to the right place! If you cook your rib at 144 degrees Fahrenheit for 48 hours, you can rest assured your beef will be extremely tender and contain the perfect rosy color.

Once you’ve set your sous vide machine to the proper temperature and time, you want to place your vacuum-sealed ribs into the water bath for 48 hours. Then, you will take your short ribs out of the bag once you remove the plastic bag from the bath. Pat your meat dry with a paper towel and season it with salt and pepper to taste.

Now it’s time to make your red wine reduction! At medium-high temperature, heat your butter in a large saucepan. Next, add garlic and stir it in with the butter for about one minute. After one minute has passed, pour in the wine. Bring this to a boil and cook until it’s reduced to about half. Then, add the beef broth and cook that over the same medium-high heat until it has reduced and thickened. This will take about 15 to 20 minutes. Add salt to taste.

Finally, it’s time to sear your rib! Heat a large skillet to high heat and add oil. You will sear your rib for no longer than 90 seconds on either side. During the searing process, make sure you apply the red wine reduction with a pastry brush. You are going to love the smell of this savory combination. Once the searing is complete, set your meat aside on a plate to rest for a few minutes, and then dig in!

Tenderloin Steaks with Port Wine

Tenderloin steaks with port wine

Who says you can’t cook an expensive cut of meat for a casual family dinner? If you’re going to do it, you should do it right by cooking your tenderloin steaks sous vide. This is an intimidating cut of meat for most because you don’t want to mess this up. Whether you are just cooking for your loved ones or preparing an entire feast for a work gathering, cook sous vide!

The beef tenderloin comes directly from the loin of the cow, hence its name. This is not a weight-bearing muscle, so this cut of beef contains less connective tissue. Less connective tissue means a more tender cut of meat!

After the creation of sous vide machines you can keep at your house, many people have started trying to incorporate this style of cooking into their weekly meals. There is no longer a need to go out for a special date night or feel like your cooking can never measure up to a five-star restaurant.

Don’t risk overcooking this premium meat by trying to prepare it the traditional way. All you have to do is stop by your local grocery store, pick up your steaks, and prepare yourself for an evening filled with flavor!

For this recipe, you are going to sear the steaks once before you place them in the sous vide device and once afterward. The initial sear allows you to establish some flavor profiles in your meal before the slow cook. Then, the second sear gives you the chance to give your steak a nice, outer crust that will give your meat just the right amount of texture. Sprinkle the tenderloin with salt and pepper to taste. Add oil to a skillet over medium-high heat. Then, sear the steaks for about one to two minutes on each side. This will allow them to become a nice dark brown color.

Now it’s time to make your port-garlic sauce while the skillet is still hot! Add some garlic and butter so you can cook the garlic until it’s golden brown. This should only take about 30 seconds to 60 seconds. You are then free to add your port wine. Let this mixture simmer for a few seconds and then remove it from the heat.

Your meat is seared, and your sauce is prepared. Your final step is to vacuum seal your tenderloin, slow cook it in your sous vide device for about three hours, and watch the magic happen!

Given the fact that this meat is already more on the tender side, you have to keep your eye on it. There is a very fine line between extremely tender to ridiculously tough and hard to chew. Since sous vide is such a slow cooking option, it is much less easy for you to overcook your tenderloin. Whether your steak is a few inches thick or very thinly slice, you’re going to get a great meal out of this delicious meat.

New York Strip Steak

New york strip steak

As can be seen, the wonderful thing about cooking sous vide is that you will always be able to prepare your meat at the desired temperature. Although this may seem simple, this can be the hardest part for beginner and expert chefs! If you turn away from the eye for just a second, you could overcook your meat and there is no way to turn back time.

With a sous vide machine, you can vacuum seal your strip steak in a bag that contains your favorite mixture of savory flavors. Before you place it in the bag, rub your steak with butter, fresh herbs, or your favorite homemade rub.

The natural fats contained in your meat might not be the best things to chew, but they are extremely flavorful. When cooking on a traditional grill, all of this flavor just seeps out of your steak and onto the grill. Fortunately, the exact opposite happens when you cook utilizing the sous vide technique. These natural flavors will melt directly into the meat and leave you with the extremely savory meal you were hoping for.

If you are going to pay for this premium cut of meat, you want to use the sous vide technique to cook it to perfection! You can set your bath to your desired temperature, and this will be the internal temperature of your meat.

To get your steaks cooked to a perfect medium-rare, you need to set your sous to vide machine temperature in the range of 129 to 134 degrees Fahrenheit. This will give you the perfect texture for your steak. The suggested minimum cook time is one hour, but to really get a tender piece of meat, you should allow your steak to cook for at least two hours.

This process is very uniform for most beef cuts. The only variables you really need to focus on are time and temperature. Once you perfect these for each specific cut of meat, you will never overcook your beef again!

These cuts of beef listed above are a few of the best meats to use when cooking sous vide. You don’t have to be a professional chef to learn how to use this specific technique. Moreover, this method of cooking is extremely desirable for beginners because you are able to input the temperature settings. This way, you don’t have to worry about burning your meat if you step away for longer than a few seconds!

Summer is the time when family and friends get together to enjoy each other’s company around great plates of food! Take the stress out of being the host by purchasing your very own sous vide machine. This is the perfect way to impress your guests with a fancy, tender meal without feeling like you’re going to ruin it before you even get started. Cooking is an amazingly rewarding pastime and hobby. Pick your favorite beef cut and get started cooking sous vide today!

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