How to Cook Beef in a Bag


Although cooking the perfect steak in a bag sounds like a strange concept to most people, it is the usual way that high-end restaurants produce their delicious steaks, without ever overcooking. Cooking beef in a bag and inserting it into a water bath is called sous-vide cooking. The water is set to a specific temperature, and the meat can be left in it for several hours and still never overcook. Sous-vide machines have recently become available at home, and cooking beef in a bag is increasing in popularity with home cooks.

Things You'll Need

  • Beef steak or roast, room temperature
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • Seasonings
  • Small vacuum sealer
  • Sous-vide water bath
  • Cast iron skillet
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • Rinse the meat under running water and pat it dry with paper towels.

  • Drizzle olive oil over the outside of the meat. Cover the meat evenly with the desired seasonings.

  • Insert the meat into the plastic bag. Remove the air and seal it using the vacuum packer.

  • Set the temperature of the hot water bath to the desired doneness of the meat. It should be 130 degrees Fahrenheit for medium-rare, 140 degrees Fahrenheit for medium and 160 degrees Fahrenheit for well-done.

  • Insert the sealed meat into the cooker. Cook the meat until the internal temperature has been reached, usually about 45 minutes for thick steaks and an hour and a half for roasts. However, the meat can also be left in the water up to eight hours and will never overcook.

  • Place the butter in the skillet and set it on the stove, at medium-high heat. Let it heat for two minutes or until sizzling.

  • Remove the steak from the sealed package and place it in the skillet for one minute on each side, to brown and caramelize the outside of the meat.

Tips & Warnings

  • With a watchful eye and an accurate thermometer, a pot of water on the stove that is maintained at the heat you desire for cooking can also work if a sous-vide pot is not available.
  • Only add salt to the steak after cooking; if it is cooked with salt on, the meat can become tough.

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  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/ Images
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