Attempting to figure out the best way to cook roast beef using the sous vide method? Still seeking for the best way to use your sous vide appliance ?
When cooking roast beef, there are different ways you can make the sous vide method your own. However, it doesn’t hurt to have some tips and main areas where you need to start, such as times and techniques.
First of all, what actually is sous vide?
Sous vide is a cooking technique that uses a temperature controlled water bath to cook different forms of meat, from roast beet to halibut or fish. By putting the different meat in airless bags, and then dropping them into the heated water bath, the meat is cooked thoroughly. The method is gaining somewhat of a big following, as people are now using this method to experiment and cook their favorite meats or favorite recipes.
Cooking sous vide roast beef
There are many ways on how cooking sous vide roast beef differs from other forms of meat or fish. Whether it’s the temperatures, the times, or just the overall techniques, cooking roast beef using the sous vide method can be difficult. Here are the most common ways you can cook a successful sous vide roast beef.
Finding the right temperature
One of the most important things you need to know when cooking anything sous vide has to be the temperature. For roast beef, we recommend sticking to a temperature of around 135 degrees Fahrenheit. We’ve had the most positive results by using this given temperature, though you can always play around with the temperature and time given to your own experience.
If you’re a sous vide beginner attempting to cook roast beef for the first time, stick to our recommended 135 degrees. It’s a good starting point, at the very least.
Finding the right time to cook
Now, this is another one of those times where trial and error are necessary. For the most part, when cooking roast beef using the sous vide method, the longer the time, the better. Some people cook their beef for 14 hours, others 24 hours. Some people even swear by a full 30 hours in the water bath. Again, it depends on what you’ve found is best for your own taste and method, and this one might only be accomplished through your own trial and error.
If you want our opinion, we like to cook our roast beef in the water bath for a full 24 hours.
Sous vide techniques to remember
There are a few techniques that will make for a better sous vide roast beef all around, and we’re going to talk about them here. Some of these you may know and others may be new. However, always feel free to change these techniques and find out what works for you. The great thing about cooking sous vide is that you can change around some tips and techniques according to what you like.
First of all, you should always season with salt and/or pepper before you do anything else. This is the basic seasoning and flavor that you’ll use and it honestly is a good technique for all other types of meat or fish that you are cooking via sous vide.
While searing halibut or fish after cooking it in the water bath is common, we would recommend doing the exact opposite when working with roast beef. If you want to sear your roast and get more of a flavorful type of taste, you may want to sear your roast for a short amount of time prior to putting it into the water bath.
By searing the beef before the water bath, you’ll get some more flavor out of the whole meal. But note that you should only sear the beef for about two minutes maximum or until each side is a bit brown. You don’t want to overcook them!
Always keep the bags as airtight as possible
This is very important, and an important technique to remember when you’re sous vide cooking anything—not just roast beef.
You need to keep the plastic bags you’re using as airtight as possible. You don’t want any air in these plastic bags, at all.
You can use regular freezer plastic bags, or whatever is in your pantry, but, again, just make sure there is no air in them. You should also make sure that the bag is sealed very tight, so as no water could possibly get into them. If water does get into the bags that hold your meat or food, it’ll ruin the whole method and process.
If you’re ever worried about your regular plastic bags, you can buy vacuum sealed ones!
You can add more seasoning or flavors to the airtight bag
If you’re looking for more seasoning or flavors on your beef, and you want it to cook with the meat in the water bath, feel free to add some flavor, spices, or anything you want to the bags. Just make sure that the meat is in a single layer and not clumped together. Also make sure that the seasonings or added extras are not settling in one area only, as that will affect the way the meat is cooked.
Some people like to add things like parsley, thyme, butter, or certain types of spices. It’s all up to what you think would taste good. Again, this is another area where you can perfect your own roast beef through trial and error. As you cook sous vide roast beef more and more, you’ll know what your favorite seasonings and flavors are.
Check the water level when you can
When you’re cooking roast beef for a while (sometimes up to 30 hours), there is the chance that you’re going to have to refill some of the water. You may notice, throughout the day as the beef is cooking, that the water level looks a bit smaller than normal. This is totally normal and you should add water when needed.
Want some more basic recipes? Here are some basic sous vide recipes to start with.