Sous vide is the best and easiest way to make sure your steak is perfectly medium-rare every time. No babysitting required and very little clean-up, the best steak of your life will be ready in just 1 hour!

T-bone steak cooked medium rare and sliced on wood cutting board.

Once you sous vide steak, you’ll never cook it any other way. Never again will you be watching your steak like a hawk, only to turn away for a moment and turn back to find it overcooked. With sous vide, you just set it and forget it!

Sous viding steak was what made me fall in love with the cooking method in the first place. In fact, I fell so in love I’ve developed countless sous vide recipes and written two sous vide cookbooks since then!

There is just no other way to get that perfect color and texture from edge to edge of your steak, not just the center. I have a lot of thoughts on sous vide vs. grill for steak, but as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Sliced steaks showing the difference between a steak cooked sous vide and a grilled steak.

I have plenty of sous vide beef recipes where we dive into specific cuts and how to treat them, but for this post, I’m giving you the high level basics of how to cook a steak sous vide. If you want to learn more about specific cuts, make sure to check out these recipes:

Time and Temperature for Sous Vide Steak

Keep in mind that we are keeping things basic here, and unless you’re cooking an enormous steak, anywhere from 1-3 hours is going to be just fine. The beauty of sous vide is that it gives you flexibility. You don’t have to worry about babysitting your steak and making sure you nail the cooking time down to the second. It can hang out in the water bath until you’re ready to grab it!

When it comes to temperature, that’s up to you! I love a medium-rare steak that’s tiptoeing towards rare, and to achieve that, I cook my steaks at 129 degrees F for 2 hours. There are lots of temps that you can choose from, but again, we’re keeping things simple, here! Here are basic options depending on your desired doneness.

Rare124 degrees F1-3 hours
Medium-Rare129 degrees F1-3 hours
Medium135 degrees F1-4 hours
Well Done145 degrees F1-4 hours

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    Common Questions

    Can you sous vide steak too long?

    Yes, you can, but I don’t want you to overthink this. Anywhere under 3 hours and your steak will be delicious! Do not cook your steak longer than 3 hours if you’re cooking under 130 degrees F (there are some food safety issues), and even if you’re cooking at a higher temperature than that, your steak can begin to lose moisture if cooked too long.

    When should you season sous vide steak?

    Ideally, season your steak 30 minutes or even a full day before you plan to cook it (a dry brine is amazing for steak!). Even if you don’t have this kind of time, I find it’s best to season steak before sous viding. You can lightly season again before searing if you wish, but this usually isn’t necessary.

    Does sous vide steak need to rest?

    The short answer is not really! Cooking at a lower heat means the juices aren’t going to escape the steak the moment you cut into it in quite the same way. However, I think a short rest after searing can be helpful.

    Can I sous vide steak and sear it later?

    Absolutely! I do this all the time. In fact, it’s a great meal prep strategy. Just remove the steak from the fridge and let it sit at room temperature 20-30 minutes before you plan to sear.

    Can I sous vide steak in a marinade?

    Yes! I have a whole cookbook about doing just this. The bag juices make a great sauce after you’re done cooking, too.

    T-bone steak cooked medium rare and sliced on wood cutting board.
    5 stars from 2 reviews

    Get the Recipe:

    Medium-Rare Sous Vide Steak for Dummies

    Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Cook Time: 1 hour
    Yield: 2 people
    Get ready to cook a perfect medium-rare steak without breaking a sweat. Sous vide is your secret weapon to impressing even the biggest steak snobs. No more babysitting your steak and crossing your fingers – with sous vide, you can truly set it and forget it. This recipe is meant to be a general guide to achieving medium-rare sous vide steak. I have recipes for specific cuts if you want to get into the nitty gritty! Make sure to scan the notes below for extra tips to help you nail it.


    • 2 steaks, any cut, any weight
    • kosher salt
    • black pepper
    • 1 tbsp ghee, or another high smoke point fat


    • Preheat your water bath using an immersion circulator to 124 degrees F for rare, 129 degrees F for medium-rare, 135 degrees F for medium, or 145 degrees F for well done. I like 129 degrees F for my steaks.
      Tip: Starting with hot water helps to preheat the bath faster!
    • Season your steaks liberally with the kosher salt and pepper. Don't be shy! If you have the time, season your steaks a few hours in advance and refrigerate until ready to cook, or even consider dry brining.
    • Vacuum seal the seasoned steaks or use another air removal method with a zipper top plastic bag or reusable bag.
      You can absolutely add multiple steaks to one bag – as many as will fit! Just keep them in a single layer; do not stack them.
      Tip: Cuff the bag a few times before adding the steaks to keep the seal line clean and ensure a good seal.
    • Add the sealed bag of steaks to the preheated water bath and make sure they're submerged. I like to use sous vide magnets to keep bags in place in the bath, but you can also use a ceramic bowl or plate placed over the top if your bag is trying to float.
      Cook for 1-3 hours. I recommend at least 2 hours if using bone-in or frozen steaks.
    • Remove the bag from the water bath. Remove the steak from the bag and place on a plate or cutting board. Pat the steak completely dry with paper towels or a clean dish towel.
    • Preheat a cast iron skillet over high heat until the skillet is smoking. Make sure to turn on the vent over your stove! Once smoking, add the ghee. Add the steak and sear for about 30 seconds on each side, until browned. Be careful to not go too long or you'll risk overcooking the steak. A grill press can be helpful for this if you have one.
    • Remove the steak to a cutting board. Let rest for a few minutes, then slice, if desired. Serve with creamy horseradish sauce, chimichurri, or blue cheese butter.


    The only piece of equipment you need to make this recipe is an immersion circulator. A vacuum sealer and a cast iron skillet are helpful, but you can use other air removal methods and a heavy duty skillet if you don’t have either. If you don’t have a dedicated sous vide container, a stock pot works just fine! I like to use sous vide magnets to keep my bags submerged, but if you don’t have them and find your bags wanting to float, place a ceramic plate or bowl on top of the bag!
    Feel free to use your favorite seasoning salt, like Montreal, in place of salt and pepper.
    When cooking at temperatures less than 130 degrees F, never cook your food longer than 3 hours for food safety. 2 hours tends to be my go-to cook time for steak.
    Ghee (clarified butter) is my preferred fat for searing because it has a high smoke point. Delicious butter flavor that won’t burn! You can also use butter or anther oil with a high smoke point, like avocado oil.
    The keys to a great sear? Drying the steak well and a smoking hot pan.
    If you want your steaks to be different “donenesses,” sous vide for the rarer temperature and sear the steak you’d like to be more done longer.
    If you’d like to freeze the steak, I recommend doing so after vacuum sealing, before cooking. You can sous vide frozen steak.
    Cuisine: American
    Course: Dinner
    Author: Chelsea Cole
    Calories: 536kcal, Protein: 45g, Fat: 39g, Saturated Fat: 19g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 17g, Cholesterol: 157mg, Sodium: 118mg, Potassium: 606mg, Vitamin A: 34IU, Calcium: 16mg, Iron: 4mg
    Did you make this recipe?Mention @aducksoven on Instagram or tag #aducksoven.