This article is a part of my FREE Sous Vide Quick Start On-Demand Class. If you want to consistently create amazing food with sous vide, then my class is exactly what you're looking for.

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How to Cook a Simple Sous Vide Steak from a Chuck Roast

Welcome to lesson eight of the free Sous Vide Quick Start Course! Today we are going to be diving into sous vide steaks and some of the details surrounding them.

Steak is often the first thing people turn to when they get their sous vide machine, and sous vide does make it easy to cook perfect steaks every time!

Instead of a simple recipe for a sous vide ribeye or a sous vide strip steak, I wanted to share one of my go-to steak recipes that will highlight the power of tenderization through longer sous vide times.

It's for a chuck steak, cooked around 36 hours, that comes out tasting almost like a much more expensive prime rib. It's like nothing you can make with traditional methods!

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As one reader, Ann Anderson, said:

Fairly new to sous vide. Have not used it a whole lot, but I think my favorite moment was "turning pot roast into prime rib!" I did a 7 blade chuck roast 131/52. It was awesome, complete with au jus. The miracle of taking a cheap cut of meat and turning it into something so much better has hooked me for life!

The last two recipes were very simple because I didn't want to overwhelm you with information. While this one will still just focus on cooking the meat itself, I will add in some more notes and tips since you have a better understanding of what is going on now.

You'll begin to see how you can take different approaches to the same piece of meat.

Other Sous Vide Bags

With this being a longer cook, I prefer to use sous vide vacuum bags instead of Ziploc bags. Ziplocs usually still work fine, but for longer cooks they can occasionally leak.

That doesn't ruin the food at all, but it does remove some of the flavor. If you don't have a vacuum sealer, you can always double bag them with Ziplocs, or just purchase some vacuum bags and drape the unsealed end over the side, you don't need to purchase a sealer yet if you don't want to.

Sous Vide Temperature Options

I like my steaks cooked medium rare, so I prefer 131°F (55°C). If you prefer medium, then you can use 135°F to 140°F (57.2°C to 60°C).

If you prefer a rare steak, it's a little harder to achieve. Because this is cooked longer than 4 hours, I wouldn't go below 130°F (54.4°C). Though if your machine is perfectly calibrated you can probably get away with 127°F or 128°F (52.8°C or 53.3°C) if you feel comfortable with it.

Sous Vide Timing

Sous vide chuck steak is usually cooked for 24 to 48 hours. I've found 36 hours to be my sweet spot, but you do have a lot of variability depending on how tough it starts out.

I recommend starting around 36 hours, then in future cooks you can increase or decrease the time as needed.

Because chuck steak is in the sous vide machine for 36 hours, make sure you plan ahead of time.

I usually put it in the sous vide machine the morning before I want to eat it, then when I'm ready to eat the next night I can pull it out and sear it. That's normally about 30 to 40 hours, all of which work great.

Also, you can always cook it, chill it in an ice bath while it's still in the sous vide bag, and then refrigerate it for later.

To reheat it, place it in a sous vide machine set to the original temperature and let it heat for an hour or two, depending on the thickness. You've already tenderized the meat, so now it just needs to be quickly reheated!

Preventing Evaporation with Sous Vide

For shorter cooks, the amount of water that evaporates isn't a big deal, but for longer cooks it can sometimes lower the water level to unsafe levels.

To prevent this, it's best to cover the water bath. There are lots of sous vide lids and balls that work well, but since you are just getting started using plastic wrap is a great option.

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Simple Sous Vide Steak Recipe

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For the Sous Vide Chuck Steak

Preheat a water bath to 131°F (55°C) or your desired temperature above 127°F (52.8°C).

Take a chuck steak, or a chuck roast cut into 1" to 2" slabs (25 to 50mm), and salt it on all sides.

Take a Ziploc-brand Freezer Bag, or a sous vide vacuum bag, and place the chuck steaks in the bag in a single layer. Seal the bag, using the Ziploc water displacement method, or a vacuum sealer. Place the bag in the water bath, making sure it is fully submerged.

You're good for the next 24 to 48 hours, so go spend a weekend in Paris, finally clean out the garage, or take the kids to Disney World!

Sous vide bath meat

Once it is tenderized after about 36 hours, remove it from the water bath and take the chuck steak out of the bag. Dry the chuck steak off really well with paper towels.

Heat some oil in a pan. If you have a high-smoke point oil like avocado, peanut oil, extra-light olive oil or sunflower oil that is best, but canola oil or vegetable oil can also work for your first time.

As soon as the oil begins to smoke, add the chuck steak. Let it cook for about 60 seconds then flip it. After another 60 seconds remove it from the pan. The chuck steak is now ready to be eaten and doesn't even need to be rested!

Sous vide ribeye morel scapes searing

Hopefully you enjoy this steak as much as I do and can see how the long sous vide cook times can transform a normally tough piece of meat.

You should now have a good handle on the basics of sous vide and be ready for even more impressive recipes in the future!

Your Homework

Before you dive into your steak, why don't you take a few pictures and share them with the Exploring Sous Vide Facebook group or post them on Instagram and tag me @afmeasy and #SousVideQuickStart?

And let me know if there is still anything holding you back from kicking butt as a sous vide cook!

Thanks, and happy cooking!


This article is a part of my FREE Sous Vide Quick Start On-Demand Class. If you want to consistently create amazing food with sous vide, then my class is exactly what you're looking for.

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All tags for this article: Chuck Roast, Sous Vide, Sous Vide Chuck Roast, Sous Vide Quick Start Article, Sous Vide Recipes, Sous Vide Steak

Jason logsdon headshot This article is by me, Jason Logsdon. I'm an adventurous home cook and professional blogger who loves to try new things, especially when it comes to cooking. I've explored everything from sous vide and whipping siphons to pressure cookers and blow torches; created foams, gels and spheres; made barrel aged cocktails and brewed beer. I have also written 10 cookbooks on modernist cooking and sous vide and I run the website.
Affiliate Disclaimer: Some links on this site might be affiliate links that if used to purchased products I might receive money. I like money but I will not endorse something I don't believe in. Please feel free to directly go to any products I link to and bypass the referral link if you feel uncomfortable with me receiving funds.
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