Talk with anyone who cooks using the sous vide technique and they will tell you it is a major game changer in the kitchen. Sous vide machines have become very popular for home cooks, private cooks as well as cafe and restaurant chefs around the world. In this article, we are going to talk about all things sous vide roast beef. How you cook it, the best cuts to make the most delicious roasts and why it is one of the cheapest meals around.
Sous vide cooking allows you to create tender, juicy roast beef for the family mid week or a group of friends on the weekend.
Given you can now buy domestic sous vide water ovens and sous vide immersion circulators, you can be up and running in your home kitchen as soon as get your new kitchen gadget home.
The Benefits of Sous Vide Roast Beef
- You CANNOT overcook your beef using the sous vide cooking technique
- You can turn cheap cuts of meat into super delicious roast beef
- It’s so easy (and DELICIOUS) that anyone can nail it
How to Cook Sous Vide Roast Beef
Cooking beef sous vide to create the best roast beef you’ve ever had, involves very little effort for roast beef perfection EVERY time:
- Heat your sous vide water oven or water bath (using your immersion circulator) as per your recipe
- Vacuum seal your meat cut and any marinade (or use a ziploc bag if you don’t have a vacuum sealer)
- Put your food pouch in your water bath and set a timer
- Once cooked, remove your sous vide roast beef from your water bath
- Pat dry and then sear
See, couldn’t be simpler!
It is worth noting that roast beef pieces can be large. Unless you have a very large kitchen pot, sous vide roast beef is best cooked in a large container as your water bath.
If you don’t have a vacuum sealer don’t despair. You can use a large Ziploc bag instead. Just remember to get all of the air out of your bag.
Once you have finished cooking your roast beef, pat the roast beef with paper towels. Cover the roast with some olive oil and spread some chopped garlic and herbs over the roast. Season with salt and pepper and put your roast in the oven for around 10-15 minutes.
To sear or not to sear?
There is a technique called double searing that seems to be very popular amongst some sous viders. Basically this involves searing your beef once before you put it into your water bath and then again when your beef comes out of your water bath.
Why? Well, the first sear is said to add incredible flavor to the finished roast beef. The second sear serves to create a more crispy texture on the outside of your roast beef. In saying that, you would also apply a kitchen torch after your sous vide cook as well.
Sous Vide Roast Beef Time and Temperature Guides
There are many time and temperature guides around to assist you to cook the perfect roast beef. The time and temperature you choose depends on a few things:
- The size and thickness of the beef cut itself
- The sous vide water oven or sous vide immersion circulator you use
- How you like your meat cooked
Now, we have promise you that you cannot overcook your sous vide roast beef. But that doesn’t mean you have to settle for just rare roast beef. So whether you want rare, medium or well done, sous vide roast beef, we’ve got you covered with the time and temperature guides below.
The major sous vide water oven, immersion circulator and precision cooker brands all release time and temperature guides. The even better news is that each company undertake their own testing for you.
Those in the development kitchens for each of the major sous vide product brands (eg ChefSteps, Anova, Sansaire etc) trial cooking a range of meats, vegetables and other ingredients at a range of times and temperatures. This means better cooking instructions for you. It takes the headache out of trying to find the right time and temperature yourself.
For sous vide roast beef, Chefsteps (the maker of the Joule sous vide immersion circulator) state that their “favorite “ready” time for Roast Beef (Medium Rare) is 60 degree celcious or 140 degree Fahrenheit for 6 hours. See their time and temperature guide here.
Sous Vide Tools has a great sous vide cooking time calculator which is super helpful. With a few clicks of a buttons to say which meat you are using, how much it weighs and your preferred “doneness”, it gives you a run down of the recommended temperature and time for that specific cut of meat. Gold!
Here are some other time and temperature guides for you to consider. These have been sourced from The Flavor Bender:
For rare sous-vide rump roast or bottom round roast
The sous-vide temperature should be 130 – 134°F (55 – 57°C). The minimum cook time to sous-vide bottom round roast or rump roast is 24 – 48 hours. I would recommend 36 hours, to get an even more tender roast.
For medium sous-vide bottom round roast or rump roast
The sous-vide temperature is 138 – 145°F (59 – 63°C). The minimum cook time to sous-vide bottom round roast or rump roast is 18 – 36 hours. I would recommend going up to 36 hours, to get an even more tender roast.
For rare sous-vide chuck roast
The sous-vide temperature is 130 – 134°F (55 – 57°C). The minimum cook time to sous-vide chuck roast is 24 – 48 hours. I would recommend 36 hours, to get an even more tender roast.
For medium sous-vide chuck roast
The sous-vide temperature is 138 – 142°F (59 – 61°C). The minimum cook time to sous-vide chuck roast is 18 – 36 hours. I would recommend going up to 36 hours, to get an even more tender roast.
If you prefer your cut of meat well done, but still juicy and tender
The sous-vide temperature should be 155 – 158 °F (68 – 70 °C). The minimum cook time is 12 – 18 hours. The roast will be done faster, as it’s a higher cooking temperature.
Don’t freak out if your roast beef comes out of your water bath looking a little grey. It is common in sous vide cooking for your meat to look a little unappealing when it first comes out of your water bath. For best results with sous vide roast beef, after sous vide cooking, consider a reverse sear.
Socials for Sous Vide Roast Beef
How great is technology. Once upon a time you needed to wait for a new recipe book to come out to get sous vide cooking inspiration. That is no longer the case. To get your latest sous vide cooking hit, you just need to hook yourself up with the latest social media platforms to find inspiration. And solve any of your sous vide problems.
If sous vide beef is your thing, the best hashtags for you on Instagram include #sousvidebeef and #sousvideroast. Cooking other meals sous vide? The hashtag #sousvide will have your mouth watering the moment you lay your eyes on the photos other sous viders have posted.
Try the words “sous vide roast beef” on Facebook to see how others are smashing their roast meals or to pick up some extra hints and tips.
If Instagram and Facebook aren’t your thing then head to Pinterest. You will find more sous vide roast beef recipes there, than you could cook in a lifetime. Sous vider LOVE sharing their sous vide recipes, hints and tips on Pinterest so be sure to take a look. Using the search terms “sous vide roast beef” will help you to find the most delicious, juicy roast beef recipes to try.
Better yet, follow the Sous Vide Hub Pinterest account. We have loads of sous vide roast beef ideas for you along, with a huge range of other sous vide cooking inspiration.
Sous Vide Roast Beef Recipes
Sous Vide Roast Beef with your Anova
Anova Culinary, the maker of the Anova Culinary Sous Vide Immersion Circulator offers a great forum for people to post questions and gain some super helpful hints and tips when cooking sous vide. Here is a link to just one conversation thread about cooking an Eye Round Roast sous vide. This is just one example of the sorts of questions that are posed under the Community tab of the Anova Culinary website.
You will find many more useful hints and tips for cooking sous vide roast beef by tapping into this sous vide enthusiast community on the Anova Culinary website. Of course there are also plenty of sous vide roast beef recipes on the Anova site as well.
Sous Vide Roast Beef Gravy
You can use the juice from your vacuum sealed bag or Ziplock bag straight into a bowl or a jug. The easiest way to do this is to snip the corner of your bag before you get your sous vide roast beef out of it. If gravy is more your thing, mix the juices from your bag with
Here’s a delicious mushroom gravy recipe (to go with a sous vide chuck roast) from Sous Vide Wizard for you to try:
- 1.5 cups of apple juice
- 0.5 cup of soy sauce
- 2 cups of water
- 0.25 cup of red wine
- 12 ounces or 340 grams of mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon of cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons of mirin (sweet seasoning)
- 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
- Chopped carrot
- Chopped onion
- Minced garlic
- Salt and pepper
In a saucepan mix all of the ingredients together. Do not add the red wine at this stage. Simmer the ingredients over a medium heat for around 15 minutes. The gravy should have thickened by this point. Strain the gravy and cool.
Put the chuck roast pieces into sous vide bags and add half of the gravy. Once your sous vide cooking time has ended you can make the rest of the gravy. Add the half that you saved into a saucepan with the red wine. Simmer over a high heat and then reduce it to half. Sautee the mushrooms and then add to the gravy.
Sous Vide Roast Beef from frozen
There are many reasons that people choose to freeze their beef before cooking. You might do this because you tend to shop less regularly, filling up your freezer at the start of a month for example. Or perhaps you struggle to know exactly when you would like to eat some meats, so you put them in the freezer for a later time.
If you are freezing before cooking sous vide roast beef
There is an ongoing debate in the sous vide community about whether to freeze ingredients first before you cook or, alternatively, freeze your ingredients after your sous vide cook.
If you are doing to freeze your beef BEFORE your sous vide cook, vacuum pack your ingredients (and season if desired). Label your pouches so you know which one to grab when you are ready to create your sous vide roast beef meal. You can then cook your beef in your sous vide water oven or water bath (pot or larger container). If you add your beef to your water bath without thawing, add an additional 60 minutes to your cook time.
If you freeze after cooking your sous vide roast beef
Here is what Sous Vide Tools suggests if you freeze your roast beef AFTER you have cooked it sous vide,
- Season and vacuum seal food and cook at the specified temperature and time.
- Quick chill the vacuum pouches in ice water for about 30 to 45 minutes.
- Label and freeze for up to a year.
- Defrost and reheat using your sous vide machine for 45 minutes per inch of thickness, allowing an extra 30 minutes if cooking from frozen.
- Sear as usual if desired
Remember, if you are going to freeze your food after you have cooked it, make sure you undertake a quick chill (see Step 2 above) for best freezing results.
Youtube – Best Sous Vide Roast Beef Videos
We know that some of you like to see the sous vide cooking process in action. Any new style of cooking is likely to make you a little nervous, but we can assure you that you will wonder why didn’t discover sous vide cooking years ago. It is so easy.
Here’s just 3 YouTube clips that show how to make delicious sous vide roast beef. We know these videos will help you nail your next sous vide roast beef cook.
Check out this All Day Sous Vide Roast Beef from Smo’King BBQ Tips and Recipes (approx 15 minute clip)
Sous Vide Cheap Roast Experiment – From Tough Chuck to Tender N Juicy! (approx 6 minute clip)
Sous Vide Roast Beef – Tender Sous Vide Beef Roast by no Hippie BBQ & Cooking (approx 9 minute clip)
Best Beef for Sous Vide Roast Beef
Many different cuts of beef are available to roast. According to BBC Good Food, for roasts, the best cuts include rib (on the bone, boned or rolled), sirloin, top rump and fillet. Brisket, topside and silverside are also great for roasts
Tough meat also is great for roasting. That includes lean cuts with lots of connective tissue and very little fat. According to The Kitchn, “When cooked at a low temperature over a long period of time, the high amount of collagen in tough meats breaks down into gelatin, tenderizing the meat, making it more succulent and adding richness and body to the juice” which you can make into a delicious sauce or gravy.
The Kitchn suggests using chuck roast (as well as boneless chuck roast, chuck shoulder and beef chuck arm). Brisket is another very popular meat for roasting as is round beef (rump roast or bottom round).
Sous Vide Roast Beef Tips – straight from the mouths of sous viders around the globe
- When you remove your roast beef out of vacuum sealed bag or Ziploc bag, reserve the juices so that you can use that to make a tasty jus or gravy
- Unlike cooking a traditional roast beef, you don’t need to rest sous vide roast beef before serving
- Given you are likely cooking with a larger cut of beef, make sure any marinade you use is well blended to ensure evenness of flavor
- If you want to try flavoring with wine or another alcohol, cook off the alcohol first (or you’ll get some of the ETOH burn in your finished sous vide roast beef
- Most herbs tend to work well in your sous vide food pouch assuming they are well distributed in the bag
- To get a crust, the meat surface has to be really dry before searing
For more handy hints, head to places like Reddit, Chowhound and the Anova Community forum.
Further Reading and References
How to Sous Vide Rump Roast or Chuck Roast The Flavor Bender