Why thick cut steaks love to be cooked sous vide

If you’ve ever had a thick cut steak (1-2 inches thick) in a restaurant you’ve probably wondered, how did they get this steak perfectly cooked?

Consistency is key

Well, like anything, there are many ways to get a consistently cooked perfect medium rare steak. You can let the steak reach room temp, sear the outside and finish it in the oven or you can sous vide the steak and finish it with a nice sear. The oven cooking technique requires a little more experience and has more room for error, if you over-sear the outside of the steak you end up with terrible grey lines like this:


Avoiding the grey ring of grossness

They grey lines come from overcooking a steak. This regularly happens if you cook a steak right out of the fridge, to get the internal temperature to medium or medium rare you have to overcook the outer edge. This is bad. We don’t want this.

Sous vide is king for evenly cooked thick cuts of meat

For thick cut steaks this grey line can become even larger and more prominent because as the steak gets thicker it is harder to cook the center without overcooking the edges.  That is why the sous vide technique is perfectly suited to cook thick cut steaks. It consistently cooks the cut of meat throughout preventing varying degrees of “doneness” that can come from pan searing and oven finishing.

Monster steaks, monster results.

Today, we’re cooking a thick steak to illustrate this principle:


This guy is a monster NY cut, nearly 2 inches thick. Salt and pepper liberally.


Sealed and ready. Cook at 130° for 2 hours. If its really thick go 2.5-3.5 hours. For less rare and more medium cook at 135°-138°.


Out of its bath, looking sad and pale. Lets get you some color:


Quick pan sear in a cast iron pan on the highest heat possible. Use oil/butter and herbs.

Finishing perfection

See how searing and getting some color can make the food so much more appealing?


Let’s dive in:


See the consistent color throughout?


Perfect. Note that there are no “grey bands” thats because we cooked it sous vide so we have a consistent color throughout and then made sure to quickly sear finish the outside. Make sure you aren’t sear finishing for too long or you will get noticeable grey bands.





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