How Long to Sear After Sous Vide?

If you’ve started experimenting with sous vide cooking, you might’ve noticed that your steaks don’t look perfect immediately after being taken out of their vacuum-sealed bag.

It’s not because of the steak itself but because your steaks can take up to four hours in a water bath.

You can cook sous vide foods ahead of time and then quickly sear them once they are ready to serve.

It’s best to sear after sous vide because the meat is usually cooked to perfection and there’s less chance of overcooking it.

To sear after sous vide, heat the grill or pan to medium-high heat. Add the steak to the hot pan and cook for three to four minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the steak.

The difference between sous vide and other techniques like poaching, for example, is that you don’t need to reheat or serve foods sous vide once you’ve already cooked them.

You can take advantage of the convenience of a slow cooker and leave your stovetop free for sautéing and searing steaks while they’re simmering.

While we can’t say that cast-iron skillets are the best for everything, they’re pretty darn good for searing.

As long as your pan has been preheated, you can sear your steak to perfection in just about anything else. 

Why Sear you Sous Vide Steaks?


Searing is simply a cooking method in which you use high heat to cook food to a desired color and flavor.

It is used to create a brown caramelized crust on your meat.

It happens very quickly, and it begins to release aromatic compounds as it cooks, changing the texture of the meat fibers.

The key here is to get this thin crust and aromas going without affecting the meat’s internal temperature – this would affect your doneness and quickly bring you into the overcooked territory.

How to sear steak after sous vide?

There are three techniques to sear steaks after sous vide. Here you go:

Pan Searing

The best type of sear can be created by pan-searing, as it will create a nice crust around the entire cut.

It’s one of the most difficult things to achieve because you need to balance your stove to get the highest heat possible without taking the oil past its smoking point.

If you want to pan-sear after sous vide, you should use a cast-iron skillet. Any metal pan will work, no matter what.

  • Place the skillet on the stove with maximum heat
  • Add a teaspoon of olive oil to the skillet, and spread it evenly.
  • Add a sprig of rosemary or thyme to the skillet for some added aroma. This is optional. You can skip if you don’t want.
  • Now take some paper towels and pat them dry to remove the extra moisture.
  • Now take prongs and hold the steak. Keep it on the pan for around one minute.
  • Now turn the steak and sear it on the other side for another minute.
  • Now turn the steak to the sides and sear it for thirty seconds.
  • Place the steak in a cool dish and serve immediately.

If you want to give other types of meat a deep frying finish, this method is a good choice. You just need to coat the meat with a thin layer of white flour before putting it on the skillet.

On a Broiler

Searing your meat on a Broiler is a mess-free way to cook meat. If you don’t have an iron skillet or don’t want to deal with the oil on your stove, this is a great option.

The control over time and temperature provided by an oven with a broiler function will provide more consistency.

After cooling your meat, you should:

  • Preheat your oven or toaster to 500 degrees F or 260 degrees C.
  • Take a paper towel and pat dry to remove the extra moisture.
  • Now arrange the steak on the baking sheets.
  • Now place the steaks inside the oven and let them there for four minutes.
  • Remove and serve.

On a Grill

When you want to recreate the feel of an old-school BBQ, grilling after cooking steak will be the most realistic way to do it.

It can also be used to add charred flavor to other types of food, such as asparagus or bell peppers.

It will leave nice charred lines on your food but will not produce an even brown crust. If you’re already grilling other foods, you should try this method.

If you already have your grill going and smoking, the instructions below are for you.

  • Take a paper towel and then pat the steak dry to remove excess moisture from the steak.
  • Now generously season your steak with coarse salt on the top.
  • Now place the steak inside the grill for around two minutes.
  • Now flip them around and sear them for additional two minutes on the other side also.
  • Your steak is ready to eat.

Don’t press on the steak with your tongs when using this method. This will remove the juices from the meat.


How long do you sear steak after sous vide?

Searing the steak depends on several factors, from personal preference to the method you are using.

When using a hot pan or cast-iron skillet, sear a steak for around 40-60 seconds on each side for a delicious sear.

Should you sear before or after sous vide?

Both have their pros and cons. Most of the time, the decision is a matter of preferences.

Searing after sous vide gives you more control over the doneness of the meat, and usually results in a crustier and more distinctly caramelized flavor.

The flavor of the sear can be infused into the steak and it can also kill surface bacteria before cooking.

See also: Sous Vide vs Reverse Sear

How long after sous vide can you wait to sear?

It is possible to cook the steak up to four days in advance by keeping it in the sous-vide bag. The sous-vide machine can be used to reheat the steak before the sear process.

Should you salt steak before sous vide?

Steak can be cured by Salting before the cooking process starts. Salting is the best thing to do if you don’t know what you are looking for.


It is now easier to cook a perfectly cooked steak thanks to sous-vide. The slow-cooking method is very safe and easy to understand.

Only a few minutes of your time is all it will take to sear your steaks after you’ve finished cooking.

The secret to a juicy steak will depend on the internal temperature of your steak while it is cooking.

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