This delicious Sous Vide Flank Steak is seasoned with a kick of cumin and chili powder and served alongside charred red pepper and onions. Not only is this a fabulous steak dinner it is also super easy to make.
Sous vide cooking can initially seem intimidating because it differs from traditional cooking methods. But let me tell you, once you’ve tried sous vide cooking, you’ll be rethinking your entire kitchen strategy.
Sous vide is a cooking method where food is vacuum-sealed in a bag and then cooked to a precise temperature in a water bath. It’s like the slow cooker’s sophisticated cousin. You get perfectly cooked, tender, and juicy meat with sous vide every time – no guesswork involved.
It’s a great way to ensure your steak cooks evenly and retains all its juicy goodness. In this post, we’ll cover the basics of sous vide cooking, determining the best temperature to use, serving ideas, and even how to sous vide frozen flank steak. Keep reading for all the details.
👩🍳Sous Vide Basics
Sous vide is a French term that means “under vacuum”. It is a culinary technique that involves vacuum-sealing food in a plastic pouch and then cooking it to a very precise temperature in a water bath heated using a sous vide circulator. This method ensures that the inside and outside of the food are cooked uniformly, preserving the moisture and enhancing the flavor.
The precise temperature control eliminates the risk of overcooking or undercooking, resulting in perfectly cooked food. After cooking, the food is quickly seared in a hot pan to add color and texture, providing a restaurant-quality finish to the dish.
For exact amounts needed see the recipe card below
- Flank steak
- Seasoning: I like to use cumin, chili powder, and garlic powder as my go-to trifecta for adding a dash of spice and a lot of flavor to my steak. I love the warmth and southwest flavor they bring.
- Accompaniments: I make this with peppers and onions on the side like a sous vide steak fajita.
🍳How to Sous Vide Flank Steak
- Set your sous vide water bath to 133 degrees F. While it’s heating up, get the steak ready.
- Season the steak with cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper.
- Put the seasoned steak in a bag. If you have one, you can use a vacuum sealer, but a heavy-duty plastic bag will do the job too. If you don’t have a vacuum sealer, use the water displacement method to remove most of the air from the bag. Seal the bag most of the way and slowly lower it in the water, letting the water pressure push out most of the air. Click here for more details on using the water displacement method.
- Once your water bath is up to temperature, gently place your steak in the heated water. Let it cook for 1-3 hours. Flank steak is thinner than steaks like ribeye or sirloin steak, so it takes less time to sous vide. It is the perfect time to kick back, relax, or whip up some sides.
- When you are ready to eat, give your steak a beautiful, caramelized finish with a quick sear. Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. If you’re in the mood for veggies, sauté some onions and bell peppers until crisp. Then crank up the heat and add a tablespoon of oil.
- Take your steak out of the bag, pat it dry, and sear it for 1-2 minutes on each side. Searing gives it a delicious, crispy exterior.
🌡️What’s the Best Temperature for Sous Vide Steak?
The cooking temperature that is best will depend on your taste. I cook my sous vide sirloin to 133 degrees F, but since you control the sous vide, you decide how you want your steak cooked. Here are the suggested temperature for cooking sous vide flank steak:
|130°F||rare||cool red center|
|135°F||medium rare||warm red center|
|145°F||medium||warm pink center|
|155°F||medium well||slightly pink center|
|165°F||well done||little or no pink|
I don’t recommend using a temperature lower than 130 degrees F with this recipe. And if you choose to go above 158°F, your steak will lose its juicy tenderness.
One of my favorite things about flank steak is how versatile it is. I love it thinly sliced on a fresh baguette with caramelized onions and horseradish sauce for a delicious steak sandwich. My kids, however, are all about the steak fajitas with homemade guacamole.
You can also serve this tender steak with a side of chimichurri sauce. It’s tangy, fresh and goes oh so well with the rich steak flavors. This flavorful steak is also perfect for adding to a steak salad. Slice it and serve it on top of greens with some fresh summer veggies.
💭How to Store
If there are leftovers, let your steak cool completely before storing it. Once it’s cool, slice up any remaining steak. It’ll make your life easier when you’re ready to reheat and serve. Your leftover steak can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
If you freeze the steak, wrap your leftovers in aluminum foil and place them in a zip-top bag. This double layer of protection helps to keep the steak moist and prevents freezer burn. Remember to squeeze out as much air as possible from the bag before sealing.
To reheat, pop it in the oven at 350°F for about 10 minutes or until it’s heated through. You’ve got yourself a quick and easy meal ready to serve.
Be sure to check out the step by step instructions
- Aiming for that perfect medium-rare texture? Set your sous vide machine to 133°F. I find this to be the sweet spot for a tender, juicy, and oh-so-delicious steak. Check out this handy chart if you prefer your flank steak at a different doneness level.
- Change up the seasoning to suit your tastes. If you aren’t in the mood for southwest flavor, how about some Asian flavor with a garlic-soy marinade? Or season the steak with your favorite steak seasoning mixture.
- After you sous vide, give your steak a deep sear. This final step elevates your steak game from “home cook” to “master chef” status. I recommend using a cast-iron skillet or outdoor flattop griddle, as they retain heat well and give your steak that perfect, crisp crust.
Yes! Just season the flank steak before you freeze it. Then add an hour to the cooking time, and you can drop your frozen steak right into the water bath.
No worries if you don’t have a vacuum sealer lying around. You can use the water displacement method with a zip-top bag. Place your steak in the bag, partially close it, then slowly lower it into the water. The pressure will push the air out. Consider investing in a vacuum sealer if you plan to sous vide frequently.
One of the beauties of sous vide is that it’s pretty forgiving. Since it cooks at a precise and consistent temperature, the risk of overcooking is minimal. However, that doesn’t mean you can leave it there forever and expect a Michelin-star meal. Even sous vide has its limits, which is about 4 hours for this flank steak.
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Sous Vide Flank Steak Recipe
- 1 1/2 pound flank steak
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ½ onion sliced
- ½ red pepper sliced
- 1 tablespoon oil
- Place the sous vide immersion circulator in a container of water. Set it to 133 degrees F for medium-rare. Or see the table in the notes for other doneness. Wait for it to reach temperature.
- Combine the cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl. Season the steak liberally with the spice mixture.1 1/2 pound flank steak, 2 teaspoons cumin, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper
- Put the steak in a bag, vacuum seal it, or place it in a heavy-duty plastic bag and remove the air. If you don’t have a vacuum sealer use the water displacement method. Seal the bag most of the way and slowly lower it in the water, letting the water pressure push out the air.
- Once the water bath has reached your desired temperature, add the steak.
- Let it cook for at least 1 hour, but no longer than 4 hours.
- When ready to eat, heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add butter to the skillet and cook onions and bell peppers until crisp if you want to cook veggies.½ onion, ½ red pepper sliced, 1 tablespoon butter
- Remove the veggies from the skillet, raise the heat to high, and add a tablespoon of oil.1 tablespoon oil
- Take the steak out of the bag and pat it dry with a paper towel.
- Add it to the skillet and sear it for 1-2 minutes on each side.
- Slice your steak across the grain and serve.
- Change the seasoning and herbs if you have a favorite spice for steaks.
- If your steak is frozen, sous vide it for 2 – 5 hours.
- Don’t leave the steaks in the sous vide water bath for more than 4 hours of cooking time, or the texture of the meat will not be as good.
Temperature Chart for Sous Vide Flank Steak130°F | rare | cool red center 135°F | medium rare | warm red center 145°F | medium | warm pink center 155°F | medium well | slightly pink center 165°F | well done | little or no pink
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Nutrition facts are estimates.