Sous Vide and BBQ. I’m A Fan Already!

Sous vide (pronounced soo-veed) means “under vacuum” in French, and sous vide cooking is a gourmet culinary technique long used by chefs worldwide. The sous vide cooking technique involves cooking food in vacuum-sealed pouches, submerged in a water bath held at a precisely controlled temperature.

sous-vide-steak-3Last Friday night was an amazing dining experience. The evening had everything you could ask for in an outdoor cooked meal.  There was family, friends and food.  A triple combination that just couldn’t have been any better.  Along with Mrs. Grail, my daughter, son-in-law, and grandson our friends Ms. Laura and her husband Barry Martin were our guests. Laura and Barry made the drive down from Washington to visit with us and some of their family members.

sous-vide-steak-4I had saved some amazing steaks from Huwa Reserve for this meal.  You can see how wonderfully marbled this beef was.  I already wrote about the great ground beef from Huwa Reserve I made burgers from a couple of weeks ago. Laura and Barry don’t know how hard it was to leave alone these steaks for two weeks while I waited for their visit.

Cattle from the Huwa Family Ranch are started on grass and finished with a 100% vegetarian grain formula to produce some of the most tender, highly marbled and excellent tasting beef you’ve ever tried.

Outside of the USDA Grading system I don’t claim to know a lot about beef and the science behind why some beef looks and tastes so much better. What I do know and understand is what looks and tastes good. The Huwa Reserve beef is some of the best beef I have ever eaten. So, even though I can’t tell you exactly why feeding cattle grass and then natural, vegetarian grains, grown by Huwa Reserve, I can tell you it makes a big difference in marbling, taste and tenderness.


Cooking in the SousVide Supreme water oven allows a cook to create flavors and textures you can’t achieve with any other cooking method. I was anxious to see exactly what the combination of sous vide and grilling would do to the Huwa Reserve steaks.

My plan was to cook the steaks four hours at 139 degrees.  This would bring the steaks to a rare temperature and a quick sear on the grill would finish the cooking.  The first step in the process is vacuum sealing the steaks in the water pouches.

I seasoned the steaks with only kosher salt before sealing them.  When I grill good quality steaks all I ever season with is kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.  I don’t want anything covering up the flavor of the beef. I’ll be trying other proteins with a variety of seasoning and flavor profiles down the road, but for now it was salt only.

Natural flavor and juices are infused into the food while in the cooking pouch resulting in incomparable flavors and texture


After four hours in the water oven at 139 degrees the steaks came out of the hot water and cooled, in the water pouches , to room temperature and then placed in the refrigerator to wait until the arrival of the guests of honor two days later. This process made the whole cooking process on the day of the cooking that much easier.  All I had to do was remove the steaks from the refrigerator, put them out on the kitchen counter to warm up.  Once the steaks were room temperature I removed them from the water pouches and rinsed the salt off.

sous-vide-steak-2When the steaks were rinsed I dried them off and seasoned them with more kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. After pre-heating the Saber Grill to 800 degrees I seared the steaks for 2 minutes, rotated 45 degrees and seared another 2 minutes. After turning the steaks over the process was repeated.

What was the result? Four perfectly rare steaks with absolutely no red juices after cutting.  It was amazing how tender yet firm the meat was, it was also moist and flavorful.  This is the best steak I have ever cooked. The combination of Huwa Reserve beef and the Sous Vide Supreme was a combination I love.

The only thing I would do differently is putting each steak in its own water pouch.  The two Delmonico steaks were vacuumed sealed separately while the two New York Strip steaks were sealed in the same water pouch. The Delmonicos were perfect while the two New York Strips were still a little undercooked where they touched in the water pouch. I should have though about this before sealing them up, since the process cooks by circulating water around the meat and one whole side of each steak didn’t have any water around them.

NOTE: Thanks to Barry Martin for taking pictures while I cooked. He did a great job and helped me make this post better.

This post is the result of partnership between The BBQ Grail Media Group and Sous Vide Supreme.  Sous Vide Supreme has loaned me the water oven for use during a recipe contest they are sponsoring.  Thanks to Huwa Reserve for the beef.

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