Sous Vide Flank Steak
Cooking flank steak sous vide creates a flavorful steak so tender you can cut it with a fork.
To help highlight the steak’s natural flavors, this recipe uses a spice rub with a little chili powder and smoked paprika. The flavors in the spices, along with finishing the steak on the grill give it a nice smoky flavor. What makes flank steak cooked sous vide better than one entirely cooked on the grill is how it turns out so supple and juicy.
Cooking Steak Sous Vide
The recipe and technique used here will work equally well for hanger, skirt, flat iron, or other cuts of beef.
Flank steak is a long flat cut from the lower belly of the cow. Loaded with complex flavors, it’s a cut that is adept at absorbing spice rubs and marinades and is often grilled or braised.
What makes sous vide an ideal method for cooking flank steak and other tougher cuts like skirt or hanger steak is how the slow cooking process breaks down tougher, more fibrous cuts of beef without losing any of their flavors, letting you end up an unbelievably tender steak that has deep flavors and melts in your mouth.
In our testing, we found that the sweet spot for a beautifully cooked medium rare flank steak is 133℉ for 6 hours. If you like your steak cooked medium use 140℉.
We also found that steaks cooked for 24 hours or more, which is the time used in lots of other recipes, ended up too soft and that it didn’t feel like you were eating steak anymore. Steaks cooked shorter than 6 hours weren’t as tender as we wanted.
A tip when you’re slicing flank or skirt steak is to always make sure to cut it across the grain. Otherwise, it can end up tough and chewy.
- 1 lb flank steak
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- Start by setting up your sous vide cooking station and bringing the water to 133℉.
- Mix the salt, pepper, smoked paprika, garlic and chili powders together. Rub the spices onto the steak.
- Vacuum seal the steak in a plastic bag, set it in the water bath, and cook for 6 hours.
- When it’s finished cooking take the steak out and grill it on a medium-high grill for 2 to 3 minutes a side to develop a nice crust on the outside.
- After taking the steak off the grill let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
- To serve cut the steak into thin strips across the grain.