Sous vide (a.k.a. hot tubbing) is a technique where the meat is vacuum sealed in a plastic bag, put into a water bath, and brought to an almost-done temperature before being finished on the grill.
No matter how you like your steak done, this reverse sear is a great way to get more of your steak done the way you like it. By bringing the steak’s internal temperature close to the desired final level of done-ness first and then searing the outside, you get a nice, wide band of meat done the way you like it without much of a ring of gray meat around it.
I like my steak medium rare, so I sealed a couple of nice rib eyes in a FoodSaver bag and submerged it in a 100°F water bath. I checked every 15 minutes or so and added more hot water when the temperature dropped. After an hour the steaks were at the same temperature as the water.
Since medium rare is only 135°F, and the steaks are already almost there, all I had to do next was give them a good char.
I cranked my Big Green Egg up to nuclear temperature with all the vents open and did a final prep of the steaks – dusting them with some kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper and shaping them with my hands so that they are as compact as possible.
I put the steaks over the hottest part of the grill and closed the lid for 60 seconds of undisturbed searing. After a minute, I rotated them 90 degrees and gave them 30 seconds with the lid closed. I flipped the meat and repeated the process on the other side.
I pulled them from the grill, put the steaks on a warm plate and covered them gently with another one, and let them rest for about 10 minutes before serving.
The verdict – probably one of the tastiest steaks I’ve ever had. There was plenty of bright pink meat with a good, rich, beefy taste and a nice char on the outside. The texture was a little grainy, which might mean I had the water bath too hot. Next time I’ll use a bigger container so the temperature doesn’t drop when I add the steaks.