Is this the most unusual way to cook steak?

Serious cooks usually have their own tried and tested method for cooking a juicy steak, but this innovative method using a simple cool box is something you really should try.

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Sous vide cooking

This method of cooking originates from France, where it was developed in the 1970s. Sous vide translates as “under vacuum” and food cooked this way is claimed to have various benefits including improved retention of flavours and nutrients and minimal loss of moisture. Food is sealed in a pouch with the air removed and cooked very slowly at a low temperature. The cooking time is greatly extended and can be up to 72 hours for some items, but produces evenly cooked and juicy dishes. In commercial kitchens, the method is often favoured because it produces consistent results, maximizes advance preparation and helps to reduce waste.

According to Serious Eats, sous vide cooking can be used for a wide variety of foods, not simply steaks. It produces great results on other meats, such as pork and chicken, as well as seafood and vegetables.

If you are searching for inspiration on how to cook beef online recipes from sites such as are invaluable.

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DIY sous vide cooking

Professional sous vide equipment can be very expensive, but you can get the same results using a clean empty cool box. The method for cooking a juicy steak is quite simple; place the meat in a zip lock sandwich bag with a knob of butter and close the bag leaving only a small gap. Using a straw, suck the air out of the bag and seal it completely. Fill the cool box with hot water at a temperature of 54C, place the bag inside and close the lid. The steak should just be left in the cool box for fifty minutes and will be perfectly medium rare when it is taken out. You just need to dab it dry and season it to your taste after cooking.

Unfortunately, sous vide cooking does not brown the meat so it will not look very attractive. If you want to produce a lovely brown glaze on your steak you will need to sear it quickly in a hot frying pan at the end of the cooking period. If you want to try this method, there are instructional YouTube videos available.