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This Sous Vide Boneless Chicken Breasts recipe makes super juicy and tender chicken that’s impossible to achieve with a traditional method! Sous vide technique allows you to control the temperature precisely and produces the perfect chicken that’s full of flavor! No more dry chicken!
This no-fail recipe uses skinless and boneless chicken breasts. No brining or marinating is needed. An easy 3-step method guarantees success EVERY TIME and you can customize with your favorite seasonings!
Why Sous Vide Chicken Breast is the Best?
For years I tried different techniques to cook chicken breast. With the low-fat content, chicken breast is ridiculously easy to overcook with traditional methods. When cooked just a few minutes too long, it turns out dry, chewy, and tasteless.
Enter sous vide cooking! It’s a water bath cooking method by sealing food in a bag, then cooking to a very precise temperature in a water bath. It means “under vacuum” in French.
Our recipe is foolproof as you can control the temperature precisely, so you’ll achieve the meat with unparalleled juiciness and NEVER overcook or undercook your chicken breast!
As a result, it’s low-stress cooking by eliminating short windows of time for perfect doneness, and your chicken will be evenly cooked edge to edge. Totally a game-changer!
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Boneless skinless chicken breasts: You can use either fresh or frozen chicken breasts. This recipe also works for bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts.
- Olive oil: Use regular olive oil and avoid extra virgin oil which has a low smoke point.
- Seasonings: I use my favorite seasoning for this one: paprika (mild or smoky), garlic powder, salt and black pepper. It’s Keto-friendly and goes with almost everything. But you can substitute other seasonings or dry rub that you like.
How To Sous Vide Cook Boneless Chicken Breasts
This low-carb chicken recipe is incredibly easy, and you simple need to follow this 3S method: Season, Sous Vide and Sear!
Step 1: Season
First, you want to season the chicken breast. This could be as simple as salt and pepper, though I love to give it some extra flavor. My favorite seasoning includes paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
Step 2: Sous vide
I have tested out different temperatures, and now I can firmly tell you that 149°F (65°C) is absolutely my favorite temp to sous vide chicken breast. When it’s above 150°F, the meat starts to get slightly dry and stringy. When it’s below 145°F, the meat tastes slightly raw to me.
To sous vide chicken breast, you need to vacuum seal the chicken first. If you don’t have a vacuum sealer, you can place the seasoned chicken into a zip-lock bag, and vacuum seal the bag using the water displacement technique.
Step 3: Sear
After sous vide cooking, your chicken is fully cooked. It’s ok to serve right away, but I like to finish with a quick sear to add some beautiful color and crispy crust to the chicken. Heat a skillet on the stove over medium-high heat with oil. When it’s very hot, add the chicken (presentation side down) and sear for 2 minutes until the chicken turns nice and brown, and then flip and cook the other side for 30 seconds.
Tips And Tricks
- Season the chicken breasts generously before cooking.
- Make sure to seal the bag properly to prevent water from entering during cooking. Use a vacuum sealer if possible. If not, you can use the water displacement method.
- Set your sous vide water bath to the desired temperature. For chicken breasts, a temperature between 140°F (60°C) and 150°F (65.6°C) will give you the best tender and juicy results.
- Make sure your chicken breast is completely submerged in water during cooking. Use sous vide weights if necessary.
- The cooking time depends on the thickness of the chicken breast. Avoid leaving the chicken breasts in the water bath for too long.
- After sous vide cooking, remove the chicken from the bag and pat it dry with paper towels. Excess moisture can prevent proper searing.
Sous Vide Chicken Safety
Even though it’s not cooked to the recommended safe temp of 165°F by USDA, sous vide chicken is safe to eat. The USDA temp guide is for the traditional cooking methods, but pasteurization is based on both the temp and time at that temp, therefore as long as you sous vide cook the chicken for more than 1 hour, it’s safe to eat. Your chicken breast is ready after 1 hour, but you can leave it in the water bath for as long as 4 hours (it can get mushy if you leave it longer than that.)
For sous vide cooking, once the temperature reaches 136F for 70 minutes, or 140F for 30 minutes, or 145F for 12 minutes, the chicken is safe to eat.
Temperature And Timing Chart
Temp and timing are key to achieving the best texture and flavor in sous vide chicken breasts. Here’s a chart to help you achieve the perfect results EVERY TIME:
|Chicken Breast Thickness
|1/2 to 3/4 inch
|Soft and very juicy
|1 to 1.5 inches
|Tender and juicy
|1.5 to 2 inches
|1.5 to 2 inches
|Tender but firm
Finishing After Sous Vide
After sous vide cooking your chicken breasts, it’s time to give them a beautiful finish. I like to sear the chicken briefly in a hot pan with oil or butter. This step adds a flavorful golden-brown crust to the chicken. Searing takes about 1-2 minutes per side, just until it’s nicely browned.
Other Seasoning Ideas
- Taco seasoning
- Fajita seasoning
- Italian seasoning
- Lemon pepper seasoning
Ways To Use Sous Vide Chicken Breasts
You can also cut or shred leftover chicken breast and use in another recipe. Here are some ideas:
- Chicken Noodle Soup
- Chicken Salad
- Chicken Casserole
How To Store Sous Vide Chicken Breasts?
Store cooked chicken breast in an airtight container in the refrigerator and it can last 3-4 days. They’re great for meal prep. Alternatively, you can freeze if for up to 3 months.
How long does it take to sous vide boneless chicken breast?
The time varies based on the thickness of the chicken breast, ranging from 1 to 4 hours.
What’s the best temperature for the most juicy chicken?
I’ve tested different temperatures, and my favorite for the most juicy chicken is 149°F (65°C).
Can I sous vide frozen chicken?
Yes, you can sous vide cook frozen chicken, but you’ll need to adjust the cooking time. It will take about 50% longer than cooking fresh or thawed chicken.
More Sous Vide Chicken Recipes
- Sous Vide Frozen Chicken Breasts
- Sous Vide Whole Chicken
- Sous Vide Chicken Drumsticks
- Sous Vide Chicken Wings with Buffalo Sauce
- Sous Vide Fried Chicken
Sous Vide Boneless Chicken Breasts Recipe
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (fresh or frozen*) You can also use bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
- 1 teaspoon paprika (or smoked paprika)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Fill a large container or pot with water. Attach the sous vide precision cooker and set the temperature to 149°F (65°C)**.
- Place the chicken breasts in a single layer on a plate. Rub 1 tablespoon of olive oil on all sides.
- In a small bowl, whisk together paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper until combined. Then rub the seasoning evenly over the chicken on all sides.
- Place them to zip-lock bags and arrange in a single layer. I use two bags with each bag having two pieces in it.
- Seal the bags using the “water displacement” technique: seal all but one corner of the bag, and slowly place it in the water bath. Make sure everything below the zip-line is covered by water. Then seal the rest of the bag. (Feel free to use a vacuum sealer if you have one.)
- Leave the bags in the warm water bath and cook for 1 hour. (Make sure the meat is fully submerged while the seams of the bag are above water. You can add heavy kitchen items to weigh the bag down if necessary.)
- When the timer goes off, remove the chicken from the bag and pat dry with paper towels.
- Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add the rest of oil. When it gets smoking hot, add the chicken breasts presentation-side down, cook for about 2 minutes until nicely seared. Flip and cook the other side for 30 seconds.
- Remove the chicken from the skillet and let it rest for a few minutes before serving.
- *If you use frozen chicken breasts, add 30 more minutes of cooking time in the sous vide water bath.
** I recommend cooking the chicken breast to 149°F / 65°C, but if you’d like to try other doneness, below are the guidelines:
- 140°F / 60°C: cook for 1.5-4 hours; the texture is very soft, tender and juicy
- 150°F / 66°C: 1-4 hours; soft and juicy
- 165°F / 74°C: 1-4 hours; traditional tender and slightly stringy