This Balsamic Marinated Sous Vide Flank Steak is melt-in-your-mouth tender and juicy. The balsamic, honey, and soy sauce based marinade makes this cut extra flavorful, and the sous vide method allows you to cook it to perfection – turning this cheap cut better than your favorite steakhouse!
What is sous vide?
Sous vide is a French cooking technique where the food is vacuum sealed, and then cooked in a water bath at a very precise temperature. It’s known for being a consistent way to evenly cook your meat or fish, although it takes longer time than the traditional grilling or pan-searing method.
Benefits of sous vide cooking flank steak:
- Flank steak is a lean and tough, but flavorful cut of the beef which benefits from the tenderizing effects of a marinade. It tastes best when cooked medium-rare, and sous vide can guarantee a juicer and more tender steak as the meat is cooked at a controlled temperature.
- Sous vide machine cooks the food evenly all the way through, as a result sous vide flank steak has an even doneness edge to edge.
- It’s low-stress cooking by eliminating short windows of time for perfect doneness.
Flank steak marinade
This easy marinade helps to boost flavor and tenderize the meat. It calls for a simple blend of balsamic, honey, soy sauce, garlic, black pepper, and oil.
It’s best to marinade for 2 hours or more for this recipe. It’s important to marinate your steak BEFORE cooking it in the sous vide machine.
How to make sous vide flank steak
- Add steak and marinade in a zip-top bag. Vacuum seal the bag and marinate for 2 hours in the refrigerator.
- When the steak is ready, place the vacuum sealed steak in a sous vide water bath at 135°F (57°C) and cook for 2 hours.
- When the timer goes off, remove the bag and pat dry with paper towel.
- Grill or sear for about 1 minute per side, just to caramelize the outside.
- Slice your flank steak thinly against the grain and serve with your favorite sauce.
You can use this recipe to cook flap steak, hanger or bavette steak.
Seal the bag without a vacuum sealer
While a vacuum sealer is the best way to seal the bag, it’s expensive and sometimes cannot be used with liquid marinade. I find Ziploc Freezer Bags are perfect for sealing the food, either wet or dry. The trick is called the “water displacement method” by using the pressure from the water to force all the air out of the bag.
Just place your steak in the bag, including marinades, and seal all but one corner of the bag. Slowly place it in the water bath, and make sure everything below the zip-line is covered by water. Then seal the rest of the bag.
What temperature do you sous vide flank steak?
Set the temperature between 130°F and 135°F for the best result. It will produce tender and juicy flank steak with medium rare doneness. As flank steak can get tough and chewy when it’s overcooked, I recommend not go beyond medium. Here is the guideline for steak doneness.
|Flank Steak Doneness||Internal Temp|
|Rare steak||125°F (52°C)|
|Medium rare steak||130°F (54°C)|
|Medium steak||140°F (60°C)|
|Well-done steak||160°F (71°C)|
How long does it take to sous vide flank steak?
Flank steak is a lean and tough cut which requires slightly longer cook time than central cuts. I find it’s best to cook them for 2 hours. Some recipes call for 7-10 hours of sous vide time, but the flank steak can become very mushy after cooking that long.
Pro tips for making the best sous vide flank steak
- Marinate before sous vide cooking: The marinade helps to tenderize the steak, and it’s best to marinate for 2 hours in the refrigerator.
- Pat dry before searing: After the steak is cooked in the sous vide machine, make sure to use paper towels to wipe off any extra moisture which can inhibit proper searing.
- Cook to medium-rare: For a tough cut like flank steak, it’s best to cook it to rare or medium-rare for the most tender texture. So don’t set the temperature too high or leave it in the water bath for too long.
Flank steak vs. skirt steak
Flank steak is sometimes confused with skirt steak, as they share some common features. However, there are significant differences between the two. Both are long cuts of steak that are budget-friendly and tougher, but with strong beefy flavor.
Flank steak comes from “flank” section while skirt steak comes from the “plate” section. Skirt steak has more tough fibers with even more intense beefy flavor than flank steak.
Ways to serve flank steak
This flank steak recipe can be served on its own with sauces like chimichurri sauce. You can also add it into other dishes such as:
- Steak Tacos
- Steak Sandwiches
- Steak Salad
- Steak Fajitas
Other Sous Vide Steak Recipes You’ll Love:
Balsamic Marinated Sous Vide Flank Steak
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon garlic minced
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 1/2 pounds flank steak
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
Marinate the Steak: In a small bowl, add balsamic vinegar, honey, soy sauce, minced garlic, black pepper, and olive oil. Mix well.
- Add flank steak to a zip-top bag, and pour the marinade into the bag.
- Coat the meat thoroughly and vacuum seal the bag using “water displacement” technique: seal all but one corner of the bag, and slowly place it into a container with cold water. Make sure everything below the zip-line is covered by water. Then seal the rest of the bag.
- Let it marinate for 2 hours in the refrigerator.
Sous Vide the Steak: Add water to the sous vide container or a large pot, set the Sous Vide Precision Cooker to 135°F (57°C) for medium rare doneness. This is my recommended doneness, and if you’d like to cook it more or less, follow the temperature guide in the post above.
- When the steak is ready, place the vacuum-sealed bag in the water bath. Make sure the meat is completely submerged.
- Cook for 2 hours.
- When the timer goes off, remove the bag from the water bath.
Sear: Wipe off any extra moisture from the cooked steak with paper towel.
- Place the skillet on medium-high heat and add olive oil. When the pan is very hot, add your steak and sear about 1 minute per side.
- Slice your steak thinly against the grain and serve with your favorite sauce.