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half a sous vide burger on plate with pickle
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4.87 from 15 votes

Sous Vide Burgers

With a bit of experimenting and research, we've come up with some great tips for making sous vide burgers. We're aiming for juicy, great texture and the medium to medium-rare temperature we like. Nailed it!
Prep Time8 mins
Cook Time45 mins
grill2 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings (change as needed): 3

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 pounds (570g) lean ground beef
  • seasoning: Montreal Steak Spice, Note 1

Optional

  • buns, mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup, onions, lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, mango, salsas, horseradish

Instructions

  • HEAT SOUS VIDE WATER BATH to:
    ° 134F/56.7C - 136F/57.8C for medium-rare -ish (although some would call this medium). I use 136F-138F.
    ° 137F/58C-138F/59C for medium (still warm pink)
    ° 140F/60C for medium well-ish
  • PREPARE HAMBURGER PATTIES: Lightly form 3 ground meat patties of about 6-6 1/2 ounces/170-185g each, 1 inch/2.5cm thick. Don't over handle the meat. Season patties generously on both sides and edges with Montreal Steak Spice (or simply salt, black pepper and garlic powder). Transfer patties to a large zipper lock bag in a single layer. Do not use a vacuum sealer or the burgers will become too packed and dense.
  • COOK SOUS VIDE: Place bag with burger patties in sous vide bath with the water displacement method Note 2. Cook for 40-45 minutes up to a maximum of 3 hours. I find about 45 minutes to 1 hour results in the best juicy burgers.
  • REST AND FINISH BURGERS: Remove burgers from water bath and plastic bag. Pat dry well with paper towels. Rest for 10 minutes while you prepare grill or cast iron skillet for a quick sear. Sprinkle burgers lightly with salt and pepper. Then sear burgers on grill or in skillet.
    Pan sear: Heat a cast iron skillet to high (8-9/10). Add a tsp of vegetable or grapeseed oil. Sear burgers for 1 minute per side until top surface is browned.
    Gas grill: Heat grill to high (~500-550F). Spray burgers with oil. Grill for 1 minute on first side (cover grill). Flip burgers and grill 1 minute on second side (cover grill again) until browned. Add a slice of cheese on second side if you like.
    Serve in buns with your favorite toppings.

Notes

  1. Seasoning: instead of Montreal Steak Spice, use salt, pepper and garlic powder (or other seasonings you like). Season generously. If desired, you can mix 1 1/2 tbsp ketchup or BBQ sauce (no more than this) into the meat along with a sprinkle of garlic powder and pepper. 
  2. Seal bag with displacement method: Place unzipped bag of burgers into water until top of bag is just above water line. Air will be pushed out. Then zip up bag. Let bag go - it should sink below water line. If bag doesn't sink, clip to side of container or add a metal spoon in bag. 
  3. Make Ahead
    • You can sous vide the burgers, cool them, then transfer to a sealed container or bag to freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to eat,
      • warm them up from frozen in the sous vide at 125F/51.7C for about an hour. Pat them dry and grill for a minute per side on high.
      • Or defrost them to room temperature and sear in pan or grill. 
    • Sous vide burgers will also be fine in the fridge for several days until you are ready to do the final grill. 
 
Nutrition values are estimates and do not include buns and toppings of your choice.
Calories: 263kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 41g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 117mg | Sodium: 125mg | Potassium: 663mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 35IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 5mg