Finishing Sous Vide on a Grill or Chimney Sear

There's nothing I love more than being outside, standing at my grill with some great steaks on there, getting ready to serve my friends and family. Especially if I've already pre-cooked the steaks using sous vide.

I'm going to show you how to get the most out of your grill and your sous vide machine. This article talks about searing your sous vided food using your grill.

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How to get the Most Out of Grilling and Sous Vide Methods Combined?

Grilling is one of the things I grew up doing. It's something I love doing, especially when I have friends over for a party.

And when I got seriously into the sous vide process, grilling was something that I thought I would miss. But with sous vide, my meat turns out perfectly cooked every single time.

So how can I achieve double perfection? By combining these 2 awesome cooking techniques.

For me, it is using my grill to sear off the food after I've sous vided it. And, it's pretty easy to do. If you already know how to pan sear meat, then it's going to be even simpler using your grill.

Standard Searing Process for Sous Vide Food

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It follows the standard sous vide searing process. You remove the sous vide pouch from the water bath, then take your cooked food out of the pouch.

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Sous vided meat needs to be dried off really well by using either paper towels or designated dish cloths. You want to make sure all that moisture is gone.

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If you want to, you can cool the internal temperature of the sous vide meat down before you start the searing process, it will give you a little bit longer time on the grill.

Then I crank my grill up to high, as high as it goes. Using searing bars, using all the burners, whatever I can do to crank the temperature up as much as I can. That's what I go for.

Then I put a little bit of oil on the outside of the meat and place the food on the grill. I'm going to flip it every 30 to 45 seconds for just a few minutes, until I get some good grill marks, some good browning on the outside.

Now you can pull it off and it's ready to be enjoyed.

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One of the things that I love about sous vide and grilling is I don't have to stay out there all day at my grill. However, it does give me the benefit of some great flavor and appetizing appearance. Plus, I still get to be outside and enjoying the nice weather for a while which is especially great at parties

That's all there is to the general process for how to sear sous vide food using your grill.

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Party Time? Pre-Sous Viding is the Way to Go!

If you like serving food at parties like I do, one of the things I love to do, and you can do too, is to pre-cook my food ahead of time with sous vide. Cool it off in the sous vide pouch and then I can put it in the fridge. This is my go-to sous vide meal prep process as well.

I can do this a few days ahead of time, and at this point I know my food is perfectly cooked. Then when my friends show up, all I have to do is reheat the food on the grill. This is a lot faster process.

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I also already know it's cooked all the way through and if I'm cooking things like chicken, I know the chicken's pasteurized and safe to eat. I'm not stressing the entire time trying to find that balance between poisoning all my friends and family, and serving them tough, stringy, rubbery chicken.

Since I know it's perfectly cooked, I can reheat it to a lower temperature 120°F (48.9°C) or 130°F (54.4°C), and I can then serve it.

This also works great for things like ribs. One of my favorite things is to cook some sous vide ribs at 150°F (65.6°C) for about 24 hours, remove the ribs from the sous vide water bath, chill them off and refrigerate.

Then in a few days when I have my party, I can pull out the racks of ribs, and reheat them back to serving temperature on the grill. It only takes 3 to 4 minutes and they have this great, wonderful grilled flavor. Everyone gets to see me cooking around the grill and enjoying that process, as we hang out and see what everyone's been up to.

But those ribs are perfectly tender, perfectly cooked, and there's no stress on the cook. Plus, if you have friends like I do, when they show up 20 or 30 minutes late or 2 hours late, it's easy to throw another perfectly cooked and already tenderized rack of ribs on the grill and in minutes the party rolls on.

That's a few of the ways that I like to use my grill.

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Smoke Sous Vide Food on the Grill

The final thing you can do with your grill is convert it into a smoker. Put some wood chips in some tin foil or into a smoking box. Throw it on your grill, and you can use that to add some great smoky flavor to any of the foods that you're cooking.

You can either do a full smoke or you can do a partial smoke during the searing process.

If you are going to do a full smoking process you probably don't want to dry your food off. It's better wet because the smoke sticks to the meat a little bit better. So you can just eliminate the drying off step completely. But the rest of the process is very similar.

This is one of my favorite ways to combine smoking with sous vide

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Now, you know how to get the most out of your grill with your sous vide machine. So you can shine the next time you really want to impress your friends and family at your next barbecue.

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If you like this you can get more than 85 inspiring recipes to get you on your way to sous vide success. It's all in my best selling book Modernist Cooking Made Easy: Sous Vide - Get Your Copy Today!

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All tags for this article: Sous Vide, Sous Vide Searing, Sous Vide Searing Equipment


Jason logsdon headshot This article is by me, Jason Logsdon. I'm an adventurous home cook and professional blogger who loves to try new things, especially when it comes to cooking. I've explored everything from sous vide and whipping siphons to pressure cookers and blow torches; created foams, gels and spheres; made barrel aged cocktails and brewed beer. I have also written 10 cookbooks on modernist cooking and sous vide and I run the AmazingFoodMadeEasy.com website.
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