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What Would You Like to Sous Vide?
Simple Sous Vide London Broil Recipe and How To Guide
London Broil technically isn't a cut of meat but a preparation method. Most meat labelled "London Broil" is actually chuck, round, or flank and you can follow the guidelines for those.
London broil is a favorite thing for a lot of people to sous vide, because it's inexpensive, and usually pretty flavorful. It also is very good when it's sous vided since you can easily tenderize it a little bit. We're going to dive into everything about sous vide London broil.
What is London Broil?
London broil is actually the name of a dish made of flank steak. Butchers mistakenly refer to the flank steak as London broil because this particular steak is used most often in the dish.
However London broil now refers to any cut of meat that is flat and large that is marinated and grilled or broiled. All of those have one thing in common, they're pretty tough cuts of meat.
Ironically the dish London broil doesn't originate from London and nobody can trace the origin of its name.
Why Sous Vide London Broil?
But first, why sous vide London broil? What's the point of using vide versus some of the traditional methods? After all, London broil is more of a preparation than a actual cut.
There are lots of different cuts that can be called a London. It's usually a flank steak, chuck steak, or round steak, and all of those have one thing in common. They're a pretty tough cut of meat.
We're used to having flank steaks, maybe that you just grill and you sliced thinly against the grain. That's a great way to prepare those in order to get around the toughness. But they can benefit from long cook times just like a chuck steak or a round steak can.
One thing about London broil and sous vide, since it is a tough cut of meat you can cook it for a long period of time and it will tenderize it. So you can cook a London broil at a really low temperature for a long period of time and it's going to tenderize but still be nice and juicy and flavorful. Compared to some traditional methods which raise the internal temperature above medium-rare, sometimes up in the well-done pot roast braised range.
Sous vide is a cooking method that allows you more control over your London broil. Cooking it longer also breaks down the connective tissue, which is great even at those lower temperatures. And when it's a thicker cut, which a lot of London broils are, it also allows you to heat it through completely and evenly.
I love turning to sous vide for it because it's a great way to really prepare something that has a lot of variety to it in general.
I've had some London broils that people just threw on the grill and they were tough and I didn't like them. Where sous vide London broil almost always turns out really, really flavorful, tender and perfectly cooked.
Because of these reasons, I think London broil is a perfect cut for sous vide. It's one of my favorite ways to cook London Broil. I really don't cook it any other way now.
Best Places to Buy Meat
People want to know where the best places to buy meat are, and there's a lot of different places you can get London broils and other cuts. I always recommend getting to know your local butcher, even if that's just at your grocery store. Costco is also well known for having a lot of good meat. Then if you want something a little more special, you can always turn to some of the online meat purveyors.
My favorites are Snake River Farms, Allen Brothers, and Porter Road. They all have amazing quality. I know a bunch of people that work at them and they're all great people who really do care about the product they're putting out.
Best Time and Temperature for Sous Vide London Broil
So what is the best time and temperature to sous vide London broil? Since London broil can be different cuts of meat, the time really depends on which cut you have. If you can look at the packaging and figure out, is it a chuck? Is it a round? Or is it a flank steak?
That will give you a little more information about how long to cook it. But in general, you're looking probably around 18 to 60 hours of cook time. That's a long range, right?
It's because with a flank steak you can get away with a lot shorter cooking times. It'd be about 18 to 24 hours to really, really tenderize it. For a chuck, you're looking at 24 to 36 hours. And for a round you're looking at 36 to 48 or even up to 60 hours to tenderize it, depending on where it comes from the round.
But a good rule of thumb for how long to sous vide a London broil is about 24 hours. That's going to give you a lot of tenderization and should work for the majority of cuts.
Some people do go a lot shorter, like I said, I've had London broils that have just been thrown on the grill and cooked. So if you're looking for more bite, and a little more toughness for your steak. This works good for a lot of steaks. That's one of the things I like about flank steak; it has bite and toughness to it. So if that's your thing then go ahead and sous vide it for a shorter amount of time.
Because of those 2 different goals, it helps explain why there is no real correct temperature or time for your meat. You have a lot of range to choose from, and it really depends what you're trying to accomplish.
There are a lot of other resources out there. Kenji, from Serious Eats, has a lot of good content. ChefSteps also does. And when you are determining the temperature to sous vide a London broil at, it really comes down to your end goal.
For a steak-like consistency, you're looking at however you like your steak. What temperature do you prefer your steak cooked at?
I like medium-rare. So I'm looking at 131°F (55°C) to 135°F (57°C). If you want medium, you can go up to 140°F (60°C).
The other is more braised-like, more of a pot roast starting to fall apart texture.
For that, I love 150°F (66°C). I think that's the perfect temperature for a pot-roast-like texture, but you can also go up to 165°F (74°C) or 176°F (80°C) if you really want to break it down.
And again, it's good to know what type of cut you are cooking. Chuck roast is good at all of these temperatures. Flank steaks are good at the majority of these temperatures. And round steaks really depend on the type of round. So depending on what the actual cut of your London broil is, you might want to pick a different temperature.
Basically, if you want steak, stick to the lower temperatures that you would normally cook steak at for 24 to 36 hours for most of the cuts. And if you're looking for more braising, go up to that 150°F, 165°F range. It might cook a little bit faster, but 24 hours is still going to be a pretty good time for you.
My personal recommendation for steak-like is 131°F (55°C) for about 24 to 36 hours. If I'm looking for that pot-roast-texture, I'm going up to about 150°F and I'm cooking it for probably 24 hours.
Detailed How to Sous Vide London Broil Process
Now let's dive into how do you actually go about sous viding London broil. I want to go through the different steps for you. It is similar to a lot of meats, but if you're new to sous vide and London broil's one of your first ones, I want to make sure you are set up for success and getting the perfect meat at the end.
Step 1: How to Prep Sous Vide London Broil
First, you need to prep it. This is usually removing any large fat deposits, connective tissue.
You can add salt or spice rubs to it ahead of time. Some people don't like adding salt or spice rubs. I use a lot of spice rubs and salt, and I think it's good. It's definitely different than if you're just going to throw it on the grill. But I think it does help flavor the outside of the meat really well and add flavor throughout the entire cooking process.
I don't recommend putting butter or oils in the bag. It tends to draw out flavor. It's better to add butter or oil at the end of the sous vide after you've seared the London broil.
A lot of people ask if you can cook London broil from frozen, and the answer is yes. You just want to add a few hours to the cook time. With London Broil we're already talking about such long cook times that you don't have to worry about the specifics, but add an extra two hours and you're good to go using it directly from the freezer.
There's no need to thaw it. You can just throw it into the sous vide machine if it's already in the package.
Often London broils can come pre-packaged from the store. I recommend you remove it from the store package and then sealing it on your own with your normal sous vide bags. Not all store packaging is heat safe, some of them leak and you can just run into issues.
Plus, I like to season my meat before I cook it. So I always recommend removing it from the store packaging and putting it in your own.
A lot of people also like to marinate London broil, and that's completely fine to do. Just doing the same way that you normally would. Marinate it first, remove it from the marinade and then cook it.
If you try to marinate it at the same time you're sous viding, often once the meat starts to change texture, the marinade interacts with it differently. So it's not always going to give you the same results.
Step 2: How to Seal Sous Vide London Broil
Like I said, the simplest way to prepare the meat is just to use salt and throw it in a bag. I also like to use spice rubs a lot. Now, you want to seal it.
If you're cooking multiple London broils, make sure to place them in a single layer. You don't want them stacked up or that's going to increase the cook time. And you can use pretty much any sort of sealer from a Foodsaver or edge sealer, Ziploc Freezer Bag work really good, or a chambered vacuum sealer.
I use a VacMaster and my dad uses a Polyscience. They're both really good machines to seal it. But a lot of home cooks don't need something like those. Ziploc freezer bags or an edge sealer work completely fine, you just want to get most of the air out when sealing.
We're not actually pulling a strict vacuum or cooking it in this like special environment. We're just getting the air out so the water gets close to the meat when we're cooking it, and that allows heat transfer. That's why Ziploc bags work really well if you use the water displacement method with them.
Most of those options are using plastic bags, but there's also silicone bags. For example, like the Stasher bags and a few other ones that you can use if you don't like having the plastic against your food.
Even though most food scientists say the plastic in sous vide is completely safe. It's up to you, and you can use some of those silicone bags if you prefer.
Step 3: How to Prepare the Sous Vide Water Bath
Once you have it in the sous vide pouch, it's time to heat up your sous vide machine. You want to set the temperature to whatever final temperature you decided on. Like I said, I like 131°F (55°C) or 150°F (66°C), depending if I'm going for steak-like or braise-like. But set it to whatever the desired doneness you are looking for in your London broil.
Some people think for best results, you need to
heat up the sous vide machine first. But for a long cook like a London broil, it doesn't really matter. You can throw it in as the machine's heating. There's no need to really wait the 5 to 15 minutes for it to get up to temperature because it's going to be in there for such a long period of time. You should be good to go.
What Immersion Circulator do I Recommend?
People also always ask me, "What immersion circulator do you recommend?". The main ones I always use are Joule, Anova, PolyScience HydroPro Plus and Vesta. I respect the companies, I know people who work there and they take pride in their equipment, so I usually recommend those.
There's a lot of other machines out there that are good. I do recommend spending a little bit more to go with an actual company's circulator versus just an inexpensive knockoff. Because if something goes wrong with your knockoff, you're not going to be able to get it fixed, which is always disappointing.
Where companies like Anova and PolyScience will do everything they can to make sure your circulator is back working if something does go wrong with it.
Step 4: How Long to Cook Sous Vide London Broil
Once the London Broil has cooked for long enough to be fully tenderized, which can be anywhere from 4 or 5 hours for some people, up through 60 hours for certain cuts as well. You can then take it out of the sous vide machine.
Step 5: Remove the London Broil From the Sous Vide Pouch
If you're going to be using it right away, we can go on to the searing step, but a lot of people like to use this for food prep. If so, take the vide bag and put it in some cold water or ice water.
Once it has cooled down you can put it in the refrigerator, where it's going to last for a few weeks. You can also put it in the freezer where it last for months.
This is a great way to speed up your food prep for when you actually need dinner. You just remove it from the fridge or remove it from the freezer. It will reheat in about an hour and then you can sear it.
You're ready to enjoy a really flavorful meal and you don't have to worry about it taking 36 hours or 48 hours to sous vide right then. It's already cooked, tenderized, and safe to eat. Just reheat it, take it out of the pouch, sear it and enjoy a nice quick meal!
Step 6: How to Sear Sous Vide London Broil
When you are ready to eat, take it out of the plastic bag, and dry it off really well. I like to use paper towels, or I keep some dish cloths on hand that I just use for drying off sous vide meat so I'm not getting juices on our good dish towels.
One way to sear sous vided food, such as London broil, is to heat some oil in a hot skillet or cast iron pan.
You can also do this on a hot grill and you want to put the meat on and you just want to cook it for probably about 30 seconds to 60 seconds per side, flipping it a few times till you get a nice brown crust.
You don't want to overcook it. The core temperature is already perfect. You don't want to raise it above what it already is.
That's why I'll let the meat sit out for 10 to 15 minutes while the pan's heating and I'm getting the rest of the food together. It helps lower the core temperature some, which gives me a longer time to sear.
Some people like to use Mayo on the outside of the meat. Some people hate that; some people swear by it. It's something you might want to try in order to help get a little bit better sear. It can also make the sear go a little quicker.
If you're running into issues with smoke while searing, I highly recommend trying to find a high-smoke-point oil. Those would include avocado oil, ghee, and some of the lighter olive oils which actually have a pretty high smoke point.
It's worth looking at some online resources to help determine which oils will work best. It will mean less smoke in the kitchen so you're less likely to set off your smoke alarm - which I've done way too often!
Once you have that nice golden brown crispy crust on the outside, you're ready to serve it.
Step 7: How to Serve Sous Vide London Broil
There are many different ways to serve London broil. One of my favorite ways is to cut it thinly and serve it with some roasted vegetables or some rice on the side.
There are also a wide variety of sources and salsas that can elevate the flavors. You can also just add barbecue sauce to it, and make it a really good poor man's brisket, if you will.
If you want some additional flavor you can also add spice rubs before you sear it. It's a great way to bump up the flavor at the end.
That's the nuts and bolts of how to actually sous vide a London broil. Hopefully, you now know everything you need to know to successfully sous vide one and wow your friends and family.
I'm going to link up my favorite simple sous vide London broil master recipe. It's a recipe that will allow you to perfectly cook your London broil with sous vide every time. It's going to come out moist, tender, ready to rock!
You can add your own spices and flavorings, sauces and sides to it, but you can use it as the basis for any meal that you would usually use London broil in.
If you have any comments or questions, please drop them below and I'll be happy to get back to them.
In my opinion, this is the best simple sous vide london broil recipe. London Broil technically isn't a cut of meat but a preparation method. Most meat labelled "London Broil" is actually chuck, round, or flank and you can follow the guidelines for those.
Prep Time: 35 Minutes
Cooktime: 18 to 60 Hours
Total Time: 18 to 60 Hours
Calories: 625 Calories
Tags: sous vide london broil, sous vide beef london broil, beef london broil, beef, sous vide, easy, simple
For the London Broil
2 pounds london broil
1 to 2 teaspoons salt
1/2 to 1 teaspoons spice rub or herbs (optional)
Preheat the Water Bath: Preheat a water bath to 131°F (55°C) or your desired temperature.
Season the Beef: Remove any gristle, fat, or connective tissue. Lightly salt the London broil and sprinkle with the spices.
Seal in a Bag: Place the London broil in a sous vide bag then seal the bag.
Cook the Meat: Place the sous vide bag in the water bath and cook until tenderized, 18 to 60 hours.
Dry the London Broil: Once the London broil is ready, remove it from the sous vide machine and take it out of the bag. Pat it dry with paper towels or a dish cloth so you can get a good sear on it.
Sear the Meat: Sear the London broil quickly to add a flavorful crust. Either a heavy pan over high heat, a grill turned to high, or a sous vide blow torch all work well.
Time to Plate: Plate the beef like you would a traditionally cooked version.
About London Broil
This large cut is taken from the flank region (abdominal muscles) of the cow; it is flat and thin with a distinctive longitudinal grain and oblong shape. It is flavorful in taste, however if cooked wrong then it is hard to chew, which is not good because flank steak is already pretty tough. The best way to cook this cut is to sous vide it. This easy cooking technique will give you a consistently tender and moist London broil every time.
Even when sous vided, all of the London broil meats should be sliced thinly across the grain for added chewing tenderness. It can also be tenderized by using marinades and commercial tenderizers.
This cut is ordered by weight, normally 1 to 2 pounds. When selecting flank steak, choose the one that is a bright red color and has the least amount of silverskin.
An advantage of flank steak is the fact that it is an all-season cut. You can grill it in the summer or make roulade in winter. This cut is popular for making great fajitas with it. Many people confuse the flank steak with skirt steak. However skirt steak is fattier but more tender than a flank steak.
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What is the Best Sous Vide London Broil Temperatures and Times?
London Broil technically isn't a cut of meat but a preparation method. Most meat labelled "London Broil" is actually chuck, round, or flank and you can follow the guidelines for those.
131°F for 18 to 60 Hours (55.0ºC)
140°F for 18 to 60 Hours (60.0ºC)
Tender Braise: 150°F for 12 to 36 Hours (65.6ºC)
Firm but Shreddable: 156°F for 12 to 24 Hours (68.9ºC)
More Fall Apart: 165°F for 12 to 24 Hours (73.9ºC)
Really Fall Apart: 176°F for 8 to 18 Hours (80.0ºC)
Do you have experience cooking london broil? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!