Does Sous Vide Meat Need to Rest? (Explained!)

If you’re traditionally cooking meat, you’re familiar with resting. Resting is a necessary step to retain the meat’s juices and prevent them from getting dry. However, when you’re cooking sous vide, you may wonder if it’s still necessary. Thus, you may ask:

Does sous vide meat need to rest? No, sous vide meat doesn’t need to rest. If you’re cooking sous vide, you already keep the moisture inside the meat since you cook it at a low temperature. Thus, even after a quick sear of 3 minutes per side, you can slice it up and serve it while hot.

In traditional cooking, letting the meat rest is an essential step since it allows the juice of the meat to return from the center to the surface. However, since sous vide cooks the meat at a low temperature, the juices remain and don’t concentrate in the center. Thus, you can serve it hot after searing.

Of course, a few minutes of rest will still be ideal. However, when it comes to sous vide, there’s not much difference between a steak that rested and a steak that didn’t. In this article, we’ll answer some of the fundamental questions about resting sous vide meat. This way, you can understand how it works and why there’s no need for it.

Without further ado, let’s get into it!

Does Sous Vide Meat Need to RestPin

Do you need to let sous vide meat rest?

No, you don’t need to let sous vide meat rest. Sous vide meat is cooked at a low temperature for an extended period. Thus, its juices didn’t compress in the center of the steak. 

As a result, you don’t need to rest the meat since resting lets the juices return to the entire piece. Now, if you’re searing the meat afterward, you may want to rest it for a few minutes to cool for a bit. 

The reason is that searing immediately after sous vide may bring the meat’s temperature to a sudden increase which can potentially overcook it.

Thus, you should let the sous vide meat sit for a few minutes before searing. This way, you lessen the risk of overcooking it.

Allowing it to rest before tossing it in a hot skillet will only make it more delectable if that’s even necessary. And then, after three minutes of searing your steak, you’re ready to slice, prepare, and enjoy the meal.

Do sous vide steaks need to rest?

No, sous vide steaks don’t need to rest, but you can do it for a couple of minutes if you prefer. Since sous vide cooks in low temperatures, the steak’s juices don’t retract to the center.

In short, the process of sous vide allows the meat to cook while retaining its juices. For this reason, you don’t need to rest the steak, and you can serve it after searing while still hot.

How long can a meat rest after sous vide?

Meat can rest for a couple of minutes after sous vide. So whether you’re searing it or freezing it afterward, a couple of minutes to cool down will be ideal.

If you’re preparing the meat in advance, you don’t need to take it out of the bag. Instead, let the meat rest for a couple of minutes after taking it out of the water bath. Then, place it in the freezer to preserve.

If you’re serving the meat immediately, let it cool down for a few minutes. This way, you prevent it from overcooking from the searing you’ll do later. Once it cools down, you can sear it and then slice and serve afterward.

In general, sous vide steaks are best served when hot, immediately after searing. Thus, there’s no need to let it rest after searing.

Now, the case is different when cooking meat the traditional way, pan searing or grilling. Steaks that have been traditionally cooked must rest. That is, they must be set aside for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing and eating. 

This resting period allows the temperature difference within the steak to balance out. The warmer outside borders gently heat the colder core while losing part of their heat to the outside world. 

Even temperature is vital because it stops a steak from spilling its fluids all over the place once it’s been cut open.

What happens if you don’t rest meat?

If you don’t rest the meat, what will happen is that the juices will ooze out you’ll end up with dry meat. If you cut the meat immediately after taking it out of the heat, it will lose more of its flavor from the tasty juices. 

Since the internal temperature of the meat will always continue to rise slightly during the resting period, you should take it from the oven or grill before it reaches the desired doneness degree. It will be overdone otherwise.

Does resting meat make a difference?

Yes, resting meat does make a difference. After removing a large piece of meat from the oven, it will keep cooking for several minutes.

If you cut into it soon away, the juice will pool, and your lovely roast will become relatively dry. Allowing it to rest allows the moisture to be reabsorbed, resulting in soft and juicy meat.


So, does sous vide meat need to rest? No, it’s not necessary to let your sous vide meat rest. If you cook your meat sous vide, it will retain its juiciness whether or not you rest it. Since sous vide cooks meat at low temperatures, the juices will not retract, which means it will stay juicy all the time.

The only thing you need to do is cool it down for a few minutes after sous vide when you’re going to sear it. Such a cooldown will avoid overcooking the meat, making it perfect with a crust from the searing. 



Image credits – Canva

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