Does Sous Vide Render Fat? (All You Need to Know)

One of the things you’ll want when cooking steak is for the fat to render. Render is a cooking term that means you process the fat to turn into additional flavor to your food. Now, if you’re cooking steak sous vide, you may wonder the same thing. So, you may ask:

Does sous vide render fat? Yes, sous vide does render fat. However, due to the low-temperature cooking in sous vide, the output may not be pleasing to the eye and the taste buds. For instance, it will take a long time for the fat to render in sous vide. Thus, you may want to cut up the fat for it to render quicker.

A rendered fat enhances the flavor of the steak. Thus, when preparing these kinds of dishes, you’ll want to make sure you do it right. If you’re not familiar with such, especially in sous vide, you may want to read more.

Here, we’ll talk about the basics of rendering fat and how it works in sous vide. This way, you’ll understand the outcome and see how you can deal with it to achieve your preferred output.

Without further ado, let’s get into it!

Does Sous Vide Render Fat

Can sous vide render fat?

Yes, sous vide can render fat. However, it may not be as tasty and ideal as you would get with traditional cooking.

The thing about sous vide is that it cooks food at a consistent but low temperature. Such a temperature is enough to render fat. However, it will take a long time for that rendering. 

As a result, you’ll end up with a rubbery or gelatinous texture. Unfortunately, such a texture may also come with an unpleasant taste, something you don’t want to have in your dish.

In short, you can render fat in sous vide. However, it would be best to render fat on a pan later on when you sear it.

If you are rendering fat only and you don’t include the meat, you can first grind that fat before putting it in the plastic bag for the water bath. 

This way, you can render your fat quicker, avoiding that unappetizing texture and taste. Then you can use that rendered fat for cooking your dishes.

How to render fat in sous vide?

If you’re rendering fat in sous vide, you can follow this step-by-step process as your guide and instructions.

Prepare your water bath and sous vide circulator.

Get the best fat that you prefer.

Grind the fat for quicker rendering.

Put the fat in the plastic bag and seal properly.

Let it render in sous vide depending on the temperature you need.

Take it out afterward and use it for cooking.

The time and temperature you need will depend on the type of fat you’re rendering in sous vide. 

At what temp does fat render in sous vide?

Fat such as beef fat and duck fat renders in sous vide between 129 and 134 degrees Fahrenheit. 

When you prepare a dish in sous vide, you keep the temperature consistent between 129 and 134 degrees Fahrenheit. 

With such a temperature, it will take some time to render the fat. As a result, many sous vide cooks complain about “rubbery” fat or fat that is generally unappealing.

You’ll want to grind the fat to smaller pieces for easier and quicker rendering to avoid such. But, of course, it’s only ideal if you’re only rendering fat and not an entire steak. 

If you want to render the fat in a steak, you’ll enjoy it best to render it after sous vide. Then, you can simply sear the fat side longer until it releases juices.

Do you render fat on high or low heat?

Beef fat renders on low and high heat, but the ideal temperature is 130-140 degrees Fahrenheit. You want to take slow this rendering for the best results. Thus, you should maintain this heat while rendering for several hours.

Thus, if you need beef fat for your cooking, you’ll want to grind the fat before sous vide for a quicker rendering time. If you sous vide a whole slab of beef fat, it may take a while to render.

Often asked questions

Should you trim the fat before sous vide?

If you want to cook a dish at a higher temperature, you’ll want to remove the extra fat. But, of course, sous vide temperature will not be that hot, so you don’t have to remove the fat. 

However, if you want lean and tender meat, you’ll enjoy it by taking out the fat before cooking. It will also give a better texture.

How do you render fat after sous vide?

The best way to render fat after sous vide is through a pan or a cast-iron. If you want, you can follow these steps as your guide and instructions.

  1. Cook your meat or steak sous vide according to your preferred doneness.
  2. Once done, take out the steak and let it cool for at least two minutes. This cooldown will help you prevent it from overcooking while searing.
  3. Sear the steak on both sides for 2-3 minutes per side.
  4. Then, you’ll want to place the fatty edge to the pan or cast-iron skillet. 
  5. You need to hold the position until the fat has rendered and the oil gets released.


So, does sous vide render fat? Yes, sous vide does render fat. However, it’s not the best way to do so. Because sous vide cooking is done at low temperatures, the fat rendering may not be pleasant. In sous vide, for example, the fat will take a long time to render. As a result, you may wish to chop up the fat to make it render faster.



Image credits – Canva

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