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Best Final Sear for Sous Vide Steak?

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    Best Final Sear for Sous Vide Steak?

    I'm kinda new to sous vide/searing meat and my question is which way do you prefer doing the final sear on a good steak that's been SVed? Big blow torch, or hot griddle? I don't want to us a cast iron skillet.

    SV at least 2 hours, PK grill, on charcoal, use one chimney full all placed on one end, evenly about 1/3 of grill, with grill grates, wait until grill grate temp is 650, 1.5 min turn 45 degrees, 3 min flip 4.50 min turn 45 degrees, 6 min check int turn 45 degrees, temp, look for 145 degrees. won steak comp this way. won my wife over again this way. We have steak nite once a week.
    Last edited by randy56; June 24, 2021, 05:36 PM.


    • Dr. Pepper
      Dr. Pepper commented
      Editing a comment
      randy56 I have always understood an internal temp of 145 F to be a solid medium, if not more. Not rare by any means. Not looking for a fight here, but don't want to mislead Banjodave Are you sure you didn't mean 135 for medium rare?

    • Troutman
      Troutman commented
      Editing a comment
      If you cook that steak to 145* I'll personally come bash you over the head with your banjo. Cook to the temperature you want the steak to be at via SV, then rest on the counter or in the fridge, then sear the heck out of it by constantly flipping until you get the desired sear. I'd use screaming hot coals as others have suggested.

    • randy56
      randy56 commented
      Editing a comment
      I like um 135 but my wife does not so 145 it is, medium. oh well. sigh.

    After SV I fire up the Weber Smokey Joe, get it screaming hot, and just keep flipping till I like them.


      I can't help you. I use cast iron over high heat.


        I have an Infrared burner on my gasser that gets really, really hot. SV at 133* for 2 hours (1.5" to 2" inch thick steak), remove and remove steak9s) from vacuum bag and let sit while grill heats up, about 15 minutes, then sear flipping every 30 seconds for 2-3 minutes.

        I have also done the same first SV steps, then used my Blackstone griddle to sear - very, very effective, especially with a very light coat of mayo on the steaks.

        Never used a blow torch, but I know some here have using a special end on the torch.

        EDIT: if steak are less than 1.5" thick, I just go straight to IR burner or griddle, flipping every 20-30 seconds.
        Last edited by GolfGeezer; June 24, 2021, 05:49 PM.


          I use grill grates also but i turn them upside down Aint looking for Purdy grill marks I'm looking for tasty maillard sous vide to 125 3 hrs. let rest for 10 min. hot sear 1 min flip 1 min flip 1 min flip 1 min flip sit down and enjoy with the bottle or red wine you opened 30 min ago


          • BBQPhil
            BBQPhil commented
            Editing a comment
            Agree. I like my steaks blackened over the whole area, not just in thin stripes. In fact, I stopped using sous vide because I prefer the taste from charcoal. I do front sear on an M16 grill. First sear ~3 min on each side at 700-800 degrees on regular grates, then move off to the side, closing down the vents and cooking to 130 by temp. I've also used grill grates, but the flat side, and the results are excellent. Use Oakridge Carne steak seasoning, which helps with the blackening.
            Last edited by BBQPhil; June 25, 2021, 06:15 PM. Reason: Used reverse instead of front sear. Thanks new2

          • Dr. Pepper
            Dr. Pepper commented
            Editing a comment
            BBQPhil So, you 'Front sear', right? I've moved to front searing as well. I personally get better final temp control with the indirect low heat after the sear.

          I use a torch. One of these guys: https://amzn.to/3dceo4A

          It is designed so that when you tip the torch liquid propane can't flow into the torch head - causing a flameout and "torch taste". It has a nice wide flame.

          Click image for larger version

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          • surfdog
            surfdog commented
            Editing a comment
            Same one that I have.

            Fun fact: the Sansaire Searing Kit is exactly the same torch...just in white.
            (And with a higher price.)

            They even use the same Bernzomatic model number on the instruction manual.

          • mgaretz
            mgaretz commented
            Editing a comment
            Mine is actually the Sansaire.

          Screaming hot steel pan with a eighth inch of neutral flavored oil. I'm essentially frying the crust on in oil. Work for me, your mileage may vary.


            I use cast iron or screaming hot charcoal grill. I have used a torch but it felt like cheating...lol.


              I use the IR burner with SS grate on the side of the Napoleon gasser cause that’s what I have.
              When I want the cast iron griddle sear, I put the cast iron pan on the IR burner (lower the grate) and that works good to.


                Something hot . I mostly SV proteins that need seared in the dead of winter, so it's often a George Foreman grill getting called to do the searing. If I do SV during nicer weather, the searing is usually done on either a gasser or over charcoal. If you really want a crusty sear and don't want to use CI, I think best options are those already mentioned using a torch or charcoal. I think Meathead recommends the chimney grill method as I see pics of him searing over a chimney quite often.


                  9 out of 10 times I will use the gasser with grill grates (flat side up) as the final sear method. Just keep flipping until you get the desired sear.

                  After taking the steak/chop etc. out of the sous vide bag I pat it dry with a paper towel to ensure all the moisture is removed. I then paint the protein with oil (avocado is my choice), season if desired and then onto the grill.


                    I use the Meathead charcoal chimney method. Fill the chimney with charcoal and when all the coals are covered in white, I put a grill grate on top, wait a couple of minutes and then sear the heck out of the steak.


                    • Papa Bob
                      Papa Bob commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Absolutely a great choice use that method often 😎😎😎

                    I have grill grates on my gasser, and flip to the flat side... turn all three sear side burners to maximum, wait 10-15 minutes, a bit of oil on the steak... and SEAR!!!!!

                    Note: I shock, so I can sear harder.

                    Alternatively, I like to rub with Oak Ridge Carne Crosta, let that sit for 15 minutes, and then sear over the sear burners without the grill grates... the extra heat from the grates will not be necessary.



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