So I made a 1lb hanger steak via sous-vide the other day and cooked it for 45 minutes at 130F.

After I seared in a cast iron pan, I took the meat off of the pan and let it sit for a few minutes and then sliced it up(against the grain) into smaller portions.

I noticed a lot of red juice in the plate as I was slicing it up but after I put it on a plate and it was sitting at the table, the meat almost ended up swimming in red juice.

When I order medium rare steak at a restaurant and it comes out pre-sliced, I don't usually notice this much red juice.

Is this normal?


Found this great article explaining what was going on: http://www.seriouseats.com/2009/12/how-to-have-juicy-meats-steaks-the-food-lab-the-importance-of-resting-grilling.html#continued

He has another article about sous vide ( http://www.seriouseats.com/2010/03/how-to-sous-vide-steak.html ) where he claims that you don't need to let the meat rest after searing. This is the one that originally led me to not need to rest the steak.

Looks like there is some resting that is required. Will post up with results next time I make some steak.

  • How long was the steak in the skillet for searing and how long was the rest time (less than or greater than five minutes)?
    – AaronN
    Sep 19, 2011 at 21:40
  • About 1 minute per side @ 450 F for searing. I rested it for about a minute after I took it off the pan and started slicing it with a serrated steak knife.
    – alexpotato
    Sep 20, 2011 at 16:23
  • @alexpotato - covered it in my answer, but a longer rest and sharper knife.
    – rfusca
    Sep 20, 2011 at 16:52
  • Found a good link with regards to resting.
    – alexpotato
    Sep 23, 2011 at 17:05
  • 5
    You do not need to rest sous vide meat, but you do need to rest seared meat. So if you end with the latter, you need to rest. This is highly dependent on thickness of your meat and searing time.
    – yossarian
    Sep 23, 2011 at 17:33

3 Answers 3


Pretty much...yes, but you can fix it!.

When you properly sous vide or very slow cook anything, you'll retain more of the myoglobin color because of the even cooking that often doesn't go above 140 at all. So a properly cooked steak like this will retain much more of its red colored myoglobin. Simply put, the meat will have more red juices to release! (Its a great, great thing about sous vide.)

As @Ronald mentions, the other thing is the resting of the meat. It's an important step as the muscle fibers relax after the heat is off and hold juices better then. An often misstep for the home cook is they allow a hot piece of meat to rest on a flat, solid surface. This causes the bottom of the meat to steam against the board, open the fibers in the meat more, and release the juices on to the board. Rest your meat on a raised baking rack so that it has air circulation all around it.

After a short rest - for most steak 10 minutes is fine, then you can cut into the steak. Use a very sharp knife to slice. The meat here is essentially a sponge and you don't want to compress it and squeeze out the juices. A dull knife will do this and you'll lose more juice on the cutting board again. Use a sharp knife and apply steady, even, but light pressure while slicing - let the edge do the work (if it won't, sharpen the knife more).

  • 1
    By the way, I only recently learned resting on a cooling rack (instead of flat cutting board) thing from a rouxbe.com lesson!
    – rfusca
    Sep 19, 2011 at 23:00
  • 1
    Does flipping the steak while it rests accomplish the same goal of avoiding steaming?
    – alexpotato
    Sep 20, 2011 at 16:22
  • 1
    @alexpotato - Not really. Flipping isn't to avoid the steaming, its to keep the juices towards the middle of the meat. Imagine an hourglass that you periodically rotate - the majority of the sand will stay in the middle. Steak are thin enough that I've never flipped them during resting, but do for a large cut like a roast.
    – rfusca
    Sep 20, 2011 at 16:51

I just wanted to add a counterpoint to what I'm seeing here. A lot of people mention resting the meat but this is strictly unnecessary for a sous vide prepared steak.

The purpose of resting in standard preparation techniques is to allow moisture that has been driven into the center by intense outward heat to redistribute itself evenly across the steak. In sous vide cooking there is no extreme outside temperature (a quick sear will not drive moisture inward) so it is not necessary to rest the meat.

I've found this to be true in my own sous vide experiences which have been pretty numerous in the past couple of years for an at home cook, but a quick google search found this thread:

resting meat


Usually a steak at a restaurant is allowed to "rest" for 10 minutes before being served, perhaps that helps? Also, cooking in a normal method gives more opportunity for moisture to escape.

OK, I'm just winging it, I don't have a sous-vide set up yet.

  • See my post to this question for some more information on this. Sous vide has a lot of things that are counter intuitive to conventional cooking techniques
    – Brian
    Jan 20, 2012 at 22:49

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