I'm a new owner of a Sous Vide circulator, and I'd really like to make a leg of lamb for Easter. Making leg of lamb the "old" way (in the oven) I always get a better result if the leg is with the bone attached. However, all the recipes I find for Sous Vide calls for meat without the bone (typically 55 C for up to 48 hours). Is there anything I need to do different to make it on the bone?

(My circulator is the drop-on kind and can handle 40 liters, so I can fit the leg. Also, I have vacuum bags by the roll, so as long as I can find a leg which is quite thin, that shouldn't be a problem either. I plan to sear the meat after Sous Vide with a propane burner)


Just wanted to say how it turned out: 55 C for 48 hours made the meat tender... VERY tender. Almost liquid ;) I'll go for 24-30 hours next time :)

  • I suggest wrapping the bone in some good quality cling film to lessen the likelihood of it puncturing the bag. The only other thing to consider is that it's increasing the size of your product so therefore will increase the amount of time to achieve your desired doneness. – Brendan Mar 23 '13 at 13:59

According to Kenji Alt's experiements (admittedly with beef), the major effect of the bone is insulation, which matters in a high-heat cooking environment, but not in sous-vide. See: Do Bones Add Favor To Meat

For sous-vide cooking, the bone adds little value, other than appearance.

It may also make it harder to put the product in your bag and seal it without a puncture.

Still, there should be no harm in leaving it on if you choose to. In his ultimate steak method, Kenji Alt does leave the bone on for the sous-vide process.

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    Good links. In comments to the first post he does say (when questioned about if bones give flavor when using Sous Vide): "Yes to the even cooking effects. But you still might want to leave the bone for the main reason: that stuff around and clinging to it tastes great!" - which I would agree with... – Christian Rygg Mar 22 '13 at 2:07
  • That is true--but that effect doesn't come from the sous-vide process. It will come, if at all, from the post sous-vide torching. – SAJ14SAJ Mar 22 '13 at 2:09
  • True, but it's hard to get the effect during torching on something which has been cut off ;) – Christian Rygg Mar 22 '13 at 2:14
  • Sure, no worries. Leave the bone in if it won't puncture your bag. – SAJ14SAJ Mar 22 '13 at 2:15
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    I certainly have no argument against that tradition; it would be the same here with prime rib or rack of lamb. – SAJ14SAJ Mar 22 '13 at 2:16

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