I am new to sous vide. I am currently cooking a roast at 140 F. I can see there is a bit of liquid, and probably blood around the meat in the bag. It has been going for 8 hours now at or above 140, so all should be well as it is at it's largest, ~2 1/2" thick. I am going to serve with potatoes, onion, and carrot. I plan to stew the left overs.

What should I do with the liquid currently in the bag? Would it be best to discard, or use for broth or to cook the vegtables?

I considered draining and catching the bag of the liquid, and resealing the roast in a new bag to go back in the water bath. I could then use the liquid to cook the veggies. What would that do to the roast, if it cooked another 30 to 90 minutes?

Note, I do plan to brown in a cast iron skillet for Maillard.

Suggestions? Thanks.

  • 3
    The liquid is not blood, but myoglobin and some minerals.
    – RudyB
    Aug 16, 2013 at 0:40
  • 1
    Tangentially related: "Why is meat red?"
    – Cascabel
    Aug 16, 2013 at 1:14

4 Answers 4


If you are planning to stew the leftovers, I would use the juices there: as a gravy base.


First of all, don't drain it off. You want to let the meat cook in its own juices the whole time. If you take the liquid away, you'll be missing out on one of the main benefits of cooking meat in its own little bag: it gets cooked in its own juices and keeps all that flavor.

But there will of course still be some liquid left in the end. Don't let the fact that you're new to sous vide scare you here; that liquid is still just meat drippings like from a normal roast, just not cooked as hot and without a lot of the water evaporating away. Depending on the roast, it'll have varying amounts of fat, and there's definitely plenty of strongly meat-flavored liquid, kind of like a concentrated broth.

So do with it what you'd usually do with those sorts of things. Sure, you can cook your vegetables in it. You can use it as the base for your stew. If there's enough fat you can make a gravy. Or save it for later and use it any other time you're looking for broth, keeping in mind that it'll be fairly strong.

  • I never let anything sous vide rest, I don't see the point. As for your statement it will take back liquid, that's untrue, you can't put moisture back into the meat, it's not a sponge.
    – Brendan
    Sep 19, 2013 at 18:04
  • @Brendan I've removed the part about resting here; I think you're right that it's not needed specifically for sous-vide. But it's still a good idea for higher temperature cooking methods on large cuts of meat like a roast, where you will most definitely lose some liquid if you don't let it rest first.
    – Cascabel
    Sep 19, 2013 at 18:09

I find the liquid remaining after a long cook (over a few hours) to be too beefy for my tastes. I generally discard. It is certainly safe. I don't think it is necessary to drain and re-bag. I do think it would overpower veggies.

This site is very helpful if you are new to low temp cooking: http://www.cookingissues.com/primers/sous-vide/


I almost always use the liquid. It's just jus. The risk is that if you pre-salted the meat the jus can get excessively salty. This is one reason I salt afterwards.

If you pour the jus into a pan and heat it you'll see that it clumps up and gets nasty. This is the myoglobin coagulating. A fine strainer removes this easily, and what's left behind should have a very clean, pure, meaty flavor.

I use it the way you'd use stock in a traditional pan sauce. After searing the meat, use it (and some wine, and maybe some other stock) to deglaze the pan. You can whip up a delicious sauce in just a few minutes.

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