Sous vide, Weeknight dinner
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Sous Vide Butter Basted Porterhouse (From the Freezer)

Sous Vide Porterhouse

Sous Vide Butter Basted Porterhouse (From the Freezer)

Sous vide from the freezer is becoming my favorite “I’m too busy to cook” trick. My local grocery store had a sale on Certified Angus Beef porterhouse a month ago; they were so gorgeous that I bought two. One was dinner that night. The other I salted, vacuum sealed, and stored in the freezer for later.

Last Saturday was “later.” I was working on my blog redesign all day 3, and I didn’t have time for an elaborate dinner. At 4 PM I took a break from the keyboard. I filled my sous vide with water, dropped in the frozen porterhouse, and set the temp to 134°F. (My kids like their steak a little less rare than I do.) While I was in the kitchen, I put a few russet potatoes in the oven, along with my cast iron skillet, and set them to time bake. Five minutes, end to end, and I was back on the internet, fixing 404 errors. 4

At 6:15, my wife asked if we were ever having dinner. I dragged my focus away from the laptop, stood up, and said dinner is at 6:30. That got me the “fifteen minutes? I’ve heard that one before” look.

I tossed a salad, pulled the potatoes out of the oven, and moved the preheated pan from the oven to the stove top. I patted the porterhouse dry while a couple of tablespoons of butter melted in the pan; A quick sear on each side, basting all the time, and the steak was ready.

Even better? The comments at the table. “Ohh…this steak is so good.” Twenty minutes of active cooking time and dinner earns raves.

Try a sous vide porterhouse. You’ll be a hero.

No sous vide water bath? No vacuum sealer? No worries. See the notes section, below, for Bubba sous vide instructions.

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Sliced porterhouse steak on a cutting board with a knife next to it

Sous Vide Butter Basted Porterhouse (From the Freezer)

  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


Sous Vide Butter Basted Porterhouse (From the Freezer)

Inspired by: Jeffrey B. Rogers, Porterhouse Steak Using the Constant Flip/Hot Oil Method []


  • 1 thick cut porterhouse steak (1 1/2 inches thick, about 2 pounds)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of butter


Sous Vide the porterhouse: Sprinkle the porterhouse with the salt and pepper, put it in a large (gallon) vacuum pouch, and vacuum seal. (The vacuum sealed steak can be refrigerated for up to 3 days, or frozen for months.) Set the sous vide to 136°F/58°C for medium. (125°F/51.5°C for rare, 131°F/55°C for medium-rare, 141°F/60.5°C for medium well.) Drop the porterhouse in the sous vide water and cook for 1 1/2 hours to 6 hours. (Cook for at least 2 hours if the steak is frozen.)

Sear and butter baste the porterhouse: While the steak is cooking sous vide, preheat the pan over medium-high heat. (I preheated my cast iron pan in a 425°F oven for at least 20 minutes, then moved it to the stove top over medium-high heat.) Remove the porterhouse from the vacuum bag and pat dry with paper towels. Add the butter to the pan, and the moment it stops foaming, add the porterhouse. Sear the porterhouse, basting with butter, until it is well browned, about 1 minute a side. Remove to a cutting board, carve, and serve.


A thick cut porterhouse is a lot of beef. After carving it will serve at least two people, and up to four normal eaters. (Make sure everyone gets a few slices of both the tenderloin side and the beefy New York strip side.) I try to keep the bone for myself, but Diane usually steals it from me.

The bone in the porterhouse can result in uneven browning – one side of the steak has good contact with the pan, the other does not. Use the butter basting to even out the browning, concentrating the butter on the less browned parts of the steak.

No sous vide water bath? No vacuum sealer? Use Bubba sous vide: a beer cooler and regular zip-top bags. They’re fussier than a sous vide water bath and a vacuum sealer, but they do the job.


Sous vide setup (I use an Anova Precision Cooker)

Heavy skillet (I use a 12 inch Lodge cast iron skillet)

  • Category: Weeknight Dinner
  • Method: Sous Vide
  • Cuisine: American
Porterhouse in a cast iron pan with a hand spooning butter over irt

Butter basting

Porterhouse steak with slices on a cutting board

Sous Vide Porterhouse sliced and ready to serve

What do you think?

Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.

Related Posts

Sous Vide Grilled New York Strip Steak With Herbs
Sous Vide Flat Iron Steak With Baby Kale Salad
Grilled Sous Vide Filet Mignon With Parmesan Gremolata

My Sous Vide Recipe Index

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  1. Corinna says

    Have you tried sous vide using an instant pot? Have you got any comments or recommendations on this?

    • Yes, I’ve tried it, and…it doesn’t work very well. It does not keep the temperature steady enough for Sous vide.

  2. Tres Bradshaw says

    Hey Mike:

    Question… mentioned you “salted” the porterhouse before freezing. I purchase multiple steaks all the time when on sale and “foodsaver them”….but I have never heard of salting them before freezing?

    What is the purpose of the technique? Does the salt do something with the moisture content and have a positive effect on the freezing? Or is is for flavor?

    What kind of salt? Table, sea, kosher, seasoned?


    • I think salting the steak before freezing gives it a little bit of a dry brine effect. I haven’t done a head to head comparison, but the steak does come out nicely seasoned.

      I use kosher salt, like in the recipe. (Mainly because I always use kosher salt.)

  3. Dave N says

    Thanks for the recipe. I reference your site and your first cookbook all the time!

    I got a sous vide for Christmas, and I absolutely love cooking with it. However, whenever I put my cooked meat in the skillet for a quick sear, my house fills with smoke. (Thank goodness I let the batteries die in my smoke detector! JK)

    It doesn’t matter if I sous vide the meat with seasoning or without. Smoke gets in my eyes. And I live in MN where it’s simply too cold right now to sear on my grill.

    Any ideas?

    • I have the same issue. My thermostat smoke detector always hates when I sear steaks. I view smoke as the price I have to pay for a good sear.

      (To cut the smoke down, you can cut short the sear on the second side. Give it a minute on the first side, then 15 to 30 seconds on the second, basting all the while.)

      Other options – how good is your broiler? Mine’s awful, so I haven’t tried it.

      Or, look at my five food finds post earlier this week for the Searzall attachment for a blowtorch (When they’re back in stock) If you’re truly, truly dedicated to a good browned crust, that may be worth seeking out.

      • f00b4r says

        You can always try deep frying the steak for thirty seconds at 225C.
        I haven’t tried this method myself but it is one of the Modernist Cuisine recommended techniques.

    • Christos Andrews says

      Another solution is to get a torch. I don’t have one, but am seriously considering one. Another benefit is that you can sear quickly without the risk of overcooking the middle. I’ve unfortunately overcooked my precious slow-cooked meat because I wanted a good brown. I’ve also had meat that was cooked perfectly, but lacked a nice crust because I didn’t want to risk searing for too long.

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