Is It Worth It To Sous Vide Burgers?

As important as it is to choose the best ground beef or shape the patties perfectly when making burgers, in the end it all comes down to the right cooking technique. No one wants a tough, overcooked burger, and one that's raw in the middle is just as bad. Some people rely on the grill to get their burgers right, while others stick to the stove. Even an air fryer or oven can get the job done well, but there's actually one cooking method that's worth trying over the rest: sous vide. 

Though unconventional, J. Kenji López-Alt shared in a Serious Eats post that sous vide creates the juiciest possible steak. This works because the patties are sealed inside an airtight plastic bag which is then cooked in a water bath. The low and slow temperature-controlled cooking allows the meat to achieve a precise doneness, and the burger juices that normally seep out during the grilling process instead are contained within the meat.

Do sous vide burgers taste the same as grilled burgers?

Sous vide burgers are cooked with gentle, indirect heat, so while they'll turn out extra juicy, you won't get the same char marks or brownness that a grilled burger has. As a result, if you serve them straight out of the sous vide bath, they won't taste exactly like a traditional burger. Cooking blog Two Kooks in the Kitchen therefore recommends an additional step: searing the patties on each side afterwards.

Per the blog's instructions, you'll start by removing the burgers from the sous vide bag, patting them dry with a paper towel, and letting them rest for 10 minutes. Then, on a piping hot grill or skillet over high heat, you'll cook each side for one minute. At this point you can also add salt and pepper and melt on a slice of cheese. What you'll end up with is a tasty burger that has both a perfect sear and even doneness.