Three raw venison steaks on a wire rack
The Step You Can't Skip With Sous Vide Venison
The sous vide method helps cook venison evenly and to exact temperatures, turning it tender and juicy. However, for best results, do not skip double-searing the meat.
Double searing involves pan-searing venison before and after the sous vide process, which is crucial since sous vide cannot achieve the crust that high-temperature searing can.
Start with the pre-sous vide sear to add flavor. When you char the venison before bagging and submerging it in a water bath, you brown the meat and create a caramelized crust.
This is due to the Maillard reaction, a chemical process that occurs when proteins and sugars in the meat are exposed to high heat, which enhances the steak's flavor.
Once the venison reaches the desired temperature in the sous vide bath, sear it again to reintroduce texture to the meat's surface, as the outside still lacks a crunchy finish.
Since that crunchy finish and color only come from a quick, high-heat sear, the second searing helps crisp up the exterior, adding a contrast to the tender, evenly cooked interior.
Remember that both sears should be quick and hot, lasting just a minute or two on each side, as you're not cooking the meat further but only adding texture and flavor.