Sous vide hamburgers are what dreams are made of. The burger patties are cooked to perfection using a sous vide, then covered in a delicious homemade burger sauce. The result? A masterful tasting burger that you can whip out for game day, pool parties or even a romantic dinner.
Do yourself a favor and make this recipe stat.
An essential part of cooking sous vide is putting ingredients in an air-tight bag or container. The two most common techniques to package your ingredients are vacuum sealing and using the water displacement method.
A vacuum sealer removes all the air and seals the contents of a plastic bag through a vacuum. Since burger patties are hand formed, please avoid using a vacuum sealer as it will compress the patties and make the meat tough.
The displacement method is a technique where you first place your food and marinades in a Ziploc double-zipper freezer bag, submerge your food in a container of water, and allow the pressure to force all the air out of the bag. We recommend using this technique for this recipe!
Burger Time and Temperature
Through loads of experimentation, we’ve found that cooking the hamburgers sous vide at 131F for 1 hour is the perfect combo. Cooking the burgers for one hour results in extremely tender, juicy beef. Also, cooking the hamburgers at a temperature of 131F ensures that the beef is a beautiful medium rare with great texture.
Just make sure you have a reliable sous vide that accurately regulates the temperature of the bath or your results may vary (check out the Anova or Joule). For other time and temperature options, check out our cooking guide here.
Can You Sous Vide Frozen Burgers?
The quick answer is, absolutely! Cooking frozen foods sous vide is an ultra convenient, safe way to prepare your protein. Just take the food directly from the fridge, repackage it (unless you know the bag is sous vide safe) and let the sous vide work its magic.
The only thing you’ll need to adjust is the cook time. If you are cooking frozen burgers sous vide we recommend adding an additional hour to the cook time, so two hours total.
Searing is the most critical step in the sous vide process. Getting a deep, rich sear can make your food look like it is Michelin star quality. Failing to do so will make your dinner guests wonder why they let you cook again.
If you want to get an amazing sear on your burgers, you’ve got to:
1. Pat the meat completely dry with a paper towel
2. Season generously with salt and pepper or seasoning of your choice
3. Sear at extremely high temperatures.
First, pat the meat completely dry using paper towels. After the meat is dry, lightly brush the burgers with olive oil then season generously with salt and pepper or a seasoning of choice. Note that brushing with olive oil is optional, but will allow the seasoning to stick to the meat better and results in a deeper sear.
At this point you want to determine the best searing method. For burgers, we highly suggest grilling. The trick is getting the grill extremely hot, then searing for 1 to 2 minutes on each side. This results in a quick, high-quality sear without overcooking the burgers. If grilling is not an option, pan searing or using a searing torch will also work great.
A delicious burger would not be complete without toppings! Here are some fantastic options to make your sous vide hamburger unforgettable:
- Thinly sliced tomatoes
- Sliced onions, red or white
- Pickle chips
- Burger sauce (recipe below)
- Onion bacon jam
- And so much more!
Sous Vide Machine – To cook sous vide, you’re going to need a device to precisely regulate the temperature of the bath water. The two best sous vide machines in the game right now are the Anova Precision Cooker and the Breville Joule.
The main difference between the two is that with the Anova you can control the device both manually and with a mobile device, and with the Joule you can only control the device by using your mobile device. Either way, both sous vide machines are top class and you can’t go wrong with either choice.
12-quart Container – Although you can use a basic stockpot for your sous vide cooking needs, I highly recommend buying a large plastic container. They are inexpensive and spacious, so you won’t have to worry about cooking a big roast in a small pot. I recommend a 12 quart Rubbermaid container, as it is BPA free, sturdy, and large enough for just about anything you will be cooking.
Container Lid – If you are going to buy a plastic container, I highly suggest buying a compatible lid for it. When you sous vide for a long duration, the heat of the water causes evaporation. With a lid, it eliminates a majority of the evaporation so you can cook for hours care-free.
Cast Iron Skillet – If you are looking to take your searing game to the next level, we recommend investing in a cast iron skillet. By using a cast iron in this recipe, you’ll achieve a deep sear on the protein. Cast irons are also extremely handy for searing just about any and all sous vide meat. Lodge offers the best quality and price, which is why it is our favorite cast iron brand.
Next Level Sous Vide –Looking to take your sous vide skills to the next level? The Next Level Sous Vide eCookbook will push your culinary boundaries with 65 delicious recipes that are equally approachable and tasty. With pro tips and a detailed explanation of the sous vide process, you will be on your way to maximize your sous vide skills.
Interested in more sous vide essentials? Check out our full list of recommended gear.
Sous Vide Hamburgers with Special Sauce
Sous Vide Hamburgers
- 1 lb ground chuck, 80/20
- 4 hamburger buns
- 4 slices American cheese
- 1 onion, sliced thinly for serving
- lettuce, for serving
- 1 tomato, slice thinly for serving
- Dill pickle chips, for serving
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoon yellow mustard
- 2 teaspoon white vinegar
- 2 teaspoon dill pickles, finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
Sous Vide Burgers
Set sous vide machine to 55C/131F.
To form the patties, divide ground beef into four equal portion and shape each into a circle about 4 inches wide. Lightly season with salt and pepper or seasoning of your choice.
Place the patties in a freezer bag, and remove the air using the displacement method. Drop bag in the water bath for 1 hour.
Remove patties from bath and pat dry with paper towel. Re-season with salt and pepper. Turn grill on high and cook the patties for 1-2 minutes on each side. If making a cheeseburger, add cheese on the burger after you flip the patty. Alternative: If you do not have a grill, heat pan on high, add oil or butter and sear the patties for 1 minute on each side. Remove from grill or pan and let patties rest for 5 minutes.
Place burger patty on warm, toasted bun and top with homemade burger sauce, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, and your other favorite toppings. Enjoy!
Add mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, pickles, onion powder, garlic powder, and vinegar in a bowl and mix until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and let rest for at least 1 hour before serving.