Sous vide shredded beef will send your taste buds straight to Flavortown. And we don’t say that lightly…
Thanks to cooking sous vide, the days of dry shredded beef are over. Cooking the chuck roast sous vide takes away all the guess work, so you'll have tender, juicy beef every single time.
For this cook, we keep the seasoning real simple with salt and pepper to let the natural flavor of the beef shine. Then, we bake the roast low and slow until a nice crust has formed. Once it is done, we let it rest and then shred the delicious, succulent beef.
At this point it's time to put together dreamy bbq shredded beef sandwiches, tacos or just about anything.
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. Ensuring the food is airtight and properly sealed prevents the bag from floating, which can result in uneven cooking. If you are in the market for a vacuum sealer, I’d recommend the Anova sealer.
The displacement method is a technique where you first place your food and marinades in a sous vide bag, submerge the bag in a container of water, and allow the pressure to force all the air out of the bag.
Both of these methods work for this recipe, so use whichever you feel more comfortable with!
Shredded Beef Time and Temperature
Through loads of experimentation, we’ve found that cooking the chuck roast sous vide at 175F for 24 hours is the perfect combo. Leaving the roast in for 24 hours breaks down the connective tissue (collagen), which is the sweet spot for extremely juicy meat. Also, cooking the chuck roast at a temperature of 175F ensures the meat is tender and easily shreddable.
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.
Best Way to Sear Beef After Sous Vide
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 roast, 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 roast 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 shredded beef, we suggest pan searing, grilling or using a searing torch. The trick is getting the pan, grill or torch extremely hot, then searing for 1 to 2 minutes on each side. This results in a quick, high-quality sear without overcooking the roast.
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.
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 24 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 Shredded Beef Recipe
- 1 3-5 lbs boneless chuck roast
- Salt and pepper (or seasoning) to taste
Set sous vide machine to 79.5C/175F.
Lightly season the chuck roast with salt and pepper (or seasoning of your choice). Put the roast in a sous vide bag, and remove the air through a vacuum sealer or the displacement method. Drop the bag in the bath for 24 hours.
Remove bag from bath. Carefully take chuck roast out of the bag and pat dry with paper towels. Brush a thin layer of oil on the roast, and season the entire roast generously with salt and pepper.
Heat up large skillet on high and add oil. Sear roast for 1 to 2 minutes on each side, until all edges are browned. Remove from pan, and place on a plate to rest for 5 minutes. Once rested, shred the chuck roast using two forks. Use this delicious, juicy shredded beef in a bbq sandwich, tacos or anything else. Enjoy!
Wow didn't realize making shredded beef was so easy using a sous vide. Thanks for the recipe!
Jared Anions says
You specify 175F and 165F in the same paragraph... Which is it?
Jason Veselak says
Apologies, that was a mistake. It should be 175F for 24 hours.
I just cooked one at 155 for 24 hours and it shredded just "OK". It was delicious with the au jus/bbq but it could have been more tender and juicy. I finished by searing with smoke for about 10 minutes. The connective tissue had given way but the fat had not rendered which is what I wanted. I can't wait to try 175 degrees to see the change it makes. BTW couldn't find a way to subscribe via a feedreader on your site.
Jason Veselak says
Finishing it with smoke and serving with au jus sounds delicious, I'll have to try that. Excited for you to try 175F, let me know when you do, I'd be curious to hear your thoughts on it. There is an opt-in at the top right of each recipe (you may have to scroll up). If you subscribe you'll get a free sous vide e-book!
Did you remove finishing it in the oven as an option rather than searing,? Cooked this recipe about a month ago and it turned out amazing! I finished it in the oven and thought that was part of the suggestions.?
Jason Veselak says
I did remove it temporarily. I have finished in the oven many times and the results are always great, but some people were getting dry, tough beef with the oven. I'm not sure what was happening with their cooks, so I temporarily took that instruction down for now while I investigate.
Did you ever determine whether it is best to finish by roasting in the oven, or searing on the stove?
Jason Veselak says
Hi Netha, yes I've tested finishing the chuck roast by oven and by pan searing and found that the oven method results in a better crust. That being said, searing it on the stove is still a solid method if you want it done quicker! 🙂
DAVID MAUGER says
Doing this today 6/12/20
For dinner 7/12/20
It is covered in light coating of oil to stick salt/Pepper mix.
I will smoke it in my Camp Chef Woodwind for 3 hrs.
Then 24hrs Sous Vide using one on my Anova circulators.
Will post results.
Jason Veselak says
Awesome, excited to see!
It was Amazing...
I forgot to take pics, sorry
Definitely in my ' Go Too' recipes list.
Something to try with this recipe. I do this with my pulled pork as well.
I vacuum pack the chuck roast (or pork butt) then cook for 24 hours. Once cooked; i put the bag in the freezer for a couple of days. (Pre-planning involved) I then take out the day of cooking and un wrap, rinse the fat/juice off the outside and give the meat a dry rub (while frozen) and throw in the oven to bake for 1 1/2-3 hours depending on the meat and size. Throwing it in the oven to finish frozen gives it a chance to defrost without destroying the juiciness of the roast and develops a great crust. Using a temperature probe is very handy for this.
Could you use an already cooked eye of round roast with the Sous Vide method above and still get the shredding?
Jason Veselak says
Hi J, sorry for the late response, have been traveling the past week. To be honest, I've never tried doing this so I can't give you a 100% accurate answer. But based on the science behind sous vide you should be able to achieve these results with an already-cooked piece.