Chefs use this technique to sous vide filet mignon to cook perfect steaks at their restaurants. It’s a reversal from most sous vide methods.

Medium rare sous vide filet mignon.

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Common ways of cooking steak

There are a few common ways to cook a steak:

  • Cook the steak at one temperature until it’s to your preferred doneness.
  • Sear it over high heat first and finish it over a lower heat.
  • Cook it over a lower heat first and finish it with a high-heat sear.

The last method is often the method used for reverse seared steak and sous vide steaks. With the reverse sear, the steak is cooked over an indirect heat zone, like a grill or smoker, until it reaches about 110F degrees. Then, it’s seared.

With the sous vide technique, you vacuum-seal the steak in a bag and submerge the bag in a container water.

The exact temperature of the water bath is controlled with an electric sous vide machine. Once the steak reaches a certain temperature, it’s then it gets a good sear in a hot skillet.

Check out Girl Carnivore’s sous vide filet mignon recipe for that process.

What’s different about this sous vide method?

This method involves a sous vide machine and a hot skillet, but the process is reversed.

It’s a cooking process where you sear the steak first. You then hold it in the refrigerator for 1-2 days. And you finish it to temp with the sous vide. It’s amazing if you need to plan ahead for a special occasion.

I learned about this method from Chef Harold Villarosa. He has worked in some of the top restaurants in the world. I was lucky enough to cook with him on Food Network’s BBQ Brawl.

Why do restaurant chefs prefer this method?

I wanted to make filet mignon steaks for the chef’s choice category at The Jack Daniel’s World Championships in 2023.

When I was brainstorming ideas, Chef Villarosa told me about this method. He said restaurant chefs use it when they need to prep a lot of steaks in advance because it reduces cook times on the back end.

I had only followed the sous vide and then sear method, so I was worried that searing it and holding it would affect the exterior. It didn’t!

The steak was perfectly cooked inside and out. In fact, my dish placed 10th at the world championships.

Sliced filet mignon with shrimp and grilled asparagus.
There's not really a name that I'm aware of for this cooking method, so I'm going to call it the reverse sous vide method. If you have a better name or know what it's traditionally called, leave a comment below. 


Filet mignon ingredients
  • Filet Mignon Steaks: Describe
  • Kosher Salt: Coarse kosher salt or sea salt will provide better flavor and texture. I use Diamond Salt brand.
  • Black Pepper: Use coarse black pepper for better texture.
  • Canola Oil: You need a high-heat oil for the searing stage. You can also use vegetable oil, corn oil or avocado oil. Just don’t use olive oil.
  • Butter: After the steaks have cooked, I baste them in butter for more flavor. I use Kerrygold unsalted butter. It’s the silver package.
  • Garlic: Fresh garlic is best.
  • Thyme: Fresh thyme adds that special herbaceous finish.

See the full recipe card below for servings and a full list of ingredients.

How to reverse sous vide a steak

With this cooking method, we’ll start by searing the steaks. Then, they’ll cool down. We’ll finish cooking them in a sous vide bath.

  1. STEP ONE: Remove the steaks from their packaging. Pat dry with a paper towel. Wrap with twine. Season with salt and pepper.
Seasoned filet mignon steaks.
  1. STEP TWO: Place a couple teaspoons of canola oil in a cast iron skillet. Place it on the stove over high heat and heat to 500F degrees.
PRO TIP: It's really important that the skillet is hot. Otherwise it will just steam the steak. I use an IR Gun or Thermapen IR to measure the temperature of the skillet. 
  1. STEP THREE: Place the steaks in the cast iron pan and quick sear on all sides. You’re looking to develop a nice crust. Don’t cook the steaks all the way through.

I usually cook the steaks for 90 seconds on the top and bottom and for 60 seconds on each side.

Once seared, the internal temperature will be anywhere from 75-90F degrees. The range will depend on the size of your steaks and how cold they were when you put them in the pan.

  1. STEP FOUR: Let the steaks cool on the counter for 15 minutes. Place them in a vacuum seal sous vide bag. I usually use a gallon-size bag for 4 steaks and a quart-size bag for 2 steaks.
2 filet mignon steaks in vacuum seal bag.

Use a vacuum sealer to remove the air and seal the bag. I manually press “seal” on the vacuum sealer after it sucks out most of the air, so the pressure doesn’t flatten the steaks too much.

PRO TIP: At this point, you can either move immediately to the next step or you can let the steaks rest in the refrigerator for 1-2 days. 
  1. STEP FIVE: Fill a large pot with water and add your sous vide immersion circulator. For medium rare steaks, set the temperature to 129F degrees. Once the water is heated, submerge the bag of steaks in the water. Sous vide for 2 hours.
Steaks in sous vide set at 129.
PRO TIP: You can keep the steaks submerged for more or less time, but I found 2 hours delivered the perfect texture. You can also increase the temperature to more than 129F degrees if you prefer your steaks more well done. See the guide below for temperature recommendations. 
Varying degrees of steaks and different doneness levels.

Click the picture above to read my steak temperature guide and to learn more about the internal temperature of meat.

  1. STEP SIX: To finish the steaks, heat a nonstick skillet over low heat. Add the butter, garlic, thyme and a pinch of salt. Cook until the butter is melted and fragrant.
  1. STEP SEVEN: After 2 hours, remove the steaks from the water and remove them from the plastic bag. Place them on a cutting board and slice into strips. Dip each slice in the garlic butter.
sliced sous vide filet mignon.

How to serve sous vide filet mignon

You’ll notice that each medium rare steak will be perfectly cooked through, and they’ll be so tender.

Shingle the butter-soaked steak slices on a plate. Garnish with a pinch of sea salt and fresh thyme leaves.

Serve your steak dinner with grilled shrimp, grilled asparagus with lemon-caper vinaigrette and mashed potatoes.


Store leftover filet mignon in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. You can enjoy the leftovers cold or reheat them in the microwave or in a skillet. When you reheat them, they will cook a little more.

You can also freeze the steak for 3-6 months.

GCG Pro Pitmaster Tips

  • Sear your steak first and let it cool
  • Sous vide filet mignon for 2 hours at 129F degrees for medium rare
  • Baste the finished steak with garlic-herb butter

Frequently Asked Questions

How long should I sous vide a filet mignon?

For perfect medium-rare steaks, I have found 2 hours to be the perfect amount of cooking time to sous vide a steak at 129F degrees. If you go much longer, the steak will start to become too tender.

Should you salt filet mignon before sous vide?

Yes. With this cooking method, you’ll season the steak with salt and pepper and then sear it. Then, you’ll complete the sous vide process. This method is a little different than most. It’s a technique used by restaurant chefs.

Is it safe to use raw garlic in sous vide?

Some sous vide steak recipes recommend adding garlic and herbs to the bag with the steak. This is not recommended.

Chef Michael Ollier from Certified Angus Beef informed me that when you place fresh garlic in a low-oxygen environment like a vacuum-sealed bag, it can produce bacteria.

If you like garlic, add it at the end of the cooking process instead.

How do you cook a well done filet mignon without burning it?

I get it. Some people like their steaks well done. They prefer not to see any pink. This reverse sear sous vide method is perfect for that.

Sear your steak. Then, let it cool. Then, sous vide it at 155-160F degrees for 2 hours. It will be the best steak you’ve ever had – cooked through to your perfect temperature without burning.

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5 from 1 vote

Sous Vide Filet Mignon Steak

Chefs use this technique to sous vide filet mignon to cook perfect steaks at their restaurants. It's a reversal from most sous vide methods.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 1 vacuum seal bag
  • 1 vacuum sealer
  • 1 sous vide circulator
  • 1 large pot of water


  • 4 filet mignon steaks
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp coarse ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp canola oil

Garlic Butter

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • pinch kosher salt


  • pinch sea salt
  • pinch fresh thyme leaves


  • Wrap: Remove the steaks from the packaging. Pat dry with paper towels. Wrap with butcher's twine.
    4 filet mignon steaks
  • Season: Season on all sides with salt and pepper.
    1 tsp kosher salt, 1 tsp coarse ground black pepper
  • Heat Skillet: Add canola oil to a large cast iron skillet. Heat on the stove over high heat to 500F degrees.
    2 tsp canola oil
  • Sear: Sear the steaks on all sides. You just want to form a crust. Don't try to fully cook the steak. I cook the top and bottom for 90 seconds each and the sides for 60 seconds each.
  • Cool: Allow the steaks to cool for 15 minutes.
  • Vacuum Seal: Place the steaks in a vacuum seal bag. Vacuum out most of the air and seal. You can move onto the next step right away or refrigerate the steaks for 1-2 days.
  • Sous Vide: Fill a large pot with warm water. Add the sous vide machine. For medium rare steaks, set it to 129F degrees. When the water is at temp, submerge the bag of steaks in the water and cook for 2 hours.
  • Make Butter: When the steaks are almost done, heat a non-stick skillet on the stove over low heat. Add the butter, garlic, thyme and a pinch of salt. Heat until the butter is melted.
    1/4 cup unsalted butter, 3 cloves garlic, 1 sprig fresh thyme, pinch kosher salt
  • Slice: After 2 hours, remove the steaks from the water bath and bag. Place on a cutting board and slice into strips.
  • Finish: Dip each slice in the garlic butter and shingle onto a plate. Add a pinch of sea salt and fresh thyme leaves.
    pinch fresh thyme leaves, pinch sea salt


This recipe is for medium-rare steak. If you like your steak more well done, see the temperature chart above and adjust the sous vide temperature to match your preferred donenesss. 


Calories: 435kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 21gFat: 38gSaturated Fat: 18gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 0.5gCholesterol: 110mgSodium: 639mgPotassium: 365mgFiber: 0.2gSugar: 0.03gVitamin A: 369IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 19mgIron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Did you try this recipe?Be sure to rate it, leave a comment and save it so you can make it again. Show off your awesome results on social by tagging @girlscangrill

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I’m Christie, the head cook and award-winning competitive pitmaster for Team Girls Can Grill. I have won multiple grand championships and top 10 category finishes. I’m an expert grill reviewer for BBQ Guys, and I have appeared on the Food Network and Ninja Woodfire Grill infomercials. I established this website in 2015 to share my BBQ tips and recipes.

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