Sous Vide Essentials: Make Ahead Beef for Chili

Andy Anderson !


This recipe is not about how to make a pot of chili… this is about how to make some really tender marinated beef, and then freeze it for when needed in a yummy chili or stew recipe. Actually, you can have it any way you desire. How about over rice, or served with mashed taters and broccoli, or in a chili or stew… up to you.

I have at least a dozen 2-pound, vacuum-bags of this beef in my walk-in, and whenever I get a craving, I pull one out, warm it up, and go for it.

So, you ready… Let’s get into the kitchen.


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10 Min
4 Hr
No-Cook or Other



  • 2 lb
    beef roast, more on this later

  • 2 Tbsp
    grapeseed oil, or another non-flavored variety
  • 2 Tbsp
    worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp
    dehydrated onions, crushed
  • 1 Tbsp
    apple-cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp
    ancho chili powder
  • 2 clove
    garlic, minced

How to Make Sous Vide Essentials: Make Ahead Beef for Chili


  2. You will need a sous vide machine to make this recipe.
  3. Water Displacement Method
    If you are not using a vacuum-sealing machine (Food Saver, etc.), then you, most likely, are employing standard plastic food bags (Ziploc, etc.).
    To get as much of the air out of the bag, as possible, first fill it with food, and then slowly sink the open bag into a pan of water, while keeping the open end just above the waterline. The pressure of the water will push against the bag and force out most of the air. Then, seal the bag and you are ready to sous vide.
    If I am using Ziploc-type bags, I always clip the bag to the side of the container with the zip-seal portion above the water line.
    One more thing, do not use the “regular” Ziploc bags; use the ones designed to go into the freezer. They are much stronger and less prone to leaks.
  4. What you have is essentially a bag of marinated, tenderized beef. My suggestion is to use it in a chili; however, you could warm it up, and dump it over some rice, or serve it up with some mash taters, and broccoli. It is a bag of beef… Have fun with it.
  5. The Beef
    There are a lot of cuts that will work with this recipe. For example, you could use chuck, charcoal, ribeye, tenderloin, etc. With sous vide cooking almost any cut of beef can be turned into fork tender yumminess.
  6. Since the beef is already marinated and tender, you can add it to the recipe at the end of cooking all the other elements and cut the simmering time of a chili or stew from about 3 hours to under an hour.
    For example, a good chili made with cubed beef takes about 3 hours; however, most of that time is not in cooking the ingredients; it is in tenderizing the beef. Guess what? Your beef is already cooked, marinated, and tender… So, you cook up all your chili ingredients for about 30 minutes, then add the precooked beef. Let it warm up and Bob’s your uncle.
  7. Gather your ingredients (mise en place).
  8. Place you sous vide machine into a large container and set it for 130f (55c).
  9. While the water bath is coming up to temperature, cut your beef into bite-size pieces. I will let you determine what “bite size” means to you :-)
  10. Add all of the marinade ingredients to a large freezer, or vacuum bag, then massage the bag to mix the ingredients.
  11. Add the beef and massage the bag again to thoroughly coat the beef.
  12. Try to get the beef cubes into a single layer.
  13. If you are using a vacuum sealer, seal the bag. If you are using a freezer bag, remove most of the air from the bag using the water displacement method, described above.
  14. Add the bag to the water bath let it cook away for 3 – 4 hours.
  15. Remove the bag from water bath and sit it on the countertop until it comes down to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
  16. Use a magic marker to write the date and what is in the bag, then toss in the freezer until needed.
  18. Remove the bag from the freezer about 30 minutes prior to using and stick it in a bowl of warm water to thaw. Then, open the bag, add the beef to your chili, or whatever recipe you are using it in, let it warm through and serve. Enjoy.
  19. Keep the faith, and keep cooking.

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About Sous Vide Essentials: Make Ahead Beef for Chili

Course/Dish: Beef
Main Ingredient: Beef
Regional Style: American

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