Pre-Searing meat before freezing and cooking tip requests

I like to use my device so I can cook my dinner and have it ready when I get home from work late at night. I’m new to sous vide and have been experimenting, but I had some questions on how to pre pack the meat for sous vide without having to replace the vacuum seal bag. For example. can I pre-sear the meat, vacuum seal it in a bag, THEN freeze it? Also, What is the general ideal temperature for cooking meat, vegetables and other items over a 10 hour period with minimal risk of bacterial growth?

@Gantros welcome to the forum and Sous Vide cooking! Some people will sear meat before placing it in the Sous Vide while most folks sear it when it comes out of the Sous Vide (in some cases in addition to the pre-sear). The trick is to sear it at hot enough a temperature that you get a good finish without over cooking the meat. As far as temperatures are concerned, the Anova site has a pretty good “crib sheet” at and if you want (a LOT!!) more information on pasteurization temperatures and Sous Vide temperatures, check out: Everyone ends up with their own ideal temperatures after some experimentation so these guides are just the start. For me, most fish is ideal at 50C, lamb and beef at 55C, pork at 57C and chicken at 62C. Naturally your mileage may vary.

As far as vacuum sealing, it’s really up to you. First of all you don’t have to use a vacuum sealer to get good results. If you want to prepare the food ahead of time for the sous vide, you can add all the spices and liquids to fresh protein and vacuum seal it then freeze it. They will last a long time that way. Most protein can be cooked from a frozen state if you add more time (you have to experiment but for smallish cuts (< 1 inch thick) I usually add an hour.

Good luck and please report back on results.

Here is a link to some scientific reading on safe times and temperatures. Basically all of the safe temperatures you normally here are derived from the Log cures referenced here. They are at the far end of the curve or zero time. The temperature fro safe food decreases along a curve as time increases. Sous vide is not like a crock pot though; you won’t be real successful cooking everything at the same time and temperature. For example I do not think carrots would be “done” if cooked for 10 hours with a piece of round steak. If you are going to cook meat that long I would also suggest using tougher less expensive cuts. they are generally more flavorful as well.

About the pre searing.
If you like to pre sear you can definitely pre sear first then vacuum pack and cook it straight
from the freezer. I think 20 minutes more cooking time is enough if your meat is less than an
inch thick, but 40-60 minutes is better.
My second best steaks so far were fully done sous vide when my guests canceled last minute. I iced them
and froze them and put them in the bath for 60 minutes a week later then seared them. Perfectly med-rare and exceptionally tender.

My best steaks so far have been the fast dry aged with fish sauce ones. Definitely bumps up the flavour.