How to Sous Vide Chicken Breasts: Fresh OR Frozen

Once you’ve used the sous vide for chicken breast, you may never go back. Here is the simple method we use to cook chicken breasts with the sous vide – both fresh OR frozen!

sous vide chicken anova

Sous Vide Chicken Breasts

Each year, I allow myself one “splurge” on Amazon Prime Day. 

Last year, I bought a robot vacuum, which I absolutely love.

This year? I got a sous vide.

A friend of mine convinced me that this was a really awesome buy, so when I saw the Anova Sous Vide on sale for about $80, I decided that I would get one.

Because, if you know me, I love my kitchen appliances (hello, Instant Pot!).

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I’ll admit that I wasn’t even entirely sure what the sous vide was until I opened it. But I did some reading, joined some Facebook groups, and before long, I was convinced of how awesome this thing could be.

Although I’ve made several things with it, my favorite thing to make with the sous vide is just plain ol’ chicken breasts. I don’t know about you guys, but I have TROUBLE cooking chicken breasts.

They either don’t get cooked enough or, more often than not, they come out super dry. While I have used my meat thermometer a lot more lately (and that does help to make sure I have the right temperature), I appreciate things that are a little bit more hands off.

Which is why the sous vide is AMAZING. It cooks chicken to perfection every. single. time.

I’m not sure I could go back to baking chicken breasts even if I wanted to.

And best of all? You can even do it frozen. I’m the WORST at remembering to take out chicken early enough to defrost, and I don’t love defrosting chicken breasts in the microwave. I’ve used frozen chicken breasts in the slow cooker, but I guess that’s frowned on as well. So

I have chicken breasts frozen in an individual vacuum sealed bags, so I just throw those into the pot, and in about an hour and a half, I have perfectly cooked chicken.

Because I’ve had a lot of success with cooking chicken breast in the sous vide, I thought I’d share the two techniques I use.

I mainly just use plain chicken breasts, but you can easily add a delicious marinade to the bag as well! If the chicken isn’t frozen, I do recommend seasoning before just for some added flavor. I always season after (with frozen chicken), and it still tastes yummy.

Sous Vide Chicken

For both methods, you will need:

  • Sous vide
  • Pot of water
  • A freezer bag or reusable silicone storage bag
  • Chicken breasts

Sous Vide Chicken Breasts

Sous Vide Chicken Breast Temp

So the first step is to determine what temperature to put your sous vide at. Traditionally, chicken breast is considered “done” when it reaches 160 degrees. However, you’ll rarely find a recipe for sous vide chicken breast that has you set the temperature at 165.

Most sous vide temperatures are below 140, and the recommendation for chicken is pretty close to that. Most recipes/techniques I’ve seen fall between 140 and 150, and after experimenting with this, I would have to agree that this is ideal.

You certainly can cook it at 160, and the results will be fine. However, it is really perfect at a lower temperature.

If you are worried about if the chicken will be done or not, this is a really informative guide on the temperature of chicken breast when cooking using a sous vide.

How to Prepare Chicken for Sous Vide

If your chicken is not already in a vacuum sealed bag (like mine sometimes is), you can season it however you’d like. Salt and pepper are always a good option.

After you’ve seasoned it, you will need to put it into a bag – some people just use Ziploc bags, but I always use either my vacuum sealer or silicone reusable bags.

If you use a vacuum sealer bag, place the chicken and anything else (lemon, marinades, etc) into the bag. Slowly immerse it into the pot of water for your sous vide, pushing all the air out as you go. When you get to the corner, you will either vacuum seal it with a hand sealer, or you can zip it up.

I purchased this set of vacuum sealer bags with a hand sealer, and I like it a lot. I do like the idea of using silicone more, though, so you can pick from a variety of silicone bags on Amazon.

How to Sous Vide Fresh Chicken

For chicken that is fresh or defrosted, you just need about an hour!

I recommend doing fresh chicken at about 145 degrees for just about an hour. So set your sous vide to 145, place your chicken into the water, and let it work it’s magic.

After about an hour, it should be cooked to perfection!

How to Sous Vide Frozen Chicken

I’ve done sous video frozen chicken a few times, and I’ve found the ideal temperature to be 149. I’ve tried 145 with frozen, and I’ve found that the chicken tastes just a little bit more rubbery. However, at 149, I felt like it was cooked perfectly.

I cook frozen chicken (for about 1-2 pounds) for an hour and half. You could cook it up to four though.

How to “finish” your chicken

Once your sous vide has finished cooking your chicken, there are several things you can do to finish it off.

  • Nothing! Maybe season it a little bit, but you can easily just cut it up and use it in whatever recipe you want
  • Sear it on a hot pan
  • Grill it for a few seconds

You want to be careful NOT to overcook the meat after you put it on the sous vide. If you sear or grill it, just do it until you get the coloring you want on it, and then eat it!

So there you have it! I would love to hear how your experience goes!

How to sous vide chicken breast


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