How Long to Sous Vide Chicken Breast for Perfection

Are you tired of dry, rubbery chicken breasts that taste like disappointment? Fear not, my friend, for sous vide cooking is here to rescue you from the clutches of culinary despair. This foolproof method ensures that your chicken breasts come out juicy, tender, and bursting with flavor every single time.

But the real question is, how long should you sous vide chicken breast? Fear not, for we’ve got you covered with a comprehensive guide that will make you the envy of all chicken aficionados.

Understanding the Magic of Sous Vide

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of timing, let’s take a moment to appreciate the brilliance of sous vide cooking. This ingenious technique involves sealing your food in an airtight bag and submerging it in a water bath set to a precise temperature.

The magic lies in the fact that the food cooks evenly throughout, without any risk of overcooking or drying out. It’s like having a personal chef who knows exactly when to take your chicken off the heat, ensuring perfection with every bite.

The Sous Vide Chicken Breast Temperature and Timing Chart

Now, let’s get down to business. The key to achieving the desired texture and juiciness lies in following the right temperature and timing combinations. Here’s a handy chart to guide you:

Texture Temperature Timing Range
Very soft and juicy when served hot 140°F (60°C) 1 1/2 to 4 hours
Tender and juicy: Ideal for chicken salad when served cold, slightly stringy when served hot 150°F (66°C) 1 to 4 hours
Traditional, juicy, firm, and slightly stringy, served hot 160°F (71°C) 1 to 4 hours

Now, let’s break this down:

1. Very Soft and Juicy (140°F / 60°C)

If you’re a fan of ultra-tender, melt-in-your-mouth chicken, this is the temperature for you. Cook your chicken breasts at 140°F (60°C) for anywhere between 1 1/2 to 4 hours, and you’ll be rewarded with a texture that’s soft, juicy, and utterly divine.

  • Timing Range: 1 1/2 to 4 hours

2. Tender and Juicy (150°F / 66°C)

This temperature is the goldilocks zone for chicken breasts. Cook them at 150°F (66°C) for 1 to 4 hours, and you’ll achieve a tender, juicy texture that’s perfect for chicken salads when served cold or slightly stringy when served hot.

  • Timing Range: 1 to 4 hours

3. Traditional, Juicy, and Firm (160°F / 71°C)

If you’re a purist who prefers a more traditional texture, set your sous vide to 160°F (71°C) and cook your chicken breasts for 1 to 4 hours. This will yield juicy, firm, and slightly stringy chicken that’s perfect for serving hot.

  • Timing Range: 1 to 4 hours

Finishing Touches: Searing and Crisping

Now, as glorious as sous vide chicken breasts are, they do lack one crucial element: a crispy, golden-brown exterior. But fear not, for we have a solution!

After your chicken has finished its sous vide bath, you can quickly sear or grill it to achieve that coveted crunch. Here are a couple of methods:

Searing in a Pan

  1. Remove the chicken from the sous vide bag and pat it dry with paper towels.
  2. Heat a cast-iron skillet or heavy-bottomed pan over high heat with a bit of oil or butter.
  3. Sear the chicken breasts for 1-2 minutes per side, or until you’ve achieved your desired level of crispiness.


  1. Remove the chicken from the sous vide bag and pat it dry with paper towels.
  2. Preheat your grill to high heat.
  3. Grill the chicken breasts for 2-3 minutes per side, or until they have beautiful grill marks and a crispy exterior.

And there you have it, folks! With this comprehensive guide, you’re now armed with the knowledge to produce perfectly cooked, juicy, and tender sous vide chicken breasts every single time. Bid farewell to dry, flavorless chicken, and embrace the world of succulent, mouthwatering deliciousness.

Happy sous vide-ing!

The BEST way to cook juicy chicken breasts – Sous Vide


How long does it take to cook chicken breast in a sous vide?

Sous vide – sous vide the chicken breasts for for 1½ hours. Then, remove from the water. Let rest, then slice and serve – let the chicken rest in the sealed bag for 10 minutes, then remove it from the bag, slice, and enjoy!

Can you sous vide chicken too long?

So long as you’re cooking it above 130°F (54°C), there are no real health risks associated with prolonged sous vide cooking. You will, however, eventually notice a difference in texture. For best results, I wouldn’t cook it any longer than the maximum recommended time for each cut and temperature range.

Can I sous vide chicken at 145?

Anywhere from 125ºF and up is fine, but you don’t want to overcook it and go past 145ºF. If you have sides to make, you can easily reheat chicken in your circulator, and finish it quickly once it’s warmed up. You can pre-cook chicken in whole pieces, or cut up and in a sauce.

Can you sous vide chicken for 30 minutes?

This allows you to enjoy much juicier poultry than you normally would. Once Heated, chicken and other poultry are pasteurized by cooking it at: 140°F (60.0°C) for 30 minutes. 145°F (62.8°C) for 12 minutes.

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