Sous Vide Korean BBQ Chicken
Sous Vide Korean BBQ Chicken

This Sous Vide Korean BBQ Chicken is the best of both worlds: sous vide means perfectly cooked chicken; Grilling means crispy skin and grilled taste. So good!

This post is brought to you by ChefSteps in partnership with Joule: Sous Vide.

There is one cooking technique I’m using a lot in my kitchen this summer and that’s sous vide!

Video: Korean Sous Vide Barbecue Chicken


Sous Vide Korean BBQ Chicken

What is sous vide cooking?

For those of you who might be wondering, sous vide means “under vacuum” and it simply means sealing your food, extracting as much air as possible, and then cooking it in a water bath at a very specific temperature. This used to require lots of fancy equipment, but these days all you need is a Joule sous vide cooker and the rest can be done easily and cheaply!

New to sous vide cooking? Start here!

  • Everything you were wondering about sous vide cooking at home
  • How to use your new sous vide immersion thermostat
  • How to seal food without a vacuum sealer
  • Sous vide and food safety: what you need to know

I think sous vide cooking is something that all home cooks should learn because it takes a lot of the stress out of cooking. You can prepare your food in the pouches in advance and then cook it when you have time.

You also don’t have to monitor the food as it cooks as it’s in a very controlled environment (similar to cooking in a pressure cooker or slow cooker) and the results are the same every time! After all, restaurant chefs use sous vide to efficiently reproduce identical meals for all of their customers, and you can use it at home for the same reason!

How to cook Korean BBQ Chicken Sous Vide

Grilled chicken is one of my favorite summer BBQ recipes, but I still often struggle to make sure the chicken is cooked to a safe temperature without completely charring the outside.

Cooking the chicken sous vide and then grilling it completely eliminates this problem.

This recipe starts by topping the chicken in a homemade Korean-style BBQ sauce, then cooking it at a safe 158°F for three hours (you can also cook with that for up to five hours). That’s enough time to take your kids to soccer practice, run some errands, or curl up on the couch with a book!

Then finish the chicken on a hot grill while basting it with more sauce. The result is perfect Korean BBQ chicken. Everyone. Time.

The right temperature for sous vide chicken

The FDA recommends cooking chicken at 165°F, but you can safely cook chicken at a lower temperature as long as you cook it long enough. I chose 158°F for this recipe because I think that temperature gives the chicken a fantastic firm yet tender texture.

You can cook this chicken sous vide at just 150°F and it’ll still be safely cooked. However, I find that at this temperature the chicken is almost too juicy and has an almost raw texture. Not good for me. Going too much higher risks overcooking the chicken by the time you finish it on the grill.

No need for a vacuum sealer (unless you have one)

It is important that the chicken is sealed well and that as much air as possible is removed from the bag. Unless you happen to have a vacuum sealer at home, you’ll need to call it close enough by using the water displacement method to remove air from the bags.

First, make sure your chicken is in one layer in the bag. It’s okay if they touch, but try not to overlap the pieces or stack two pieces on top of each other. Use your hands to squeeze out as much air as possible, then partially seal the bag at the top to allow air to escape.

Then slowly immerse the bag in a pot of water and hold it by the seal at the top of the bag. The pressure of the water forces the air out of the bag, and once you’ve submerged the bag to the brim, seal the bag the rest of the way.

This effectively vacuums your food without the need for a vacuum sealer!

Make this sous vide chicken for your next cook!

If you’ve ever thought about delving into the world of sous vide, this recipe is a great place to start. The results are fantastic, either for a simple weeknight dinner or great for a casual backyard cookout.

Do you have questions about sous vide cooking? Leave a comment below!

More sous vide recipes to try!

  • How to cook pork chops sous vide
  • French sous vide dip sandwiches
  • Sous Vide Teriyaki Salmon
  • How to cook carrots sous vide
  • How to cook potatoes sous vide

Sous Vide Korean BBQ Chicken

preparation time
20 minutes

cooking time
3 hours

5 minutes

total time
3 hrs 25 mins

up to 10 servings

This recipe can easily be halved to feed smaller crowds or doubled to feed larger crowds.


  • 10 to 12 bone-in and skinless chicken drumsticks (4 to 5 pounds)

  • 1/2 cup hoisin sauce

  • 1/3 cup Gochujang Korean Chili Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

  • 3 tablespoons of honey

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

  • sesame, garnish

  • spring onions, garnish


  1. Make the Korean BBQ Sauce:

    Combine hoisin sauce, gochujang, vinegar, honey, and soy sauce in a medium bowl. Mix well and set aside.

  2. Prepare the chicken:

    Rub the chicken with about 1/3 cup of the sauce – enough to coat all of the thighs in some of the sauce. Reserve the remaining sauce to baste the chicken later.

    Place the drumsticks in a plastic freezer bag. Make sure the chicken is in a single layer; Use two bags if you must instead of overlapping the chicken.

  3. Seal the chicken:

    Use your hands to squeeze as much air out of the bag as possible and partially seal the top. Slowly dip the plastic bag into a pot of water up to the top of the bag, squeezing out as much air as possible. Seal the pouch once you reach the top. (Read more here.)

    At this point you can dry the bag and freeze the chicken for up to 3 months before cooking.

  4. Heat the sous vide water bath:

    When you are ready to boil, place your Joule or other immersion thermostat in the pot of water and heat to 158 degrees F.

  5. Cooking chicken sous vide:

    Place the chicken in the pot of hot water, making sure all the chicken thighs are completely submerged in the water. Boil 3 to 5 hours; The chicken is ready anytime during this period. (Cook for at least 4 hours if cooking from frozen material.)

    Make sure your cooking bags are fully submerged in the water throughout the cooking time. I also like to turn them once halfway through cooking to ensure they cook evenly.

  6. Heat a gas or charcoal grill to high heat:

    Approximately 500°F or until you can place your hand 1 inch above the grate for 1 to 2 seconds.

  7. Finish the chicken on the grill:

    Remove the chicken from the bags and place on a platter. Put the chicken skin side up Place on the grill and grill for 1 to 2 minutes. Baste with some of the extra sauce, then turn the chicken skin-side down.

    Baste with a little more sauce and grill for another 1 to 2 minutes. You should have some nice grill marks on both sides at this point. Continue to baste with BBQ sauce, turning a few times if you like. Keep in mind that the chicken is already cooked at this point, so we’re just grilling to sear the outside.

  8. Surcharge:

    When the chicken is grilled on both sides, remove from the grill and place on a clean platter. Garnish with sesame seeds and spring onions and serve immediately.

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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!