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Steak – Cooking Sous Vide


ElsieD
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Greetings,

 

I am very new to Sous Vide cooking.  I have had moderate success with the process, but recently tried my first NY strip steaks.  The results were very good, but not exactly as I expected.  I could use some more experienced some advice.

 

I individually sealed 4 NY strips that were about 1 lb each and maybe 1.5" thick.  I did not add any spices or other flavorings, just the steaks which I trimmed fairly aggressively.  My theory was that I did not want a big fat cap that would be hard to sear and fully render.  They went onto a 127 degree bath for about 90 minutes.  I removed the steaks, dried them with paper towels, coated with olive oil and seared them in a cast iron pan with a little added butter and fresh thyme.  They turned out well but were not exactly what I expected.  Here is what was different:

  1. Texture:  One of the things I like about a NY strip is the relatively firm texture compared to other cuts.  Mine were much softer than a traditionally grilled NY strip.  For some, the softer texture might be good, but I missed the texture I was hoping for.  Question: Is this just the nature of SV cooking?  Is there some way to recapture the great texture of a NY Strip while still getting the perfect edge to edge doneness?
  2. Juice:  As we ate the steaks, I noticed that the juice that was on the plates was very red.  It was not bad, but created a distraction in the meal as it was very unusual.  I have eaten plenty of steak, but have not seen juice like this.  Question:  Is this too just how it works?  Is it possible that I did not leave the steaks in the bath long enough?
  3. Searing:  This was also my first attempt at searing a steak in a cast iron skillet.  I did them 2 at a time.  I started by searing the fat cap edges first which worked well, but created a good bit of liquid in the pan.  The first 2 steaks seared beautifully, but the second 2 did not do as well.  I am wondering if I should have poured the liquid out of the pan before adding the second pair.  My guess is that the amount of liquid prevented the final steaks from making good contact with the pan.  Question:  Should I drain the liquid after the first pair?  I added some butter and thyme and did not really want to discard that.  Maybe I should have poured out and reserved the juice?  Also, whey they say that this technique makes a lot of smoke, they are not kidding.  Thank goodness for the whole house fan...

 

So that's it for now.  I really appreciate any advice that might be offered.

 

Doug M.

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After converting the measurements to metric, I can understand what happened. After an hour and a half, steaks as thick as you used would only have reached around 118F. This is well below blue and suggests that the "juice" is most likely that found in under-cooked steak. Such a steak will be very soft in the middle (think raw meat), whether sous vide cooked or not.

 

We've discussed levels of doneness at some length on eGullet. A general consensus at one stage was that rare steaks are 50-54.9C (122F - 130F); medium rare are 55-59.9 (131F - 139F); medium 60-64.9 (140F-148F). These are the core temperatures, as discussed above a conventional steak will have warmer temperatures outside the core increasing a gradient to the exterior. 

 

If you have an iPhone, do yourself a favour and get the Sous Vide Dash app. This will allow you to work out how long the meat has to be cooked and at what temperature to achieve the result that you desire.

 

For searing, you need an extremely hot pan (cast iron starting to look white). At this temperature, any butter or thyme is going to be incinerated. Make sure the steaks are very dry (I use paper towel) before browning. You are trying to achieve a maillard effect similar to what you get when you first put an uncooked steak over very high heat.

 

If you want to use butter and thyme, let the steaks rest a bit after browning and spoon melted butter and thyme over them while they are on a more reasonable heat.

Edited by nickrey (log)

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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  • 7 years later...

Quick question - I'm doing a couple of SV NY strip steaks for St. V's day (they are Mr. Kim's favorite steak).  Should I salt these and let them sit uncovered in the fridge overnight?  And, if so, do I rinse before putting in the SV bag?  I'm sure all of this has been addressed elsewhere, but I can't find it.  Ta!!

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33 minutes ago, Kim Shook said:

Quick question - I'm doing a couple of SV NY strip steaks for St. V's day (they are Mr. Kim's favorite steak).  Should I salt these and let them sit uncovered in the fridge overnight?  And, if so, do I rinse before putting in the SV bag?  I'm sure all of this has been addressed elsewhere, but I can't find it.  Ta!!

When I cook meats SV I usually don't salt prior to bagging - I find that it changes the texture giving it a cured meat consistency.  My best results came from a fast hard sear, then bag and SV, then pat dry, season and resear.

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2 hours ago, KennethT said:

When I cook meats SV I usually don't salt prior to bagging - I find that it changes the texture giving it a cured meat consistency.  My best results came from a fast hard sear, then bag and SV, then pat dry, season and resear.


From my experience, that cured meat consistency is an issue with longer SV cooks (e.g. for not standard steak cuts). For a strip steak that stays in the bay he for 2h at 51 oC or so it has never been a problem for me. I always presalt and leave in the fridge overnight for some concentrated flavours. If you want to go funky, the same principle works with fish sauce (25% salt). Draws out moisture and seasons the outermost layer, which equilibrates during the cook.

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1 hour ago, gfweb said:

I usually salt lightly just prior to bag and SV and then sear.

 

Studies are called -for

 


The presear/resear sequence leads definitely to faster browning. But it adds a step and frankly, I do not do that anymore (and add butter in the final sear to get the color right) …

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Ive done RB40 refrigerator cure :

 

3 days , on a rack , ;refrigerated , then SV

 

the steaks were outstanding and not fishy at all .

 

Id do this again should i venture into the SteakWorld again

 

@Kim Shook 

 

Id very lightly salt them and refrigerate .   then just pat dry .

 

and SV .  I don't brown pre-SV , but I make no claims that 

 

its the best method .  when I do brown p SV , I take the steak out

 

of a refrigerated bag , dry , then brown.   I dont want to really cook

 

the meat further.

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19 hours ago, Duvel said:


The presear/resear sequence leads definitely to faster browning. But it adds a step and frankly, I do not do that anymore (and add butter in the final sear to get the color right) …

 

That's how I still do it. I like the quality of sear more. And by making it happen so much faster there's less chance of overcooking. For us, steak is a special occasion kind of thing so I don't mind the extra step. If we cooked it all the time I might look for shortcuts.

 

I salt before the final sear. Not sure what it would take to get corned beef flavors from salting too soon ... but I'm fine with the flavor of salting right at the end. 

 

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Notes from the underbelly

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I usually SV without seasoning, then chill, dry, season and sear. Because my beef comes vac sealed, and I can just take it out of the freezer and chunk it in the bath.

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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So, I ended up salting the day before and refrigerating uncovered.  I rinsed and dried it before sprinkling with Montreal Steak Seasoning and a little demerara sugar (I used to do this years ago and remembered we liked it a lot) and putting it in the bag.  I SV'd it at 130F for 2 1/2 hours, took it out of the bag and dried it.  Then Mr. Kim seared it in an iron skillet on the gas grill burner for about 2 minutes on high.  It was very good and we thought it was cooked to the exact degree we like.  It was also incredibly tender, especially for a strip steak.  After the sear and inside:

IMG_8237.jpg.e252ce5968e59e3797bf59d68e005660.jpg

 

IMG_8238.jpg.38e93738efe9b8068bbad7163fa113e7.jpg

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