Sous Vide Steaks
Meat Hacks: Sous Vide Steak
Learn about Sous Vide Cooking a Steak with Walton's and Meatgistics. Watch the video, read the guide, and then post your questions or comments below.
Is Sous Vide the best way to cook Steak?
Most of you who have watched any of our past videos or read my posts on meatgistics.com about steaks know that I am huge proponent of the reverse sear method of cooking steaks, of everything I have tried it has given me the best and most consistent results. Today we are going to try something that I’ve been told will have a real chance at changing my mind.
You might have seen a few videos showing cooking sous vide steak already and we don’t want to do the same old thing so we are going to see what the difference is when we sous vide a steak for 24 hours, 8 hr, 4 hrs or 1 hr. I have a feeling the 24 hour one is going to be overly tender, though that sounds insane to say. So we have vacuum packed 4 steaks and have them all set to be done at the same time.
Sous Vide cooking operates off a similar theory as the reverse searing method but it does seem to have some advantages. With reverse searing we start our steak off in an oven or grill at low temperatures for around an hour or until the internal temp is about 125ish degrees. We then pull it from the oven or grill and finish it up in a pan or hot grill to sear the outside. Sous Vide does the same thing but it uses water as the heat source and since the steak will be vacuum packed we will probably lose even less juice during this stage. Another advantage is that we can leave the steak in there pretty much as long as we want, in fact the longer the steak sits in there the more tender it will be as the heat will continue to break down the collagen and proteins. Then we sear it for a minute or two a side and we should end up with a perfectly cooked steak.
The 24 hour steak ended up tasting more like a roast than a steak. It was still very good and it was incredibly tender but it no longer tasted like steak.
The 8 hour steak was just about perfect, it was extremely tender and had a great taste. You could really almost cut this steak with a fork.
The 4 hour steak was very similar to the 8 hour steak, maybe not as tender but still more tender than the reverse sear method and had a great taste.
The 1 hour steak had a significant texture difference from the others. It was more like something that was cooked on the grill, this was the only one that was clearly less tender than the reverse sear method.
So the answer to the question of is Sous Vide really better than the Reverse Seared Method is, mostly yes. The optimal time seems to be somewhere between 4-8 hours for tenderness and taste. Even a perfectly reverse seared steak will have some gradient from brown to pink around the edges. With the Sous Vide Cooker you get your thin crust and then perfectly pink inside all the way through!
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dennishoddy last edited by
Sous Vide is the only way we do steaks now.
4 hours is the max as after that it just gets too tender. As meatgistisc said, it turns into a roads that has been overcooked.
We use our slow cooker with a temp controller for a cheap version of the commercial model.
This unit is under $40. Its very accurate for keeping the water temps within 1 degree.
Its also capable of being calibrated if your don’t trust it. We have one and love it.
Thanks for doing the Sous Vide video, I agree it is the only way I will ever cooks steaks again… but, that being said, it is capable of so much more than just being a “boil in bag” cooker…
I am assuming that like most supermarket meat today you were using “choice grade” meat… At a 4 hr cook time you have broken down sufficient connective tissue in the steak to actually elevate it’s tenderness to just about the level of a piece of prime beef. If instead you had started with a piece of prime or wagu, you would want to cut back to the 1 hr. cook time…
One of my favorite meals is prime rib… when you can actually find a piece of “prime”, as well as afford it… I have been able to virtually duplicate the taste and texture of a prime rib roast using a boneless chuck roast (choice), placed in the SV for about 18 hours… since the chuck is a tougher piece of meat, the longer cooking time will bring the texture into the range of some of the most tender prime rib you have ever tried, but since it’s a tougher piece of meat 18 hours wont turn it into a piece of pot roast (I’ve gone 24+ hours and at that point the meat does degrade to the consistency of mush).
Also, Annova seems to have written the most common SV cookbook on the internet at this time… I would be careful using their recipes as I have not found them to be that good… Their corned beef recipe calls for adding stout beer to the bag (big mistake, it tasted terrible), it also called for cooking for 48 hours… We ended up with very mushy meat that just did not cut it… although I added some potatoes and onions the next day and it ended up being the perfect consistancy for corned beef hash (but still had that stout flavor…blech!)
I SV’d a batch of breakfast sausage I made, and it came out ok, but not great… I tried a 2nd batch and only left it in for about 1/2 hr @ 135… it came out only part cooked, but when I finished it in a 400 degree oven, it was INCREDIBLE!!!
I’ve only had mine since Nov, and have been experimenting with various meats, eggs, veggies, etc… also incorporating it in conjunction with the smoker… There is definitely a learning curve, but it’s worth it!!!
@raider2119 sGreat post! We were talking about Prime Rib here and how it would be if we Sous Vide it so we will definitely do some testing on that, thanks for the advice and maybe we will do a side by side comparison of Chuck in Sous Vide vs normal Prime Rib?
You bring up a great point on the Waygu or Prime. I don’t think I’d feel comfortable enough yet doing Waygu this way, I’ve just had way too good of results with traditionally methods of cooking that to risk doing anything else. Specifically longer cook times, even at lower temps would make me nervous that I would somehow destroy the marbling and tenderness, maybe I will try it some day if I ever have a bunch more Waygu (I can only dream for that to happen again!)
Thanks for the input on the Breakfast Sausage, we had also been wondering about that. We sous vide some pepperoni the other day (smoked the rest) and the taste was amazing but the texture and appearance were all wrong, just FYI for anyone thinking about trying that!
@ihang10 So then I would say that protein extraction is probably what is causing your issue. The fat renders out of the product and gets trapped between the outside of the sausage and the inside of the casing. Then when the product cools the fat congeals and you can’t get it to adhere. Mixing for a few more minutes will probably help resolve your issue. The other thing is when do you add your fat? Sometimes if you just mix in your fat with your lean the lean can coat the fat chunks but never really bind with it, so I would suggest you add it during the second grind.
@Jonathon The sausage was for Easter family dinner that didn’t happen because too many people were sick. The bottom round was sliced deli style & packaged for future French dip & roast beef sammies.