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Sous Vide Question

I've been experimenting with my new Sous Vide unit.  I've done chicken thighs, which turned out very good.  I did a couple of rib eyes they also turned out good.  Doing the steaks is what is prompting the question.  First the problem, I like my steaks med-rare, SWMBO likes hers med well.  With only one Sous Vide unit my solution was to cook her steak to temp which took about 2 hours, leaving it in the bath, I then changed to temp on the unit and cooled down the bath with ice cubes, added my steak and cooked to temp for about another 2 hours.  I removed both and they were very good.  Which leads me, finally to the question.  Did I commit any crimes by doing it this way?  Are there any dangers that I'm not aware of, from a food perspective.  Also, will doing this in any way harm my  circulation unit? 
Brighton, IL (North East of St. Louis, MO)


  • BTW, I did sear both upon removal from the water bath.
    Brighton, IL (North East of St. Louis, MO)
  • DeckhandDeckhand Posts: 318
    Are you searing them on the Egg after the Sous Vide?  If not, you're missing out on the beautiful (and tasty) mahogany finish that only an open flame or hot iron can create.  If so, you can leave your wife's steak on half a minute longer on each side.  Be sure to put a little more space between the meat and the coals when doing the well done steak or you'll blacken the outside.  Sous Vide followed by 30 sec per side gives me a nice med rare steak with almost no well done (gray) meat between the mahogany exterior and the pink interior.  
  • EggcelsiorEggcelsior Posts: 14,009
    I would just SV them both and cook your wife's steak slightly longer during the sear. Like deckhand said, 30-60 seconds per side, depending on the temp of the egg(assuming that you egged them).

    It seems that the only crime you committed was eating 2 hours after SWMBO. Unless she commanded that. In that case, carry on! 
  • dlk7dlk7 Posts: 1,053
    I agree with Eggcelsior.  However, the best solution is to convince her that medium rare is better.

    Two XL BGEs - So Happy!!!!

    Waunakee, WI

  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,935
    Can't imagine the hardware having any problem. It is common practice to reheat frozen SV'd pouches. Probably got worked a little more bringing the iced water to med-rare. FWIW, I would have dumped the hotter water, and run my kitchen tap, which I've set to produce 120-ishF water, to refill the SV bath.

    In terms of food safety, the hazards should be minimal. My understanding is that pathogen death rates equal growth rates at 126F. I would guess you are setting your bath at about 135F for med. rare. The death rate at that temp is pretty fast. SV is complicated, but from what I know, if the steak was in the bath for about 20 minutes to reach an internal of 135, the outside should have been clean.

    Not to alarm anyone, but i came across a chefs' discussion thread that indicated it was assumed cooked foods were contaminated while being plated and served. The chefs chatting about this considered that by the time to foods were eaten, any pathogen growth would be minimal.

    This sort of question has come up a few times before. There is a less than perfect solution for this situation. Cook both steaks to med. rare in the SV, and give one 30 second or so more sear. The heat carry over should raise the internal to med., but there will be a small grey area near the surface where the longer cooked meat overheated.
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 26,622
    What eggcelsior said.  The only crime I see is overcooking a perfectly good steak, but it's hard to get people to change.  I wish there were a product that would make the inside of a steak look well done when cooked to MR.
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  • EggcelsiorEggcelsior Posts: 14,009
    What eggcelsior said.  The only crime I see is overcooking a perfectly good steak, but it's hard to get people to change.  I wish there were a product that would make the inside of a steak look well done when cooked to MR.
    A-1 sauce? That is itself a crime on a good steak....
  • Thanks for all of the info. I'm really looking forward to using this a lot. To answer the question, my first sears were not on the egg, but tomorrow's cook will be.. I have two large porterhouse steaks I plan to put in the water in the morning.
    Brighton, IL (North East of St. Louis, MO)
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