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NFT: Had my first sous vide prepared steak this weekend...

rnargi : 2/11/2020 9:43 am
It was a nice, 1.5 inch thick ~12-14 oz NY Strip. It was in a reputable local restaurant that is highly rated and which we frequent fairly regularly.

I asked for the steak rare, and they said it was prepared sous vide and it would be medium rare. I thought that would be fine, but frankly I didn't really like it. The same steak seasoned with pepper and a little salt seared on my Weber is much, much better.

I'm not saying it was a bad steak, but to me it was extremely average. Not what I'd expect in a good restaurant.

So...did I just have a bad experience or is this generally the case with Sous Vide steak? Stories on the internet generally rave about it. For me, though, just give me the grill or hot iron sear and oven finish.
You're going to find a lot of opinions on this one  
jcn56 : 2/11/2020 9:48 am : link
I'm a huge SV fan, but I don't use it often on steak. I think steak falls into the category of 'makes it foolproof, but limited in range' IMO.

If you're the type that will overcook a steak, then SV is a great crutch. But to take an already tender piece of meat, and cook it for hours at the same temp to finish with a sear, I feel like the sear doesn't achieve the same caramelization as it would on a 'dry' (raw) steak, and that's where a lot of the flavor is, so you just can't get to the same level as a traditionally cooked steak.

In NFL draft terms, higher floor but lower ceiling.

I do use SV for steaks at times, but mostly when I'm cooking for a large crowd and want to be able to make different levels of cooked steak (for the visitors who insist on butchering a good steak by cooking it until there's no moisture left).
Can you still get that same char  
barens : 2/11/2020 9:51 am : link
on a steak if you prepare through Sous Vide? Are you supposed to sear it after?
Yeah....It doesn't excite me either  
I Love Clams Casino : 2/11/2020 9:53 am : link
I have an awesome method for Flank Steak.

THE REVERSE SEAR.....

I get out the Weber charcoal 22 1/2"

Marinate flank in a citrusy sweet, garlic-y, salty (soy) mixture.

Put charcoal all on one side, get that puppy going.....place marinated flank steak on the other cooler side....place flanks steak on grill and cover....flip frequently, vertically and horizontally until an internal read thermometer reads about 125 degrees.....as it approaches 125, get the other side of the grill going, as high as you can get it.....sear seal the steak until the thermometer starts approaching 140, pull it off....wrap it up in foil, 5 or 10 minutes.....slice and serve

I defy any restaurant to do it better.....
RE: Can you still get that same char  
jcn56 : 2/11/2020 9:57 am : link
In comment 14808699 barens said:
Quote:
on a steak if you prepare through Sous Vide? Are you supposed to sear it after?


The pre-or-post sear debate is a religious argument, you'll find passionate advocates on all sides. Some folks do both.

Personally, I'm not a fan of both or the pre-sear, only because there's a tendency to overcook the meat that way and the pre-sear results in a drop in texture, but that's just me.

Or, you could cryofry as a post sear, if you have some liquid nitrogen around.
Steak.  
Britt in VA : 2/11/2020 9:59 am : link
No need to reinvent the wheel.

Alton Brown Iron Skillet Method is the best, most consistent, method I've ever used.

Open the windows up, but you'll never make a better steak at home and it's fool proof.
RE: Yeah....It doesn't excite me either  
jcn56 : 2/11/2020 10:02 am : link
In comment 14808702 I Love Clams Casino said:
Quote:
I have an awesome method for Flank Steak.

THE REVERSE SEAR.....

I get out the Weber charcoal 22 1/2"

Marinate flank in a citrusy sweet, garlic-y, salty (soy) mixture.

Put charcoal all on one side, get that puppy going.....place marinated flank steak on the other cooler side....place flanks steak on grill and cover....flip frequently, vertically and horizontally until an internal read thermometer reads about 125 degrees.....as it approaches 125, get the other side of the grill going, as high as you can get it.....sear seal the steak until the thermometer starts approaching 140, pull it off....wrap it up in foil, 5 or 10 minutes.....slice and serve

I defy any restaurant to do it better.....


Actually I'm positive that SV would make a better flank steak. Flank, like the round cuts, is a tough cut that is made tender by holding it low and slow. You don't find it in BBQ much because it's lean and would dry out, but you can make a fork tender flank steak with SV very easily.

The fattier cuts of steak are the ones where you can quickly sear/grill them and get all the flavor without the hassle of standing around for 12 hours.
RE: Can you still get that same char  
sb from NYT Forum : 2/11/2020 10:07 am : link
In comment 14808699 barens said:
Quote:
on a steak if you prepare through Sous Vide? Are you supposed to sear it after?


Yeah. Sous vide steak takes a while to cook (like an hour or more for 1.5" cut) so at a restaurant they probably pre-cooked and hand them lying around waiting for people to order them and then threw them quickly on the grill to char them. I'm guessing that's one reason rnargi's steak was average.
RE: Steak.  
Southern Man : 2/11/2020 10:13 am : link
In comment 14808712 Britt in VA said:
Quote:
No need to reinvent the wheel.

Alton Brown Iron Skillet Method is the best, most consistent, method I've ever used.

Open the windows up, but you'll never make a better steak at home and it's fool proof.


Exactly how we do it...easy and delicious with excellent sear. We've tried many different methods over the years and this is the best by far. Love the cast iron skillet...if you don't have one, get one.
Sous vide?  
Johnny5 : 2/11/2020 10:28 am : link
On a steak?

No Thanks.
Yeah, as others have said, a steak is not the meat I would use  
robbieballs2003 : 2/11/2020 10:33 am : link
Chicken is great.
Seems like a fad  
Coach Red Beaulieu : 2/11/2020 10:33 am : link
like air fryers or slow cookers.

As mentioned by other, you can't improve upon a good cut of steak on a pan with salt and pepper - don't grill it, the smoke flavor doesn't do much for a steak, which already has those rounded smokey umami notes.
Sucks you had a bad experience with SV  
Shecky : 2/11/2020 10:36 am : link
When done right, itís absolutely amazing

My guess is the restaurant just uses below average steaks, and SV them to get them up to average. Cheap way out. Just like every other steak or steakhouse, only as good as the quality of the meat and chef.

My wife isnít a big steak eater. But whenever it is SV first, she always raves about it. I can personally tell the difference, and prefer a Prime Sv and charred as fuck on the outside.
RE: Seems like a fad  
rnargi : 2/11/2020 10:47 am : link
In comment 14808769 Coach Red Beaulieu said:
Quote:
like air fryers or slow cookers.

As mentioned by other, you can't improve upon a good cut of steak on a pan with salt and pepper - don't grill it, the smoke flavor doesn't do much for a steak, which already has those rounded smokey umami notes.


That's my go to, Coach, hot iron. I also like to grill on a super hot fire, as I love a well charred steak that's rare as can be on the inside. I don't mind a little charcoal (no fluid, competition chunks) flavor on my steak. At that heat, there's almost no smoke anyway.

As for the steak, it was a nice cut. Just poorly executed. I won't order another SV. Just not worth it, If I want an average steak, I'll go to Outback.
RE: Can you still get that same char  
V.I.G. : 2/11/2020 11:06 am : link
In comment 14808699 barens said:
Quote:
on a steak if you prepare through Sous Vide? Are you supposed to sear it after?

yes
Maybe it is a crutch  
Bill L : 2/11/2020 11:08 am : link
But I personally like SV best. Even better than reverse sear. And if you get a screaming hot cast iron pan (I also use a Searsall) with some avocado oil and then butter/thyme and either blot the steak dry or (my preference) put a think coat of mayonnaise on it, you can get a really good crust. It's the only way I know that doesn't give you a gradation of color to the middle.
RE: Sous vide?  
UConn4523 : 2/11/2020 11:08 am : link
In comment 14808761 Johnny5 said:
Quote:
On a steak?

No Thanks.


Yup, same here. I want the char, I want the salty bits before hitting the medium rare center.

This is a better cooking mechanism for chicken or fish. Leave beef alone.
i've been doing this for special occasions  
Platos : 2/11/2020 11:09 am : link
get a prime rib roast(3 ribs wide) and cut it into 3 steaks.

on a charcoal grill(doesn't have to be) i do about 3 and a half minutes a side. then i put the steaks in a cast iron skillet with about 2 sticks of butter per steak. cook them right there on the grill for about 10 minutes each side depending on the thickness of the steaks.

season it however you want it doesn't even matter because its cooked in delicious butter!
Sous Vide steak  
Jim in Fairfax : 2/11/2020 11:25 am : link
Advantage: itís a pretty foolproof way to get a get a perfectly cooked steak. Bringing it slowly to just under the desired doneness guarantees you wonít have an overdone steak, nor a steak with an underdone center.

Drawback: lack of flavor depth, which comes from the searing. Because sous vide is a wet cooking process, the meat is too moist to get a good flavorful sear on the meat.
RE: Maybe it is a crutch  
jcn56 : 2/11/2020 11:41 am : link
In comment 14808822 Bill L said:
Quote:
But I personally like SV best. Even better than reverse sear. And if you get a screaming hot cast iron pan (I also use a Searsall) with some avocado oil and then butter/thyme and either blot the steak dry or (my preference) put a think coat of mayonnaise on it, you can get a really good crust. It's the only way I know that doesn't give you a gradation of color to the middle.


The cryofry is really the only way to avoid that graduation, but I'm not screwing around with liquid nitrogen to get a perfect sear. I've had mixed luck with my Searzall, and wonder if I wasn't just better off with the MAP torch (people complain about a burnt hair taste with them, but I never experienced that).

I have been toying with the idea of getting one of these bad boys for the outdoor kitchen. If not for the fact that it's a one per customer device and we're a family of five, I think it would be the best approach.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06WLMNTL7/ref=sspa_dk_hqp_detail_aax_0?psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUE5VUxXSURZWTUyOEImZW5jcnlwdGVkSWQ9QTEwMTUxODk2VjZTTFRaMkVKSlomZW5jcnlwdGVkQWRJZD1BMDE0ODgwNTIwNUlBSEFESEhTMjUmd2lkZ2V0TmFtZT1zcF9ocXBfc2hhcmVkJmFjdGlvbj1jbGlja1JlZGlyZWN0JmRvTm90TG9nQ2xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==#customerReviews - ( New Window )
RE: RE: Maybe it is a crutch  
montanagiant : 2/11/2020 11:55 am : link
In comment 14808861 jcn56 said:
Quote:
In comment 14808822 Bill L said:


Quote:


But I personally like SV best. Even better than reverse sear. And if you get a screaming hot cast iron pan (I also use a Searsall) with some avocado oil and then butter/thyme and either blot the steak dry or (my preference) put a think coat of mayonnaise on it, you can get a really good crust. It's the only way I know that doesn't give you a gradation of color to the middle.



The cryofry is really the only way to avoid that graduation, but I'm not screwing around with liquid nitrogen to get a perfect sear. I've had mixed luck with my Searzall, and wonder if I wasn't just better off with the MAP torch (people complain about a burnt hair taste with them, but I never experienced that).

I have been toying with the idea of getting one of these bad boys for the outdoor kitchen. If not for the fact that it's a one per customer device and we're a family of five, I think it would be the best approach. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06WLMNTL7/ref=sspa_dk_hqp_detail_aax_0?psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUE5VUxXSURZWTUyOEImZW5jcnlwdGVkSWQ9QTEwMTUxODk2VjZTTFRaMkVKSlomZW5jcnlwdGVkQWRJZD1BMDE0ODgwNTIwNUlBSEFESEhTMjUmd2lkZ2V0TmFtZT1zcF9ocXBfc2hhcmVkJmFjdGlvbj1jbGlja1JlZGlyZWN0JmRvTm90TG9nQ2xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==#customerReviews - ( New Window )

I looked into those, Eater was not really happy with them when they did a review. Uneven haeting elements seemed to be the main complaint
link - ( New Window )
RE: Maybe it is a crutch  
allstarjim : 2/11/2020 12:16 pm : link
In comment 14808822 Bill L said:
Quote:
But I personally like SV best. Even better than reverse sear. And if you get a screaming hot cast iron pan (I also use a Searsall) with some avocado oil and then butter/thyme and either blot the steak dry or (my preference) put a think coat of mayonnaise on it, you can get a really good crust. It's the only way I know that doesn't give you a gradation of color to the middle.


Holy hell, ma dude, wtf are you doing with your life. That's worse than ketchup on a hot dog. Salt, pepper, butter (or garlic butter compound), is all you need for a steak. I don't know about avocado or soy sauce, but for the love of all that is holy, NEVER MAYONNAISE ON YOUR STEAK!

Sous..  
FatMan in Charlotte : 2/11/2020 12:44 pm : link
vide is awesome for certain things, but steak is one of my least favorite ways to prepare it - and it doesn't really make the product better. There's really not a good reason to SV a steak.

Chicken and salmon it is awesome for.
RE: RE: Maybe it is a crutch  
Bill L : 2/11/2020 12:52 pm : link
In comment 14808898 allstarjim said:
Quote:
In comment 14808822 Bill L said:


Quote:


But I personally like SV best. Even better than reverse sear. And if you get a screaming hot cast iron pan (I also use a Searsall) with some avocado oil and then butter/thyme and either blot the steak dry or (my preference) put a think coat of mayonnaise on it, you can get a really good crust. It's the only way I know that doesn't give you a gradation of color to the middle.



Holy hell, ma dude, wtf are you doing with your life. That's worse than ketchup on a hot dog. Salt, pepper, butter (or garlic butter compound), is all you need for a steak. I don't know about avocado or soy sauce, but for the love of all that is holy, NEVER MAYONNAISE ON YOUR STEAK!



lol, it's not supposed to be a condiment. It's a thin coating to facilitate carmelization.
Except for thin steaks like skirt/flap or flank  
Bill in UT : 2/11/2020 12:59 pm : link
which cook pretty fast on a grill, I use SV pretty routinely for steak. It's best for less fatty steaks like filet. I find the fat doesn't liquify readily at lower temps, so I increase the cooking time for fattier cuts. I always sear afterwards. If you sear before SV the moisture from the SV process hurts the crust. As far as not getting your order rare, that's the fault of the restaurant, not the process. Unfortunately, if people want their steaks SVd to different temps, they have to be cooked in different water baths. I have a second SV unit to allow me to do 2 temps, I would guess your restaurant doesn't so they make everything medium rare. They could probably kick those up to medium with the sear, but can't go down to rare.
RE: Sous..  
Bill in UT : 2/11/2020 1:03 pm : link
In comment 14808911 FatMan in Charlotte said:
Quote:
vide is awesome for certain things, but steak is one of my least favorite ways to prepare it - and it doesn't really make the product better. There's really not a good reason to SV a steak.

Chicken and salmon it is awesome for.


Great for cold shrimp also. 15 minutes @ 138 degrees, then chill. Made some yesterday
Bill..  
FatMan in Charlotte : 2/11/2020 1:07 pm : link
SV has been my go to way of preparing most seafood. Shrimp is a good call!
I end up being..  
FatMan in Charlotte : 2/11/2020 1:10 pm : link
torn about SV because of the prep/cook time. If it is something I'll cook for a long time, and it makes it better, I'll do it, but if I can cook a steak in 15 minutes on a grill or in a cast iron skillet, that's easier to me.

I'll give another example - eggs. They come out perfect with SV. But, I've done enough eggs that boiling them for a specific time works just as well. So I just do that rather than set up a bath and the SV process.
RE: I end up being..  
Bill in UT : 2/11/2020 1:30 pm : link
In comment 14808935 FatMan in Charlotte said:
Quote:
torn about SV because of the prep/cook time. If it is something I'll cook for a long time, and it makes it better, I'll do it, but if I can cook a steak in 15 minutes on a grill or in a cast iron skillet, that's easier to me.

I'll give another example - eggs. They come out perfect with SV. But, I've done enough eggs that boiling them for a specific time works just as well. So I just do that rather than set up a bath and the SV process.


I don't think I've cooked anything SV that takes over 2 hours, and won't.
I tried poached eggs SV and didn't like the result. My favorite technique for hard boiled is the Instant Pot/pressure cooker. Cook 5 minutes, slow release 5 minutes, then 5 minutes in an ice water bath.

Also, btw, great for reheating meat without overcooking it. About an hour at the original cooking temp.
I donít have a smoker  
bubba0825 : 2/11/2020 1:37 pm : link
And was thinking about doing a SV brisket, one recipe calls for a 36 hour cook time, anyone ever try this?
RE: RE: I end up being..  
Bill L : 2/11/2020 2:21 pm : link
In comment 14808949 Bill in UT said:
Quote:
In comment 14808935 FatMan in Charlotte said:


Quote:


torn about SV because of the prep/cook time. If it is something I'll cook for a long time, and it makes it better, I'll do it, but if I can cook a steak in 15 minutes on a grill or in a cast iron skillet, that's easier to me.

I'll give another example - eggs. They come out perfect with SV. But, I've done enough eggs that boiling them for a specific time works just as well. So I just do that rather than set up a bath and the SV process.



I don't think I've cooked anything SV that takes over 2 hours, and won't.
I tried poached eggs SV and didn't like the result. My favorite technique for hard boiled is the Instant Pot/pressure cooker. Cook 5 minutes, slow release 5 minutes, then 5 minutes in an ice water bath.

Also, btw, great for reheating meat without overcooking it. About an hour at the original cooking temp.


I use it for poached eggs and it's okay. But there is this Japanese hot spring eggs that comes out with a texture that you can't match any other way but sv. If you like that kind of egg. I'm definitely an instant pot guy when it comes to hard boiled though. Although, I don't care enough for hard boiled eggs other than deviled and IP is really good for batching them.
Peter Lugers is the best  
Snifflenick : 2/11/2020 2:53 pm : link
steak you can get anywhere IMHO. We often mail order the porterhouse for two or three. I have been going there for almost 60 years and swear by their steak.
Been grilling...  
Phatbrew : 2/11/2020 3:17 pm : link
Steaks for 20 plus years n they came out well, but sv is perfect every time!!!
The avocado oil and mayo smear is a game changer, best sear Iíve ever gotten in a super hot cast iron, spoon butter n add thyme n Rosemary n itís done in around 1 1/2 to 2 minutes and the inside is always the same, couldnít say that with the grill n no longer need to poke w the meat thermometer...
RE: RE: Seems like a fad  
Coach Red Beaulieu : 2/11/2020 4:45 pm : link
In comment 14808789 rnargi said:
Quote:
In comment 14808769 Coach Red Beaulieu said:


Quote:


like air fryers or slow cookers.

As mentioned by other, you can't improve upon a good cut of steak on a pan with salt and pepper - don't grill it, the smoke flavor doesn't do much for a steak, which already has those rounded smokey umami notes.



That's my go to, Coach, hot iron. I also like to grill on a super hot fire, as I love a well charred steak that's rare as can be on the inside. I don't mind a little charcoal (no fluid, competition chunks) flavor on my steak. At that heat, there's almost no smoke anyway.

As for the steak, it was a nice cut. Just poorly executed. I won't order another SV. Just not worth it, If I want an average steak, I'll go to Outback.

Also with a pan you can collect the leftover juices to cook mushrooms in and leaves that "caramalization" on the surface of the steak - there's a fancy french term for it I'm too lazy to look up, like searing a roast before it goes in the oven or slow cooker.
RE: I donít have a smoker  
jcn56 : 2/11/2020 4:49 pm : link
In comment 14808956 bubba0825 said:
Quote:
And was thinking about doing a SV brisket, one recipe calls for a 36 hour cook time, anyone ever try this?


I do that in combo with the smoker, but I'm sure it would work just fine without. The brisket is foolproof with SV.
Pretty hard to beat the sear station on a Webber grill for Steaks.  
WalterSobchak : 2/11/2020 5:04 pm : link
It has yet to let me down . Pan searing and broil is ok too , just a bit smokey inside.
RE: RE: RE: Maybe it is a crutch  
montanagiant : 2/11/2020 5:55 pm : link
In comment 14808921 Bill L said:
Quote:
In comment 14808898 allstarjim said:


Quote:


In comment 14808822 Bill L said:


Quote:


But I personally like SV best. Even better than reverse sear. And if you get a screaming hot cast iron pan (I also use a Searsall) with some avocado oil and then butter/thyme and either blot the steak dry or (my preference) put a think coat of mayonnaise on it, you can get a really good crust. It's the only way I know that doesn't give you a gradation of color to the middle.



Holy hell, ma dude, wtf are you doing with your life. That's worse than ketchup on a hot dog. Salt, pepper, butter (or garlic butter compound), is all you need for a steak. I don't know about avocado or soy sauce, but for the love of all that is holy, NEVER MAYONNAISE ON YOUR STEAK!





lol, it's not supposed to be a condiment. It's a thin coating to facilitate carmelization.

It also is the best way to char a grilled cheese. Use it instead of butter on the outside of the slices
RE: I donít have a smoker  
montanagiant : 2/11/2020 5:57 pm : link
In comment 14808956 bubba0825 said:
Quote:
And was thinking about doing a SV brisket, one recipe calls for a 36 hour cook time, anyone ever try this?

Yes, I used the Food Lab recipe. It came out really good. I put a bit more liquid smoke in it though
link - ( New Window )
RE: RE: I donít have a smoker  
montanagiant : 2/11/2020 6:00 pm : link
In comment 14809167 montanagiant said:
Quote:
In comment 14808956 bubba0825 said:


Quote:


And was thinking about doing a SV brisket, one recipe calls for a 36 hour cook time, anyone ever try this?


Yes, I used the Food Lab recipe. It came out really good. I put a bit more liquid smoke in it though link - ( New Window )

Oh yeah I also put a half stick of butter in each bag which really helped keep it moist
Damnit, I've used mayo on steaks and on BBQ but never  
jcn56 : 2/11/2020 6:01 pm : link
grilled cheese. That's not going to be good for my diet.
I use it for grilled cheese too  
Bill L : 2/11/2020 8:47 pm : link
I used to cook them all wrong by tearing wholes in the bread with cold butter.
Wholes???  
Bill L : 2/11/2020 8:48 pm : link
Wtf
I just buy a ranch cut or skirt from my local  
oghwga : 2/12/2020 12:13 am : link
Grass fed butcher here in Nashville and throw it on my $80 Blackstone flat top with some salt and pepper and it is always the best steak I've ever had.

Everybody has their thing.
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