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Question: Re sous-vide and dry brine

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    Question: Re sous-vide and dry brine

    I made a purchase of a case of tenderloin steaks from an excellent local butcher. The box was full of 2" tenderloin filets in professional cryovac. I was going to sous-vide the steaks and then finish on grill or broiler or cast iron pan. Usually I dry brine my steaks and reverse sear, but it seems like a waste and more work to thaw the steak, brine it, re-vacuum seal the steak in my less effective machine, then sous-vide and sear. Should I just forgo the dry brining? Do I just serve it with nice flaky salt at the end? Advice please.

    Think of the main reasons why we dry brine, obviously for flavor, but we do it ahead of time mostly so the salt can penetrate deeper into thicker meats, and that also helps it to hold on to a little more moisture. You're starting with a tender steak, which might not even need sous-vide in the first place, but that's your call and fun to experiment with, but when you salt a steak on either surface even if you don't do it ahead of time when you eat the steak you get both surfaces in your mouth at once. So whether the salt has traveled inward or is all on the surface is really moot point with thin meats like steak. So in your case I don't think you can lose either way. If you sous-vide them and then salt them before searing you'll still be in tiptop shape with what you have. Might be different if you had a couple select sirloins or a tri tip.


    • Polarbear777
      Polarbear777 commented
      Editing a comment
      I find a lot of benefit for SV tender steaks because you don’t want to overcook.

      Of course you can reverse sear but with SV you can control the timing to the minute.

    • Huskee
      Huskee commented
      Editing a comment
      Definitely true Polarbear777

    If the cryovac it came in is safe and sound I would SV in that. Then pull and salt and give the salt 45 minutes to pull up moisture and then soak back in for flavor

    Could also chill and traditional dry brine then SV just long enough to heat, then sear.


      I usually salt the meat after searing and plating when using sous vide technique. I use a quality salt flake, Maldon sea salt flakes. They are larger in size and have a really nice clean taste with a crunch. This is when I add cracked black pepper as well. If I use a rub that does not contain salt then I apply it to the raw meat and vac seal and freeze. When ready to cook, I pull it from the freezer and plop it in the water bath. I cook frozen meat 1.5x longer than non-frozen meat.


        Experiment. Since you have a case, try it without thawing and dry brining and then thaw and dry brine. Then you can judge it better. You could even try a SVQ and/or QVQ and see which way you like it better.



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