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1 steak recipe says 1 hour, another 2 hours?

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    1 steak recipe says 1 hour, another 2 hours?

    I’m using my Anova Sous Vide Precision Cooker Kit for the first time today to cook a couple tenderloin steaks. Seems easy enough, I just loaded the app on my iPhone, connected to WiFi, and pressed the appropriate steak recipe and the cook is underway. I’ll finish this time on a cast Iron pan.

    I am curious why a recipe that was linked to on ChefSteps recommended 129 degrees for 1 hour and the Anova Recipe calls for 130 degrees for 2 hours? Temperature not a big deal but 1 vs 2 hours is. Even the ChefSteps recipe states going longer isn’t an issue. Is it because it is almost impossible to overcook?

    Another question, the kit container is pretty big. Could I pack in as many steaks as I could fit in if I was hosting a large group?

    If it is a thin steak, 1 hour could do it. Joule recommendations for steak are pretty solid and as you know, if you go over, it does not make a difference.

    You can fit as many steaks in the container as you can keep submerged. But you also need to keep them in separate bags or they will meld together in one lump. It wont’t ruin the meat but it’s not ideal.


    • IFindZeroBadCooks
      IFindZeroBadCooks commented
      Editing a comment
      Like others, I usually do 1.5 hours because I have thicker cuts.

    I'm going to hijack this thread just a little. I don't have a sous vide machine. Maybe someday I will. I'm wondering if I like my steak at 129 and she likes hers at 159 is there a way to prepare both steaks in the same bath and have them ready at the same time?


    • Draznnl
      Draznnl commented
      Editing a comment
      Attjack, you have described my situation. After some experimenting, what I've found works for me is to cook my steak to130. Take it out and shock it. While it is cooling, I increase the temp in the bath to 160. I refrigerate my steak while hers cooks. When hers is done, I sear both of them.

    • mgaretz
      mgaretz commented
      Editing a comment
      What pkadare said. Someone else wanted to know how long it would take to reduce the temperature. A while without ice. A better solution is to dump the water and refill with your hottest tap water then let the SV machine bring it up to 129. With a Joule this just takes a few minutes.

    • Mosca
      Mosca commented
      Editing a comment
      I would take them both out at 130, then sear one to 135 and the other to 160

    130° is the temp breakpoint for safety. Cooking below 130° for extended times can cause food safety concerns, cooking at or above 130° can be cooked longer with less safety concerns. One degree does seem like splitting hairs! I’m guessing you see different recommendations around 129°-130° because every chef has different taste and risk tolerances…..


      For a 1 to 1.5" steak, 1 hour will usually do it but just barely. I do 90 minutes. The extra time does not really matter. The texture would change after several hours, but anywhere from 1-3 is fine. If you ever cook from frozen, add 30 minutes - I often get steaks, season them, vac-seal and then freeze. Want steak for dinner but you didnt thaw any? SV. This works for chicken and any other kind of chop too.

      On cooking for a large group - you CAN do them at meal time but what I like to do is this:

      1) A day or two before the party, find out doneness levels from guests. If they're all the same, SV the steaks to that doneness, then shock and refrigerate.

      2) Say some people want medium rare and others medium. Set the SV to 130F for med-rare steaks, remove, shock. While those are cooling, move the temp up to 137 or so (I figure 140 is medium). Then add those steaks, let them cook. Remove, shock and refrigerate. Again, you can do this a day or two before the party.

      3) As you get ready to serve, bring the bath up to about 115F. Toss in all of the steaks for about 30-45.You want to warm them before searing so the inside isn't cool/cold when you sear, but you do not want to cook them more than their target doneness, or get to close, so that searing causes overshoot.

      4) Get some cast iron or equivalent RIPPING HOT. Season steaks with S&P or Montreal seasoning etc. Add high smoke point oil. Sear hard for 60 seconds a side. You can use a press to make sure the steak is in contact with the pan. Don't actually apply pressure, just set it on.

      Last edited by rickgregory; October 19, 2021, 07:02 PM.


      • bbqLuv
        bbqLuv commented
        Editing a comment
        That sounds like a lot of work. It will work.

      • rickgregory
        rickgregory commented
        Editing a comment
        it's not actually much work. Most of it is 'toss steaks in water bath, let them cook'. The large group scenario is complicated slightly by allowing for different levels of doneness, but even that is mostly hands off.

      Depending how thick the steak is, 1 hr should be enough. For things like steak you are just heating through. Some recipes will be a little conservative with the time to be carefully. Going longer won’t overcook it per se but there may be an impact to texture. I wouldn’t SV a steak for 12 hrs but 2 hrs vs 4 hrs won’t make much of a difference.

      as far as how much you can load in the container. As long as you have space and enough water circulating and a powerful enough SV, you can cook as many steaks as you have room for


        Yes, as others mention - frozen ribeyes straight into the bath! And I go 2-2.5 hours because I cut my own steaks from large rib roasts I get at Costco and usually go 1.5-2” thick. So, a little more time for the frozen part.

        the container - I don’t have experience with, but I’ve used small ice chests/coolers to sous vide 8, 2” ribeyes individually vac sealed. Only thing I can think of, if they are frozen, may take a little more time to get the water up to temp, but as long as you have the space, you are good!


        • rickgregory
          rickgregory commented
          Editing a comment
          "... if they are frozen, may take a little more time to get the water up to temp, but as long as you have the space, you are good!"

          Don't put the steaks in the water until the water is up to temp.

        • barelfly
          barelfly commented
          Editing a comment
          rickgregory, yes, true - but, you’ll get a drop in water temp, depending on the number of steaks. I’ve tried both ways.

          Regardless, it’s a great way to cook some steaks!

        The steaks turned out amazing. Medium Rare, a smidge on the rare side. A bit too rare for my wife but perfect for me. As good as they were I still prefer a reverse grill with a smoker finished on an infrared gasser or even a traditional sear on an infrared finished on indirect heat. That said, Sous Vide is fool proof and I imagine deliver consistently perfect results. The grill has more room for error.

        A nice tool to have and I look forward to experimenting.


        • rickgregory
          rickgregory commented
          Editing a comment
          The other thing with SV is the scenario above. And it's nice to be able to go from frozen to done.... and it's nice that you don't have to eat right when the steak is done.

        • Old Glory
          Old Glory commented
          Editing a comment
          SV is just another tool. I prefer reverse sear but before the pandemic when I was running from work to day care I would stop at home first, start the food in the SV tub, then pick up the Boy. Get home prep the rest of dinner and finish searing on a CI pan. Foolproof and safe. It was safer than starting a charcoal grill and leaving it unattended while I drove to daycare.

        What am I missing? Sv to rare and then sear, MR, M, MW, W just grill longer.
        Never mind. Please ignore


          Just a few random thoughts:
          1. Don't confuse SV with a recipe. It isn't a recipe ... it's a technique (or a "method", if you prefer).
          2. Whatever you do, keep it simple. Just cling to the thought that Temperature=Doneness; Time=Texture; and Temp X Time = Food Safety.
          3. For SVQ, SV is nothing more (or less) than a really accurate, precise, and convenient replacement for the Indirect part of the reverse sear method.
          4. Listen to all the suggestions, then develop and stick to whatever works best for you (there is no ONE RIGHT Way).
          5. Get yourself a recognized reference and until you've settled on your own personal approach to SV, stick pretty closely to what it says. A pretty good one to start with (from Meathead ) can be found HERE.
          6. Remember that while SV temperatures are important, times are generally less so. You want to SV a 1" steak in 1 hour? No problem. You need to leave it in the SV hot tub for 4 hours? Again, no problem. (just don't think you can leave it in much longer than that because you'll likely start seeing texture changes).
          7. Finally ... have fun with the SV method. You may find yourself using it for all kinds of goofy things that no one ever intended. If it works, use it. If it doesn't, laugh it off and move on (after telling us about it (with pics)).
          8. And Finally (again ), never lose site of the Food Safety aspect of SV. HERE is a great reference for that.
          Last edited by MBMorgan; October 20, 2021, 09:43 AM.


            The beauty of sous vide is that the meat is no longer the boss of you, I always say.

            I like using it when the meat is still frozen, or when I need to do two or more levels of doneness for steak (using pkadare 's method noted in an earlier post) and want to be more accurate, or when I've just got too much going on to adequately monitor a reverse sear cook.

            I sort of trust the Joule app, but to be sure, I always check Douglas Baldwin's tables ( MBMorgan gave a link to that website) if I'm doing something that I haven't checked on before.

            There's a difference between wanting to heat up the meat vs. pasteurizing it.

            For example, a fresh (not frozen) 1-inch thick steak at 131° takes 2.75 hours to pasteurize. It takes less time than that (1hr 15min fresh, 1hr 50 min from frozen) to heat it through. The meat comes up to temp in these times, but getting to the last 1° takes longer

            When sous-viding, I always pasteurize chicken, but may or may not pasteurize beef or pork.

            These times are from this source, which uses Baldwin's tables and other sources highly regarded in the upper echelons of the sous vide professional community.



              For example, a fresh (not frozen) 1-inch thick steak at 131° takes 2.75 hours to pasteurize. It takes less time than that (1hr 15min fresh, 1hr 50 min from frozen) to heat it through. The meat comes up to temp in these times, but getting to the last 1° takes longer
              This is why I won't use blade tenderized steak. On steaks, any contamination is very likely to be on the surface of the meat. The combination of cooking in SV and searing is certain to kill those bacteria. Blades push bacteria in and then you'd need to do the 3 hours notes to be safe.



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