1st Cook, Porterhouse, Grey Surface Bands

Bought the Anova today and set it up during the afternoon. I had a 1" thick porterhouse steak that was dusted in garlic powder and salt and ziplock bagged for 48 hours in the fridge as I usually do for oven-bake-then-grill-sear. Thanks to Anova community discussion about lime scale buildup, a problem in our town, I used a bit of salt in the water as well. I re-bagged the steak in a ziplock bag and evacuated it to be very snug. Used a spaghetti pot with hot tap water so the Anova took little time to stabilize at my chosen 132 degree temp for a 90 minute cook.

My consumer grade digital thermometer probe resting on the outside of the immersed steak bag showed the same water temperature as the Anova, which ran quietly and accurately the whole time. Cell phone app worked great. I patted the meat dry on removal from the baggie at the end, brushed on some oil, and gave it a 90 second flame sear on each side on our pre-heated outdoor gas grill for flavor and grill marks.

I knew to expect the moisture in the bag, but the meat wasn’t as flavored as I’m used to with my 2 day pre-treatment. Could it have somehow rinsed or sweated out of the meat? More confusing was that the expected warm-pink center had a grey band toward each surface. It looked like ordinary high heat cooking though there was none of the toughness it causes. The meat texture was fine.

I wonder if the grey zones might be a chemical or coloring result of the long rest with the salt and garlic powder coating?

Thanks for any pointers.

Nope. Here’s the problem…

3 minutes of grill time is about 2-3x as long as is necessary for searing if your grill is sufficiently hot (~500°F or more). It’s an especially long time for such a thin steak. If your grill isn’t capable of such temperatures then try using a screaming hot cast iron skillet.

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Hey thanks! I preheated the grill 15 min, it’s a 4 burner propane grill and I used only the middle 2 to be sure I had max gas flow to them. I’m not convinced it’s capable of ideally max heat for this.It’s easy to cut the sear time in half so I’ll try that next time. We do have a well seasoned cast iron skillet too.

Give up on using the grill for one-inch steaks, not much room for error there. And be sure to thoroughly dry them to speed searing. I suspect you may have been using visual cues while searing.

For the lack of flavour issue, after drying season steak with ample amount of good salt and freshly ground pepper before brushing with oil.

Much better to sear with your preheated cast iron skillet that provides total surface contact. Those grey zones are medium to well done meat indicating over cooking. That can’t happen in 132F water.

Flip the steaks frequently so you can monitor progress. You might even want to add a timer to your kit to track the seconds. Most folks can’t accurately guesstimate brief time intervals.

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[quote=“chatnoir, post:4, topic:14235, full:true”]
For the lack of flavour issue, after drying season steak with ample amount of good salt and freshly ground pepper before brushing with oil. [/quote]

Thanks. Overnight I realized that’s where I strayed from my prior “bubba” sous vide porterhouse steak. For that one I’d bought the steak same day as cooking, it didn’t have a long seasoning period, so when I was preparing to grill after the immersion, I’d stirred some fine popcorn salt and garlic powder into the basting oil. In the future I’ll do this or else season the meat directly as you suggest.

That I can do, as an ethnic dance musician, my problem as others are saying is that I was intending to sear it too long. No worries, it was still delicious and I’ll make these several adjustments for next time. I really like the Anova though, the tool and the app both.

Glad know you found my suggestions helpful D.
We never hear back from a lot of folks here.
Thank you.

You might want to try an experiment with your seasoning technique. Since many flavour components of garlic and pepper are oil soluble you might not be tasting their full benefit. unless you lick your steaks.

Next steak cook, season half the meat directly with whatever you want giving it a light circular rub to get it into the surface. Then use your usual seasoned oil baste on the other halves. Don’t mix up the differently seasoned sides. After searing give the two sides a taste, or better yet, ask someone to taste and compare them for you.

I find there’s a noticeable difference, you might too.