I have a six or seven pound tied and wrapped filet tenderloin roast that I need to cook this weekend. Looking for help on the time for such a large piece of meat. For the temp I plan to use 132 degrees like with a medium rare single filet.
Hey Matthew, we had a lot of fun sharing ideas a few months ago with your Chateaubriand topic. I fondly remember it as the “Purple meat caper”.
What was your outcome from that cook? You basically have the same meat item this time. If it was a success, use your same time and temperature.
I ended up not doing it since I couldn’t get to a concensus on how to cook it.
I’m thing doing 131 degrees for the five pounder for four hours.
Not a lot of help actually from anyone.
You’ll find a lot of this is just basic information that is covered in many topics in the forum. There is a search function in the top right hand corner. If you use the search, or even just have a look around the latest active forum topics you will notice that there is another thread containing almost identical information on the go here or here and quite probably several other places besides.
One of the reasons you won’t get ‘consensus’ on how to cook something is that there is more than one way to defur a feline, and everyone likes something different. Temperatures are selected to give the desired ‘done-ness’ of your meat, and they are purely personal preferences. Times are selected for texture, and once again, everyone likes something a little different. Times are also a little fuzzy because the conversion of collagen is a slow process. You might get a recipe that says cook between 6-10 hours. That might seem a huge difference in times, but it is unlikely that there will be much textural difference in the meat cooked for 6 hours and that cooked for 10.
Now, your tenderloin is, as the name suggests, a very tender piece of meat. It is a muscle that gets very little work while the animal is alive. So it will require cooking to bring the meat up to temperature equilibrium but little more beyond that.
The time it will take to get up to this point will vary depending on the thickness of your piece of meat. Working out times for sous vide meats depends very much on the thickness of the meat and not the weight. In order to be able to give an idea of how long you will need to cook your meat we will need to have an indication of how thick it is at the thickest point. A rule of thumb to work out how long a piece of meat will take to reach temperature equilibrium is approximately 1 hour per inch of thickness. If your tenderloin is 4 inches thick it will take around 4 hours for the centre of the meat to get to the same temperature as the sous vide bath water. If it is 6 inches thick it will take about 6 hours.
Once you’ve got this time worked out you then need to work on how long it will take to convert the soft collagen that holds the meat fibres together into lovely luscious gelatin. This one is a bit harder to work out with any kind of accuracy, so this is where practice and experimentation comes in. For your tenderloin, which is naturally tender, you may or may not choose to add some time for this process. If you were cooking a higher use muscle, like a piece of rump, there would be the need for some collagen conversion to add tenderness.
A useful read for anyone starting out on the exploration of sous vide processing is Douglas Baldwin’s A Practical Guide to Sous Vide Cooking. It really should be considered essential reading. It contains information about food safety with low temperature cooking, pasteurisation and all of the important things.
Hopefully this has been of some assistance.
Ember, I have look at the other thread you mentioned but it has basically no information whatsoever.
THe tenderloin filet that I have is close to six pounds and at least 4" tall in the middle. It’s a serious piece of meat.
I may just cook in the oven like I normally do since I’m not finding any good guidance on the sous vide. I kill my single steaks in the sous vide, but the larger much more expensive meats dont have the number of cookers I guess.
The information you require is all contained in my post above. The only thing that I didn’t cover was finishing, which can be done by searing, roasting, torching, or however you desire.
Let’s break it down, shall we?
You have said you will be using 132F and then you said 131F. OK. Let’s take 131F. This is the temperature to which you set your bath.
Time. This is a product of the thickness of your meat. Temperature equilibrium will take approximately 1 hour per inch of thickness. You say your meat is 4 inches thick. Therefore it will require 4 hours long to reach temperature equilibrium.
Extra time for collagen conversion for texture. You are cooking a tenderloin which is a naturally tender pieces of meat. You may leave your cook time at just the 4 hours to achieve equilibrium. Or, you may choose to add an extra 2 hours to the cook time which should have little detrimental impact on the texture of your meat.
This same information is contained in your chateaubriand thread too, which is a smaller section of the same piece of meat at the same thickness. With beef there is no requirement to pasteurise your product if you do not desire to do so, unless you are planning on long term storage of your product. Cooking to pasteurisation for such a delicate and tender piece of meat as tenderloin would not be desirable.
You’ve been using an Anova for around 2 years according to your profile. I would strongly recommend you read Baldwin.
Interesting information, Ember. I don’t have any tenderloins to cook at the present but useful in general and I’ll file it away for the future. Thanks for your posts. Richard
I cooked a large brisket a week or so ago. I believe that sous vide is the best way to cook large cuts of meat. When we use sous vide the meat is thoroughly cooked to the same doneness all the way through. I do not see me using any other method with larger cuts of meat going forward.
I’ve looked at the Baldwin book and looked thru it in the past. I was looking for more of a recipe type book and how too. I thought he liked much higher temps than I would prefer. I actually thing that Fetterman’s book is superior.
I did some measurements and I have about a 3 1/2" to 4" thick 5# piece of meat. When I roasted in oven in the past to cooked to internal temp of 125 degrees then let stand for 15 minutes. For sous vide, I figured that would be about 131 degrees. I’m shooting for a medium rare all the way thru. I’m cooking right now and plan to do 4 1/2 hours in the bath.
I figure its just a huge filet, so the 131 should be perfect.
I’ve been playing with the sous vide for about a year overall I think. Always just for steaks. This is my first shot at a big piece of meat. I did a whole pork shoulder for 40 hours once, but I followed a very precise recipe.
I’m documenting what I’m doing on this one and plan to post the recipe with pics and so on.
Fetterman Link on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Sous-Vide-Home-Technique-Perfectly/dp/0399578064/ref=pd_bxgy_14_2?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=0399578064&pd_rd_r=GQDA20EHGE1G53SJYXR6&pd_rd_w=oX6Fj&pd_rd_wg=JSV1X&psc=1&refRID=GQDA20EHGE1G53SJYXR6
Mbaynard, your beef tenderloin will be just fine now that you have finally moved on past thinking only about its weight and use thickness. The 4.5 hours @ 131F, and then a quick sear will provide you with a piece of culinary beauty. A little longer won’t hurt unless it’s Wygu or USDA Prime.
I’ll say thank you to Ember for you.
Note to Alyssa: This community board needs either a “Saint” or Hero" button we can use recognize Ember for his extreme gentle patience.
I agree with the hero button. Ember has the knowledge that’s helping us all become better sous vide cooks.
It’s an ongoing thread on this cook.
Haha! Just read through the thread - @Ember is pretty patient! Lots of helpful information here, for myself as well. Truly always impressed by everyone’s wealth of knowledge and great deal of patience. Stay awesome!!!
I think @Ember knows I just need a lot of help since I will be shot if I ruin this one.
Can’t thanks him enough for that.
That’d be her, but it’s not a problem. This is a Community effort. We’re all here to learn from each other and share our love of good food.
@mbaynard One of the reasons for suggesting Baldwin is that all of the information is there to allow you to make the temperature decisions yourself so that you can cook your proteins how you like them. It’s not a recipe book, or even an instruction manual. But it is a text book that grounds you in the understanding of the basic principles. With that knowledge you can throw recipe books away and create masterpieces of your own.
Many folks appear to have difficulty giving up their recipe-based and weight-centered conventional cooking thinking. Mastering the new SV cooking technique takes work in applying new knowledge and skills.
Do the work folks, Ember clearly has.
@Ember the final results rocked. I actually ended up cooking 5 hours at 131 degrees. Thank you again for your patience and advice.
Glad it all paid off Matthew. Nothing better than seeing happy faces you see from someone who has enjoyed a meal you prepared. Congratulations.
And Happy Feastivus to you and yours.