After 100+ SV's, I thought I knew what I was doing ?

But it seems like I just cant get my steaks (been using Picanha steaks for breakfast) tender enough ? And here’s the thing, I have been telling people ever since I started doing SV a year ago, that you can make meat as fall apart tender as you want it… heck, you can even make it mushy if you are not careful, by simply keeping it in the SV vessel longer.
But lately, I’ve been doing my Picanha steaks longer and longer, and still, they are not as tender as I prefer ? (granted, it might help if I had a few more teeth, but that’s another story)
Anyway, I’m up to 12 hours now, which already seems longer than should be necessary, and starting to dry them out a little :frowning: I’ve done them anywhere from 133F to 150F, but prefer the doneness of about 136F

Oh, and unlike pretty much every other meat I’ve SV’d, I haven’t been searing these at all, right out of the SV bath, but rather, individually, for my breakfast, I’m just tossing them in the skillet with butter, for a quick sear. Middle is barely getting warm…

Do I really need to start doing these overnight ? 16 or 20 hours ? I could see that for a roast or something, but for 1 to 1 1/2 inch thick steaks ? Just doesn’t seem right.

Here’s some input from the folks at ThermoWorks thermometers:

In short, the Brazilians would point and laugh for trying to use sous vide instead of a charcoal grill …

Chris, i thought you had perfected your steaks and roasts. What have you changed? I suggest considering any changes as being a potential cause of your current dissatisfaction.

12-hours for those steaks ought to suit most people, but you could cook longer. I would keep on cooking them at your preferred temperature. Going higher will cause them to be less moist.

Are you still buying good quality beef? USDA Choice or better?
Is there much visible marbling in the meat? There should be.

You might consider purchasing thicker steaks, even the former Sirloin Cap roasts you enjoyed. You can cook them for 24 hours. Then cut into individual steak portions, or thinly slice across the grain for greater tenderness. That’s what i would do. It’s been my experience that people who best enjoy very tender meat prefer a stack of thin slices over steaks.

Try quickly tossing thin slices in butter for a more tender outcome.

And keep well.

i would cook them to your doneness, 136, for an hour or 2 and then drop the temp to 127 and cook for longer. This way its cooked to your likeness but wont dry out as much at the lower temp. You may have to cook for overnight for the tenderness you are looking for. I like mine at about the same as you but the hubby likes it rare, 125-128, and thats how I cook them together. Put mine in first and drop the temp. I had to keep them in for 36 hours one time, not by choice. lol They still came out really good and not dry at all

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This might sound counterintuitive, but I don’t have time for much cooking besides SV :slight_smile: Even if it takes 24 hrs or more, it’s never much more work than 15 or 20 minutes.
The thing is, in all of my SV cooking’s up until my Picanha’s as of late, I could make meat as tender as I wanted it. Even too tender (mushy) if I over did it.

Yea, me too. Don’t know what’s up with these Picanha’s lately ?

No, not top quality, perfectly marbled meat… just what I can afford right now. But shouldn’t I still be able to make it as tender as I want to ? I mean, I understand that marbling adds flavor, but honestly, these Picanha’s have been pretty tasty. My only complaint is I want them more tender. I am going to do the next ones overnight, and we will see what happens.

Well, I’m thinking 136 for a couple hours, then 130 for 18 or 20… and if that doesn’t do it, 24 hrs the next time ! I’m going to make these things fall apart tender if it takes a week :grinning: I know some guys say otherwise, but I don’t feel safe doing SV at less than 130F…

Chris, add a degree F for an extra bit of safety at 131F and try 24 hours for tenderness. If you are using grocery store beef, nothing too special, you should have tender results without overdoing it.

In sensory based recipe development we use a Factor of Two rule. That’s doubling the amount of an ingredient to achieve a significant and noticeable change. From your description i’d say that’s what you’re expecting.

Keep well.

TY Chatnoir. I’ve got a big tri tip roast going right now (since yesterday) and since those have been perfect for my tastes done for 18-20 hrs, @ 135F, Im doing this one the same. But in a few days, Im going to do another 4 Picanha’s for my breakfast, and yes, I will do them for 24 hrs at 131F, and will report back :slight_smile:

Thanks for the update Chris.

Do well.

Hey man if you can’t afford the good stuff right now have you tried covering the meat with fresh pineapple or pawpaw pulp for like 15-20mins then rinse it off and season as normal this will make the steaks very tender but you need to be careful too long and they become mushy

you already had it to 136 so your good. but if you’re worried about bacteria don’t. Its cooking so long. My husband always eats his steaks at 125 -127. No problems

Dmo, that’s a great idea. Ive actually heard of this, but since up until I had not had any problems getting my meat tender enough, I had not really tried it. Hmmm. Now Im torn between trying the 24 hr cook, or the pineapple marinade next ?

Well I’m not usually one to be overly concerned with this stuff. But 125 to 127 ! Wow !
Honestly, I just did a Tri Tip roast at 135F for 24 hours, and it was quite tender (My GF thought it was too tender… but she has all her teeth :slight_smile: lol …and now Im thinking I might do the next one at 138 or 140. Could probably drop the time down to 20 or 16 hours too, at the higher temp…

Chris, are you using conventional cooking thinking while planning your next SV cook?

" . . . and it was quite tender . . ."
Why are you raising the cooking temperature and reducing the time?
Less time, less tender.

I say do both! You mentioned you’ll be cooking 4 your next batch so bag at least one that has had the “pineapple treatment” and see how it turns out! Fingers crossed!!! :slight_smile:

Well, that was for the Tri tip roasts, which seems to be getting tender enough either way. And in my personal experience, going hotter, tends to break down the connective tissues a little faster. I just cant decide what doneness I prefer with tri tip… 135 to 140’ish ?

Great idea ! I will do that… Oh wait… don’t know if we have pineapple. This grocery trip “only” once ever 2 weeks is a bit of a PITA :frowning:

Chris, dig way back into your collection of seasonings to see if you have a package of Adolph’s Meat Tenderizer, or any other brand, McCormick’s, Lawys, etc., they are all about the same. If you don’t have any ask an older neighbour, they are more likely to have it as tenderizers were at their sales peak in the 60’s and 70’s.

The core ingredient will be bromelain, an extract of pineapple, or papain, an extract of papaya. The powders are a lots easier to use than messing with fresh fruit. Just apply a dusting of tenderizer and watch the time as 15-minutes is usually enough. Then rinse and cook.

I’ve seen Bromelian in my drug store’s vitamins and supplements section.

Actually, I know without looking. I do have some Adolph’s. Same active ingredient as Pineapple, huh ? Ill try that on two of my steaks, and without on the other two, and see what happens :slight_smile: TY.