APO vs SV immersion temperature

I just got an APO and made some steaks to try it out. In the process, I realized that there is something I don’t understand about how SV works. With an immersion circulator, the suggested temperature for medium is somewhere around 140F. I always thought that the way this works is that after an hour in the water bath the whole steak reaches this temperature.

With APO probe, the suggested temperature for medium (in Steak 101 recipe) is 127F.

What is the reason for the difference? Does the immersion circulator work differently than I thought?

Hey Mr. ZV, SV cooking time to achieve temperature equilibrium is thickness dependant. An hour is about right for 1-inch steaks, just as you thought. Thicker steaks will be underdone after an hour.

Is there a final searing step in that Oven Steak 101 recipe?
127F is no where near Medium doneness.
Carryover heating from a final step might get your steaks to Medium.

Two different approaches! An immersion circulator and the APO CAN cook the exact same sous vide recipes at the same time and temp, but the Steak 101 is showing a unique sous vide use case by slightly raising the cook temp, while monitoring the doneness with the temp probe! This allows sous vide style results in a fraction of the time, but is just one way the oven works!

Both recipes call for searing afterwards, so I’m not sure that’s the difference.

I get the point of Steak 101 that you can get to a particular internal temperature faster by setting the oven to a higher temperature and monitoring the internal temperature with the probe. But that doesn’t explain why the two recipes are trying to achieve such vastly different (internal) temperatures.

Because of the higher cook temp, there will be carryover cooking. This accounts for that. With “normal” sous vide there is no carryover cooking.

What is carryover cooking? Temperature rising after you take the steak out?

That is correct!

Thanks for explaining. I wish the oven had a hybrid mode, where the target temperature decreases from something initially high to the desired internal temperature as the probe reading gets closer to the target.

That is easily achieved with staged cooking. But since the oven doesn’t cool of quickly you have to take care to avoid overcooking.

Mr. ZV, from high to low is old school cooking.

Have you considered reverse stage cooking for enhanced temperature control? That’s starting the SV cook at an intermediate temperature for about 1/3 the estimated cooking time, then increasing temperature to the next midpoint to target for a similar time, finally cook to target temperature using the probe. This works best with Rare to Medium-Rare doneness.

That technique results in a tender and juicy outcome while preventing any overcooking. The meat achieves more tenderness because it remains longer in the temperature zone where its enzymes are most active.

Keep detailed records of each cook because you are adjusting several critical factors during the cook and you want to be able to replicate your successes.

Try it.

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Interesting. Never heard of this. Thanks for the advice; I’ll have to try it.

Honestly, I find this most disappointing. I thought to purpose of sous vide was to avoid overcooking. I see no advantage over conventional methods.

You’re missing the point. These alternative methods are an option.

Personally I’ve tried them and feel I get better/easier results from simply duplicating my SV stick method. I’m generally cooking steak around 3-3.5cm thick so doesn’t need long anyway. Generally for a picanha I’ll allow 3 hours which is plenty.

For medium-rare I do cook to 53c (127f), dry, and then sear - generally butter basting. Keep in mind that the searing process will definitely result in some additional cooking depending on the method. I think the butter basting probably increases it more than some other methods (e.g. a searzall - which I don’t have) but personally I find the flavour spectacular and cooking to only 53 keeps it medium rare after the butter basting.

I find a lot of the enjoyment I’m getting with the APO (and I have 2 I love them so much) is experimenting with different techniques to achieve your results.

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I’m interested in this for fattier type meats (e.g. rib eye). I’ve always felt that there was enough fat rendering with traditional sous vide. Your approach sounds like it addresses this. I’ll give it a go next time I cook a ribeye (and just remembered I have a huge (1.2kg) “cattlemans cutlet” in the freezer. I generally cook on the weber reverse seer but might try your suggestion to replace the initial cook on the weber.

Thanks for the feedback. The problem as I see it is the inability to predict the time needed with random cuts of meat. I’ll play with it more, but I love the oven for everything else it does. Most especially Bread!

Hey Jerry, the reason this cook first adopted the SV cooking technique was to reduce portion costs while improving quality and the effective use of time, - a triple win.

The more you know the better you will plan and execute your cooks.
Let’s see what we can do to remove the random nature of your cuts of meat with a little knowledge.
As in making superior knives, it’s better to know how than play at it.
Your oven requires a new way of thinking about how you use it, but you can do it.

Start with the cut of meat being cooked. Is it tender or tough.
Don’t mix them in one cook.

Next, consider your desired degree of doneness. Rare, or Medium-Rare?
Or maybe even Badly Overcooked? It’s your food, you pick.
Doneness determines your SV oven cooking temperature.
The usually accepted temperature standards for meat are the following:
Rare 125F / 50C
Medium-Rare 130F / 55C
Medium 140F / 60C

Thickness is critical to SV cooking time.
It’s that simple.
You must know the thickness to know the basic cooking time.
It’s not a matter of predicting. it’s knowing.

Attempting to cook random thicknesses successfully can be achieved, but i’ll leave that to a later post. At that time we can also discuss how to cook to different degrees of doneness too if you’re interested.
Besides, this post is getting far too long. I’ve got work to do.

Do the work and you’ll be amazed at your results.
And keep well.


Naively, I expected Anova to do some of that work for me. This isn’t my first rodeo.

As a recovering Albertan where rodeos are a way of life, the current challenge is we are all different and bring our varying skills, attitudes, and knowledge to each rodeo.

This cook never wants to be dependant on a machine’s learning ability.
Sure, others do.
Learning by doing gives me comfort and confidence with joy in my successes.

Keep well.

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My settings were modeled after the 152/132 settings in the Prime Rib recipe on your site.