Beef tendon temp & time?

I have beef tendon in SV bath… anyone cooked it before? if so, what temp and how long?

I have beef tendon in SV bath

Hey Boo, you have started cooking the beef tendon and then ask for guidance?

Gentle Community Members please advert your eyes as once again this cat disapproves of the Ready - Fire - Aim school of cooking and you will find much of the following copy redundant.

Boo, if you don’t care enough to share your expected outcome how could anyone guide you to achieve it?

You posted your question 10 hours before this response, so if it has actually been cooking that long at your undisclosed temperature it could be done. Or not.

If actually cooking, please remove the beef tendon from the bath and give it the good old thumb and two finger pinch in the middle.
How does that feel? Done?
Only you can tell.
It could be. If not return the meat to the bath and carry on.
Meat is always done when it’s done to your liking. Your result depends on how you cook it.

If by some good fortune you were kidding us and have not actually begun cooking the Beef Tendon here’s two ways to do it.

Do you want it to be meltingly tender, - almost custardy?
That’s with most of the collagen rendered and the cartilage reduced to gelatine. Then cook it at 150F/66C for 30 to 48 hours.

Or do you prefer the tendon to have a little chew left in it?
Then plan on SV cooking at 176F/80C for 8 to 12 hours.

Why the difference in time?
As you know thickness is always critical to SV cook times. Beef Tendon cuts can be large or small. Large = longer.

Anyone unfamiliar with Beef Tendon should first experience it at your nearest Momofuku restaurant. It’s sublime! Served on Chef David Chang’s perfectly cooked noodles and unctuous broth, it will spoil your threshold of acceptance forever, but that shouldn’t prevent you from cooking it yourself. It will afford you a new appreciation of beef.


I just started cooking it just last night. Set it for 48 hr with a remaining time of 38 hr. I want it to be tender like ribeye or prime rib not falling apart yet. So I got the temp and time down. Will post results soon.

Once it’s done, can it be thrown in oven or airfryer for some crisping? Or even sear it on a Cast iron? Never ate been tendon before.

C’mon, now, Chat, you have to appreciate the can-do attitude! I bet they’re creatively/mechanically inclined – I recognize it in them, because I’m exactly the same and have been known to jump in feet-first while dialing the first six digits of my favorite pizza place, just in case (as you well know, having pulled me back from the cliff’s edge more than once).


Good luck with the tendon, @Boo! And seriously, while I really DO appreciate the experimental spirit, The Cat is a veritable font of really useful knowledge when it comes to this stuff.

Thank you for responding so quickly Boo.
Keep going.
And thanks for the support Joe.

Beef Tendon is usually cooked to the point of very tender or more so. You might not enjoy the ultra-soft texture of or more so. It’s an acquired taste, quite different to the typical North American pallet. It’s a quite small but solid piece of meat with lots of reinforcing tissue throughout that requires a lot of cooking.

It can be crisped for service as you suggest, - for a salad or stir-fry topping as examples, even fried rice. Just don’t over do it and dry the meat. Keep it moist.

You didn’t share how you plan to serve it. This cook would not serve a whole or large piece of Beef Tendon as a portion to unsuspecting diners. Slice it thinly. It’s nothing like Ribeye or Prime Rib, can’t be. If unsure of your guests’ taste, you might want to have a second and more familiar menu item as an alternative choice just in case. Extra napkins on the table might be appreciated.

What is the cat?

Hi @Boo! “Chatnoir” translates to “Black Cat.”

I’m interested in your tendon experiment, having never had tendon. Let us know how it turns out – preferably with pics, please!

I most definitely will enjoy ultra soft texture. In the bag, seasoned with salt and pepper. I plan to brown or crisp it a little after cutting them into bite size pieces to maybe snack on. Maybe under the broiler for a few minutes. It might be a nice addition to my dinner of steak. Like a side.

159f for 48 hrs will not dry it out right?

I pulled them out a few hours ago and it was hard to pinch meaning it’s not ready yet.

Hey Boo, - as they always say in Ottawa, Chacque a son gout.
Or you can always have it your way.
Just don’t expect me to understand having a side of beef with steak.

A few minutes under the broiler and ultra soft texture ring this cook’s warning bells.

You’ll be alright with your 159F for 48 hours.

However, put this little item in your SV Cooking Journal for future reference:
A maximum temperature of 150F will always have the result of increased moisture in your meat.

Think of that temperature as the upper limit when your objective is to enhance moistness. Above that temperature meat’s cellular structure increasingly and more rapidly contracts expelling moisture. I would rather have juicy meat than a bag of meat juices. When you are cooking for a long time in order to melt a lot of the meat’s tough connective tissue do it gently.

Beef Tendon will resist the pinch test for a long time. It’s a simple but effective way to judge doneness.

Do well.

Oops, I meant to say 150f. But could this be done at a much lower temp say 130f?

Why do you say a few minutes under the broiler and ultra soft texture ring this cook’s warning bells?

And not sure about a juicy meat but I do chuck roasts and steak and always have a bag of juices. 130f at 48 to 72 hr. Not sure what is be doing wrong.

No Boo, please consider that Beef Tendon is tough meat and needs the higher temperature and longer time to break down its cartilage and very solid tissue.

Normally chuck roasts and steaks should not require 48 to 72 hour cooks unless you enjoy extremely tender meat.

What are your trying to accomplish? Broiler temperatures can be 1,200F or higher. That can undo two days of your careful cooking by drying and toughening the already cooked meat.

Maybe nothing is wrong. It’s common to have meat juices in the bags after cooking, up to 2 ounces per pound is about normal, but never a bag full. Are you buying “seasoned” meat that’s been pumped with a salt solution? That increase the weight of the meat by about 20%. It’s as if your butcher is putting his thumb on the scale as the meat is weighed. And that surplus water comes out as meat cooks. Most people cooking with conventional techniques don’t notice anything because the surplus moisture evaporates, However in SV cooking the surplus liquid is evident.

One more item, 130F is an inappropriate temperature for long duration cooks. Water bath temperatures in SV cooking approach but never quite attain the set target temperature. For food safety it is recommended that 131F be the lowest temperature setting for cook times beyong 4 hours. That provides you with a margin of safety without any apparent difference in outcome.

What method do you prefer to give the tendon a nice crisp?

If not broiler, then perhaps a quick sear would work. However, I could just eat it as is after it’s done cooking. I don’t think I would ruin it making it tough and chewy for getting a nice brown exterior or crisp.

Hey Boo, is everything proceeding according to plan?

It’s your menu, do whatever you think is right for your enjoyment. If you feel confident of your broiler skills, go ahead. No matter your outcome it will be an experience and add to your cooking skills and knowledge, all good things.

I prefer the traditional method of adding a crisp finish to Beef Tendon. It is a quick peanut oil shallow-fry in a very hot gas fired wok which is usually beyond the capability of most home cooks. In it goes, a half dozen basting ladles of oil over the tendon, roll it over a few times, and out, - 60 seconds tops. That technique preserves the soft interior while adding a thin shiny crust.

Often Beef Tendon is an ingredient in mixtures with other meats, frequently offal, or otherwise used as a topping and in soups. Crispness is rarely an attribute as it is appreciated for its softness and deep flavour.

48 hours → 16 hours left. I took it out, did a pinch test and still rock hard solid. I assume this probably needs a minimum of 72hr? I am using the water displacement method with ziploc. I have 3 tendons in there.

also threw in some chicken thighs. my sv container is pretty big.

That’s a lower temperature than most cooks use for thighs.

I love beef tendon, and I’m sure you will too. But, just because you can sous vide something, doesn’t mean you should. Why not braise them? It’ll be so much faster (3-4 hours). Maybe you’re trying to achieve something that braising won’t? Please enlighten.

Furrier is correct, the SV technique isn’t braising, can’t be, and the results are often disappointing.

what exactly is braising? how is it done? just a pot, water, and meat you want to braise?

The way I braise tendon is with a dutch oven, lid on, 325 F for 1.5 hours then 250 F for 2.5 hours. The tendons are mixed with brisket chunks and in a Chinese “Red Cook” sauce. The cooking time might be more dictated by the brisket and assumes about 4 lbs. total weight of meat. I know that you can accomplish a very tender tendon also by simmering (same amount of time), but I like braising because I don’t have to keep an eye on it as much. Let us know how it turns out in the Sous Vide method!

Hey Boo, please, not just water.
i don’t know what flavour your water is where you live, but mine is totally boring.

FYI, braising is a common cooking technique for tougher cuts of meat with liquids (stock, wine, broth) that are used to enhance flavours. The meat is browned first, then with aromatics (onions, celery, carrots is one example), then casserole-cooked with herbs and liquid ingredients in a medium oven til tender. The slow moist cooking tenderizers the meat while other ingredients enhance aroma and flavour. During the cook evaporation occurs concentrating flavours which can’t happen in the SV technique.

An hour before serving a braised item i remove the meat from the casserole and strain the liquids from the vegetables as they have contributed all the flavour they have by then. Then the meat and strained fluids are returned to the casserole along with a fresh supply of vegetables that will accompany the meat when served after cooking in the oven.

You should try it sometime.