Cheap Chuck steak, getting nervous

So this is my second cook in my anova. First was a pork chop that came out decent, though I probably over cooked slightly while searing. I’ve got a cheap chuck steak going, about half an inch thick, in a Ziploc displaced by water. I found a recipe on the app which indicated 126 degrees for 36 hours. I’m about 12 hours into it and my girlfriend is making me doubt things. I’ve read all about the REAL bacteria danger zones (not quite 130) but I feel like I’m flirting with danger here. This is obviously a cheap cut and I’m not expecting to be blown away, but I’m only concerned about food safety. Thoughts? Can/should I raise temperature? Optimally I’d end this at 24 hours also if I’m only trading off quality and not safety. I’d appreciate your input because we’re leaning towards ‘toss it’ at this point.

Joe, the more i read here about some app’s recipes the more relieved i become that i completely ignore them. There is a good reason Anova uses the word, “Precision”, as in it is expected that users will be precise in their cooking. Have you considered that cooking with the Anova Precision Cooker may not be an appropriate instrument for you?

I keep going back to ensure i understand what you are cooking. A slice of cheap chuck steak about half an inch thick. Sometimes that cut is called a “Minute Steak”, - as in sear-and-serve.

You appear to be concerned about avoiding food born illnesses. If so, why would you knowingly persist in unsafe cooking in the Food Danger Zone? I advise you to trust your girlfriend’s good sense over the recipe, whatever its source. The generally accepted cooking temperature for the safe reduction of pathogens is 131F / 55C for 24 to 48 hours.

Nevermind I’m just going to discard it. Whether recipe is right or wrong I’ll lose the battle in the house.

Another thing to consider aside from the safety question. You will have a hard time getting medium rare or rare steaks when they are 0.5 inch thick. By the time you get a good sear the meat will be overcooked. If your sear is 1/8 th of an inch thick on each side this only leave you you with 1/4 inch in the middle and with such a thin piece it will heat up very quickly.

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Hi @Jstyles

Toss it? Why? Why don’t you just bump the temp up? You’ve spent 12 hours at a temp on the edge of the “kill zone” for the bacteria you’re concerned with, so just bump the temp to 131 and leave it there for the next 24 hours. No safety issue, and when you eat it you can decide for yourself how you’d like to adjust your next cook!
One of the big things with sous vide is that you can get a wide variety of results by varying time and temp, and not everyone has the same preferences. Just experiment and find what you like and you’ll be fine. Good luck!

I wasnt sure if it was ok to do that and bump it up half way thru after it had been basking at 126 hour hours. It’s long since discarded, but I appreciate the reply nonethless. I’m all for experimenting as long as i know im working within boundaries of safety. Thanks for the reply

Sorry I didn’t check my email soon enough to catch you prior to discard! Changing the temp up shouldn’t have been a problem because 126 is not a hospitable temp for the bacteria to grow even if some might have done so.
Baldwins work will let you know all you need when it comes to sous vide safety.

Frank (@chatnoir) made an excellent post a while back that you might find very useful to review - here’s a link to it. I really think you’ll find it a good read. Keep experimenting and sharing what you experience. Best of luck!

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You may find this of interest. There are several tables on cooking times and temps based on type of food and thickness of food.

I strongly second the recommendations for Baldwin’s website and book. Read his book! - he has an excellent discussion on pasteurizing food that is, IMHO, essential information for sous vide cooking. Also, 1/2" steaks are best prepared on the stove or in the oven without the benefit of sous vide since it will be hard to finish them and still have medium-rare or medium steaks.

I am wondering why such a thin steak would cook for 24 hours? I was thinking of trying turkey cutlets in the sous vide because I have had such good luck with chicken breasts. Are they too thin? Better cooked breaded and in a skillet? Thanks.