Cook a medium rare & a medium steak in same batch?

I love a medium rare sirloin but my partner likes hers done medium. I can see two possibilities but please feel free to enlighten me.
Option 1 :- Set the bath to a temperature for a medium steak and take mine out earlier.
Option 2 :- Set the bath to a temperature for a medium rare steak and sear my partners steak for longer than mine (I prefer this option)
Please feel free to share advice, thanks.

Or you can go for what’s behind door #3:

Set the bath to a temperature for medium and cook hers for an hour or so until it is at that desired temperature. Then, drop the bath temp to a medium-rare level and drop your steak in and cook both at that temperature for as long as you need. Hers will be done to medium and then simply be held at your lower MR temp until serving time.


Yep, I’d go with @DParker said. It really is the easiest way to make sure everything’s cooked to perfection, at the desired doneness.


Option 1 won’t work. The doneness is set by your bath temperature, not by the time in the bath. Your steak needs to be in the water bath long enough to reach temperature equilibrium, which is when the very centre of the steak is the same as the water bath. It takes about 30 mins per half inch (an inch an hour) to reach this point.

Option 2 will work, but, DParker’s Option 3 is the preferred method.


agree with all others…


Thanks all of you, very helpful.

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I did option 3 a few weeks back, two steaks rare to medium and another one well done. It was a pity to do that to the well done steak but all 3 of us enjoyed our steaks.


May I ask what temp you used for the well done steak?

I think I did it at about 65C for an hour then dropped it to 54C and added the other two steaks for another hour and 20 minutes or so.


Yes, always cook too the lower temp then sear the Hades out of the one you want well done. Everyone happy. Same with a roast, temp it rare and broil bake or fry to leather the rest.

Sandra, congratulations on doing your steaks so competently. You demonstrated respect for your fortunate guest who prefers well-done, and for your food by cooking intelligently.


Had friends over for steaks this past weekend. They like their steaks in the Medium/Medium Well zone, while I and my Mom like ours closer to Rare.

In order to accommodate this I used a two stage process (actually 3 if you include the sear!). I started their steaks (vac-packed individually with a dab of clarified butter (Ghee) and a sprig of rosemary) at 145F for the first hour, then added a pot of cold water and brought the temp down to 130F and added the second pair of steaks for the second hour.

To sear I heated up a large cast iron griddle on the charcoal BBQ and got it up into the 700F range (infrared thermometer). I gave each of the steaks a smear of Ghee just prior to dropping on the griddle and gave them about 45 seconds a side.

The SV was done in a FrankenCooler

Sounds good @KyleMW!
One thing I’d suggest doing different - don’t add ghee into the sous vide bag! Adding butter in the bag tends to draw the flavor out of the steak.

The guys on the Youtube channel “Sous Vide Everything” did a taste test that confirmed this.

I agree, to a point. :wink:

I have also found that if there’s a lot of butter/ghee/EVO or any other fat/liquid in the bag, that the flavour of the steak itself does get diluted.

However, the quarter teaspoon, or less, of ghee I drop in the bag with the thyme or rosemary sprig helps spread the flavour of the herb and doesn’t seem to dilute the flavour of the steak like larger amounts will. There is very little liquid in the bag when I take the steaks out for searing. Then another, very light, smear of ghee just prior to hitting the hot griddle and the sear takes very little time at all. I don’t think I used more than a total of about and ounce and a half of ghee for 4 decent sized New York Strip steaks (cook & sear).

Yeah, not like doing a brown butter baste of a steak cooked on the stovetop! LOL!

Well then I think I’m going to give it a go myself! I bet keeping it to a dab won’t be a problem - and may help spread that rosemary goodness!
It’s midnight where I live and reading this post is making me hungry! Maybe I should limit my forum readings to mealtimes! :slight_smile:

Ah Mike, you are a true epicurean.
I’m glad to know i’m not the only one who does that.

I find the best outcomes are gained by applying minced fresh herbs just before service.

Adding them to the cooking package makes me feel better but does little to nothing for the meat, only the resulting juices.

Taste and discover.