Cook & Hold Question

So I just purchased my first device (WiFi) and was wondering about cook times. Specifically I am concerned with cooking a medium-rare / medium-well but I want to be 100% of not getting sick. Once it reaches doneness (from what I hear for average thickness is about 1.5-2.5 hours) how long can I leave it cooking in the water to ensure pasteurization?

Azure, welcome to the Anova Community.

If you have a significantly compromised immune system from cancer treatments, or some similar condition, SV cooking may not be able to provide you with the 100% guarantee you seek. If you don’t, good, but for your safety you will need to adopt a high degree of precise attention to time and temperature factors in your cooking. Forget about what you have heard, it appears to be wrong.

Before you begin to cook, please read to understand Douglas Baldwin’s excellent work at his following site:

From it you would find it helpful to print Table 5.1, Pasteurization Time for Meat, and refer to it in planning your every cooking event.

For your safety, you will need to adopt the basic habit of all competent cooks and think about your cooking in precise terms. Averages are sloppy and won’t protect your health.

For example, there can be significant time and temperature differences between medium-rare and medium-well. From Baldwin, a 1 1/4-inch thick piece of meat will be Pasteurized at medium-well or 150F in 75 minutes. The same item cooked medium rare at 131F will require at least 3 1/4 hours for Pasteurization, significantly longer.

So I cook mine at 130 for at least an hour for med rare. If you cook it on a grill its alot less time so pasteurization isnt great there either. You can cook it for way longer if you feel the need. On accident, because life kept getting in the way we let a nice New York sous vide for 3 days at 130. We took it out let it sit for 10 minutes and seared both sides. It was still med rare an we could cut it with a fork.

Princess, you’re correct. The human body is remarkably tough and most people have a robust immune systems which means they don’t need Pasteurized food.

You draw an interesting comparison between cooking 130F SV and 750F+/- on your grill and noting neither would be Pasteurized. And we do it frequently and don’t ever suffer any illness. Steaks and roasts are usually safe anyway because of the way the are cut and packaged.

I prefer my ribeye steaks on the border between rare and medium rare.

On a fresh steak, the bacteria is on the cut surfaces. I put the sealed steaks in boiling water for 60 seconds to kill the surface bacteria, then sous vide at preferred temperature.

J, your use of boiling water before cooking is likely unnecessary.

There also could be a significant downside to being too focused on food sterilization. We all should want to have a well developed immune system. Our immune system benefits from small and limited contacts with pathogens so it develops and maintains the ability to recognize and destroy them.

That’s also the reason the use of hand soap and dish detergents that contain antibacterial compounds can be detrimental to your health. In addition to the unfavourable impact on immune system maintenance those products cause even greater harm by allowing pathogens to adapt and become resistant to antibacterial drugs. It’s becoming a very hazardous situation.