Cooking potatos, holding how long for steak?

Really new to SV, I searched through the boards, and if I missed this question somewhere, I guess I didn’t use the right search terms, but… Say I want to cook potatos and steak. I know the potatos have to cook at a higher temp, so I throw those in first, cook at around 193F for about an hour, cool the water down to steak temps, holding the potatos in, then cook the steak. Since I had dental work recently, I want to cook my NY strip for about 2, 2 1/2 hours so it is a bit more tender. Will the longer time cause the potatos to loose texture (negatively?), or does the longer time in SV cooking not affect vegetables the same as it does meats? I even did a google university search for this, and did not find a useful answer. Thanks.

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Hey Hoot, welcome aboard. I hope your dental work isn’t giving you too much discomfort.

Google University, that’s a high standard of comparison you are holding us to.

Some NY Strip steaks can be somewhat solid and i don’t know how much more tender is a bit. However, you might want to consider pushing the time out to at least 4 hours to get any noticeable increase in tenderness. Cooking for 6 to 8 hours will result in a more tender outcome. Some cooks will push times out to as much as 24 hours to have a beef tenderloin-like experience.

It’s been my observation that with beef it takes about a doubling of cooking time to gain a perceptible increase in tenderness. You don’t disclose your desired degree of doneness or the steak’s thickness, so we are limited in how much detailed advice we can give you. Successful cooking with your Anova Precision Circulator makes details important.

In responding to your questions i should start by stating i don’t SV cook two menu items together. That’s because i lead a simple existence trying to avoid as many of life’s complications as possible. Or perhaps i am just not sufficiently patient.

Foods like potatoes cooked at elevated temperatures will not continue to cook at a significantly lower temperature. To maintain quality i would never hold vegetables at serving temperatures beyond 3 hours.

For your last question, i admit to having difficulty answering negative questions because i might provide a misunderstood response. So here goes, - yes, and that’s mostly because vegetable fibres are not at all the same as meat fibres.

I hope you are feeling better soon.

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Alright, chatnoir, first off, I appreciate your answer. Having crawled through the boards I see you give lots of helpful advice, and I appreciate that advice as much as I appreciate the advice you gave me. Based on your answer, I decided to use my free time with this cook being on a weekend to kinda do some learning. I cooked half the steak (A NY strip that looked like it had good marbling, about 1 inch thick, a little larger in size than I am used to a NY strip being) for 4 hours friday night, then cooked the other half for 24 hours until saturday night (which I just finished). I am getting better at keeping notes about my cooks, a trick I learned from cooking on a smoker. I aimed for my steak to be at a temp of 139, just to see how that temp worked for me. So, my experiences were that the friday night 4 hour cook were that the NY strip was a bit hard to chew, not bad, but firmer than I expected. Not undoable, but more the texture of biting into a chunk of red meat ham instead of a chunk of hamburger. Tonight, I cooked my meat the 24 hours at same temp, and when it came time to eat, I found some of the steak tender (not quite hamburger, but closer to tenderloin), and some unchanged. I am taking this to mean I did not have as good of a piece of meat as I had originally thought. I have some good chuck eye steaks (ok, I think they are good, well marbled chuck eye steaks) to try next weekend, and to continue my learning curve. My potatoes did turn out well. I removed my meat for a brief period, wrapped it in towels to insulate, and placed it in a warm oven for an hour and a half, while I raised the temp of my water and cooked potatoes at 194 for 1 hour, then cooled water with ice, and got water back to my 139, then brought my (still warm) meat to continue cooking alongside the potatoes holding for an hour. MY biggest disappointment of the whole meal was I forgot my rolls I had left to rise on the windowsill. They are in the oven as I speak.

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Thank you for sharing those details Hoot.

Now we know you are seeking hamburger-like texture in your steak. That’s an important factor in planning your cooks. Meanwhile, instead of steak you might consider SV cooking meatballs, meat loaf mixture, or minced beef patties until your mouth heals.

It’s unusual for half a 1-inch thick steak to be so unevenly cooked. I suspect its detour into the warm oven for about 90 minutes may have had some unfavourable impact. A small piece of meat can absorb a lot of heat, even wrapped in a towel. Do you recall what temperature was that warm? It would be helpful to know.

Chuck eye steaks are generally tougher than NY strip steaks. Therefore, they are going to require an even longerr cook time to be acceptable. Are you up for 36 hours at 139ᴼF? And no oven time.
Even 48 hours might not be too long for your expectations.

In the future if you have to interrupt SV cooking a small piece of meat it would afford you better temperature control if you hold the meat in a large pan of water kept warm on your cooktop where you can monitor its temperature just like you likely do when using your smoker.

Please share the results of your next cook so we can all learn from your experiences.

Stay safe and keep well.

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You might want to look at methods for tenderizing steak before cooking. I have found that a thick coat of kosher salt on both sides of the steak, placed in an airtight bag and stowed in the refrigerator for about 1 hour works nicely. And, you don’t have to worry about the salt drying out the meat. It doesn’t!
There are other methods on the Internet that work almost as well. One being pineapple.
Just don’t leave in the fridge too long!

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I haven’t observed a significant increase in meat tenderness as a result of salting or dry-brining. It does improve moisture retention in meat which can give one the impression of increased tenderness.

Be careful using information on the internet, including this forum. Chemical or enzyme tenderizers are challenging to use and unsuitable for use with SV as they can dissolve meat tissues at uneven rates. As TBell suggests the most commonly employed are papain or bromelain, extracts from papayas and pineapples respectively. If over used, or for too long, they turn meat to mush, hardly appetizing.

Since Hoot’s condition is temporary he may just make some protein substitutions to accommodate his condition. For extreme cases of dental discomfort i have served mousses and purées. They will never replace the steak experience, but they will sustain life pleasantly.

Alternatively, using a Jaccard tenderizer has favourable steak tenderizing outcomes. Oxo makes a good one for home cooks and leaves the meat suitable for the SV technique.

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Again, I wish to start off with thanks for the replies. I had not yet seen the recipes for SV meatloaf, I somehow had managed to miss those completely. I actually have a series of dental appointments next week that should increase my ability to chew, while being able to bite is still a few weeks in the future. I am sure I should have just waited, but dad gum it, I was missing steak. (I know, I should have started with tenderloin or ribeye, but I didn’t want to find out I still wasn’t able to eat that after I had tempted myself to that wonderful aroma…) My adventures into indoor cooking has taken me to learning new flavors and spices, well, new to me, common to everyone else, and it has been nice that with SV it seems easier to make the smaller portions needed for just my kiddo and me. I also have never tried using pineapple to tenderize, I am going to give it a try, but I have been able to tell cooks in the past that I could tell they had used lime on the steak precook (correct more often than not). As a natural born Texan, I am used to mechanically tenderized meat, in the form of Chicken Fried Steak (yep, capitalized on purpose), and if I still have difficulty chewing, I will be looking into a form of mechanical tenderizing. I will share things I learn that seem to be useful, because it might not be news to many, but it might help another new SV user, and that is worth something.

Hey Hoot, how’s it going?

Lime on a steak?
They must have been Norwegians serving you their traditional Christmas Ludefisk Steak. It’s regularly made with whole sides of lime-cured dried cod which might be hard to find in Texas.

Have you never made and cooked a Meatloaf in your smoker?
You’ve missed some good eating in my opinion.

I’m not familiar with the Anova recipes here. I’m surprised there isn’t one for SV Meatloaf. You can use your favourite Meatball recipe, just slap the ingredients into a loaf shape and proceed.

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Yep, some folks near me like to rub their steak with lime juice before adding salt, pepper, and other rubs, claiming “it acts as a tenderizer and you can’t taste it, I promise”. Seems like they all add in the “I promise” part. I actually have not cooked a meatloaf in the smoker, I always think I will, but then I get my briskets and or ribs together, get them going, and forget all about it. I don’t get to cook for groups very often, and I can only cook the large brisket and ribs so often before I have the freezer full with only 2 in the house to eat them, so I don’t run the smoker all that often. I’m really hoping that with SV I can do a shorter smoke, cut into serving sizes, and then freeze, so I can finish the cook SV as needed later.

I hear you Hoot. Living alone presents me with the same large meat item challenge.

Having your dental issue gives you an opportunity to give meatloaf a try. Maybe even a reason.

This cook uses a pork and beef meatloaf mixture with a panade to bind and lighten. Mix and shape, smoke for up to 2 hours at 250ᴼF to par-cook and firm, carefully slice into portions and vacuum pack (singles or twos), SV cook to Pasteurize, deep chill and hold cold or frozen.

Cook’s trick, use a wide spatula to ease portions into the bags to keep them intact.

Gently reheat from chilled or frozen for a couple of hours at 139ᴼF and enjoy. Check with Baldwin for the appropriate times.

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Did a ribeye today, cooked SV at 136 for 8 hours, finished on charcoal. The steak was nice and tender. It was so tender that the first steak knife I grabbed, a rough serrated blade, was actually tearing the meat instead of cutting it. I switched to a knife with finer serrations, and the cuts went smoothly. The meat chewed very well. I feel like I am really starting to do some learning.

Sounds like you may be feeling better!!!
How thick was the ribeye?
Do you know the internal meat temp when it came off the grill?

Thanks, RJ
GOD, Guns & Gumbo

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