Freezing cooked Steaks

Since there is just my wife and I, cooking Sous Vide, as great as it is, is a lot of bother for just the two of us. My wife suggested that rather than just cooking a couple of steaks for us, I cook up four or six and freeze them in the same bag after cooking. I have done that and at the same time took out two for a same day meal. I cooked early in the day and set the two for immediate consumption in the fridge. I found that after doing the searing in a cast iron skillet, the center of the steaks, although cooked perfectly, were still a little cold. I imagine that leaving them in the skillet longer or eating them up in a 500 degree oven, will cook them beyond the Medium Rare preference. Does anyone have any ideas or have you run into the same situation. As usua, any and all comments will be appreciated.

Apensa, the SV cooking technique was originally developed for your desired purpose, batch cooking foods far in advance of service.

Vacuum package a batch of your menu items in meal-sized portions, like one or two steaks per package. Cook them to your desired degree of doneness, thoroughly ice-bath chill, and store either refrigerated or frozen. Always date and label each package.

Meal packages are best reheated using your Anova in water heated to just below the cooking temperature. Refer to Baldwin’s tables for reheat times from frozen or refrigerated states. For service, decant the menu items, pat dry, season, sear, serve, and enjoy.

Items that have been pasteurised, like chicken thighs, may not need freezing as they store quite satisfactorily in the fridge for extended times. Again, see Baldwin’s tables for recommendations.

The Baldwin SV Bible

1 Like

Thank you so much!!!

Having a similar home census, I take a different approach. The New York Strips from Costco generally come 4 or 6 to a package, and one is plenty for the two of us. When I bring that package home I prepare each steak as if I plan to cook it immediately – trim if needed, season and vacuum seal individually – and then I freeze all but the one we will cook right away. When I’m ready for another, it goes directly from the freezer to the sous vide cooker, and I add an extra 30 - 45 minutes to allow for thawing. From decision to have a steak to searing is about 2 1/2 hours with no further prep. That is not much bother.

Regarding re-warming meat not consumed right away, I usually use my sous vide cooker to re-warm back to 129°. It’s never as good as when first cooked, and it takes almost as long, but it’s better than alternate methods – in my opinion.

1 Like

And to you also thank you

In a blind test a pre-cooked steak the day before, reheated, and a just cooked steak tasted exactly the same.
However, it was only personal taste and it may vary.
How does your rewarmed steak suffer?

Regarding re-warmed meat, I refer to those instances where “my eyes were bigger than my stomach”, as my mother used to say, and I have a substantial part of a steak remaining uneaten. When I have re-warmed those, they are drier than I like. My best use for that is thin sliced cold in a sandwich. I have not re-warmed unopened previously cooked steak, but I would expect it to be completely acceptable. I just have no need to find out, since it is so easy to cook “just in time”.

Seal up the bag, bring the temperature back up to 130-135 (if its steak) and put the steak back in the water for about a half hour. After that, you just throw on your hot cast iron skillet and give the steaks a nice crust. Ready and done!

Ah… so you are talking rewarmed ‘leftovers’ here rather than a time delay between sous vide and finishing.

Dryness in this instance is not a surprise. The steak has been cooked, seared, cut and left to cool, slowly. The searing process causes the tightening of some of the proteins. Slow cooling and exposure to air has caused some drying. Warmed leftover steak can be excused for not being as succulent as it was the first time around.

I buy a number of steaks, season them and cook them on the Sous Vide. Pack them individually in sealed bags and freeze. To serve, if I have time, I take them out of the freezer for a couple of hours and then sear them in butter on fairly high temperature, until they look beautifully browned. It only takes 2 or 3 minutes and they come out beautifully. Brown on the outside and beautifully pink in the middle. My husband tells me they are absolutely delicious. I`ll never know since I am vegetarian, so I have to believe him. Hope it helps.

1 Like

Thanks again, Frank.

Very reassuring, PapaBear. One question for you and other sous viders; where do you keep your equipment? It seems an awful lot of trouble to empty and refill the cooker whether you use the complete unit or the emersion Anova system. I don’t have room to keep it handy on the counter and my wife would kill me if I tried, so every time I decide to cook sous vide it is out with the plastic tub, fill it with water and mount the Anova unit. I’m seriously thinking about the unit Baldwin uses. I like the sideways stack too. Again, my wife comes into play…she is not a very sophisticated food person, but don’t tell her I said that.

I must admit that I’m spoiled. Both my wife and I enjoy cooking, eating and experimenting with new culinary techniques. My Anova immersion cooker in a Coleman “Stacker” cooler rests on a countertop in my garage beside a laundry sink. In summer used water drains into a bucket for the garden, but in winter it drains into the sink. I have considered re-heating the same water, but with 130° water from the tap, it’s cooking immediately.

You are very fortunate. I’ve been trying to talk my wife into trying an Indian restaurant at the RIO in Vegas…no way. Can I borrow your wife?..LOL The dust created by my woodworking hobby in the shop adjacent to my garage would make that impossible for me. I think the free standing all in one cooker might be the answer; just pull one thing out of the pantry and use the Anova as an adjacent cooker when needed.

I have a very small kitchen setup and don’t have much bench or cupboard space. Any appliance has to be either multi-function or an utter workhorse. The Anova fits into the second category and gets used at least every second day. For ease of access it sits in a small work hutch that I had made to house my microwave/convection oven. alongside the electric pressure cooker.

But really the APC itself isn’t a difficult thing to store. The cooking bath is a whole other matter.

Since you seem to be cooking relatively small quantities for just yourself and your wife, you can always just use a stockpot you already have in your kitchen, rather than a dedicated sous vide tub.

You are correct about the relatively small amount we cook usually. I know I can use a lot of the “pans” we already have but the routine would be the same…pull out the pot, fill it with water and attach the Anova unit. I am thinking of using our service porch and set the unit on top of the washer which is right next to utility sink, but that would be a problem too…the vibrations of the washer. Another down side, although not of major concern, of using a stock pot or some other pot in the house is that you cannot put a lid on it with the Anova unit attached. But then again, I am sure that the amount of evaporation is minimal. Thanks for your input, Josh.

Evaporation on a long cook can be significant, but in a stock pot one can always cover with cling filmorfoil.

FWIW-- Anova is now peddling a sort of universal lid with a cutout for the unit.

I can’t vouch for the design but looks like it’s better than nothing.