Juicy Prime Steak....Not!!!

I am not getting my prime steak to be juicy. Here is what I am doing:

Prime steak salt & pepper, herbs and one tablespoon of olive oil (I tried butter…same result)
Vaccum sealed
129 F for 1 hour (Tried 131 and 1.5 hours…same result)
Remove and dry steak with paper towel.
Finish with Searzall…takes about 3 to 4 minutes to get a nice crust.(Tried hot cast iron pan with butter, oil and herbs…same result 2 minutes max total on all sides )
Result = Perfect color medium rare, tender…no juice from steak, no juice on my plate.
Anyone have any ideas?


No obvious issue with what you’ve done as described. If I were to take a guess I’d say the issue is most likely with the meat itself.

Hi Ross. Prime steak is a pretty generic term. I mean they can feed a cow beer and massage it and label it prime but a round steak is still a round steak. Are you using a well marbled cut of NY strip or Ribeye?

Hi Guys…Thank you…I am using a well marbled prime strip steak

Ross, your results should not be. You have given us a SV mystery. A very high percentage of meat is water which remains in varying degrees after all cooking, even when well done although it’s considerably reduced.

After cooking consider how much juice remains in the cooking bag as evidence of how juicy your cooked steaks will be. Cooking around 130F you should be achieving a good balance between tenderness and juiciness. Don’t cook any higher. After cooking there shouldn’t be a lot of meat juices in the bag, about an an ounce from a 10 to 12-ounce steak. depending on thickness at that temperature. Thicker always having less in the bag resulting in a juicier steak on your plate. Higher temperatures cause moisture loss to soar.

Meat juices are usually evident when a steak is cut. Your experience is highly unusual.
How thick are your steaks? Thin steaks will be drier.
Is there much of a grey perimeter around your steaks? There shouldn’t be.
If there is, it’s an indicator of over searing which is frequently identified as a problem cause here.

Mirozen has raised a possible cause of the dryness. Also, if your steaks have been mechanically tenderized or frozen there may be increased moisture loss experienced. If frozen, always thaw slowly to preserve moisture. If you are doing the freezing do it as quickly as possible. The best meat packers use liquid nitrogen as the freezing medium.

By “Prime”, you mean USDA Prime, - right? If you are not buying inspected and graded meat you might get something else.

Above all don’t quit.
Here’s what i would do:

  • Next try cook 1 1/2-inch thick steak a few degrees lower.
  • Ease up on the salt before packaging and sealing.
  • Use the Searzall judiciously. That nice crust you describe is desiccated meat. You only need a millimetre of searing to achieve an enhanced flavour.

And please provide us with an update including internal temperature after searing so we can all learn from your experience.

I tend to agree with the others that it may be the quality of meat. There are a couple places - one prohibitively expensive, the other reasonable - I can always trust for quality meat and seafood. Most other places are hit-and-miss.

As with anything “GIGO”… Garbage in, garbage out.

While most suppliers are to be trusted, there is always the possibility of meat from older beasts being offered for sale. Older beasts will always have more flavour than the average yearling beef, but they do require different handling as far as cooking goes. It is always a good idea, if possible, to get to know your supplier. Form a relationship with them. One of the reason why classic, well trained butchers are disappearing is that people are accepting pre-packaged, low cost meats from supermarkets and bulk suppliers.

Hi All,

Thanks for your ideas. They have helped me significantly improve the outcome. First, I am using USDA Prime. I changed several steps. I did not salt the meat until it was in the finishing process. I cooked at 129 for 1 hour and 30 minutes… I put butter and vegetable oil in a very hot skillet…added the steak for about 5 seconds turned it over and then searzalled it…constantly turning and including the fat sides…about two minutes in total. Took the steak out and then cooked the juices fro the bag in the fat liquid…added some cognac, flambeed and poured the mixture over the steak. Result: Juicy, perfectly done steak!!!

Thanks again

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OK Kudos Ross! That is a great synopsis of what you have done. Wish I could be so concise. Look forward to your restaurant grand opening!!

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Awesome! Glad you got good results this time.

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LOL! Success!!! Congrats!

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I don’t want to throw away the juice in the bag. How do I make a sauce that is not just cooked blood?

Superrr easy! Pour the bag juices into either a microwavable bowl or saucepan, and bring to a boil in microwave or on the stovetop. Once they have boiled, you will see some proteins coagulate and float to the top. Skim these off, or pour sauce through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth! What you have now is a highly flavorful jus to use as a dipping sauce or as a nice clarified base for a number of sauces. Use it as a replacement for the chicken stock in this recipe! Black Pepper and Garlic Poached Beef Tenderloin with Garlic-Dijon Pan Sauce

Thank you. The sauces will start!!!


Myrtigigs, that’s not blood. Animals are bled immediately after being harvested.