Meat very dry


I have my oven for a week now so it is time for experimentations :slight_smile:

I tried yesterday some 24h beef cheeks. So I have used the following program:

Stage 1

  • Sous Vide: on
  • Temp: 80°C
  • Steam: 100%
  • Element: Rear
  • Fan: High
  • Timer: 17h

Stage 2

  • Sous Vide: on
  • Temp: 62°C
  • Steam: 100%
  • Element: Rear
  • Fan: High
  • Timer: 5h

I have pre-cooked my beef in a pan before it.

Then I have put my meat in a container and the container in a grid without anything else but after 2h I had like 2cm of water in my container.

So I removed it and I moved my meat on the grid and the pan on the grid just below.

But at the end my meat was really dry even if there was still a lot of water in water tank (more than the half).

What did I do wrong? How can I avoid it?



Hello Benjamin, any temperature greater than 65C is going to unfavourably impact moisture content in meat, no matter the cut.

You can ignore the water tank. The steam produced in your oven changes to water vapour and vents out of the oven. Convection adds to loss of moisture. Steam speeds heat transfer, but does not add moisture to meat.

2cm of water in a container is not a helpful detail because you don’t reveal how much meat your are cooking.
1 kg meat can be expected to give up about 90 - 100ml, or more depending on cooking temperature.

Beef cheeks are not an easy item to cook well. Next time try something less challenging. Maybe a chicken leg?

How do 24-Hour Beef Cheeks take 34 hours to cook?

I don’t understand pre-cooked.
Are you cooking previously cooked meat?
Or did you sear or brown the meat first?

I don’t mean to be difficult, we just need more information on the Beef Cheeks to understand your problem.

Sorry, as you saw I didn’t master the english especially when it is out of my domain like cooking so it is not always easy to explain :blush:

About the 2cm of water in the container, I didn’t have added myself it was the steam who have filled the container but cannot escape so my meat was covered by water. That is the reason why I have moved my meat on a grid after.

About the 24h-34h, I did a mistake in my first message, the second step was 5h and not 24h I have edit my first message to correct it now!

About the pre-cooking, I don’t understand the difference between sear and brown (I should have been more focused during my english lessons) but yes it is the idea. Just putted it in a very hot pan for 2-3 min just to have this little crust around who is supposed to keep the juice inside the meat if I am correct.

And yes maybe the challenge was a bit tricky so soon in my experiments but I will retry even if I need to eat dry beef again :smiley:

Thanks for your assistance!

Benjamin, no apology necessary. Consider yourself fortunate i am not attempting to respond in your language.

It is always better to cook meat on a rack set over or in a pan to allow air flow all around the meat.

Sear = brown, same thing.
It is better to sear or brown after low temperature cooking instead of before. The result is better flavour and more even cooking. It does not seal the meat or keep the meat juices inside. It is just for flavour and appearance.

I hope you will find a way to give up your dry beef diet.

Keep well.

Thanks a lot for you advices hopefully I will retry soon!

I had selected 80°C for sanitary reasons, it looks like below 65°C it could be tricky sometimes doens’t it?

Also I need another advice. How do you do you for long cooking in a sauce? Can I put my sauce with the beef directly? Do I need to put a lid on it to avoid the oven’s water to come into it?

Benjamin, No, food science is not tricky once you understand and follow its basic concepts.

Food safety is based on a combination of time and temperature. You likely know about the Food Danger Zone that’s most commonly said to be between 4.4ᴼC and 60ᴼC. Therefore 80ᴼC is far above what is necessary.

The goal of cooking is to reduce the danger of becoming ill from your food while making it taste as good as possible.

Please know that most harmful food pathogens stop growing and die between 50ᴼC and 55ᴼC. However thermal death takes many hours in that temperature range. Therefore we cook to achieve the safe 60ᴼC temperature in meat for 12 minutes and 35 minutes for poultry, above the Food Danger Zone.

Second question: You are describing the cooking technique called braising in English, - braisage in French. That’s meat cooked in a small amount of liquid often with other flavourful ingredients. The cooking is always done in a covered casserole or pan at a very low temperature and for a long time. Small amounts of liquid are often added while braising to replace what is lost due to evaporation. The last hour may sometimes have the cover removed to increase evaporation and further condense flavours.

I start a braise with 50% steam or less and turn the steam off to finish. It’s the method where the meat is most often browned before being cooked. After braising the liquid may be strained and thickened before service.

Happy cooking, and keep well.


Thank again for your responses. Yes I knew that such a critical zone even if I didn’t remembered the temperatures. So, I guess that the main issue here it to pass this zone asap to avoid to stay in this zone and don’t let the pathogens to develop they toxins.

I agree that is is a braisage but I wasn’t sure if I had to cover it or not. So, once more thank you

You should consider to do a book, a youtube channel or something to exaplain the different techniques to use with this oven. It could be really usefull :wink:

Thank for your time and explanations