My steak is overcooked

Hi all,
I’ve cooked 4 steaks since purchasing my anova wifi.

First 2 steaks were 1 inch ny strips from Costco.
Last 2 were slightly thinner porter houses.

1st time cooked to medium was quite good and pink as expected

Second steak was cooked from frozen at medium came out medium well.

The third steak (not frozen) cooked at 129F but came out well done.

4th steak was cooked from frozen 129F and came out well done again.

I’ve cut into the 3rd and 4th steaks before searing and they were already overdone.

I calibrated with another thermoter on the 4th steak and confirm the water was 129F the whole time.
The steaks have always cooked 90 mins to 2 hours max.

Any ideas on what I’m doing wrong here?


Can you tell us a little bit about your process for searing? Did you also happen to check the internal temperature of the steak to see if it was at 129 degrees? Was it the color of the steak that made you suspect it was over cooked?

My first steak was cooked using a blow torch

My second stand was pan seared. I suspected the pan searing might of cooked might meat further.

For my third steak I cut into it first as I just wanted to see what it looked like pre seared and I was surprised when it was completely cooked.

Last steak had the same result

I didn’t check the internal temp but it was basically tough hard boiled meat.

You are using very thinly cut steaks. Searing technique will need to be perfect.

I’d test your water bath with another thermometer to confirm that your APC is reading correctly.

Hi ember,
Yes, I have tested the water temperature with another thermometer and it is spot on at 129F.

I have found the steaks to be overdone before I even sear them.

Can 1inch steaks over cook at 129F for no more than 2 hours?

Did you dry your steaks first? How long did you sear them? How hot was your pan when you seared them? Did you briefly chill the steaks before searing?

Hi Brian,
Just to clarify.
I am cutting into the later steaks before searing at all.
It is already wayyy overcooked before any searing takes place

I’m wondering if the quality of the meat is affecting it?

@Costcobeef Yeah, this is a weird one!

I’m going to concentrate on what you described for steak 3…

So this was a somewhat less than 1 inch thick porter steak, cooked at 129F for at most 2 hours, you validated that the water was at 129F using an external thermometer, and it was cut into and examined pre-sear and you found it to be “Completely cooked”.

I’m not clear on what you mean by “completely cooked” here. You say this steak ended up “well done”. Do you mean that it had coloration that you would expect from a well done steak when you cut into it pre-sear? When you cut into the steak it will initially not be as “red” as it will become after giving it some time exposed to the air, so maybe that might explain what you saw when you cut into it pre-sear. And if you spent more than 30 or 40 seconds on each side searing it you potentially may have heated the meat to “well done” temperatures. I could see this as an explanation perhaps…

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I had another test cook tonight.
I used a thicker cut ny strip.
129F for 120mins from frozen.
Again, I cut into it prior to searing. I understand now what what you mean as it didn’t seem as pink as Id expected it to be.
After it exposing to the air it became more pink and I was quite satisfied.

I am starting to think the thinner porter house steaks I had may be of poor quality?
When I cooked the 3rd and 4th porter house steaks they came out it was basically brownish gray. Tough in texture and chewy.

Brian has some useful thoughts for you.
Searing technique appears to be the most frequent cause of overdone meat.

Folks must be getting awfully tired of reading my thermometer recommendations, but here goes again.
There is no better way to precisely evaluate doneness so please use one.
Then you will know just how done is “medium-well”.

It is impossible for your steaks to exceed 129F as you cook them. They could not have been “hard boiled”.

Many restaurants use Costco meat successfully so i doubt your source is a problem.

How long do you keep meat frozen?
And at what temperatures is your freezer?
Is it too full?
Does it need defrosting?
Over time meat can suffer a loss of moisture which can cause the appearance you describe.

I just used mine for the first time last night. I had a small filet mignon that was about and inch or inch and a half thick. I cooked it at 140F for only an hour, then seared. It was perfectly medium and crusty. I put the steak in a freezer bag, then put that in the vacuum bag. Maybe if you decrease the time?

Time does not impact done-ness. This is set by the temperature.