I cooked a 2 inch ribeye steak today at 130 F for 2 1/2 hours. Took it out, patted it dry and pan seared. While it wasn’t bad, it really was not as tender as I was hoping. Pretty much tasted like it would if I had just cooked on the grill, with the exception of it came out medium rare which is what I wanted. Comments on what I may have not done right and what to do next time?
Cooking a 2 inch thick steak using a grill will mean that in order to get the interior to reach “medium rare” the heat of that hot grill will have “overcooked” the exterior to a much greater depth than cooking sous vide does. A 2 inch thick steak cooked sous vide will be cooked medium rare throughout with only the sear causing any of the steak to be other than medium rare. That said, a short cook like 2 1/2 hours won’t make a tough steak tender.
If you want to use sous vide to make meat more tender you need to extend cook time. The amount required will depend on both the meat and your personal preference. The longer you cook the more tender the meat becomes. Experiment until you find what worked best for you!
You did not tell us what cut of steak you used, either. Each cut has it’s own needs.
As far as flavour goes, sous vide is not able to perform miracles, it can not add flavour, it is only a method of cooking food.
It was a boneless ribeye. It didn’t taste bad just wasn’t tender
2.5 inch ribeye will have the same tenderness as a grilled only one when you cook it for 2.5 hours. To tenderize a steak you need to extend the cooking time by hours to get a different result. Ribeye is a quality cut and has a great bite for most people.
How much longer should I cook
I really do not have any experience with longer ribeye cooks. The steak cooked like you did has always been tender for me. I have only done tougher cuts such as short ribs, corned beef, chuck steak and eye of round roast for long times and I am afraid the times used for these would be too long for you. I would try 4-6 hours but not exceeding 12. This is a guess based on the tests run here:
While Ribeye steaks are generally a somewhat tender cut, it’s always possible to get hold of some that are tough. (Years ago I got hold of several that were as tough as any chuck!) Most likely you just got some tough ribeye and will not have the same experience next time unless you are similarly unlucky.
Why you would get tough ribeyes? Heh - the age of the cow. While they shouldn’t be sold over a certain age, these things do happen.
+1 for what those above have said previously. I normally SV my steaks 4-6 hours (1 1/2" thick) as I like a more tender steak. Did a couple New York Strip’s the other day where I put them in first thing, then took them out and finished on the propane grill after I got home from work - so the SV cook was actually about 12 hours. They were awesome! So, I’m going to try cooking more of them longer. (and yes, the guide over at SeriousEats on cooking steaks up to the 24 hour mark is a good one for everyone to review) - should find multiple times it’s been posted if you use the search function here.
Got them from Costco and never had a problem before. Guess need to keep trying. I guess experimenting is the only way. Thanks
Not only the age of the animal, but their treatment both in the field/feed lot and immediately before and immediately after dispatch can have an impact. Also the amount of time that the carcass has been allowed to hang before breakdown influences the tenderness of the final product.
did you do anything to prepare the steak? try dry brine 24 hours ahead of when you plan to cook it
What is dry brine?
Here is article
Ribeyes used to be my favorite cut, because they were a little more tender, and had enough fat to make it slide down easier
After I started doing SV, I quickly learned that I could take cheaper, tougher cuts and make them even more tender. Heck, I can make leather as tender as Filet Mignon if I cook it long enough
I really don’t waste my money on Ribeye anymore. But if I ended up with some nice thick Ribeyes, I’d SV them for about 8-12 hours, at 135F.
I do my Picanhas (a tougher, but just as flavorful cut) for 16-18 hrs at 135F and they are excellent.
Oh, since you liked the doneness at 130F, you might try 12-16 hrs.