Reheat and Reverse Sear

Yesterday I cooked a pork steak to sear before serving. Unfortunately at the last minute something came up and the meat never made it out of the bag. I want to reheat it today and pan sear before eating. Any suggestions? How long at what temp to get it ready to sear?


Out of the water and not out of the bag, you ought to be just fine.
Here’s hoping your pork steak made it into the refrigerator overnight.

The basic rule is to reheat at the cooking temperature for long enough for your steak to attain temperature equilibrium and of course that always depends on thickness. Not sure about that, then check with Baldwin’s Table 2.2.

Then proceed as first planned and enjoy.

To avoid overcooking, I’d reheat at a few degrees less than the cooking temperature.

David, using the SV technique to reheat food at the original cooking temperature will never overcook it. Your food can never get any hotter than the water temperature.

Just don’t let the time used go for so long it unfavourably impacts texture.

You’re right, of course. I should have been more precise and referred to the texture. And to be honest, I don’t really know whether a few degrees difference changes the time to protein degradation. Wonder where we’d find that out? And with vegetables, which are typically cooked way above serving temperature, reheating to serving temperature makes sense. Thanks for making me think.

You’re welcome.
Competent cooks are always thinking cooks, David.

It’s been my experience that a few degrees don’t much matter to the outcome with meat and poultry. However, cooking time can matter with tender items over about 4 hours in cumulative cooking time, - and of course with seafood that’s easily overcooked in much shorter times.

One of Harold McGee’s books would be one trusted resource to learn more. The Journal of Meat Sciences has had a few informative items over the years too. And if you enjoy quadratic equations, Douglas Baldwin, now PhD, provides formulae to calculate tenderness.

Also, Baldwin cites the following:
P. E. Bouton and P. V. Harris. Changes in the tenderness of meat cooked at 50–65°C. Journal of Food Science, 46:475–478, 1981.

You may find keeping a cooking journal in which you record the details of each event along with your sensory perception notes will lead you to discover what’s best for you, - and replicate it ongoingly.

Happy cooking and stay safe.