Temp/time chart?

Hi. I am wondering if there is a food temp vs time chart floating about. I ask because I want to do a double cook; one for the Raries and one for the Mediums :slight_smile: . My thought was I could cook the rarer stuff and let it sit in the fridge while I upped the temperature to whatever get the desired result. But I need to know how long it will take to get that extra temperature through the food. Is this a practical idea?

I am aware that you can overcook with sous vide, so if I cook to the rare temp and desired time, then if it takes too long to get that extra 5-8 deg C, the hotter stuff may be getting too mushy. I know that with a tough piece of meat this would not be a problem, but with tenderer stuff, even in our case Rump, it can be: an hour can mean a lot if you want the perfect desired result.

Hehe! I could of course just another cooker :smiley:

Thanks for any help.

You’d be better off cooking the medium meats first and dropping the temp of the bath for the rare meats by adding ice water. The medium ones can be left swimming while the rares cook.

It is extremely unlikely that the medium meats (I assume steak) will get mushy in the 2 hours that it takes for the rares to cook.


Thanks for the reply. You make a good point. I need to think through it before I “deal” with it :smiley:. Just a courtesy thanks at the moment.


OldNick, you are going to learn that SV cooking requires a new way to think about how you cook. Stick at it and you’ll soon achieve consistent success.

The greatest challenge is going to be your breaking with old conventional cooking thinking and habits.

Yeah I get that. I have cooked maybe 80-100 sous vide meals until now: steaks, roasts, tough joints, mince dishes, all different chicken pieces.

I do a lot of reading and thinking about it. I have not seen or heard anything about how to cook two different “doneness” meals in one container.

I actually had a few objections to the idea of leaving the more done food in the cook and cooling the water to cook the rarer meat.
But condescension drives me away

I’m sorry Nick, there are many discussions in this Community Board on dual doneness cooking that i thought you were a beginner.

Please help us understand your objections to that technique so we can all learn from your experience.

@OldNick/@RealFBNick, there are actually quite a lot of discussions here about cooking two different done-ness of steak for the same meal here. Just a matter of digging to find them. Here’s one I found for you: Cook a medium rare & a medium steak in same batch?

The basic idea is to cook the higher temp steak first but only long enough to reach temperature equilibrium. That’s around 30 mins per half inch of thickness. The water bath is the dropped rapidly to the lower temperature and the rare steaks added to the bath. The higher temp are fine to remain for the duration. The will not turn to mush as that requires very long times at low temperatures.

This method is the most efficient way of achieving your aim.

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Alright I will try again. I am sorry about my outburst.

Not a beginner, but I am new here. Also I have never needed to think about this before, as I am a state of marital bliss in that I and my partner share meat doneness taste totally.I have looked elsewhere for an answer recently. Perhaps not well enough. My interest is still just that, just in case.


Hi @RealFBNick, I’m still curious regarding your view on leaving the more done food in the cook! Have you run across something before that makes this approach problematic? I, like you, have a wife with similar “doneness” tastes thank goodness. Unfortunately friends and family are always a question mark - so I’d like to know as this is the approach I think I’d use. Thanks

While it might work for a 25mm rump steak, where we talk of maybe a 2 hour heat/cook time, I have done thicker pieces (small roast etc…50 - 60 mm ) and here the heat time increases quite a bit. So the already cooked less rare steak will sit in the warm water for quite a while. This may not make it mushy, but having tried steak at different cook times, I find that the result is not optimum after 4 hours.

OK. I had one of usual rambling speeches written out, but I will ask one question.

Assume both pieces of steak are very close size and thickness wise. Surely is it not faster to bring a given piece of steak (the already cooked but “underdone” piece) from 56 Deg to say 60 Deg, than from 2-3 Deg up to 56 Deg, or even room temp 25 Deg? As far as I can see, it cannot take longer.

1" = 1.25 hours for the medium steak.Then we cool the bath and cook the other one. Again 1.25 hours.Then we add cooking time to tenderise both. Probably an hour.= 3.5 hours plus time to cool the bath, say 0.2 hours, because we can’t be too hasty or we overshoot (I have to admit I have never done this). = 3.7 hours.

2 X 1" steaks for 1.25 hours plus 1 hour to tenderise. Remove rarer steak. Heat up the bath to heat the other piece. Even if we allow an hour (doubtful) we’d still save ~0.5 hours and not have to use up ice.

If we want thicker steaks it seems to me that would increase.

But until I know how long that last few degrees takes to equalise the medium bit…

OK. So I lied about the speech :sleeping:


Until now the discussion has only been about random mystery meat. If you were looking to do two roasts at two different temperatures, given the time that a roast can take to cook sous vide, then you’re talking about a different methodology required. And really, the best option would be two circulators. Otherwise you could finish the more done portion in the oven.

But then you need to take into account the need to reheat the rarer piece or holding it at temperature.

And still I wait for a chart of time vs temp.

You guys are gong to attack anything I say that questions the norm, while not even addressing my logic. Delphic , using very judjmental input…

No one is attacking. The ‘warning’ that you’re posting too much is just a foible in the forum software. Ignore it like everyone else does.

Time chart is a difficult thing as everyone has their own expectations and preferences when it comes to texture.

Approximately 30 mins per half inch of thickness will bring you to temperature equilibrium.

From there it gets tricky because the speed of conversion of collagen to gelatin is dependent upon temperature. It happens faster at higher temperatures and slower at lower ones. It will happen at 54C/130F but it’ll take longer than it will at 68C/154.4F.

Similarly there are variations of interpretation of phrases like medium rare and medium well. 54C/130F is the accepted ‘safe’ temperature for long cook medium rare.

The reason you won’t find a time and temperature chart is because of these variations. You need to experiment to discover what you like and what works for you.

For instance, I like 72 hours @ 54C/130F for my beef cheeks. Others like 12 hours at 74C/165F. Neither is wrong.

You can get as attitudey and uppity as you like but the simple fact is that I can’t tell you how you enjoy your meat. I can only tell you how I enjoy mine.

Here’s some reading for you. If you haven’t done so already, it would be well worth your effort.


Here are a few. I typically use the ChefSteps one, but I’ve used all at one point in time or anther.