Tender or juicy, one or the other ? :(

It seems like I have to choose one or the other. I’ve come to find that when it comes to tenderness of my Petite Sirloin steaks, the best time and temp for me is 135F for 16-18 hrs.
However, they also start to lose juiciness when SV’d this long ?

I’ve tried SV’ing without salt or soy sauce in the bag, and salting after cooking, and this might have helped retain a little more moisture… but I didn’t enjoy the flavor as much this way, so what would be the point of that ?

Maybe try an experiment with your salting… If you don’t want to wait until after the cook to salt your steak you might try just adding the salt near the end of the cook (say an hour before completion). Try using a Ziploc bag and just sprinkle the salt in nearer the end of the cook and see if you still get that deeper salt penetration but can manage to maintain a little bit better moisture retention! (Fingers crossed, and let me know how it goes if you decide to try this!)

Might try that. I have like 8 more four packs of my Petite Sirloin steaks left :slightly_smiling_face:

That sounds like a really long time for a Petite Sirloin. (16-18 hrs sounds like roast settings)
How thick are these steaks?

That doesn’t sound particularly surprising. When you sous vide for that long, you’re going to break down quite a bit of the cell structure of those steaks, making it easier for water & fat to leach out, making them less juicy.

Michael, not that thick, maybe 1 1/4" ? Admittedly, they are not top grade… But I think they came from a dead cow though :slight_smile: lol

Just did another SV a couple days ago, and only for 12 hours. Sure enough, not quite as tender as I prefer. Not really any juicier either. I didn’t try the “add salt” or soy sauce only a few hours before finishing, experiment, but I might do that one next.

Mechanical tenderization may be in your future. I’d try pounding one and salting for several hours.

Maybe. But don’t get me wrong. These still come out pretty darn good.
Nothing I’d rather have for breakfast… Well maybe Salmon… Or some of both :grinning: …and some cheesey eggs… And butter drenched keto toast :+1:

Maybe I’m just expecting too much from a cheaper grade. I probably could get by with only a 4-6 hour SV with a higher grade of beef, and that would probably be juicer and tastier too, but I couldn’t afford to eat it 5 days a week either.

Update: So I finished another Petite Sirloin (Picanha) steak SV this morning. Back to 16 hrs, and it just confirmed that, for me, this is the perfect length of time… @135F

So, I actually didn’t use any salt or soy sauce at all. Just black pepper and garlic powder.
Then this morning, after searing one in butter on a hot skillet, I dumped it on my plate… but left the pan hot. Poured in a good shot of the broth, and a nice shot of soy sauce, and cooked it down about 50 or 60%. Poured that over my steak, and Bam ! It was plenty salty enough… Honestly, maybe a bit too salty, so that I couldn’t really use all the gravy. Will try the same thing tomorrow, but with about half the amount of soy sauce. Might go back to the lower sodium soy sauce too when this jug is gone.

Oh, but the important thing is, the steak was somewhat juicier, without any kind of salt trying to suck out moisture during the cooking. Think I am going to do it this way for now :slight_smile:

Hi, there’s a great book out there called Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat that explains the importance of proper seasoning (salting) in advance and why it actually makes your meat juicier. It changed the way I cook. I have been seasoning my red meat with salt, pepper and garlic powder 24 hours in advance and covering and leaving in the refrigerator. I then sous vide them ( either with the Precision cooker or the new Anova Precision Oven I just purchased ) at 135 degrees for 2 hours and then sear it on scorching hot cast iron. Everyone that I’ve served them too are amazed at how tender and juicy the meat is. I do this with ribeye, filet, flank steak etc. Though I have never had Picanha so I have no experience with that, I just thought I’d offer you an alternative method.
Glad you’re happy with your results.


The salting part I can see (although others would say the exact opposite… no salt during SV ?)… But after hundreds of SV’s in the last few years, I’ve come to where I rarely SV anything less than 12-16 hrs. Granted, I rarely buy prime marbled cuts, but even so, I think for me, 6 hrs would be the bare minimum.

The salt I mention is not for flavor. It’s for tenderization. Pound one and liberally salt it. Wrap it in plastic wrap and leave it in the fridge overnight. If you like you can brush off all the salt then cook it. Really, just try it.

Okay. I might try that next. TY.

Homecook mentions the book Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, and I agree, great book. The Food Lab is another great book and comes to the same conclusion - that salting your meat before cooking initially draws out some moisture, but the end result is juicier meat. Keep experimenting, keep an open mind and have fun.