Tougher cuts of meat.

I bought a cheaper, tougher cut of meat to roast… I believe it was rump.

I cooked it for two hours at 53ºC… I then warmed it up for half-an-hour at 50ºC.

I then seared it and placed it in an oven for 10 minutes at 220ºC

Although it looked good, it was tough and stringy and a devil of a job to carve!

What am I doing wrong?

Many thanks


For a large lump of meat, like a roast, 2 hours is insufficient time to tenderise. 2 hours is the time that most people use for steaks.

As an aside, I always get a big of a chuckle from posts that talk about rump being tough. It was the most common form of grilling steak we were served as kids. We thought it was delicious. :slight_smile:

Anyway. For a roast, depending on size you’d probably be looking at 8 hours upwards. At 54°C it takes about 6 hours for collagen to begin to convert to gelatin.

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Many thanks for the quick response… I shall try another “Large lump of meat”… This time, I’ll ensure that it gets the time it deserves…


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Time should be directed by both the cut and the thickness. Are you able to advise the approximate dimension of your rump roast attempt?

It was about 650 grams

With sous vide weight is less important than thickness.

Where can one find an aide memoire to cover the various aspects of timing for each variable of thickness?

Here are a couple that I have had good results with. Ember is right, this kind of cooking: thickness is far more important than overall weight.

If you had a tough time cutting it, regardless of whether it was properly cooked, sounds like it might be time to sharpen your knives. I’ve yet to come across a cut of meat, raw or otherwise, that doesn’t yield easily to a properly sharpened knife.

Hahaha… Yes, but I had proudly taken it to a friend’s house…


THe other thing you can do with a rump or eye of the round roast is to cut the meat paper thin for sandwiches. Thisis what I do when I do not have time for a longer cook. Some crusty French bread and Au jus make a great meal.

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Bought another “hunk of rump”, will try 8 hours at 53 °C…

I’ll tell you what the outcome was…


Good luck.

Try the Poly Science Sous Vide Toolbox app available on iOS. Allows you to program in the thickness, the shape, the type of meat being cooked, the cook temperature, the initial meat temperature, (ie. Room, home fridge or commercial fridge). It also tells you when your meat has been pasteurized and what bugs (Salmonella, EColi, Listeria, etc) have been eradicated. It’s probably the most comprehensive Sous Vide app I’ve found to date. Unfortunately the developer needs to update it in order for it to work with iOS 11.

I read on other sous vide sites that tenderizing tough beef is best at temperatures of at least 55C/131F or higher. I cook 2 to 3 inch-thick cuts of rump, shoulder, bottom round or tri-tip (bottom sirloin) at 55C/131F for about 18 hours, and they come out pink and very tender, without the mushy-stringy texture that results when cooking tough beef for too long.

I cook all my beef at 54C because that’s the way I like it. But 55C is ok. The degree difference really isn’t going to make a huge amount of difference. A little slower at the lower temp.

But time is the important thing.

Beef cheeks at 54C for 72 hours.