Two step heating

Hello, Newbie here. Sorry if this has been discussed before…

Others have mentioned using heated plates for keeping food warmer…and that’s a good idea.
Does it make sense to kick up the temperature a few degrees for the last 10-15 minutes or so, or will that cook it too much beyond the desired temperature?
For example, if I cook chicken for an hour at 145, could I tack on 15 minutes at 150 to get things started from a warmer perspective, or is this just a waste of time?
Searing things for only a few minutes doesn’t seem like enough to get the food much warmer.


No. Sous vide cooking is all about precision and the ability to create edge to edge done-ness without a temperature gradient through your food. “Kicking up the temperature a few degrees for the last 10-15 minutes or so” will create a gradient. In 15 minutes that gradient will penetrate approximately 1/4 inch. If your searing technique isn’t perfect you’ll push that gradient deeper.

You’re not wanting to get the food warmer than its desired done-ness. This is not why people sear. Searing is about creating a Maillard reaction on the surface of your product which produces a much more appealing finish and tastes good to boot.

Thank you. This makes sense. Hot plate is the way to go, it sounds.
Lots to learn about SV and habits to break.
My wife won’t eat Chicken cooked at 142, since it’s “pink”; tried 146 tonight for 1:45 and it was mostly not pink…she would like it not pink…so will try 147. Will get there.

Thanks again.

My wife and I also use a counter top convection over set to a warm but not too hot temp (say 130 or a little warmer) to hold food for a bit until ready to serve. Don’t need it most of the time, but in those instances where different dishes are done at different times it really helps.

This topic got me thinking. The answers I’ve read are spot on and I have no arguments with any of the advice given. I have read somewhere about multi-step cooking of meat and now I’ve got a question I hope you all can help me figure out.

What if I wanted to cook a pork chop/chicken breast/someother tender protein for 2 hours to a final temp of 140F. From my understanding that temp is the tipping point for denaturing proteins and losing more liquids. What if I did the first hour at 130F then bumped it up to 140fF for the second hour? I’m sure I could google search this but since it was this thread that started my thought process I figured I would start here.

Thanks in advance.

A two step cooking process is used to ‘warm age’ red meats. The idea is that the first part of the cook is at a temperature that allows enzymatic action in the meat (a controlled version of autolysis) then the temperature is turned up to cooking temperatures. This process is usually used on steaks which are often cooked below medium rare, so care must be taken with the overall cook time within the ‘danger zone.’

I’m not sure how much benefit you’d see from the two step process you’re suggesting. It is recommended that chicken be cooked to pasteurisation, so the time at the lower temperature would need to be taken into account when calculating this. So for the chicken you’d probably want to pasteurise it fully a the lower temperature before the jump up. This would considerably extend the cooking time and possibly negate the purpose behind the 2 part cook anyway.

Other than that you could experiment and report back to us. I would suggest accurately measuring volume of purge and weight of product output from 2 step process and compare it against product processed full time at full temperature.

Thanks you for your reply. You’re right, I do remember the two step process was for warm aging meats.

This forum, along with its many active contributing members, is a great place to learn and sparks creative ideas and questions.

I guess I’ll have to design a study that will determine the amount of liquid lost at various temperature settings. It won’t happen soon but when it does I’ll be sure to share.

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It might be useful after your cooks to record the amount of liquid you decant into a measuring cup. You do keep a detailed cooking journal, don’t you?

This is one time in SV where size matters, so record the starting weight of the product and record the percentage of fluids expressed to total raw mass. Using grams/millilitres or ounces simplifies your percentage loss calculations.

Making that loss calculation converted me to low-temperature meat cooking decades ago. Yields improved by about a portion per pound over conventional cooking temperatures. That’s real money.

Chat noir - Do you include pressure cooking in your “conventional cooking” temperatures or is it strickly oven?

Andre, i have done tests using pressure cooking in the past.

Several of a series of beef roast tests employed a combination of convection oven par-cooking and either pressure or pressure-less (1 atmosphere) steamer finishing on tougher roasts such as shoulder clods and inside rounds. Reversing the cooking process was less successful. Yields were good, but the meat was judged very solid, but quite acceptable for sandwiches when very thinly sliced.

Steam finishing provided flavourful liquids for sauce or gravy.

My best outcomes are consistently with SV, but it takes time. Next best outcomes were from low-temp unvented Alto-Sham ovens that had ribbon elements in all sides for very even heating.

I currently use a steam assisted convection oven for tender roasts with consistently superior results. I particularly like its adjustable browning control that finishes meat beautifully. I roast everything at 250F. It bakes great bread and rolls too.

You might take a look at the analysis at for some discussion of times and temperatures.