Well done steak (I'm a sinner)

Hi all!

What are your recommended way for me to cook a well done steak while still keeping it tender and juicy using the APO?

Well done AND tender and juicy – is that even a thing? :slight_smile:

@chatnoir may have a different perspective (and I would trust him over me), but I would think cooking it at, let’s say, 185 degrees an 100% steam to an internal temperature of about 140-145 and then finishing it in hot cast iron pan would get you the (ugh! :slight_smile: ) results you’re looking for.

The only way to accomplish this is to broaden your options for steak. If you go with flanken cut short ribs, they have enough fat and collagen to stay juicy even when cooked well-done. Plus, they taste awesome.

Hey Backyard, it appears Joe has deputized me to respond to your well done steak challenge.
Thanks Joe.

So here goes:
At first i thought your post was an insincere endeavour to gain attention here. Colour me cynical, but maybe not. Your dearth of Community responses might have already tipped you towards the realization that your expectations are beyond cooking science reality.

Well done steak is usually appreciated for its dry and somewhat solid texture, attributes seldom enjoyed by most folks who appreciate a competently cooked steak.

Unfortunately, your descriptive term juicy only dwells in meat cooked to the lower 130Fs. Beyond that point the accelerating damage to the meat’s cell structure causes unfavourable loss of your requirements.

Are you willing to accept a compromise? Would you consider a Medium cooked steak acceptable? To have any chance of retaining moisture and achieving tenderness your steak cannot be cooked in excess of 145F internal. The use af a 3-stage cooking technique to gradually bring your steak to its terminal temperature will enhance tenderness and moisture.

As he says, it’s not steak, but Josh’s recommendation could be a reasonable alternative for you to consider unless you expect the reduced flavour of a steak.

Happy cooking.

1 Like

Hi Chatnoir!

Thanks so much for that input. I guess the reason why I titled it that way was because the point of owning a machine capable of SV is temperature control and usually achieving medium/medium rare steak. And since my folks appreciate a well done steak and I wanted to try my luck if I can make the steak better. But cooking steak well done seems frowned here so I wasn’t sure if I would be getting backlash.

Anywho, what I’ve gather is

  1. use a different cut
  2. go back to medium/medium rare.

A question as well is. Is there any way then to achieve non red steak, apart from well done? I know that redness is not blood but I’ve already tried explaining to my folks,

Hey Backyard, thanks for clarifying your challenge. No frowns here. And don’t be fearful, Community members here are a gentle lot, except for maybe me.

We aren’t working with much detail on your steak challenge. It would be helpful to know the steak’s cut and thickness to start.

You omitted your third option, - give your folks the Well-Done steak they appreciate. You are in for a considerable amount of frustration if you think you can change people. Most folks don’t like being told they are wrong which adds to their natural resistance to change. It’s been my experience that with dedicated well done steak folks, it’s likely easier to get them to change religion than doneness.

There is one way to achieve your objective that has a remote chance of success, - this cat’s steak bites. At your next opportunity to serve steak to your folks SV cook one extra steak, or sacrifice some of yours, using your method for Medium/Medium-Rare. Take that steak and cut it, or some of it, into bite sized cubes. Not too big now. Dip those steak cubes in a little warmed Kikkoman Reduced-Sodium Soy Sauce for about 10 seconds. Roll them around to get all sides coated. And there you are, non red Medium/Medium-Rare steak. After gently blotting with paper towel serve the steak cubes separately at the table on a small warmed plate. You might even want to make them pretty by placing the steak bites on a bed of baby spinach leaves. The idea is to entice your folks to take a taste of your steak and compare it to theirs. That’s about the most you can do.

If you’re brave enough to try this, please let us know the outcome since you’re not the only one facing a resistance-to-change challenge.

1 Like

Hi Chatnoir, I’m still exploring the different steak cuts and thickness so I’m flexible on that. Sadly steak is expensive from where I’m from so I don’t get to experiment often. But thanks to SV, I don’t really have to worry about rubber still chewing till date beef due to poor fire control. So thanks to SV I am attempting to cook steak more often.

I guess it’s also about making it easier on the chef (me and my wife lol) to cook a meal that everyone can enjoy.

So basically including the steak with a dressing to mask its redness? I’ll see what I can do about this. I saw a video on home made demi glaze using chicken stocks and am experimenting on this;first batch was bitter so that’s a bummer (think I burnt the tomato paste).

I’ll update when I can. Wife about to pop soon. So there goes my time to cook.

Congratulation Backyard, “Wife about to pop soon.” sounds life a family growth event. How wonderful!

Yes, the combination of high livestock feed prices and draught conditions are terribly unfavourable for beef prices. Mark next year’s calendar, or stick a note to yourself inside a kitchen cupboard door, to buy beef in March when prices of meat, particularly steak and premium cuts, are at their seasonal low for the year.

You know you can save money by cutting your own steaks from any relatively inexpensive roasts like eye of the round. SV cook at 135F X 24 hours for a Medium-Rare beef tenderloin-like experience. My favourite steak cut is the first few blade steaks from the chuck sub-primal. Ask your butcher. Look for the ones that have little to no blade bone because they have the continuation of the rib eye muscle. I remove the upper deckle meat and save for braises or stews, or grind it for lean home made ground chuck. Don’t have a grinder, that’s alright. Cut 3/4-inch cubes and pulse 6X in a food processor. Don’t have a food processor, that’s alright too. Put the 3/4-inch cubes on your cutting board and go to it chopping with a heavy, sharp knife in each hand. That’s almost as quick and with less clean-up.

Demi-glace is an awful lot of work for the home cook. When well made it adds considerably to your dining experiences. It only keeps frozen for about 3 months. Remember those knobs on your stove can be adjusted to prevent scorching or burning ingredients. You also might need to be using a heavier pot. You don’t need a fancy French one, cast iron is almost as good as anything else. Light aluminum pots and pans ought to be outlawed.

All the best to your bride.

Thanks for you well wishes and putting so much effort with your text!

I’m from Singapore so it’s kinda rare to have a butcher for beef. Usually we have for pork and chicken at the wet market. And because it’s rare, the price are often premium (about 7.5 usd per 100 gram for decent marbling, not yet wagyu level).

So basically, long SV time can result in a more tender experience. Would the tenderness carry over if I were to do a last hour well done for my folk’s cut? I’ll try out the eye round tip! I’m curious what you would say if I have no knife and board :rofl::smirk:. Use rock go boom boom on your meat?

The demi glace I’m trying is the cheating kind. Basically using stock and gelatin powder and other ingredients. No bones no meat. As I just moved in to my new home 1 month ago, my new cook top is an induction cook top so am still getting used to the power setting.

Hey Backyard, i hope all’s well at home.

If you cook your folks’ meat for another hour at Well Done it might be alright for them.

Cooks new to SV cooking need to start thinking in a new way. Most of your experience with conventional cooking does not apply to the SV technique.

Cooking temperatures are critical to outcomes. Product thickness is also crtical to the cooking time. “A last hour well done”, isn’t sufficiently precise to give you a definite answer. If in doubt, you could test one piece. Meat will not be any less tender with an extended cook time. Depending on the cooking temperature used, the meat may be less juicy to some degree. Remember that the reason most folks enjoy Well-Done meat is so they don’t have those flavourful juices. Their tastes are not wrong, just different.

1 Like

Hey Backyard, how’s it going?

Speaking of Demi-Glace you would be amazed at the number of reastaurants that use the Knorr mix. It’s that good. The little retail sachets are too expensive. Look for a wholesale restaurant supplier and get yourself a 1 kg can of the base. It keeps in an airtight container for a decade. If it goes solid on you that’s because your don’t use it enough.
Get cooking.

All’s well at home. Edd in 3 weeks time. So on standby mode now :grin:. Feeling the first time father stress.

Haha yea will agree with you. SV is an uncharted branch for me. Still trying to get use to leveraging on the temperature control that SV brings compared to pan cooking/searing.

Yup I know what you mean about the 1 hour thing. Quite depending on the thickness and if the temperature will reach in the insides.

Haha I felt a little part of me died inside when you said that some people don’t like the juice flavor🤣

Thanks for your suggestion thus far!

Hi Backyard, don’t stress. It will worry your bride. I survived fatherhood with 3 daughters. Consider the first child as your training for the others. Plan on enjoying everyday. If you look forward to a wonderful experience you are most likely to have it.

It’s best not to compare conventional and SV cooking techniques. Just open up a new bundle of brain cells and park your SV knowledge there. Then your recall system is not so likely to go to conventional cooking details that don’t apply when SV cooking.

Did you receive the Baldwin SV link i sent to you by private message? It’s the SV gold standard.

FYI, it’s a generality, and that is about all, it takes heat at common SV temperatures about an hour to diffuse through 2.5cm of meat.

Keep well.

Yes I received! Thanks for all the advise you gave this far!