What is Medium ? 60oC/140oF or 71oC/160oF

Experience is the Best, but Hardest, but Slowest Teacher. … I really hope that I am learning from my mistakes. :grinning:

I am thinking it comes down to the standards or definitions used by each country, when it comes to cooking a steak. I prefer ‘Medium-Rare’, and second choice is ‘Medium’.

It would appear that America and most Sous Vide recipes think 60oC/140oF is “Medium”. Do I have Australians reading this post ? I think the answer is to cook at 71oC/160oF, and it will give a better match for ‘Medium’ in the pictures below. Regardless of your answer, one needs to adjust the recipes to match your own tastes / expectations.

Do Sous Vide cooks rely on the ‘Sear’ to then add a crust AND then give the ‘Medium’ of 71oC/160oF that I think is correct ?

I have found many useful websites, while looking for answers.

https://chartde.blogspot.com/2018/10/beef-temp-chart.html - Heaps of charts

http://up.csail.mit.edu/science-of-cooking/home-screen.html - Calculator for cooking meats

https://www.seriouseats.com/2015/06/food-lab-complete-guide-to-sous-vide-steak.html - A great website

https://pitboss-grills.com/smoke-science/basics/the-perfect-sear-and-reverse-sear - Searing vs Reverse Searing

I am also having heaps of problems trying to adjust cooking times, based on thickness of the meat.

e.g. ‘Leg of Lamb, bone-in’. Some recipes say 8 hours, others say 24 hours or more ? At what point does the meat go past tender and becomes ‘over-cooked’ ?

Describe your problem.

I think your temp for medium is high.

I think you have probably found that time and temp have a relationship. If your time is designed only to take you to the temp throughout then you are not using time and temp for texture conversion. If you use time and temp to reach an internal temp and hold it for a period of time you are now, in the case of meat, converting collagen to gelatin resulting in a texture change.

You have to define over-cooked for yourself and for the cut your are using. Can you cook so long at a safe low temp that the product is no longer palatable? Absolutely.

As a professional chef in Australia, I can tell you that if I am aiming for “medium” I will be aiming for low 60s. (I like 61 or 62). Of course, I can give you plenty of examples where I sent out a “medium” piece of meat only to have it returned by the customer because it was over/under done. All this is to say that medium is in the eye of the beholder.

Thank-you for your reply. I am 61 years old, and hopefully still capable of learning new skills. ( Nothing more tragic than a closed mind. )

As a teenager in the 1970’s, my family used the ‘English Cooking Method’. Meat and 3 Veg. Vegetables boiled in a pot till they were a tasteless mash and meat was always ‘Well Done’ or ‘Burnt’. ( No offense intended to the English. Hopefully cooking standards have changed in your country. ) … I was 21, and went to a fancy restaurant. I was served a ‘Medium-Rare’ steak. I was too embarrassed to comment, so I eat it. OMG ! Taste buds on overload. I have been eating ‘Medium-Rare’, ( or so I thought ), for the last 40 years.

Now, I am confused. I know that my definition of ‘Medium-Rare’ matches the pictures, that I find on the internet. Is it 60oC/140oF or 71oC/160oF ?

Solution : Stop whinging, and go back into the kitchen, to do some experimenting, with multiple identical steaks. I have just purchased 3 temperature probes. … I can see a future, where I go to restaurants, order a ‘71oC/160oF’ steak and then pull out my thermometer to check. I am sure staff and chef will get a laugh ? LOL ! :grinning:

P.S. My university days involved working in Pubs and Restaurants to make some cash. I spent many years following good chefs, around my home town of Geelong, no matter where they worked.