What is too long for a filet

Hello - my first cook will be this weekend. I want to cook filets at two different temps. I was going to cook the more well done one first for 2 hours, cool the bath and add the second for two hours without taking the first steak out. That will be 4 hours for the first one. Is this too long? Will it fall apart?

Thank you,


When you say filet, what exactly do you mean? Filet mignon? As usual, much depends on the thickness, but given that it is the most naturally tender muscle on the animal it really doesn’t need anything more than heating through. 60-90 mins at the first temp and then the same at the lower temp.

Something to remember is that although the collagen conversion happens at lower temperatures it is slowed by the lower temperature. So, a piece of steak will breakdown faster at the higher temperature than the lower one.

Thank you Ember - yes I was referring to filet mignon. I am looking forward to the cook.


Such a tender piece of meat really doesn’t need anything more then being brought to temperature equilibrium, ie) the centre of the meat reaches the same temperature as the bath. Rule of thumb is 1 hour per inch of thickness. So for a 2 inch steak it would be 2 hours. Because you’re doing a staggered cook 90mins should be enough for the more done one. The residual warmth should carry through. Drop the temperature with ice, or repla e some of the water with cold. You’d probably be best with the full time for the second steak. So, 1 well done and 1 medium rare of 2 inch thickness would be a suggested total time of 3.5 hours.

@chatnoir do you concur?

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Yes Ember, that seems to be reasonable advice, although i still cringe when i see Filet Mignon and well-done in the same sentence.

Pardon my heresy but when reading these posts I often wonder why not just cook beef tenderloin conventionally, particularly if it has enjoyed a bit of age for flavour development. You are going to heat your grill or pan anyway. Still, i suppose it can be a perfectly good way to pass about four hours if you have nothing better to do.

For those that enjoy the results we achieve for steaks using SV, i suggest trying the centre muscle of the blade cut. I look for blade steaks or small roasts where the shoulder blade bone is barely developed. That’s the cuts nearest the rib roast or rib steaks. I separate the “eyes” to use as steaks from the rest which gets saved for a braise or minced to make lean “ground chuck” burger meat. That way you have inexpensive and delicious steaks and lean stew or burger meat that cooks evenly every time because it is all of the same density. I add about 15% fat to the burger meat for flavour and moisture.

If you don’t have a meat grinder you can make your own minced meat by giving nearly frozen 1/2-inch cubes 6 to 8 pulses in a cold food processor. Cold meat retains its moisture best.


I get it. Just not everyone in the family gets it. Maybe SV will change their minds. I think, with SV there will be less liquid on the plate when the steak is cut. Maybe this will go a long way.

Thanks for the help - the Anova arrives today!!!


Anthony, i’ve got some bad news for you. Steaks cooked using your SV will always be more juicy although the well done ones will leave a lot of their liquid in the cooking bag.

However, you can always use the old restaurant trick of taking a wad of paper towels to firmly blot the medium done. - and the much worse done steaks. That will eliminate a lot of the liquid on the plate.

Anthony, You are overthinking the steak cook. No steak will taste good ( imho) if you don’t sear it. I prefer after,over coals, and when you sear it, just sear the one you want well done one longer. No 6 hour cook, no changing waters , temps etc.
KISS all the way.