Sous-vide Steak (medium-well)Posted: June 25, 2011
I’ve decided to pull out all the stops and test the fridge at a higher temperature of 65°C (149°F), which represents almost the highest temperature we would need the fridge to operate at. I had a little concern with the silicone sealant holding up, and this was the first time that I’ve had the the water line above the sealant.
At this temperature, I would expect beef to be cooked medium-well.
Choice here is rib-eye steak, good quality with reasonable cost. We season the steak (salt, pepper, a touch of garlic), and water-immersion seal in a sealable bag.
Into the fridge, preheated to 65°C with 2 litres of water. I’ve increased the proportional gain to 80, and reduced the integral gain to 0.05 (changed from 60 and 0.1, which resulted in a bit of overshoot).
After 3 hours, the steak is an ugly grey colour, along with a myoglobin saturated puddle…
…but Grill Skillet can fix that!
Result! To create a nice harmony of colours, the steak is served with a (amateurishly prepared) protatoes and mixed greens.
Medium-well done steak is less juicy than medium and rare stakes, and lack the flavour highlights. Not everyone likes steak that way. But for those who do, medium-well is quite difficult to achieve without ending up with a piece of leather. Cooking sous-vide produces medium-well steak with a perfect chewy texture with just the right level of juiciness and with no risk of turning it into a dusty charred lump. This steak was absolutely perfect for medium-well, and the amount of effort to get it so was minimal; a triumph for sous-vide mini-fridge!
Take 2: This steak was cooked at around 61°C, intended to achieve a perfect medium steak, but then I may have overfied it afterward, causing the inside to cook further until it was as well done as the last attempt. Cutting into it revealed a bland grey-coloured interior instead of slightly pink of a medium steak.