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Poor man's SV ribeye steaks

bladeguy

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I experimented earlier in the week with some burgers doing what I'm calling a poor man's sous vide. Used a stock pot my wife has, and fill with hot tap water. My water heater us set a little hot because I use it to heat my floor with in floor heat...that's another story, but anyway, that works well because it comes out of my tap at 130 degrees. Convenient for sous vide for beef. All I have to do is maintain with my cooktop. It isn't set it and forget it, but I'm trying a few things to see if I want to make the investment some day for a unit.

If I fill the pot up and put my cooktop at low, it maintains for probably ten minutes, and then drops a degree. I can set on high for a couple of minutes, rise a couple of degrees, and back to low. If I played with it more, I could likely find a way to get it to run same temp for 30 minutes. On the burgers, I ranged from 129- 131 and had them in for about 50 minutes, then pull them out, dry them off, and put in a pan with hot oil. Turned out great, but I did six burgers, four in one bag, two in another. The first four I let sit for a while, the second two went pretty quickly into the frying pan. I suggest letting them sit as the second batch got a little more done when frying then I would have preferred, and dried out just a bit.

So I had to try steaks, and had some ribeyes in the freezer. Put them in frozen, had them in there now for 2 hours 40 minutes. Waiting on potatoes, but will pull them out and fry them in a pan to get the Maillard reaction on the outside, probably 30 seconds per side with a small amount of oil.

Here is my setup, using a Thermopop to check temp, and it is working fine. Just need to monitor it.


Holds temp pretty well.


Anxious to find out how these ribeyes turn out.
 

dirtsailor2003

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Watching. I was going to do a T-bone steak but too many leftovers so it'll have to wait!
 

bladeguy

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I will get to the pics first, then post comments since you probably only care about the pics.......:drool

Drying off prior to the skillet.

You can see where this steak was up against the other steak.

I like fried onions.

About 30-40 seconds per side.

I do like a little steak with my fried onions,,.,:biggrin:

Money shot, that looks amazing!

Now for the boring part.....these were good. Not great, not excellent, but good. I made a few mistakes that I didn't know we're mistakes.

First, I didn't trim these up. Left them just as they were, so had to eat around the fat and little bit of gristle left on. I thought leaving the fat on might be better for the cook in the sous vide, but I recommend trimming well. Lesson number one learned, trim before cooking steaks sous vide.

Second, I like salt only on my steak. I thought that might be best added at the end, but I thought wrong. Lesson number two learned, salt before cooking steaks sous vide.

Third, I underestimated how much I would miss the grilled over charcoal flavor. These were good, but the grilling over charcoal is so much better. I thought about setting up my charcoal chimney and cooking on that at the end to get the high heat. Not sure how much flavor would be imparted in just a couple of minutes over high heat charcoal, though. Lesson number three learned, cook over high heat charcoal in the end.

So what worked? Well, as the pic shows, I got them done exactly like I like them, medium rare. I don't see any better way to have a steak cooked wall to wall perfect like that other than sous vide. I normally cook using reverse sear on my Kamado, and I get good results, but not nearly this good. Too easy to overshoot or underestimate how the sear will affect the doneness.

If I were to choose my favorite method, it is still reverse sear. If I practice a little more often (eat more steak???!!!), I could prefect that procedure and have what I feel are the best results. Having said that, if I changed up my method, I could see a place for a sous vide in my arsenal, as I could come home from work, pull a couple of steaks out of the freezer, and likely have them on the table in less than 90 minutes. Can't really do that with a grill unless you half cook them on defrost in the microwave, and I would rather eat vegetarian for a night than ruin good steaks like that.

So one could produce an excellent steak this way by avoiding my few mistakes, and I may try again someday, but for the near future, my steaks will be done over charcoal. I do wonder how this might work for more tough cuts, but ribeyes should be grilled IMHO. Thanks for looking!
 

pc farmer

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They turned out great.   

Great job.
 

dirtsailor2003

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Nice soak!

Glad I'm not the only one! Everything has been good, just not the Over the Top Orgasmically Awesome that others have been claiming.

I can see in a restaraunt situation where you need 50-100 steaks ready that this is a treat thing. For home cooking all the time I'm just not seeing it as my go to method.

I will keep experimenting, but I'm getting the glare from SWMBO when I use electricity for 3 days to cook a roast... oh and she doesn't like poached chicken!
 

HalfSmoked

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Hey you tried and I will have to agree with you some times the old way is still the best I can eat salad if I'm in a hurry. 


Warren
 

bladeguy

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Nice soak!

Glad I'm not the only one! Everything has been good, just not the Over the Top Orgasmically Awesome that others have been claiming.

I can see in a restaraunt situation where you need 50-100 steaks ready that this is a treat thing. For home cooking all the time I'm just not seeing it as my go to method.

I will keep experimenting, but I'm getting the glare from SWMBO when I use electricity for 3 days to cook a roast... oh and she doesn't like poached chicken!
I wonder about some of the over the top comments. Not saying this is the issue for all of them by any means, but if I didn't already know how to make an excellent steak on my Kamado using a reverse sear, I would really like this method more. Plus, with a unit, it would be very hard to screw up and over cook a steak like can happen on a grill. So definitely some reasons to like SV, but if one know other methods, SV starts to lose its magical luster. Again, as always, my opinion, I don't want anyone to feel like I just told them they don't know how to grill a steak......heck, maybe they will tell me I just don't know how to SV a steak! :dunno :ROTF
 

bladeguy

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Hey you tried and I will have to agree with you some times the old way is still the best I can eat salad if I'm in a hurry.  :biggrin:

Warren
50% of the fun is trying, the other 90% is eating, am I right? :rotflmao: Seriously, I had to try based on what others were posting about SV steaks. My conclusions vary from their experiences, and could be helpful for others, however, I say to anyone curious enough, try it yourself, and decide for yourself. My wife thinks I'm crazy for trying something different when I already can do something very well, however, that is how I got to the level I'm at where she loves the food I make, and I'm willing to try something more in order to make it one step better, but in this case, I don't think it improves steak for me.
 

SmokinAl

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This was a very well written thread.

Thank you for such an honest opinion!

Personally I think the steak looks fantastic!

Congrats for making the carousel!

Point!

Al
 

bladeguy

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This was a very well written thread.

Thank you for such an honest opinion!

Personally I think the steak looks fantastic!

Congrats for making the carousel!

Point!

Al
Thanks Al. Honest opinions are the only ones I have, and I have them in abundance! :biggrin:

I like to be thorough for two reasons, one, I hope it helps someone else who is traveling down a similar path at some point, and two, I can always come back in here and review my own comments for future reference. I'm sure I will try SV steaks again some day, but you can be sure I will come back here and try not to make my same mistakes.....I might find new mistakes then, but I will keep learning.
 

hillbillyrkstr

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I think by calling it "poor mans sous vide" your doing a Disservice to yourself. looks like a damn fine job to me. Cooked perfectly all the way through. And yeah a charcoal finish is top notch but to me even a finish on my gas grill is better than my results from a skillet. Personal preference I guess. Nice job.
 

bladeguy

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I think by calling it "poor mans sous vide" your doing a Disservice to yourself. looks like a damn fine job to me. Cooked perfectly all the way through. And yeah a charcoal finish is top notch but to me even a finish on my gas grill is better than my results from a skillet. Personal preference I guess. Nice job.
Thank you Hillbilly. By "poor man's", I meant the setup is cheap......stock pot, stove top and a Thermopop, vs buying a gadget. Effectively, the results should be equivalent with the exception that my setup requires some monitoring.
 

mr parx

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I'm late to this party, but if you have a crockpot, you can just get one of these:  a temperature switch.  Set it and forget it, or just stir the water 4x  a day.  I've been getting very good results.

That steak looked awesome.  I found a rib roast on super-sale last week, and should have loaded up pix. Next time.

Cheers,

Mr. P.
 

johnmeyer

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I built a temperature controller for my crock pot. It doesn't do water circulation, but I just stir it once in awhile, and it seems to work.

Here is the Qview of the dinner I just finished a few minutes ago. I have a friend who is interested in sous vide and I was going to do sous vide steaks for the Superbowl for him, but thought I should practice first (I've only done it a few times). I purposely cooked this Costco choice ribeye to medium, rather than my preferred medium rare because that's how he likes his steak. I reverse seared on a Lodge CI heated in the oven to 450 (I was baking the potatoes at that temp, otherwise I would have used 500). I turned them every 30 seconds until I liked the look. If I do this on Sunday, I'll do a few more turns during the sear to get a darker crust.

Here is the result:



If I didn't build my own controller, this is the one I would get:

WILLHI WH1436A 110V - 240V Digital Temperature Controller
 

gr0uch0

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Great ideas on the controllers, gents.  The ingenuity on this website never ceases to amaze....
 

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