Question about two steaks of different doneness.

In the General Sous Vide Questions Forum
So I am a total newbie to Sous Vide and just ordered a Sous Vide supreme. I've been doing a lot of research and thing I have a pretty good idea of how this technique works but I have one newbie question...

So my wife and I like steaks at different temps, she likes medium I like medium rare. Now I know you can't cook two steaks at different temps but I had one thought I wanted to run by everyone.

Could you cook the medium steak first and then lower the temp of your water and cook the other steak medium rare? I figure the medium steak can just hang out in the water bath to stay warm.

Am I missing something or does this make sense. Thanks for your help.



8 Replies So Far

That should work just fine.

Another option is to cook both steaks medium rare and then when searing leave hers in a little bit longer to bring it up to the temperature she likes.
Thanks for the input. One last question then taking this idea a little farther. Let's say you wanted to sous vide 5 different things at different temperatures, could you start with the item that needs to cook the longest and gradually lower the temps and introduce the next item until all five items are in the bath? Of course you might have to avoid tender things that can get mushy like fish.

Does this make sense?
I think it would work in theory. The longer cooked items would be more tender than if you took them out right away so you'd have to compensate for that.

Another way to do it is to cook each item sous vide then chill it in a ice-water bath and refrigerate. Once the final item is done add the other items to the bath to bring them back up to temperature.

That said, at some point you're probably just using sous vide for the sake of using sous vide, instead of having a compelling reason for it.
I see your point. I'm really trying to think of a way to sous vide steak and some root vegetables. But i can see it getting overkill. Thanks for your thoughts.
I've definitely heard of people doing the veggies sous vide first and then turning it down for meat. The veggies really shouldn't cook anymore because they only break down above 180°F.

Good luck and let us know how it turns out!
I've pretty much decided to get a second machine. I know...it's cheating.
The other side of this discussion is that there is no single definition (that I've found) for medium versus medium rare. I've seen medium rare defined as between 130F and 140F Medium being 140F and up (don't remember the top end off-hand). There just might be a point somewhere around 138F and 141F that would be acceptable to both of you.

If you get a medium rare steak cooked conventionally, the center will be medium rare, but the meat closer to the surface will be medium and the outer edge may even be more well done than that. The same situation exists with a steak cooked to medium... Actually, very little of it is "medium".

With sous vide, since you can control the entire thickness of the steak in terms of how well done it is, you might be able to find a happy medium. Although, I have known people that would treat this as a religious discussion and have no room for flexibility.....
I have done a similar thing with several large meals. Veg and rhubarb cooked, dropped temp with cold water. Lamb steaks in, cooked and then done. Temp dropped again to finish some medium rare duck breast for starters.

As the first course was served all the res were hanging at 55 deg c keeping warm. Large dinner party, minimal effort. The concept is sound as large restaurants do this but simply have discrete wate baths set aside for keeping things warm.

Of note, if you wanted to do mi-cuit fish you'll have to come up with something else to keep the rest warm.


Hope that helps,


Dave


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