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(Serious Eats)   Want a steak so good, your dog will murder you in your sleep for it? Here comes the Food Science   (seriouseats.com) divider line 138
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13052 clicks; posted to Main » on 19 Mar 2013 at 5:41 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-03-19 08:10:15 PM
www.nobodygoeshere.com
 
2013-03-19 08:29:58 PM
While I'm normally a sucker for a good steak, tonight is all about Andouille.  Fresh out of the smoker:

i910.photobucket.com

/why you staring at my sausage?
 
2013-03-19 08:31:59 PM

TofuTheAlmighty: The best method to cook a steak without resorting to a water bath:
1) Allow steak to warm to room temp.
2) Preheat your cast iron skillet in 500 degree oven 15 minutes.
3) Salt and pepper your steak. Kosher and fresh-cracked is best. (Don't salt it more than 10 minutes before you start cooking it, though, otherwise the meat will be toughened by the salt drawing out moisture.)
4) Cook steak in oven (in glassware), time dependent on how raw you like it. 5 minutes will probably do you for med rare.
5) Put skillet over high heat, get oil smoking (I prefer peanut, it has a high smoke point) then sear your steak. Flip every 10-15 seconds. Searing should take about 2-3 minutes total.
6) Let steak rest 3-5 minutes.I prefer my steaks blue so I forego any oven cooking. And rely solely on the skillet


Agree on the room temp, but disagree on the timing of salting. Getting the steak up to room temperature cuts about 1/3 of the temperature rise you need(70-130 instead of 40-130) which greatly speeds the cooking of the inside resulting in a more even doneness.  But you actually achieve a lot by presalting.  There is a window where it's not good (anything under an hour but over ~5 minutes) but otherwise if you salt early you allow for the salt to permeate the steak and tenderize it as well.  I tend to do about a day, but I've heard of people doing 3-4.  After the salt initially draws out moisture, it then gets reabsorbed and starts to break down some of the muscle fibers.  The result is a more tender steak that is seasoned all the way through instead of just the outside.

Lately I've been cooking chuck steaks which are pretty cheap but can be tough.  They are flavorful though because they come from a well used muscle, so after a day presalting they cook up to have a nice beefy flavor and are about the toughness of a NY strip.
 
2013-03-19 08:34:17 PM
Step 1: Drive to Montreal
Step 2: Make a reservation at Queue Du Cheval
Step 3: Eat at Queue Du Cheval

Repeat
 
2013-03-19 08:39:20 PM
I'm looking so forward to the slow increase of salmonella & bacterial illnesses thanks to improperly handled home sous vide experiments.
 
2013-03-19 09:13:25 PM

Krieghund: Pass the ketchup!


encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com
 
2013-03-19 09:30:03 PM
img.photobucket.comCourtesy of the Fark store
 
2013-03-19 09:53:21 PM

dragonchild: Shazam999: Anyhow at 130F for 12 hours you'd have killed all the buggers.

Dude, I can think of mammals that don't die at 130F for 12 hours.  As far as bacteria go, you're not killing squat.

There are two reasons why rare steak is safe to eat.  One, as others have mentioned, most of the bacteria and contamination is on the outside that is seared at very high temperatures.  Two, most bacteria is benign.  When you get food poisoning, it's often because the food was left out AND mishandled.  For example, E. coli lives in only one place -- in the lower intestines of mammals.  You shouldn't get E. coli infection from a steak if you left it out on the kitchen counter for a year and ate it raw.  The only way E. coli gets on the meat is if the meat is contaminated with shiat.  When some burger joints in my home state some years back got in trouble because of E. coli infections, what the media very carefully avoided mentioning was that the infections were proof that the customers were literally eating shiat.  Now all fast food joints thoroughly cook beef -- because all fast food beef is contaminated with shiat.  A properly prepared steak from a healthy cow can be eaten raw.  You shouldn't get food poisoning, though you might get tapeworms.


I don't know where the hell you learned biology, but you should get a refund.

Anyhow, go take a look at the temperature chart...

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:PLcEgVPKgKkJ:ww w. fsis.usda.gov/OPPDE/rdad/FRPubs/97-013P/COMPLIANCE+GUIDELINES+FOR+RTE+ MEAT+AND+POULTRY.doc+usda+ecoli+temperature+chart&hl=en&gl=ca
 
2013-03-19 10:05:13 PM

awalkingecho: You'd have a hard time dying screwing up the sous vide if you go ahead and finish the steak by searing; most of the bacteria is on the exterior of a steak, which is why it's safe to eat at rare temperatures.


Gah... This is true, but also so, so wrong. "Most" of the bacteria is on the exterior of the steak, and you could sear it and be perfectly safe... or you could sous vide it at such a low temperature that you allow all of the stuff on the interior to thrive, and then searing it won't do anything.

Sous vide cooking is like using the Terminal or a bash prompt: you can make things incredibly better with little to no effort, or you could hose your system.
 
2013-03-19 10:10:45 PM

Shazam999: dragonchild: Shazam999: Anyhow at 130F for 12 hours you'd have killed all the buggers.

Dude, I can think of mammals that don't die at 130F for 12 hours.  As far as bacteria go, you're not killing squat.

There are two reasons why rare steak is safe to eat.  One, as others have mentioned, most of the bacteria and contamination is on the outside that is seared at very high temperatures.  Two, most bacteria is benign.  When you get food poisoning, it's often because the food was left out AND mishandled.  For example, E. coli lives in only one place -- in the lower intestines of mammals.  You shouldn't get E. coli infection from a steak if you left it out on the kitchen counter for a year and ate it raw.  The only way E. coli gets on the meat is if the meat is contaminated with shiat.  When some burger joints in my home state some years back got in trouble because of E. coli infections, what the media very carefully avoided mentioning was that the infections were proof that the customers were literally eating shiat.  Now all fast food joints thoroughly cook beef -- because all fast food beef is contaminated with shiat.  A properly prepared steak from a healthy cow can be eaten raw.  You shouldn't get food poisoning, though you might get tapeworms.

I don't know where the hell you learned biology, but you should get a refund.

Anyhow, go take a look at the temperature chart...

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:PLcEgVPKgKkJ:ww w. fsis.usda.gov/OPPDE/rdad/FRPubs/97-013P/COMPLIANCE+GUIDELINES+FOR+RTE+ MEAT+AND+POULTRY.doc+usda+ecoli+temperature+chart&hl=en&gl=ca


He's right. If you're cooking to 130F for a reasonable amount of time, then E. Coli is dead. Most of those microorganisms start dying at 120F... but it's a death curve - 120F for 1 second won't kill anything. For 1 minute, and you get a few. For half an hour, you get a bunch. For 12 hours, you're pretty good. And go up to 130F, and you can take some time off that.
 
2013-03-19 10:28:50 PM

brap: I don't have the patience for this sort of nonsense.


^ ^ ^ ^
 
2013-03-19 10:31:32 PM

MaxxLarge: It does look awesome, and obviously the science is rock-solid...but I'm sorry. I don't care if it's the single most perfect, orgasmic, indulgently over-the-top piece of meat in the universe - I am NOT spending twelve hours and a few hundred bucks just to cook a goddamned steak.


12 hours? A few hundred bucks? Apparently i didn't read the entire article. FTS.
 
2013-03-19 10:32:50 PM
dragonchild:  Dude, I can think of mammals that don't die at 130F for 12 hours.

Mammals have a system to regulate their body temperature.  If they reached an internal temperature of 130F they'd be dead pretty quickly.

That being said, you're right that an internal temperature of 130F is not for killing bacteria; it's just the approximate internal temperature at which meat is medium rare.
 
2013-03-19 10:35:07 PM

meat0918: But what if you like a well done steak?


Trick question. No one with taste buds likes a well done steak.
 
2013-03-19 10:43:31 PM

FlashHarry: here's a tip: DON'T F*CKING OVERCOOK IT. <snip>


FFS. Cut into it when you think it's getting done (no, that won't ruin it, despite what many will tell you; fark thermometers.). Does the color look right to you? Pink, pale red, bright red, whatthefarkever? Take it off the farking grill. Jesus Christ, this isn't rocket surgery, steak lovers.
 
2013-03-19 10:49:26 PM

Dr. Goldshnoz: Krieghund: Pass the ketchup!

[encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com image 259x195]


I watched my FIL put ketchup on a nice ribeye once.

I wanted to strangle him.
 
2013-03-19 10:59:06 PM
Cue the "...love this thread so much..." jpeg, because I do.
 
2013-03-19 11:17:00 PM

John Buck 41: FlashHarry: here's a tip: DON'T F*CKING OVERCOOK IT. <snip>

FFS. Cut into it when you think it's getting done (no, that won't ruin it, despite what many will tell you; fark thermometers.). Does the color look right to you? Pink, pale red, bright red, whatthefarkever? Take it off the farking grill. Jesus Christ, this isn't rocket surgery, steak lovers.


If you can't pick up a steak with tongs and tell by the flex exactly how done it is, you should probably stick to burgers.
 
2013-03-19 11:19:39 PM

Theaetetus: awalkingecho: You'd have a hard time dying screwing up the sous vide if you go ahead and finish the steak by searing; most of the bacteria is on the exterior of a steak, which is why it's safe to eat at rare temperatures.

Gah... This is true, but also so, so wrong. "Most" of the bacteria is on the exterior of the steak, and you could sear it and be perfectly safe... or you could sous vide it at such a low temperature that you allow all of the stuff on the interior to thrive, and then searing it won't do anything.

Sous vide cooking is like using the Terminal or a bash prompt: you can make things incredibly better with little to no effort, or you could hose your system.


I'm currently shell scripting, so I'm getting a kick...
 
2013-03-19 11:19:55 PM

karmaceutical: John Buck 41: FlashHarry: here's a tip: DON'T F*CKING OVERCOOK IT. <snip>

FFS. Cut into it when you think it's getting done (no, that won't ruin it, despite what many will tell you; fark thermometers.). Does the color look right to you? Pink, pale red, bright red, whatthefarkever? Take it off the farking grill. Jesus Christ, this isn't rocket surgery, steak lovers.

If you can't pick up a steak with tongs and tell by the flex exactly how done it is, you should probably stick to burgers.


Want me to bow down to you?

Not gonna happen.
 
2013-03-19 11:23:42 PM

Smeggy Smurf: No matter how you cook the steak it still winds up as a turd.  Cook it however you want.


You sound English
 
2013-03-19 11:28:28 PM

Brainsick: Smeggy Smurf: No matter how you cook the steak it still winds up as a turd.  Cook it however you want.

You sound English


Nah.  I don't give a rats ass if you ruin your food.  You will however be mocked for it.
 
2013-03-19 11:42:03 PM
Finally read TFA and went thru the slideshow. What a load of pretentious bullshiat.
 
2013-03-20 12:01:06 AM

karmaceutical: John Buck 41: FlashHarry: here's a tip: DON'T F*CKING OVERCOOK IT. <snip>

FFS. Cut into it when you think it's getting done (no, that won't ruin it, despite what many will tell you; fark thermometers.). Does the color look right to you? Pink, pale red, bright red, whatthefarkever? Take it off the farking grill. Jesus Christ, this isn't rocket surgery, steak lovers.

If you can't pick up a steak with tongs and tell by the flex exactly how done it is, you should probably stick to burgers.


You need to pick it up?
 
2013-03-20 12:15:31 AM

Theaetetus: FlashHarry: sear them on the first side for three minutes or until they're deep brownturn them over and sear the other side for two minsinsert leave-in meat thermometer into the middle of one of the steaks, set it for 110ºput skillet in the oven and cook until the target temp is reached

Yum, well done steaks with a raw center! It's like a hockey puck crossed with sushi!


.... who hurt you? Who hurt you like this!? TELL ME HIS NAME!

/That is a great way  to make a good steak so long as you don't mind your house becoming a fogbank
 
2013-03-20 12:19:46 AM

Farnn: karmaceutical: John Buck 41: FlashHarry: here's a tip: DON'T F*CKING OVERCOOK IT. <snip>

FFS. Cut into it when you think it's getting done (no, that won't ruin it, despite what many will tell you; fark thermometers.). Does the color look right to you? Pink, pale red, bright red, whatthefarkever? Take it off the farking grill. Jesus Christ, this isn't rocket surgery, steak lovers.

If you can't pick up a steak with tongs and tell by the flex exactly how done it is, you should probably stick to burgers.

You need to pick it up?


No, not really... some cuts are squishier than others though.
 
2013-03-20 12:20:21 AM

dragonchild: You mean the USDA that legally prohibited ranches from testing their own cows for disease? That USDA?


fark off, we're talking steak.
 
2013-03-20 12:39:51 AM
While the steak in the article looks good, it seems like way too much cooking for a steak. But then again, I don't mind if my steak moos a little bit when I cut into it, that's how rare I like it.

/bloody as hell
 
2013-03-20 01:24:48 AM
Hit cow over head with brick. Wipe shot off its ass. Drag near a fire once per side. Eat up.
 
2013-03-20 04:20:44 AM

Theaetetus: MaxxLarge: It does look awesome, and obviously the science is rock-solid...but I'm sorry. I don't care if it's the single most perfect, orgasmic, indulgently over-the-top piece of meat in the universe - I am NOT spending twelve hours and a few hundred bucks just to cook a goddamned steak.

Most of that time, you're not doing anything. I regularly cook sous vide, and it's simple. I fill the bath with the hottest water I can get from the sink, takes 2-3 minutes. Bath goes on and is up to temp within 5 minutes, during which time I season and bag the meat. It goes into the bath, and then I'm done for a few hours. Do work, go out, etc. Whatever. Total time spent is around 5 minutes.
At dinner time, heat up the skillet with some oil. Meat comes out of the bath, cut the bag open and pat it dry. Skillet's ready, so toss in the meat. Flip a few times getting a nice sear, and it's done. About another 5 minutes total, from the time the skillet goes on the flame. Or use the blow torch, and that step is only about 2 minutes.
So you've spent 7-10 minutes, total. Same as you would to grill a streak or pan fry one, but now your steak is better.

Plus, since the active times are so separated, you can easily make sides before you ever remove the meat from the bath, and now you're not trying to scramble with three things going simultaneously and worrying about overcooking your steak.


Excellent! My work here was done before I arrived!

Anyone saying sous vide is "too much trouble" has never eaten a perfectly cooked steak. Plus, that water bath has ENDLESS applications for other foods. Properly utilized, it can save you hundreds of hours in the kitchen over the course of its life.

Do it, and chuckle as you watch your "grill master" father-in-law turn himself inside out trying to figure out how you got a ribeye exactly Med Rare all the way through. Priceless.
 
2013-03-20 04:22:56 AM

Copper Spork: I disagree with their choice of 130F for the sous vide. If you're cooking for six to eight hours, 57C gives you better texture than 54C. 130F is slightly too cold. Yes, it will look pinker, and so will keep the "all steaks should be rare" crew off your back, but sous vide doesn't kill the moisture so you don't need to serve it quite so raw.


Also, I second this excellent piece of advice.
 
2013-03-20 04:28:25 AM

Acharne: Nasty.

FTA: "steakhouse-quality char"  Nasty. Nasty nasty nasty.

There was nothing in that article that made me want to eat that old meat. 61-day aged? Nasty. Nasty nasty nasty nasty.


LOL...psssst...Nobody tell Acharne that the way to tell if a steak has been properly aged is to make sure it smells like cheese.
 
2013-03-20 04:49:43 AM

Farnn: karmaceutical: John Buck 41: FlashHarry: here's a tip: DON'T F*CKING OVERCOOK IT. <snip>

FFS. Cut into it when you think it's getting done (no, that won't ruin it, despite what many will tell you; fark thermometers.). Does the color look right to you? Pink, pale red, bright red, whatthefarkever? Take it off the farking grill. Jesus Christ, this isn't rocket surgery, steak lovers.

If you can't pick up a steak with tongs and tell by the flex exactly how done it is, you should probably stick to burgers.

You need to pick it up?


Nah, you can just poke it with your finger. Here's the rule of thumb:

Lightly touch your thumb to the tip of your index finger. Poke the meaty bit below your thumb with your other index finger. Repeat, moving thumb to middle, ring, pinky.

Your steak will feel roughly like #1 at rare, #2 at med rare, #3 at med, and #4 at med well.
 
2013-03-20 11:34:44 AM
Kenji is a farking dork.  I am sure that he likes to self-identify as a "scientist" more than he actually applies the scientific method.  Did anyone actually read his article on dry aging beef?  He just seems to have made shiat up as he went along.
 
2013-03-20 12:50:26 PM

Theaetetus: Most of that time, you're not doing anything. I regularly cook sous vide, and it's simple. I fill the bath with the hottest water I can get from the sink, takes 2-3 minutes. Bath goes on and is up to temp within 5 minutes, during which time I season and bag the meat. It goes into the bath, and then I'm done for a few hours. Do work, go out, etc. Whatever. Total time spent is around 5 minutes.


It's also pretty tidy and out of the way.  I fill up my cooler from the basement tap, so I just leave it down there rather than lugging up to the kitchen.  There's no clutter in the kitchen, and clean-up consists of throwing away a Ziploc bag.

Also, since you can leave the meat in the bath, the preparation can happen whenever you have a free moment, and the stove part can happen whenever people are ready to eat.  It's great if you have family members who suddenly have to run back to work for an hour because a -80 freezer broke.

For those who think sous vide is "spending 12 hours to cook a steak" --- first, this is a failure of reading comprehension.  TFA says about an hour, not 12 hours.  Second, the bath time doesn't involve you, and it's not "spending" time.  It's like marinating meat in the fridge.  If you marinate a brisket overnight, do you act like you spent 12 hours cooking?
 
2013-03-20 02:42:02 PM
Well, I like the idea of low and slow then finishing with a sear, that seems like something worth trying. But the rest of it is just what you can be bothered with. You can go low and slow by starting your steak off to one side on the grill, by cooking it sous vide, by putting it in the oven, or if you like it raw and bloody like me, by letting it warm up to room temperature. Then you can put the high heat to it with a cast iron pan, with some super hot coals, a blow torch, or putting it under a sufficiently hot broiler. The differences between these methods are basically a matter of personal taste and skill. That's also a good tip about the salt - sometimes I use that Montreal Steak Seasoning stuff, it probably needs to go on just as long before as the salt does.

Pro tip on cooking a steak entirely on your grill: Set the thing up like you're doing ribs. Load up one side of the kettle with coals, then low and slow your steaks on the other side. Meanwhile, get another load of coals going in your chimney to add when the steak is up to temp, then dump them in right before you sear it. This is also a good way to do it if you're doing other stuff besides steaks on your grill at the same time - you can cook the other stuff on the hot side while your steaks are warming up on the cool side, then pop in the fresh coals to finish anything off on the cool side, like brats or burning in sauce for chicken or whatever. Don't put your chimney on concrete, though - use a brick paver or one of those terra cotta things you put underneath potted plants. The heat from the chimney will fsck up your concrete explodey style.
 
2013-03-20 03:09:48 PM

Z-clipped: Theaetetus: MaxxLarge: It does look awesome, and obviously the science is rock-solid...but I'm sorry. I don't care if it's the single most perfect, orgasmic, indulgently over-the-top piece of meat in the universe - I am NOT spending twelve hours and a few hundred bucks just to cook a goddamned steak.

Most of that time, you're not doing anything. I regularly cook sous vide, and it's simple. I fill the bath with the hottest water I can get from the sink, takes 2-3 minutes. Bath goes on and is up to temp within 5 minutes, during which time I season and bag the meat. It goes into the bath, and then I'm done for a few hours. Do work, go out, etc. Whatever. Total time spent is around 5 minutes.
At dinner time, heat up the skillet with some oil. Meat comes out of the bath, cut the bag open and pat it dry. Skillet's ready, so toss in the meat. Flip a few times getting a nice sear, and it's done. About another 5 minutes total, from the time the skillet goes on the flame. Or use the blow torch, and that step is only about 2 minutes.
So you've spent 7-10 minutes, total. Same as you would to grill a streak or pan fry one, but now your steak is better.

Plus, since the active times are so separated, you can easily make sides before you ever remove the meat from the bath, and now you're not trying to scramble with three things going simultaneously and worrying about overcooking your steak.

Excellent! My work here was done before I arrived!

Anyone saying sous vide is "too much trouble" has never eaten a perfectly cooked steak. Plus, that water bath has ENDLESS applications for other foods. Properly utilized, it can save you hundreds of hours in the kitchen over the course of its life.

Do it, and chuckle as you watch your "grill master" father-in-law turn himself inside out trying to figure out how you got a ribeye exactly Med Rare all the way through. Priceless.


As for the FIL bit, I would pay to see that!!
 
2013-03-22 08:58:10 PM
If you cook a decent cut of beef beyond med rare, you're a heathen scum unwashed infidel.
 
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