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CatfishJohn
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Member since Jun 2020
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I have had a few of tough/chewy filets after my sous vide and sear.. Help me
Is this just a meat issue? I cooked 3 filets last night the same way I always do and all 3 came out just a little chewy.

Perfect temp, 30 day dry aged beef from my trusted butcher, etc. The last few times I've done my method (using different meat sources) I've had some chewy filets.

My process:
-sit meat out for a 1-2 hours after generous salt and peppering to get to room temp
-sous vide to 129 for 1.5-2 hours
-heat an iron skillet on my grill to 800 degrees surface temp
-baste the steaks in mayo/garlic butter mixture and sear for about 30-40 seconds each side

They have perfect color and temperature inside and out, great crust, but they are "tough". Not unchewably tough like a shitty cut of meat, but just not restaurant quality like I want.

What can I do to help tenderize the meat more and ensure more restaurant texture?

There have been a couple that turned out perfectly which makes me think it's the meat, but then again this butcher has incredible meat. Beautiful stuff, so I think it's the chef.





CatfishJohn
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Member since Jun 2020
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re: I have had a few of tough/chewy filets after my sous vide and sear.. Help me
Also, ftr, I am a ribeye guy and they've been great

The filets I cook for wife and guests.


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Ed Osteen
New Orleans Saints Fan
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Member since Oct 2007
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re: I have had a few of tough/chewy filets after my sous vide and sear.. Help me
Sounds like it would be the meat if your cooking it the same every time


Janky
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Member since Jun 2011
34061 posts

re: I have had a few of tough/chewy filets after my sous vide and sear.. Help me
Was it the silver skin?


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CatfishJohn
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Member since Jun 2020
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re: I have had a few of tough/chewy filets after my sous vide and sear.. Help me
quote:

Sounds like it would be the meat if your cooking it the same every time



I just can't shake that thought either, but it's happened with various meat sources on different nights.

Is there a steak tenderizing method I'm missing?


BottomlandBrew
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Member since Aug 2010
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re: I have had a few of tough/chewy filets after my sous vide and sear.. Help me
quote:

-sit meat out for a 1-2 hours after generous salt and peppering to get to room temp



Here's your potential issue. Try salting it after the bath or even after searing.

quote:

Seasoning a steak prior to vacuum-sealing it, then letting it rest in the bag, can result in meat with a firm texture, similar to that of a mildly cured ham. Some folks find this texture off-putting, though I personally don't mind it. To avoid this texture, it's best to season and bag a steak immediately before cooking, or after cooking sous vide and before searing.


Source

My anecdotal experience confirms this. I used to salt prior to the bath. Now I do it afterwards and I've noticed a much improved texture, especially on filets.
This post was edited on 9/17 at 4:46 pm


CatfishJohn
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Member since Jun 2020
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re: I have had a few of tough/chewy filets after my sous vide and sear.. Help me


I will give this a shot! Thanks man


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Tigerlaff
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Member since Jan 2010
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re: I have had a few of tough/chewy filets after my sous vide and sear.. Help me
quote:

sit meat out for a 1-2 hours after generous salt and peppering to get to room temp


This is the problem. It is already dry aged. Just salt and pepper it and pop in the sous vide immediately. No need to sit out.
This post was edited on 9/17 at 4:51 pm


Motorboat
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re: I have had a few of tough/chewy filets after my sous vide and sear.. Help me
IMO, filets are not good for sous vide as there is not much fat or connective tissue to break down. they need a quick 3-4 minute sear each side and you're done.


CatfishJohn
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Member since Jun 2020
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re: I have had a few of tough/chewy filets after my sous vide and sear.. Help me
quote:

This is the problem. It is already dry aged. Just salt and pepper it and pop in the sous vide immediately. No need to sit out.



I've always heard room temp is critical. They're chilled at the butcher.


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LSUballs
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RayVegas LA
Member since Feb 2008
33427 posts

re: I have had a few of tough/chewy filets after my sous vide and sear.. Help me
quote:

IMO, filets are not good for sous vide as there is not much fat or connective tissue to break down. they need a quick 3-4 minute sear each side and you're done.



The only sous vide steaks I have had are fillets and whole beef tenderloins. I agree with your assessment. They’re just not that good. I would rather reverse sear or cook more normal. Same for sous vide backstrap.


CatfishJohn
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Member since Jun 2020
845 posts
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re: I have had a few of tough/chewy filets after my sous vide and sear.. Help me
quote:

IMO, filets are not good for sous vide as there is not much fat or connective tissue to break down. they need a quick 3-4 minute sear each side and you're done.



It's an ease of use thing for me. I cook them for my wife and guests and can get perfect temp and pull them out of the bath for a very quick sear once the sides are ready.

Really makes it easier to cook and entertain and I can nail the temp for the picky wife every time.

I eat ribeyes for myself and they're glorious.


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CatfishJohn
LSU Fan
Member since Jun 2020
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re: I have had a few of tough/chewy filets after my sous vide and sear.. Help me
quote:

I would rather reverse sear


Sous viding is really the same thing, it's just in water instead of on indirect heat. And it has perfect internal temp every single time uniformly across the entire cut of meat.

Think about it. I still sear on cast iron on a very hot grill with lid shut so it gets a nice grill flavored crust.



Prosecuted Collins
LSU Fan
The Farm
Member since Sep 2003
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re: I have had a few of tough/chewy filets after my sous vide and sear.. Help me
Don’t sous vide filet! Searing is fine with that cut.


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35
LSUballs
LSU Fan
RayVegas LA
Member since Feb 2008
33427 posts

re: I have had a few of tough/chewy filets after my sous vide and sear.. Help me
quote:

Sous viding is really the same thing, it's just in water instead of on indirect heat.



There in lies the problem. It fricks with the texture of beef tenderloin vs dry heat. Inferior results ensue.


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BigDropper
LSU Fan
Member since Jul 2009
4711 posts

re: I have had a few of tough/chewy filets after my sous vide and sear.. Help me
quote:

My process:
-sit meat out for a 1-2 hours after generous salt and peppering to get to room temp

unnecessary to temper steaks meant for sous vide but, it shouldn't affects texture.

quote:

-sous vide to 129 for 1.5-2 hours

this temperature seems a little high. Try a range between 120-125 next time.

quote:

What can I do to help tenderize the meat more and ensure more restaurant texture?

use natural fruit enzyme tenderizers such as papain, bromelain, ficin, actinidain, but you shouldn't need a tenderizer for filet.

Some unscrupulous butchers sell 'baseball filets' which are top sirloin cut to resemble filet mignon.

These can sometimes be a little on the tough side.

Only way to find out what's going on is to do a controlled experiment.


Tigers0891
Houston Astros Fan
Member since Aug 2017
3431 posts

re: I have had a few of tough/chewy filets after my sous vide and sear.. Help me
Seems like the water bath time would need to be a little longer


sml71
LSU Fan
Run if you hear banjos.
Member since Dec 2005
3304 posts

re: I have had a few of tough/chewy filets after my sous vide and sear.. Help me
There’s no need to sit the meat out with sous vide. You aren’t hurting anything by doing it, but you aren’t helping anything either.


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40
KamaCausey_LSU
Member since Apr 2013
7780 posts

re: I have had a few of tough/chewy filets after my sous vide and sear.. Help me
Are you using a vacuum sealer or zip locks for the sous vide bag? The vacuum sealer might be compressing the meat.

Also, maybe try dry brining overnight, though 2 hours should be plenty for salt to penetrate so it's probably not that.


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Howyouluhdat
LSU Fan
On Fleek St
Member since Jan 2015
6749 posts

re: I have had a few of tough/chewy filets after my sous vide and sear.. Help me
quote:

Help me



Throw that bitch in the garbage


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