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Saturday, June 4, 2011

135°F Beef Tenderloin

After experimenting with fish, it was time to try cooking beef sous vide. As Thomas Keller said, "Cooking meat may represent the pinnacle of sous vide technique; it's a category where sous vide really soars". With this first try I thought I'd use a more tender cut of meat that requires less cooking time. I found a recipe by Jean Georges Vongerichten on Food & Wine magazine. The recipe calls for the beef to be marinated for two hours prior to cooking. Afterwards I sealed the meat in individual bags and warmed up the water bath.

The cooking temperature was set at 135°F, or around 57°C and the cooking time was 45 minutes.

The results were extraordinary. Unlike the traditional technique of roasting where often times the exterior of the meat is well done while the center is rare, with sous vide the entire piece of meat can be cooked to the precise temperature. Since we still want a seared exterior from high heat, after taking the meat out of the bag, it was pan fried very quickly in a sauté pan. Following a short rest the meat was served and it was very tender and juicy.

There is no doubt that sous vide is an excellent way to cook meat. The only question now is whether I will go back to the traditional way of using high heat to roast meat. The short answer is probably not.


  1. What do you think about 50°C?

  2. Certain foods are meant to be cooked in certain ways for health as well as for reasons of taste. See "Yellow Emperor's Classics", seminal tome of chinese medicine & health. Some foods are not meant to be quasi-boiled devoid of contact with heat generated by fire.