View Full Version : Sous Vide Help- Beef Tenderloin

12-23-2012, 05:51 PM
Hey all, Long time lurker here. For christmas eve dinner I decided to try my hand at making beef tenderloin in a ghetto kitchen sink sous vide setup. Last night i tried to cook a smaller tenderloin for practice as this is my first time doing so. I rubbed the meat with truffle oil, thyme and black pepper. I put it in a 55deg C bath for 75 minutes. After the bath I took it out and cut the the tenderloin in to roughly 1.25" thick chops. From there I seared each side on an electric grill for about 90 seconds. I dont think my grill was hot enough but after the grill i put the chops on plates and topped with a steak butter. Unfortunately the steaks bled all over the plate. Where did I go wrong? Can someone help me before tomorrow?

Thanks a lot




Von blewitt
12-23-2012, 06:20 PM
You still need to rest the meat after grilling, I'd say around 5-10 minutes in a warm spot ( not hotter than the 55degrees) before carving.

I also cook tenderloin @ 53 degrees, but that's personal preferance

12-23-2012, 06:27 PM
I may not be able to keep up with the thread but ill start by trying to get a little more info out of you,

1. after your sink cooking, did you rest, and cool the meat?
- usually when you sous vide its a 2 step process. the whole point historically was to create a great product that can be reheated easier. it was designed for aiplanes and travel companies innitially. in restaurants you use sousvide to cook, cool, and hold product in a refrigerated state until needed all in the sousvide bag, the product stays sealed all the time. then its reaheated in a water bath to bring the internal temp back to roughly 100F or 60C and then its finished with such things as searing, baking, broiling.
- If you do not take the meat out, rest for 15 minutes, run under cold water for 15 minuts then ice bath for roughly 20-30 minutes you dont give the meat time to rest and the juices to settle and stay moist. If you just pulled it out and seared it then thats why your meat bled all over. meat always needs to rest.
- cook yout t-loin a day ahead, reheat in the waterbath, then sear.

2. you could go up to 60C... ive always done meat at 60 and veggies at 75. thats just me. if your doing a larger t-loin i would go up to 60, it would be "safer" and more even on thicker cuts.

i would estimate that the main problem you had was the meat didnt rest. its doesnt matter if you seared and basted from a raw state, no sous vide. if you take it out of a hot state and take it straight to a plate, it will bleed, regardless of your cooking method. make sure your cooking ahead of time if your sousvide. even if you do it day of. start early. get it done. get it rested. get it cooled. and give it 4 hours refrigerated, all in the bag. then when its dinner time you pull it out like an hour ahead of time, get it back to room temp in the bag, reheat it in 60C water to a proper internal temp. then sear on a really hot pan to finish. if your searing a whole t-loin make sure your pan is very hot, that meat will absorb and shock a lot of heat out of the pan and you need the pan to retain the heat while you sear all sides.

best of luck, ! hope it turns out!

12-23-2012, 09:03 PM
I would pre-portion the beef before you cook it in the water bath. Pre portioning will help avoid bleeding because you're not cutting freshly cooked meat.

Rest it after the bath, before the grill, and then rest again after the grill. Before grilling, pat dry the meat very well to aid caramelisation, and you can't get your grill too hot, really go for it, when I grill meat at home, I do it outside so as to not set off the smoke alarms in my house - you get the idea.

12-24-2012, 02:48 AM
They had big hunks of tenderloin at the grocery the other day so I grabbed one, rubbed it with some seasoning, wrapped it in plastic and let it sit all day in the refrigerator, then tossed it in the oven (pre-heated to 500, reduced to 400 when the meat went in.) Came out pretty nice, and sure seems a lot easier way to do it. Is there any advantage to doing something like this sous vide? It only took about 30 minutes to cook, checking the temperature regularly after about 18 minutes. It would have been even nicer with a little longer resting time, but we were too hungry to wait.

12-24-2012, 04:10 AM
I agree with Hambone. Cook your tenderloin in the morning. Buy a bag of ice from the gas station and fill the other side of your sink with the ice and water. After the 75 min in the bath, move them to the ice bath, then after 20 min or so you can move them to the fridge. From there you could either portion and sear, or back into a bath to bring up the temp close to your finishing temp, remove from the bag, portion and finish.

If you have a cast iron pan, do them in that instead of the electric grill. If you don't, go buy one tmrw. They aren't expensive and incredibly useful. Put that sucker in your oven cranked to the max to preheat it, then move to your stove top and sear. With the cast iron smoking, you just need a touch of oil, but after the temperature comes down (by adding the steaks) you can put some pats of butter in the pan with them and baste with the extra butter. If you start with butter in the super hot pan you will just create a ton of smoke and maybe start a fire. The benefit of portioning the steaks cold, letting them come up to room temp and then searing them, is you have extra time for them to be in the pan and get a nice crust. With a hot cast iron, by the time you get a nice crust, the internal temp should be close to what you want to serve at. After searing, let them rest, plate all your other components after finishing the steaks and by the time you are done, they should be ready. Plate them, top with butter and out they go.

I'm not sure if the truffle oil is doing you much good in the bag. I would incorporate it into your steak butter instead.

So tmrw morning:
1. Put steaks in your sous vide sink bath.
2. Go out and buy ice and cast iron pan.
3. After 75 min, shock in ice bath, then stash in fridge.
4. When you are prepping dinner, remove tenderloin from fridge, portion and let them come to room temp.
5. While prepping your sides, preheat cast iron pan in oven or on stove top.
6. When ready for the steaks, season, put pan on stove top, add oil and steaks.
7. Add butter, baste steaks with butter.
8. When seared on both sides, transfer to another tray/pan to rest.
9. Plate other components.
10. Plate steaks, add butter.
11. Put it in your face.

12-24-2012, 10:39 AM
First to use the system were swedish hospitals.

But the way we use it now, with all the temp control, is the outcome of Troisgros trying to reduce foie gras waste. Such a great temp control is not really necesary for ready made meals.

But back to the meat.
Please, remember, whatever else youve read online before, waterbath will not fix a low quality meat! Waterbath can help you develop consistency, and if you dont have tons of experience, ca help you have better results.

But the first thing is, were the tenderloins properly hung? If the meat was wet to begin with, you wont be able to rest it long enough.

Second thing. If you kept steak 90 second on hot grill/griddle - some portions of the sear [maybe too big portions] will be overcooked. That will simply make more water be pressed out of the meat.
Fry the meat 15-20 second on one side, keep on turning and turning and turning. Season only with salt, pepper will scorch, stick to the pan and prevent heat conduction. Repeat as long as necessary to have perfect thick golden brown crust, then season with pepper.

Third thing is resting properly. You wont need any ice for that.
Ice bath is used when you want to cool your food quickly for safety reasons. Lets say you cooked meat but you decided you want to eat it tomorrow.
BTW by adding salt to your ice bath you could lower the baths temp to -19 C
Herve this writes that resting should take as long time as cooking did. Its too long to explain very thoroughly, just rest it long in a warm place. You can set rack over sink with waterbath water for that or turn your oven on 50 degrees. You have time? Keep it there for hour or two.
Rest it after frying also.

Fourth thing is to prepare your meat well. If your meat is too bright in colour, and you have the feeling is too wet, leave it on a dripping tray, uncovered in the fridge for few days. Take a week, if you have to. I know its too late now, but for the future, just remember waterbath will not fix all.

El Pescador
12-25-2012, 01:53 PM
Did a dinner party in SF for my sister and did tenderloin. 500*f for 25 minutes and it turned out great. Why mess with SV when it so easy to do it this way?

12-25-2012, 02:11 PM
Agreed, more resting. I prefer the look of tenderloins cooked whole and sliced rather than portioned first, but that's just my opinion.


12-25-2012, 03:13 PM
Forgive my of post here, but what is the correct color of meat for cooking? I have never come across this information.


12-25-2012, 11:58 PM
I did a Sous Vide rib roast today and it turned out great. I put it on right before I went to bed the night before which gave it around 16 hours at 135F. I made a crust rub out of roasted garlic, horseradish, olive oil and salt & pepper that I mixed with a stick. Roasted it in the oven for 8 minutes at 500F after it came out of the bath with the crust rub and turned out perfect.

12-26-2012, 04:02 AM
Forgive my of post here, but what is the correct color of meat for cooking? I have never come across this information.


Lighter colour for me means plenty of juice, and I like my beef strong in flavour [less water - more of it], it might be up to the where the meat comes from, is it a Holstein-ole-milkin-cow, or an Angus ? ;)
You could observe just that when you let your meat dry in your fridge [as the surface dries, colour changes]
Harold McGee writes to age beef for up to three weeks. I think 2 is minimum and 4 is optimal.

Now, its not only that. Meats internal structure changes, as the post morten contraction relaxes.
Also, as I mentioned before somewhere else, there are more than one theories about why meat tenderizes, Ive read few options. Heres the one I like[or believe] - was very well explained, but Ive read the document in polish. Its the calpains that are responsible for meat tenderizing, as they have access to substrate, and tenderizing speeds up when meat is submerged in calcium ions solution[High level of calcium ions(five times higher than in living meat, but this rise is natural post mortem process) is required to activate calpains] and is blocked by zinc chloride - a believed calpains inhibitor.

This below might explain it better - page 4

I hope its okay to post this here:


Actually if you have ready portioned steaks and you dry it it helps to develop lovely crust. More Maillard - more "meaty" taste.

12-26-2012, 11:51 AM
Thanks for the info, I always learn alot when you start typing :).

02-12-2013, 09:57 PM
You need to rest the meat before slicing.