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Old 06-02-2014, 12:35 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by iamjumbo View Post
what happened??
i followed the insructions, wiped off, mostly, the marinade even poked holes through the steak with a fork, so i wouldn't have to stab so many times and it STILL turned out tough. it tasted great, what we could chew
What kind of steak did you use and how were you cooking it?
Were you trying for rare or well done or in between?
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Old 06-03-2014, 12:39 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by CraigC View Post
Did you use a rib-eye and if so what grade? Rib-eye both choice and prime should melt in your mouth, unless you over cook it. I don't understand why it needs marinade unless someone is trying to add flavor. For me it is S&P and on the grill, cooked to rare or medium rare.

Whats with the stabbing? poking wholes in cooking steak lets the juices run out. That also could lead to a tough steak.
Another one here for just salt and pepper. As for poking holes in a steak.... Years ago I highly insulted a boyfriend by telling him he could poke holes in his steak all he wanted but to leave mine unpoked. We didn't last long.
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Old 06-03-2014, 06:48 AM   #23
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Another one here for just salt and pepper. As for poking holes in a steak.... Years ago I highly insulted a boyfriend by telling him he could poke holes in his steak all he wanted but to leave mine unpoked. We didn't last long.
It's always a good idea to introduce food at an early stage of the relationship. It saves a lot of wasted time. I once had one who only ate fried food and then only if it fell into a very narrow spectrum. Fortunately this became evident only a few weeks into the "friendship" and I was able to dump him - er, I mean, wish him a fond farewell - before things got complicated.

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Old 06-03-2014, 11:19 AM   #24
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Going back to basics. It's good to talk about the "why's," and it helps me keep it all straight in my head.

The two issues with meat are doneness and tenderness. Doneness is strictly defined by the end temperature of the meat. If you've found that you like your "medium rare" (the color is purely subjective) at 135F, any part of the meat that reaches but does not exceed 135F will be to your liking. Which of course implies a nice judgment, because you're using a very hot pan to brown the surface. Plus, the core temperature continues to rise after it is removed from the pan. So, our first problem with home cooking steaks on a range is that we are limited in the amount of heat we can get out of a home range burner. We just can't really properly do a steak less than one inch thick. The center will be overdone by the time the crust forms. Restaurants can do it with thin steaks, because they have vastly more heat to work with.

But that's just doneness. Tenderness has to do with the nature of that particular muscle and what is happening to the muscle bundles and that means time is the factor. Reasonably good ribeyes, tenderloin, and other "tender" cuts need little cooking time and are naturally tender. Not too much flavor, but tender. That's why they're popular.

The flavorful cuts, sirloin, chuck, etc., need a lot of time to break down their greater amount of collagen connective tissue to gelatin and become tender. We can't do them in the pan very well, because the hot pan will make them badly overdone before they get tender. We usually accept those cuts as well done and make them tender by long cooking in a braise where the liquid limits the cooking temperature so that they can take the heat for a long enough time to become tender. So, you can braise chuck to a lovely tender, but you ruin a ribeye doing that. Overdone meat, meat that gets longer heat treatment than it needs, gets tough.

That's why sous vide cooks (meaning many, many restaurants) can turn out fork tender sirloin. The meat cooks in its vacuum seal in water at exactly the temperature you want to use to define doneness, in our example 135F for hours. Since it never gets above 135F, it stays medium rare. But it gets the time to become tender because temperature is enough to convert collagen. The restaurant holds the steaks in the water bath until called for and then uses their very hot grill to sear the surface. They can leave them in the water bath all evening, and they won't get more than medium rare. (Eventually, after many hours, they will, however, become mushy tender, but the working window is quite wide.) I cut one-inch thick slabs from inexpensive sirloin tip roast and turn it into fork-tender medium rare steaks with great flavor.

Poking holes doesn't make meat tough. (If you poke enough holes, with a Jaccard tenderizer, it mechanically breaks the connective tissue.) Poking a few holes can't possibly break enough cells to lose appreciable fluid. The reddish color of meat and the fluid that runs out of it and eventually turns clear isn't blood. It's myoglobin from the interior of the muscle cells that break down as it cooks. Browning doesn't seal the fluid in, nor does poking release more. (Poking also doesn't result in deeper marinade, as controlled experiments clearly show.)

Bottom line is, if you cook in a pan, buy your steaks thick, at least one inch, and get the pan as hot as your range will allow. And use a meat thermometer until you learn to recognize the signs of the doneness you desire.

Oh, and yes, wipe off the marinade. Any liquid, for that matter. Water on the surface can only boil, limiting the temperature, and you want to sear, which requires dry meat.
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Old 06-06-2014, 11:22 PM   #25
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Well first of all I decided that poking holes in steaks is more likely to let juices out than to let flavors in.

And second, you're cooking your Sous Vide steaks at 135F?????? ???????? ???????

Wow! I currently cook mine at about 122F for 3-4 hours, and then a quick sear. Best steaks I've ever had!

I don't marinate steaks any more anyway. God didn't make cows so that you can soak them in salad dressing.
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Old 06-09-2014, 01:45 AM   #26
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I don't marinate steaks any more anyway
Thin cut steaks these days for me. Beef is getting to be a food luxury. I buy thin cut T-bones in a two pack for $9. A marinade would totally overpower those.
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Old 06-09-2014, 02:49 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Greg Who Cooks View Post
Well first of all I decided that poking holes in steaks is more likely to let juices out than to let flavors in.

And second, you're cooking your Sous Vide steaks at 135F?????? ???????? ???????

Wow! I currently cook mine at about 122F for 3-4 hours, and then a quick sear. Best steaks I've ever had!

I don't marinate steaks any more anyway. God didn't make cows so that you can soak them in salad dressing.
You're right. I misspoke, although I'm not in the bloody rare camp.


Even with things like fajitas, formerly marinated, I now add that flavor as a pan sauce or glaze at the end. The experiments with dye added to marinade convinced me that it was wasted time.
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Old 06-09-2014, 06:46 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Chief Longwind Of The North View Post
I often have a smoky kitchen, which drives my wife crazy.

I use chicken fat if I'm stir frying chicken, pork fat if I'm pan frying pork, etc.

I use veggie oil if I'm stir-frying veggies. Go figure.

I use butter for eggs, lard for making pie crusts.

Oh, and bacon fat can be substitute for all of the above, except for the pie crust.

Seeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
Bacon fat is great in homemade biscuits in place of the fat the recipe calls for. Used when you are making cheese biscuits..... What can I say. To die for. So much flavor.
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Old 06-09-2014, 09:33 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chief Longwind Of The North View Post
I often have a smoky kitchen, which drives my wife crazy.

I use chicken fat if I'm stir frying chicken, pork fat if I'm pan frying pork, etc.

I use veggie oil if I'm stir-frying veggies. Go figure.

I use butter for eggs, lard for making pie crusts.

Oh, and bacon fat can be substitued for all of the above, except for the pie crust.

Seeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
If I'm cooking a steak that has some removable fat, I grease the pan with chunk for fat from the steak.

Hmm, now you have me wondering. I think a meat pie might be good with bacon fat in the crust.
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