Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Reheating Sous Vide Beef

Because I've been using sous vide to cook a lot of meat lately, invariably there are leftovers.  So I asked myself, what's the best way to reheat the meat?

Probably the absolute best way would be to bring it back to serving temperature in a water bath.  But that seems like it would take too long.  And waste too many of my plastic bags.

Instead, I decided to try out 3 different methods:
  1. Microwave - quick and dirty method normally used for reheating a variety of foods.
  2. Pan fry - reheat and get some more crust, but will it overcook it?
  3. Blowtorch - reheat the outside very quickly and create additional crust, but will it warm the whole thing?
Here we have 3 pieces of meat straight out of the refrigerator.  You can see the congealed fat (yum!).

Here are those same 3 pieces after each has been reheated according to one of the methods above.  Can you guess which piece was reheated in which manner?

The microwave method took about a minute.  I was afraid of overcooking the meat before heating it to a good temperature since the slices weren't that thick to begin with.  After 30 seconds in a rotating microwave, some of the congealed fat still hadn't melted, so I did an additional 30 seconds.  I heard it pop the second time, so I'm thinking maybe 20 seconds, rest, 20 seconds might be a good amount in the future.

The pan fry method took about a minute on each side once the pan with some butter had been heated to medium low.  I actively pressed down on the meat a bit to create some extra crust.  It certainly smelled delicious.

The blowtorch method took all of 30 seconds.  I torched each side for a little while until it looked like the fat on the outside had all melted and the piece browned a little.

Which method did I like the best?  Surprisingly, it was a tie between the pan fry method and the microwave method.  The pan fry method had an amazing crust but the meat was a bit tougher on the inside.  The microwave method was super tender and definitely the juiciest of the three, but with no crust.

Sadly, the blowtorch method failed to produce a better crust than the pan fry method and also failed to reheat the meat entirely through.


  1. Too bad the blowtorch didn't give you a good crust, because then you could do microwave + blowtorch to get the internals to the right temperature and just crisp the outside. I suppose that might be more trouble than it's worth...

  2. @bananna - clearly you don't know me well enough! i'll go to the trouble if it's really the best way =]. i'll have to try that next time!

  3. ah yummy! and thanks for the link to here!!! :D i'm bad at checking without it :P

  4. hm and maybe try microwave to reheat middle and sear in pan for crust for a second

  5. Almost 4 years later lol...You could also reheat the meat in the sous vide, then blow torch. Or you could try a method I heard of recently that involves flash freezing the meat in liquid nitrogen then deep frying in oil