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OK, I've got a big dinner coming up, and I want to do something different. What I want to do is a large piece of meat, cooked slowly in a low heat oven until it reaches a core temperature of about 50 degrees Celsius, then to finish off on a piping hot barbecue for about 30 seconds on either side.

I want to do either a sirloin or a rib-eye. I have a personal preference for rib-eye, due to the flavor, but am worried about rendering the fat on the outside to avoid that nasty bit of chewy fat on the outside. That rendering is obviously not going to happen within the minute the steak is on the barbecue.

The question is; will the fats render when the steak is being slow cooked at low temperatures?

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Just out of curiosity, why do you want to cook it this way? What benefit do you expect? –  Carey Gregory Sep 8 '13 at 14:49
    
The short answer is "to have tried it". The longer answer is that I am playing around with different kinds of techniques, in order to become a better chef. This time around, this is the technique I am wanting to play with. The benefit I expect is a modicum of control over the core temperature of the steak. –  razumny Sep 9 '13 at 11:49
    
You're a brave chef to try something radically different that you've never done before for a big dinner. –  Carey Gregory Sep 9 '13 at 22:35

2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

No, the fat will not render at about 50 C (122 F).

However, you said core temperature, which implies the surface temperature will be higher assuming you are not cooking in a 50 C oven (which you should not, for safety reasons). If you are pre-cooking the steak at, for example 120 C (250 F), the surface will be hotter by the time the center reaches your target temperature, so you may get some rendering.

Still, there is a quite simple answer: trim the excess fat. What remains should char and develop a good flavor when you sear it on the grill.

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...or, you could sear the surface on a very hot pan. Place in a zip lock bag. Remove air by submerging in a pot of water and sealing (before water enters the bag) and drop in a water bath. 50C will be virtually raw, though. You might want 54-56C. If you don't have an immersion circulator, Google "ghetto sous vide", you might be able to rig something up in your kitchen. Thickness will determine length of cook time (there are a few apps and lots of web resources for this), but generally the longer a rib eye cooks, the more tender. At some point, after several hours, it might get unpleasant and mushy. After the cook time, sear a second time on very hot pan or grill, season, enjoy.

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