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How do I stop my sous vide steak drying out? I have tried various temperatures and times from 55 to 60 degrees and from 40 minutes to 4 hours. The colour and texture changes but the meat is always too dry to enjoy.

My mother eats steak well done conventionally and it is much more moist than this sous vide medium rare. The meat is still very red, so it's not over cooked.

I am using sirloin, about 20mm thick. It's 28 day aged, according to the packet. When cooked in a pan it is very nice, as it should be at £22/kg. I have tried presearing plus postsearing and postsearing only. Sealed in Sous Vide Supreme vacuum pouches. They then go into a 30l water bath heated by a vac-star sousvidechef 2. The temperature is totally accurate according to my certified thermapen and does not vary at all.

I also tried cooking chicken breast with garlic butter potatoes and carrots, as per Douglas Baldwin's book. Carrots were delicious. Potatoes were hard and bland. Chicken was downright weird. Very unpleasant texture and very dry. I invited a couple of friends who are keen to try sous vide over during the whole process. All 4 of us agreed. The machine is going back.

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What cut or type of steak are you using? –  SAJ14SAJ Jan 1 at 4:20
If your steak has good marbling and your bag is sealed properly there should be no problem –  geedubb Jan 1 at 12:19
I am also very surprised by this question. For example, I yesterday had non-marbled supermarket steak from the pan, which hit 59 Celsius internal after residual heat transfer, which is more than I usually do. It was still very tender and moist. I cannot imagine that a 54 degrees steak will be dry. Can you post pictures of what the steak looks like when prepared? Have you measured the steak internal temperature right after taking it out, maybe your controller is not working properly? Finally, do you really think it is dry as in overcooked, or are you missing fat? What are your expectations? –  rumtscho Jan 1 at 13:30
I found this article which seems to describe my problem but to a lesser degree.beyondsalmon.com/2011/06/why-sous-vide-sucks.html –  kippford Jan 1 at 17:18
The article you found says there's 8-13% moisture loss from the sous-vide cooking at 131F, which is way more than the ~4% Kenji Lopez-Alt found in this column. Perhaps there's some difference in cooking method here that's causing you to lose more liquid, but I don't think dry steak is an inevitable result of sous-vide cooking. Plenty of home cooks and restaurants have been enjoying sous vide steaks for quite some time now. –  Jefromi Jan 14 at 2:43

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