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The internet is filled with videos and pictures of people using sous-vide and obtaining rosy, almost red steak "fibers".

For the last couple of months, I've been making bone-in ribeyes by reverse searing from air-fryer oven to carbon steel pan.

The temperature I shoot for was always 55 to max 60, no matter how many times I try, the steak fibers always comes out not as bright colored or "pink" when sliced, instead they are gray-ish with lots of bright reddish colored "juice".

My wild guess is that the reason for not getting the rosy colored fiber in sliced steak is that the temp is not precise. Could it also be the steak itself and the diet of the cow? Is the only to get good colored steak as seen all over the internet the sous-vide?

My ribeye cuts aren't very marbled, they came from a younger cow.

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    Are you certain that your thermometer is accurate? Have you calibrated it?
    – moscafj
    Mar 7 at 12:18
  • Is there a particular reason you don't want to use a sous vide? They start at only $50 full price on ebay. Afterall, this particular characteristic is a consequence of cooking low and slow.
    – Austin759
    Mar 8 at 3:51
  • I live in a poor eastern european country as a student... I have access to good meat from a butcher but never an immediate 77 USD, the prices for ''electronics'' here is much higher than average. My wild guess is that the reason for not getting the rosy colored fiber in sliced steak is that the temp is not precise. Mar 8 at 16:25
  • Don't forget to let your steak get to room temperature before cooking it so that it is not too cold and overcook the exterior before the interior.
    – Max
    Mar 9 at 15:11
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You can certainly get good steak without sous vide, both in color and taste.

The quality of the meat matters, but is not the only variable. You should get the proper cut, and while the cow diet is not necessary for a red color, if it was slaughtered too young, the meat will be lighter in color. Not grey though, just a less saturated pink-red. And make sure that you have a thick enough cut, something very thin will not get a pink center.

The more important part, especially with your greyish results, is the temperature. If you get grey meat that is not juicy enough, you are overcooking your steak. It could be that your thermometer is inaccurate (hopefully you have a digital one, the analog ones aren't very useful), or simply that you are not accounting for the proper cooking process.

The temperature you see on the temperature chart is the final internal temperature at the core of your meat. You have to account for additional temperature rises both from the sear and from carryover during resting. So, if you think you want a 57 C steak, you should stop cooking it at maybe 54 (depends on thickness), and even earlier if you are doing a sear. The sear itself should be on a really hot pan, so you get a very short duration, maybe 15 seconds per side. It could also be that your preference is for a steak that is rarer than the average medium rare (that would be at 57 C), and/or that your thermometer is consistently undermeasuring the temperature.

Whatever the reason, just continue taking the meat out at lower thermometer readings until you get a result you are happy with, then stick with repeating it that way no matter what the thermometer shows.

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