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I've never cooked sous vide before, but am now equipped to try thanks to the holidays.

We have a 3 pound chuck roast -- I'm not sure what the exact cut shape is, but it's vaguely cube shaped. If we cut the roast into steaks (1-2 inches thick) before bagging and cooking, what effect would this have on the cooking time and/or quality?

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    I thought I'd at least answer your question... sous vide cooking is a function of temperature and the surface area to volume ratio of the food in question. If you have a high surface area to volume the cooking time will be shorter. Steaks would have a higher ratio than the roast. – Mr. Mascaro Jan 7 '15 at 19:24
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Sous vide cooking is a function of temperature and the surface area to volume ratio of the food in question.

If you have a high surface area to volume the cooking time will be shorter. Steaks would have a higher ratio than the roast so they would take less time than the roast. The amount of the time difference is difficult to predict exactly over such a long time scale, but a rough calculation of the ratio I spoke of would be a good starting point for a compensation factor.

If you have the time and your water bath can accommodate, I'd suggest keeping the roast whole and finishing in a skillet. It's much more impressive than a steak.

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That's the first thing I did with my Anova circulator.

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It turns chuck into ribeye! (so to speak) Notice no grey border? And the perfect medium rare?!

I don't know about sous-vide cooking chuck as a roast (although I do have a recipe), because I haven't done it (yet). It turned out so great as a steak that I'll probably do at least one more as steaks before I do a roast. I live alone so I'd rather have 5 steaks vacuum packed in the freezer than 1 beautifully cooked roast.

That is chuck, circulated for 60 hours (no joke, although I did one for 36 hours that was almost as good) at 131F. The long time is necessary to break down all of that delicious connective tissue.

Then I seared in a NASA hot cast iron skillet.

It was so good! I sprinkled with salt and pepper just before I seared, that was all the seasoning I used. Great steak for the price of hamburger :)

Good luck! Enjoy!

  • That looks terrific. I need to start TONIGHT on this -- it's going to be Friday's dinner :) – Erica Jan 7 '15 at 17:15
  • @Erica Enjoy! It works great. You won't believe you're eating chuck. It really does seem like ribeye. – Jolenealaska Jan 7 '15 at 18:11
  • based on my office, 'NASA hot' requires a space heater so you don't freeze. – Joe Jan 8 '15 at 4:02
  • Is that a chuck steak, or a chuck eye? Looks like the latter, which can be cooked just like a ribeye. It's actually the continuation of the rib muscle, into the chuck roll. – Sean Hart Jan 8 '15 at 14:31
  • @SeanHart It's just a chuck roast that I cut into 5 steaks. That one was in the middle somewhere. The roast looked like this: 3dvalleyfarms.com/product/chuck-roast-boneless – Jolenealaska Jan 8 '15 at 14:36

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