After discovering that the nice, thick t-bone destined for dinner was still mostly frozen at 2 hours out, I decided to try cooking it sous vide. Sous vide (a.k.a. hot tubbing) is a cooking technique that I don’t use nearly as often as I should. The food is vacuum sealed in a plastic bag, put into a water bath, and then held at an almost-done temperature for as long as you can stand it before finishing it on the grill.
The compromise at our house on when a steak is “done” is on the medium side of medium-rare, ideally coming off the grill at 130°F internal and reaching 135°F by the time it hits the table. The joy of sous vide is that by holding the meat at 120°F, all the grillmeister has to do is put a sear on it to get a nice, wide band of meat done the way you like it without much of a ring of gray meat around it.
So, I sealed the unseasoned steak in a FoodSaver bag and floated it in an old beer cooler that I had filled with 120°F water. After 15 minutes, the water had dropped to 115°F, so I added more hot water to bring the temp up to 120°F again and closed the lid. After and hour the temp had dropped to 110°F, so I added more hot water to bring it back up to 120°F and went off the get the grill ready.
I set the Big Green Egg up for a direct cook at sub-nuclear temp, about 700°F. When the grill was ready, I removed the steak from the bag, seasoned it heavily with some ground sea salt and black pepper, and slapped it on the pre-heated cooking grate.
I seared the steak for 60 seconds on each side, then turned it 90° (to get those fancy, cross-hatched grill marks) and grilled it for another 60 seconds on each side. I checked the temp and found that while the ribeye side was done, the strip side wasn’t there yet. So I grabbed the steak with the tongs, turned it sideways to the strip side was down, and grilled it for another 30 seconds. Then I moved it off the heat to rest for 10 minutes.
Big band of tender, rosy-red meat with a great crunchy char on it. Perfect. Both the ribeye and the strip seems to have picked up a bit stronger mineral/beefy taste than normal. Might be from the enzyme voodoo that’s supposed to happen when you hold warm food in a vacuum.
If you trim it, t-bone steak is 5 points for 3 ounces of meat.