Originally Posted by restrac2000
Never heard of it that way. How does it heat consistently and evenly without a heating source of some sort?
Didn't wanna hijack the thread but then I realized you are the op, so here it goes...
I'll try to explain what i did and how I will improve it next time.
The method I've heard described used just one cooler. If I had a yeti or some fancy cooler I would have used that, but I don't so I used a small "lunch" cooler that would fit inside a larger coleman 48 to try and minimize heat loss.
Before hand, put your meat out to come up to room temp, this is an extremely important step. I then seasoned a ribeye right before I vacuum sealed it which was done right before it was to go into the water. I waffled back n forth as to whether I wanted to season it before cooking or after and couldn't find anything saying one way was better than the other.
About 20 mins or so before I wanted to start cooking I "charged" both coolers by filling them with the hottest water I could get from the tap, put the small one inside the big one and let them sit to warm up.....it temped out @ 119 deg.
I also had a few pots of boiling water going this whole time. Right after the steak was sealed and right before I was going to put the steak in, I poured the water from the mini cooler into the big cooler to mix them together so all the water used would be the same temp. Then I added boiling water to bring the water bath up to 137 deg figuring I'd lose a couple degrees over the hour.... I wanted my steak to be 135.
I filled the small cooler up with this 137 deg water put the steak in it, locked the lid down and put the mini cooler back in the water left in the big cooler. I closed the big cooler and let it sit for 1 hour.
Once the hour was up, my water temped out @ 128, meaning my steak was @ 128 deg as well. I lost alot more heat than I figured.
I took the steak out and seared it with a culinary torch because I like a good sear w/ caramalization (i also like my food to look good- I managed a kitchen far too long for me to make ugly food), but this step isn't necessary and it took way more time than I thought it would. I think because so much moisture is still in/on the meat.
It turned out great; evenly cooked, incredibly tender and juicy... even if it was rarer than I had intended. I'll definitely use the method again in times when I am in no hurry and want a perfectly cooked steak. It's easy and hands off, although it takes awhile. It's nice that you don't have to rest the steak after cooking though.
Next time I will warm the coolers up with water the same temp I want to cook at....I believe that is where all my heat went (notice 128 is the average of 119 + 137). I think I will still give it a degree or two above my target temp. Also next time I will sear it in my cast iron skillet by getting it smoking hot....probably by letting it sit under the broiler for a few minutes...that way I can get a sear on both sides in seconds. Alot like making a steak "black and blue" or "pittsburgh style" if you are familiar with that. I also picked up a probe thermometer that I might use for this (if I can close the lids well enough) just so I can watch what is happening.