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Sep 3, 2012 10:28 PM

Top Sirloin Steak...Jaccard Meat Tenderized...Low Temperature Oven Roasted and Reverse Sear..Wow...Very Tender...With Pictures

I hate to say it, but I grew up being a red meat snob, having grown up in a restaurant family. The only cuts of meat I knew were New York Strip Sirloin, Filet Mignon and Flank Steak. As I got older, I learned about Delmonico/ Rib Eye/Prime Rib. I was never introduced to Top Round, London Broil or Chuck Beef in my family’s business or in our home. Meals of Pot Roast and Brisket were only eaten at the Delicatessen or Diner. Only in the last 20 years with the popularity of Mexican food and Skirt Steak have I realized there was a whole other world flavorful beef out there to be had. Finding out cheaper cuts and learning to roast them low and slow have been an area of cooking that greatly interests me. Using cheaper cuts and finding out how to make them enjoyable is a mission I want to conquer and pass the knowledge onto my son , extended family members and to the home cooks here on Chowhound…as such, I’ve always wondered how a home Jaccard Meat Tenderizer, or similar gadget, worked on inexpensive cuts of meats. This past year, I purchased a similar type of meat tenderizer I thought would aid me in punching, or needling holes in the skin of pork/pig, which aids in self basting and crisping the skin…..the NorPro Professional Meat Tenderizer, which is circular in pattern with 24 prongs that resemble nails.

This week, my local Supermarket had Top Sirloin Steaks on sale for $3.99/lb, normally 6.99-9.99/lb. Top Sirloin is not a cut of beef I would normally purchase due to it’s price, even if on sale…but this time I made an exception, as I was curious if the punching the meat with holes would make a difference in the tenderness. Top Sirloin Steak is a cut that is normally sold in Chain restaurants like Applebee’s, Friday’s and Outback…..I have tried the cut in the past, but never found it to very good for steaks, only good as a * Poor Man’s Roast Beef *. Given the inexpensive cost on sale, I figured it was time for another oven experiment and trying out the NorPro Professional Meat Tenderizer as well. I picked out a steak that was at least one inch thick and minimal marbling.

The process:
• Removed from packaging

• Punched the entire surface area of the steak three times on both sides of the steak

• Seasoned with Kosher Salt and Worcestershire Sauce

• Sat out for two hours until it reached a temperature of 57*

• Placed the steak on a wire rack into a pre-heated 275* oven, top rack.

• A digital probe thermometer was inserted and set for 95*

• It took 13 minutes to reach 95*

• Removed and placed onto a pre-heated Cast Iron Grill Pan to sear for 1minute and 15 seconds on each side, 2.5 minutes total time searing..

• Removed from grill pan and placed back onto the wire rack and covered for 8 minutes.

• Perfect Medium-Rare

This process produced a very tender steak to a perfect cooked temperature. The only negative was there was little Char and the steak was warm, not hot. This is a method I will use again, but for the next experiment, I plan to remove at 90*, use a hotter pan and sear for an additional minute, or 3.5-4.0 minutes before resting.

Enjoy the pictures.

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  1. Perfect least for my preferences.

    3 Replies
    1. re: fourunder

      Wow, that is gorgeous! As always, fourunder, greatly appreciate the informative post!

      1. re: GretchenS

        Thanks Gretchen... for the kind words

        1. re: GretchenS


          Having thought about this overnight.....Ideally, I would do this with a 2.0-2.5 inch steak using the same process, The thicker steak will allow for the longer searing time to create more char, or crust, without fear of elevating the doneness of the meat. The longer sear will also raise the heat temperature slightly, so that after the resting period, the steak should be slightly warmer, as well.

          The larger steak would make for easier and nice slicing for presentation. Also it would benefit in portion control to feed 2-4 people.....the one inch steak was 1.27 pounds.....doubling the thickness should increase the weight to 2-2.5 pounds.

      2. I wonder if a quick brine would make any difference.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ipsedixit

          If you choose to believe, just curious...or willing to on the link...

        2. I've been doing a reverse sear as well. Love the results

          1. Looks delicious... I wonder if the needle tenderizer is reallly needed?
            Also, have you tried the reverse sear method for better cuts, like a bone-in ribeye?

            I purchased USDA Choice bone-in ribeyes at a decent price, $5.99, and looking for a nice way to cook the steaks indoors.

            4 Replies
            1. re: dave_c

              I have done the 'reverse sear' method on ny & ribeyes... my go to technique for steaks now.

              edit: and it turned out wonderfully (forgot to mention the most important part lol... just as beautiful as these pictures on this thread

              1. re: dave_c

                I have done revere sear with porterhouse, strip loin and rib-eye steaks......the results are excellent, but i cannot honestly say it's been noticeably better than traditional methods when executed properly, i.e., the steak is not over-cooked. I attribute this to the fact the meat quality is already good, so tenderness should not really be an issue with Choice or Prime Grade. At 275* it's really not low and slow roasting like for Roast Beef or Standing Rib Roast....and the meat is not breaking down in the same fashion. With traditional higher heat or grilling, you can create a better char or crust on thinner steaks. For thicker 2+ inch steaks, char is not a problem with reverse sear..

                One thing roasting at 275*...opposed to 400-450* will that it makes it very difficult to overcook the steak past your intended mark, leading to any disappointment.

                1. re: fourunder

                  the biggest reason why i love that reverse sear is that it's soooo evenly pink (as you've shown in your picture). grilling and normal oven + high heat always seems to leave too much of the undesired grey/brown.

                  I dunno if it makes a difference but I go even lower than 275... i do it at 225. it's also easier when i cook multiple steaks :)

                  1. re: darrentran87

                    With regards to the advice is to go with what works best for you. There is no right or wrong.....The only important thing is to be happy with the results..