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London broil sous vide

law_doc89 Apr 23, 2013 03:08 PM

I made my first london broil using the SV. Following Baldwin, did 2.75 lbs at 132 for about 30 hours. Beautifully pink and flavorful, but the fibers had really broken down too much, and it was dry. I have run into this before with other cuts where I think Baldwin recommends way too long. I am going to repeat at the same temp for about 10 hours.

Are others finding that the times are too long in the Baldwin recs?

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  1. w
    wattacetti Apr 23, 2013 05:54 PM

    London Broil is flank steak so I'm not sure why you're using such a long bath temp for this particular cut as it's not exactly full of fat or connective tissue. it's also not that thick, so perhaps a couple of hours rather than even 10.

    I don't use Baldwin's recommendations for cooking times.

    13 Replies
    1. re: wattacetti
      law_doc89 Apr 23, 2013 06:10 PM

      I'm talking top round LB. Thanks, I'm finding the cooking times ridiculously long.

      I would never use SV for flank steak either.

      1. re: law_doc89
        c oliver Apr 23, 2013 07:01 PM

        I was under the impression that London Broil is a technique for cooking flank steak.

        1. re: c oliver
          wyogal Apr 23, 2013 07:19 PM

          It can also be a top round. But along the same lines, "London Broil" is a method of preparation, so I would consider a different method to NOT be a London broil. I would call this sous vide top round.

          1. re: wyogal
            c oliver Apr 23, 2013 07:28 PM

            Thanks for the clarification, wyogal.

        2. re: law_doc89
          wattacetti Apr 23, 2013 07:48 PM

          Well, top round isn't exactly fully of connective tissue and fat either so there's nothing really to break down to make the end result juicier.

          I'm assuming that the piece you purchased is similar in thickness to flank, so dropping down the time to a couple of hours should still be more than adequate.

          SV flank is feasible but you'd want to use a ceramic (IR) burner or a konro grill to quickly color/char the outside after it comes out of the bag.

          1. re: wattacetti
            law_doc89 Apr 24, 2013 05:01 AM

            No, about 2 inches thick, a little less.

            You all are confirming, however, that some of the Baldwin times seem screwy, so I am wondering whats up?

            I have had some professionally done SV, and know when done right this stuff can define perfection. Still learning.

            Found this link:


            and think maybe this is too much also.

            1. re: law_doc89
              wattacetti Apr 24, 2013 08:05 AM

              I'm not sure if Baldwin fully took into account the cuts of meat he was using.

              For the link provided, the temperature and timing are quite high. 131ºF and 4.5 hours is what I use for a well-marbled côte de boeuf that's around 3 inches thick. The only reason for me to go up that high is to give a chance for the internal fat to melt, but it provides a medium-rare.

              Top round and flank should be rare, so perhaps 125ºF for 2-3 couple of hours for the cut of meat you had.

              1. re: wattacetti
                law_doc89 Apr 24, 2013 03:59 PM

                Thank you. I am learning this technique.

          2. re: law_doc89
            pikawicca Apr 24, 2013 07:47 PM

            Really? SV flank steak is amazing.

            1. re: pikawicca
              law_doc89 Apr 24, 2013 08:08 PM

              Please say more.

              1. re: law_doc89
                pikawicca Apr 25, 2013 05:27 AM

                Marinade in a mixture of equal parts white wine and soy sauce, a touch of EVOO, chopped rosemary, S & P. SV at 134 for about 10 hours. Sear w/torch. Really good -- tender and juicy.

              2. re: pikawicca
                c oliver Apr 24, 2013 08:48 PM

                Since you're my queen of SV, I bow to you, p.

            2. re: wattacetti
              Brandon Nelson Apr 24, 2013 06:14 PM

              "London Broil" is a technique for cooking cheaper beef cuts, and has been used on a variety of different fabrications.

              London Broil" when sold as a cut of beef is a roast cut from the top round, which is a sub primal of the round (the hip for geographies sake)

              The Flank is its own singular primal that would be the abdominal muscles on a human.

              We use the term as both a way to cook, and a particular cut of meat. Makes for lots of confusion.

            3. d
              darrentran87 Apr 23, 2013 09:35 PM

              As many others have said, you should not be cooking the top round for that long. There is no benefit to it, only negatives, as you have experienced. As wattacetti mentioned, 45 minutes to 2 hours (dunno if it's thick or long to be 2.75 lbs)...the quickest way to get it to 120 or 125 would be perfect imo

              1. b
                Brandon Nelson Apr 24, 2013 06:21 PM

                I would limit the use of sous vide to cuts like shank, oxtail, short ribs, or brisket. These tough cuts become very tender when cooked in this fashion.

                Cooking already tender cuts this way detracts from their texture .

                8 Replies
                1. re: Brandon Nelson
                  grampart Apr 24, 2013 06:41 PM

                  "Cooking already tender cuts this way detracts from their texture ."

                  Only if held long after the time they're ready to eat. I've done Berkshire pork chops and ribeye steaks and they were better than those done by any other method. Especially the steaks,which were a perfect medium rare from sear to sear. Try and do that on a grill.

                  1. re: grampart
                    Brandon Nelson Apr 24, 2013 06:57 PM

                    I have done it on the grill actually, but I have some professional cooking under my belt, some schooling, and I am a butcher by trade. It is my job to know meat product, and know it well.

                    Most folks following this SV craze are using a thermometer for the first time. That is the tool that insures spot on results.

                    1. re: Brandon Nelson
                      grampart Apr 24, 2013 07:05 PM

                      I find it hard to believe you can cook a steak on a grill that looks like this photo.

                      1. re: grampart
                        c oliver Apr 24, 2013 07:10 PM

                        I get closest to that by starting on the cooktop in a CI skillet and finishing in a hot oven.

                        1. re: grampart
                          Brandon Nelson Apr 24, 2013 07:14 PM

                          Is that a pic of your London broil that was "dry" with "broken down fibers"?

                          I cook for eating quality, not for porn shoots.

                          1. re: Brandon Nelson
                            grampart Apr 24, 2013 07:21 PM

                            Not sure what the London broil comment means, but I believe you're changing the subject.

                            1. re: Brandon Nelson
                              law_doc89 Apr 24, 2013 07:40 PM

                              That is not I, the OP.

                            2. re: grampart
                              sal_acid Apr 24, 2013 07:59 PM

                              I use SV a lot, but I have to say that I can get the result of that photo with SV + sear... or with sear + roast and rest. Both will produce that outcome if you do it right.
                              On a grill?...pretty tough to get that photo..but you probably can if you work at it. Grill + indirect heat roast + rest.

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