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London broil sous vide

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. 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

      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

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

        1. re: c oliver

          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

            Thanks for the clarification, wyogal.

        2. re: law_doc89

          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

            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

              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

                Thank you. I am learning this technique.

          2. re: law_doc89

            Really? SV flank steak is amazing.

              1. re: law_doc89

                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

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

            1. re: wattacetti

              "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.

            2. 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. 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

                  "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

                    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

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

                      1. re: grampart

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

                        1. re: grampart

                          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

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

                            1. re: grampart

                              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.