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I have a whole whole beef tenderloin from Sam's, what's a recipe for medium-rare on the rare side?
- John Schoeneck
Note: The following article is an edited transcription from the video.
Like other sous vided meats, the doneness you want is all about the temperature it's cooked at. I have some charts on my sous vide Time and Temperatures page that gives you general ranges for rare, medium-rare, medium, etc.
I like 130°F (54.4°C) for a juicy medium-rare temperature, and it's out of the danger zone so you don't have to worry. I can sous vide a chuck steak at 130°F (54.4°C) for a few days, or I can do a filet at 130°F (54.4°C) for an hour. That temperature works great at both extremes.
But if you're trying to achieve something more on the rare side, I would say you might be happier with 127°F (52.8°C) or 128°F (53.3°C). But for a tenderloin, it's normally going to be 3 to 4 hours if you're at these lower temperatures. You'll only cook it for 2 to 4 hours because you're going to be right on the edge of the danger zone the whole time. So you're going to want to be careful and not be down at that temperature too long.
Note: For more information on the danger zone, you can read my article on Is Sous Vide Safe? Key Safety Guidelines.
If you're at 130°F (54.4°C) you can let it go a little bit longer. But it is filet, so the meat will be pretty tender before you even start the cook. Whereas to enjoy a prime rib roast, you would need to cook it the whole 10 hours at 130°F (54.4°C).
So, if you're looking for a rarer medium-rare then I would suggest trying 128°F (53.3°C) for 2 to 4 hours depending on the thickness of your whole tenderloin. You should be pretty happy with those results.
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