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Oct 15, 2010

Sci-Fi Steak

The things that will get my husband into the kitchen to cook ...(eyes rolling). It's either a "MacGyver" dish or something like this... technical. Mr Extremes.

Maybe I shouldn't name it "Sci-Fi Steak" but "Scientific Steak". He watched a program called Kitchen Chemistry and the lightbulb on the top of his head lit up...and I could see the gears in his head start churning.

I'm not complaining, it turned out beautifully. If you like your steaks flavorful, juicy, tender and perfectly medium rare, this is the method to achieve it. This method creates the most evenly cooked steaks I've ever experienced....beautifully pink throughout. Not a graduation from fully cooked to the cold, raw centers we usually get when we ask for medium rare / rare "doneness". Is it only me or does anyone else have a problem with the term "doneness"?


1 large pot

1 pair of long stainless steel tongs

1 chopstick / skewer

Elastic bands

Heatproof plastic bag / Baking bag

Cooking thermometer



2 steaks of your choice

salt, pepper to taste

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 small onion, chopped

Clarified butter / Ghee


Bring a pot of water to a steady 60˚C. Use cooking thermometer to accurately maintain temperature.

Season steaks.

Heat pan with a little clarified butter / ghee and quickly sear both sides of the steaks on high heat. Remove. Add the chopped garlic and onion into the hot pan and stir until aromas are released. Take care not to burn the garlic. Remove pan from heat. Return the steaks to the pan and stir to mix through.

Put pan contents into a heat proof plastic bag. Expell as much air as possible and seal with elastic bands. Be careful not to scald yourself.

- A sealed vacuum in the bag is ideal. But if a little care is taken and there are no obviously large pockets of air in the bag, the dish will work out fine.

This is where my husband went MacGyver on me and used a contraption made up of, a short length of stainless steel tube, elastic bands, a wine bottle stopper and its related vacuum pump to achieve a sealed vacuum without a commercial vacuum sealing device. -

Suspend the sealed bag in the pot of 60˚C water for a minimum of 2 hours.

Remove steaks from bag. Serve immediately, no resting needed.

Reserve liquid. Thicken and season to taste. Serve with steaks.

* Side dishes - roasted potatoes, vegetables etc.

Recommended read - see, The method is apparently from the 1800's....where they found plastic bags, I wonder....hmmm. Searing the steaks first arguably has taste and food safety benefits. Keeping a 60˚C water bath sacrifices the last bit of tenderness but is above the recommended pasteurization temperature.



  1. Hi Ping,

    Nice blog and interesting too....will be dropping by often :)

  2. Hi Elin,
    Thanks for dropping by.

  3. Hi Ping, thanks for the birthday wishes :)

  4. really interesting recipe! enlightens me alot :)