Flat iron & eye of round - smoke plus sous vide

Discussion in 'Beef' started by shyzabrau, May 19, 2017.

  1. I spotted an eye of round roast at a decent price a couple of days ago and decided to make "roast" beef. I figured, while I was smoking it, I would throw a flat iron steak in as well. And, what the heck, a couple of potatoes as well.

    I salted both pieces of meat and put them uncovered in the fridge for three hours.

    I just used salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder on the flat iron steak. I used my butt rub on the roast. The potatoes are rubbed with olive oil and dusted with salt and pepper.

    Here is the questionable tactic...

    I used the AMZNPS (with the pitmaster blend) as my only source of heat for four hours (inside the Bradley Electric). After four hours, I pulled the flat iron steak and vacuum-sealed it and put in in a sous vide bath for one hour at 130* F. I turned on the heater in the Bradley (220* F) and started the Bradley biscuit heater (with cherry) for double smoke for another hour.

    The internal temperature of the flat iron steak was just over 100* F when I put it in the sous vide. Was it too long in the "danger zone"? 

    After I pulled the flat iron steak from the sous vide, I put it under the broiler (at 500* F) for two minutes on one side and one minute on the other. 


    I halved the potatoes and scooped out the innards. I put the skins in the oven with some olive oil, salt and pepper, to crisp up. I mashed the potato flesh with sauteed mixture of onions, finely diced andouille, and garlic. Mixed in some fresh oregano and thyme. Put the mash back in the skins and baked to get a bit of color on top. Finished with some more black pepper, ancho chile powder and fresh chives.

    I poured a bit of smoky au jus (to steal a phrase) over the steak. (Smokey au jus was just the bag juices mixed with some beef stock and slightly reduced.)

    Perfectly cooked steak. The wife didn't care for the smoke character. She thought it was okay, but would prefer it unsmoked. I told her I would get kicked out of the SMF for admitting that! She does understand that I am still playing with my new toys...

    The roast is still in the sous vide, targeting 24 hours. I will pull it and slice it this evening.
    bearcarver and smokinal like this.
  2. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Looks tasty! My wife isn't a b ig fan of smoked food either. Which means more for us guys!
  3. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    That Makes 3 of us!!!

    Doug's stuff here looks Great !!![​IMG]---[​IMG]

    I'm waiting for answers to your questions too, Doug.

    Last edited: May 19, 2017
  4. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I think that meal looks fantastic.

    JJ is probably going to say that 4 hours of cold smoke & then SV at 130 was probably not a good idea.

    I would guess that 2-3 hours, then SV, then 225 in the Bradley, but I'm certainly no food safety expert.

    So I PM'd JJ & when he comes on he can give you a definite answer.

    I'm still going to give you a point for a delicious looking meal!

  5. I would call it "warm smoke" - it was around 120 - 130.
  6. Thanks, guys!
  7. submariner

    submariner Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Now you have gone and done it..... You made me hungry and its Friday so......  Off to store to get whatever I am smoking this weekend!!!!
  8. After twenty four hours in the sous vide, time to pull the roast and check it out!

    Holy cow! This is the most tender and juicy roast that I've ever made! Once I stopped stuffing my face, I vacuum-sealed it again and put it in the freezer so I can slice it thin. On the menu for Sunday.

    Luckily it is vacuum-sealed or I would eat more right now.
  9. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Tender & Juicy Eye Round???  [​IMG]

    24 Hours at what Temp???

  10. smokeymose

    smokeymose Master of the Pit

    It looks great! Flatiron is made for Sous Vide as far as I'm concerned. Beef seems to be more forgiving as far as danger zone, but I'm no expert by any means. You cooked to temp in the end, though, right? I sure wouldn't do that with pork or chicken...
    Love that tater!
    It seems like a lot of our better halves don't share the love of smoke we have, but they love us and put up with it ☺️
  11. Bear, it was nearly prime rib!

    I had it at 130.
  12. Thanks, Smokey! Yeah, flatiron has great taste but is very easy to over cook.
  13. smokeymose

    smokeymose Master of the Pit

    That's why it's perfect for SV. Give it an hour or so in the water and give it a quick sear...
  14. I'm really enjoying using the SV. I take a lot of satisfaction making good food out of a cheap piece of meat!
  15. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Yes 4 hours of cold smoke 70 to 100, then SV would have been very risky. Especially if not intact muscle. In this situation, the salt helped, the actual temp being 120+ is better than a lower temp, then the final hot sear. However, there are bacteria, Staph Aureus among a few others, that are extremely common on humans. They infects cuts, are found in pimples and commonly found in the mouth, cause bad breath. They can not only stand higher temps but make heat stable toxin that the sear would not have eliminated. So if adding some cold smoke, always use intact meat, at no less than 130 and for no more than 2 hours.
    The meat looks great...JJ
  16. Thanks, JJ.

    If I only go for two hours, I won't get a lot of smoke. If I go to a higher temp, the meat will overcook.

    How do you smoke steaks?
  17. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Thank You!!! [​IMG]

    That's one I have to try when I get caught up & get a good price on an Eye Round.

  18. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    As the smoker temp goes below 160 the risk of bacteria growth increases. I say RISK because there are no guarantees. After all there is a risk of Salmonella eating runny eggs. A healthy adult can handle some bacteria but children and the elderly can't. You need to assess how much risk you are willing to take for some smoke on a steak you plan to SV. I don't smoke anything below 200 because my wife has no spleen and is immunodeficient so l don't take risks. A good way to hedge your bets is to rub the steak with a teaspoon or so of Baking Powder and a rub with Salt. The salt helps kill bacteria as does the alkaline condition the baking powder creates. The higher pH also enhances the Maillard Reaction and the steak will later sear extremely quickly allowing the meat to stay rare. So use your judgement. Below is an article from SousVide Supreme that backs my facts...JJ


    Posted on August 11, 2014 by SousVide Supreme
    Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF
    Among the many benefits of cooking foods sous vide and finishing on the grill–flavor, tenderness, convenience, enjoying your own party–one missing ingredient for serious barbecue devotees is the deep smoky flavor in barbecued foods when they visit the grill only for a quick surface sear.

    SVS Pan of Smoking Coals photoWe’re fans of smoky goodness, too, so we were determined to find a way (or ways) that we could impart the complex flavors of smoke to sous vide cooked meats and fish, but not wind up with an overcooked end product. We didn’t want to undermine the whole point of sous vide perfection in these areas in search of smoke.

    So the question was how? Hot or cold? Before or after? Let’s take a look at the possibilities.

    Hot Smoking

    Hot smoking is a traditional method of slowly cooking food over an indirect fire. Pretty much all great Southern barbecue is slow cooked in hot smoke, typically in the 225F to 250F (107C to 120C) range for varying amounts of time per pound. In the hands of an experienced pit master, it can be sublime and each one has his (or her) own secrets to attain perfection.The meat or fish so handled often reaches internal temperatures of 185F/85C or more, which, in the hands of lesser pit mortals, because they’re well above the rare to medium rare range we might like for, say, a hunk of prime rib or tri-tip roast, could result in an outcome less sublime.

    Hot Smoking Fish With great care in timing, however, you can impart some smoke with a brief visit to a hot smoker (say maybe 10 to 20 minutes depending on the thickness of what you’re smoking) but this will only give time for the smoke to permeate the very outer parts of the meat surface and might be too long for fish.

    CastIron_Smoker This kind of hot smoking technique is one done in a dedicated hot smoker with an offset firebox, like the set up at right, or even just in a closed-top grill with a pan of wood chips on the flame and the food kept well away from the direct heat. Or, if you have a smaller budget or not much space, you can even do it in a small stovetop smoking set up. Just a few minutes of hot smoke with your wood of choice will add a bit of that flavor your miss. Just don’t go too long at those temps or you’ll have overcooked food.

    When to do it?

    You can actually do it either before or after sous vide cooking, but we would recommend that you do it after. Cook the food sous vide first to its ideal temperature. The benefit here is that you can pre-cook a variety of foods from steaks and chops and roasts to even salmon or trout or corn each at its preferred temp, quick chill in the pouch, and store in the refrigerator for a couple of days, if needed. Then when ready to finish, remove the food from its pouch, pat the exterior good and dry, and then expose it to the hot smoke for about 10 to 20 minutes before moving on to finishing with a sear with a torch or under the broiler or on the hot part of the grill. This will give a more prominent smoky flavor to the finished product. And if you’re cooking a mixed grill, if you precook, you can smoke and finish all the various types of food at once.

    Cold Smoking

    fish_on_a_stickCold smoking, a traditional method of food preservation that’s been practiced by cultures all over the globe for many centuries, does not actually cook the food. And because it doesn’t, you can leave the food in the smoke for a couple of hours and give it time to deeply penetrate, without risk either of overcooking and drying out the meat or fish or of raising an army of unfriendly food-borne bacteria. And further, since it still remains to be cooked, it makes it a perfect companion for sous vide cooking.

    Cold smoking is usually done in the 70F to 100F (20C to 37C) range, obviously far below the final ideal cooking temperature for even the rarest of meat or fish. The antimicrobial effects of the smoke itself (and the salt or sugar cures usually applied beforehand) allow safe smoking for up to 2 or 3 hours, even though these temperatures are firmly within the ‘danger’ zone for bacterial growth. The experts recommend applying about 40 minutes of cold smoke to steaks and chops and up to 2 or 3 hours for roasts or thicker cuts. Then either refrigerating below 40F/5C or immediately cooking.

    There are several types of devices you can use for cold smoking, depending on how much smoking you do and how often, from the Cadillac for the serious smoking afficianado, such as a Bradley Cold Smoker, to the entry level models, such as inexpensive pellet smokers you can use with your closed-lid grill.

    Other Smoking Methods

    Another alternative for quick application of smoke would be to go high tech and use the Smoking Gun, which since it just adds a surface blanket of smoke is best applied to the product after sous vide cooking and just before searing.

    One last alternative, the cheapest and easiest to use, is to add a little bit of Powdered Smoke to your dry rub or seasoning mixture, applied before you put the food into the pouch for sous vide cooking. In our experience, even with long cooking of short ribs or tri-tip, the smoky aroma is still quite pronounced, though the flavor, while nice, is somewhat fainter.
    Last edited: May 20, 2017
  19. smokeymose

    smokeymose Master of the Pit

    Thank you, JJ! Excellent info!
  20. Thanks, JJ. Maybe my next steak, I'll light both ends of the AMNPS to double up the smoke and keep it to two hours.

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