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How to Make a Sous Vide Tri-Tip

Written by Peter Allen on . Posted in food

If you have sampled tri-tips in the past, you can attest to the fact that they are quite delicious. This tri-tip recipe will change the way you view these delicacies and will open your eyes to other ways you can enjoy your steaks. I am the kind of person who enjoys cooking anywhere, be it in the kitchen or outdoors.

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As such, when the sun comes out, you will find me grilling my steaks in the outdoors as I entertain a couple of my friends. Top on their menu is always my tri-tip which has time and again proven to be one of the meals I have perfected. Though I do grill other steaks, the sous vide tri tip remains to be my favorite.

Here is some information as to this fantastic steak dish.

Sous Vide Tri-tip Roast

This recipe begins with a story as to how people came to perfect the grilling of steaks and thus, the origin of the sous vide tri-tip. If you have been to Santa Maria, the chances are high that you left Central California having eaten one of their BBQ beef tri-tips. If not, be sure to get one the next time you are in town.

This tri-tip stands out owing to its seasoning of garlic salt, black pepper, and salt. With these ingredients in play, people cannot help but want more grilled steak and customers turn up in plenty in restaurants with these foods.

The charcoal-grilling of the tri-tips takes place above red oakwood and coastal live oak, and you will love the smoky flavors within. If you taste their tri-tips, you will feel the difference between them and what you have had in the past. You see, most people believe that tri-tips must have sauce poured all over them for flavors to be present. With this version, you can happily munch away at your steak devoid the need of having to add anything.

The seasonings and the smoky flavors will be adequate, and you will thoroughly enjoy your meal.

In the recipe provided, you will notice that there is marination. It is at this point that seasoning takes place, at a time when the steak can quickly absorb the seasonings present. With black pepper, garlic, parsley, and black pepper in play, you will get to enjoy the natural flavor of the meat. You can have the beef accompanied by dishes such as green salad, salsa, pinquito beans as well as French bread. There are tons of other accompaniments that you can try out in this regard.

The Tri-tip

Thus far in the article, you may be wondering what tri-tip is and what the fuss is all about. People residing outside the US are likely not to have come across this term. The tri-tip is a beef cut from the bottom sirloin.

Given that it is triangular, it goes by the name tri-tip. People who live in California find it easy to get these parts in many establishments including their supermarkets. However, it gets harder as you move away from California. As such, you may find that you cannot find tri-tip in your region.

However, this should not deter you from making this tri-tip. You can as well get a two-inch sirloin steak in its stead. You will notice that this steak is not quite refined as compared to other cuts or filets. As such, the meat tends to be tough, and there is less marbling in play. You can deal with this hurdle by slicing your pieces thinly.

The Tri-tip Rub

A good tri-tip rub should include black pepper, salt and garlic salt/powder. There are garlic salt products on the market that have dried parsley in the mix. If you get one of these, you need not add parsley to the rub. If it does not contain parsley, add two teaspoons of dried parsley to your combo.

If you use garlic powder in favor of garlic salt, be sure to add salt to the combination. When it comes to seasoning, it is all about your preferences, and you can combine other ingredients such as cayenne pepper. This recipe comprises of a few simple components as explained above but this should in no way limit your choice of spices.

Sous Vide vs Grilling

For a long time, people have resorted to grilling when preparing steaks, and this has worked. However, there are challenges in the process. When making this tri-tip on the grill, you should set aside at least twenty minutes of cooking time. The timing, however, depends on the thickness and you could spend as many as forty minutes waiting for the steak to cook well.

It is also vital that you do not use direct heat. If you use direct heat, the outside will burn, and you will think that the steak is ready for eating. On cutting it, you will realize that the inside is raw and you will thus have to start again. I have been through this. The best way to go about it is to slit the sides and to use the indirect grilling method.

That said, using the sous vide method is the best way to ensure that you do not undercook or overcook your meat and the result will be excellent. You will notice that the steak will take up all the seasonings during the water bath process and the resultant steak will be oozing with delicious juices.

The liquid smoke emitted will add to the charcoal flavor exhibited in the steak, and it will also give it a charred finish like that you would get from grilling. In this way, if you taste a sous vide tri-tip prepared according to this recipe, you will get to take a trip to California on your stomach. I sure do hope that you have lots of fun in the preparation of this steak and that you fall in love with the results as well.

Sous Vide Tri-tip Cooking Time

It is always best to know how much time a recipe takes such that you can plan your time accordingly. The preparation time takes an estimate of ten minutes while cooking takes up two hours. The total time spent is thus two hours and ten minutes. The preparation time could be more for one reason or the other so be sure to note this. However, it will not exceed thirty minutes on average.

This tri-tip is a main-course meal and can serve as many as five people.

Ingredients

In the notes above, I have gone into detail as to what you should do if you opt to use garlic powder instead, garlic salt without parsley as well as other seasonings. Kindly refer to those notes if you face any difficulties regarding the ingredients stated.

Directions

Start by gathering all the ingredients you will need while paying attention to the variations stipulated. In the sous vide method it is necessary that you preheat water to a temperature you feel is suitable for the cooking. Supposing your cut is a medium rare, the ideal temperature would be fifty-seven degrees Celsius or the equivalent of this in degrees Fahrenheit.

Next, prepare the seasoning. Start by grinding the black pepper to ensure that what you use on the steak is fresh as this will further enhance the flavors. From here combine the ground pepper and garlic salt in a small bowl. If your garlic salt does not contain parsley, be sure to add it at this juncture. Combine the ingredients evenly before taking a generous portion of the same and sprinkling it on one side of the tri-tip. You should spread the seasoning until it covers the entire front. As such, make sure that there are no patches devoid of the spices. Next, do this on the other side of the tri-tip, ensuring that you cover all areas. There is no need for further seasoning at later stages so you can use all the spices at this stage.

One of the qualities that people love about cooking the sous vide way is that they can do away with having to marinate meat and wait before cooking. In this manner, create a bag with a vacuum sealer. If you do not have one at hand, you can use a ziplock bag that is tolerant to high temperatures.

Next, add the seasoned meat in the container and if there are any left-over spices, sprinkle them on the beef. Add the oil and the liquid smoke into the bag before sealing it tightly. If you have used a vacuum sealer, be sure to select the moisture option if there is one to account for the oil in the bag. If there is none, worry not and place the bag into the preheated water. It takes one hour for a one-inch steak to be ready for eating. As such, calculate the time needed for your steak using this rule of thumb.

Here is something you need to know about using the sous vide method: your steak cannot overcook.

Let’s suppose that you leave it cooking, and you forget all about it only to remember five hours later. You will find that its quality is the same as long as the temperature of the water does not change. However, you should note that there is a limit as to how much time your beef tri-tip steak should be in the water. After six hours, the quality will change owing to the breaking apart of protein, and this will affect the steak’s texture.

Given that it is a two-inch steak, the tri-tip will cook for two hours. When this time is up, heat up the grill to two hundred and five degrees Celsius. Once the rack has adequate heat, take your bag and cut it open. It could be that you are not planning on eating the steak at that point. In such a case, soak the tri-tip in iced water for at least thirty minutes and then move it to the refrigerator. The ingredients of iced water are as follows: one part ice and one part water. If you plan on eating the meat, sear it on both sides for one minute. You can then slice the steak and enjoy it without having to let it sit as it is ready.

Tri-tips on the market often have sizes ranging from 2 ½ lb all the way to 4 lb. I have come to see that the average serving for one adult is about ½ lb. As such, you should look into the quantity before commencing the preparations. You can also opt to use other meats with this recipe such as a London broil or a thick sirloin steak. The results will be just as amazing.

Conclusion

Using the sous vide method comes with a broad range of benefits. For one, you get to enhance the flavors in the food, and you thus require little or no salt when eating. Also, it is a healthier way of cooking, and it results in tender meat that turns out perfect each time. You also get to have stress-free cooking, and you can organize your time and cook lots of food at once.

In addition to this, you can say goodbye to overcooking food, and it saves you money concerning food wastage. It also prolongs the shelf life of your steaks by enabling you to cool, freeze, thaw and reheat your meals.

Owing to all these benefits, I had to try out a sous vide tri-tip steak, and I must say that there is no looking back for me. Thank you for reading this sous vide tri-tip recipe and I hope that you enjoy it as much as I do. Cheers to healthier living!

Peter Allen

Peter Allen

Peter's path through the culinary world has taken a number of unexpected turns. After starting out as a waiter at the age of 16, he was inspired to go to culinary school and learn the tricks of the trade. As he delved deeper, however, his career took a sudden turn when a family friend needed someone to help manage his business. Peter now scratches his culinary itch on the internet by blogging, sharing recipes, and socializing with food enthusiasts worldwide.

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