Tri tip is hands down one of our favorite things to cook sous vide. This meat is delicious in any preparation style, but cooking it sous vide takes it to the next level. The meat becomes incredibly tender and juicy, while having sporting an edge to edge rosy color. For this cook, we took the tri tip to the next level by seasoning it with Santa Maria inspired spices. And boy, it is amazing.
We hope you obsess over sous vide tri tip as much as we do.
Time and Temperature
Through loads of experimentation, we’ve found that cooking the tri tip at 131F for 6 hours is the perfect combo. Leaving the tri tip in for 6 hours breaks down the connective tissue (collagen), which results in an extremely tender roast. Also, cooking them at a temperature of 131F is the sweet spot for that perfect edge to edge rosy color. Just make sure you have a reliable sous vide that accurately regulates the temperature of the bath or your results may vary (check out the Anova or Joule). For other time and temperature options, check out our cooking guide here.
Carving the Tri Tip
Slicing tri tip can be a bit tricky since the grain can change direction on the roast. So make sure to take a look at the raw meat and determine which direction the strands of muscle fiber are running on each section of the beef. After the trip tip is seared, you want to cut the roast in two separate pieces where the grain changes direction. At this point, make sure your knife is real sharp so you can effortlessly carve this heavenly piece of meat. I recommend the E5 electric knife sharpener for the job. Then slice each piece separately against the grain.
Sous Vide Machine – This one is obvious. To cook sous vide, you’re going to need a device to precisely regulate the temperature of the bath water. The two best sous vide machines in the game right now are the Anova Precision Cooker and the Breville Joule. The main difference between the two is that with the Anova you can control the device both manually and with a mobile device, and with the Joule you can only control the device by using your mobile device. Either way, both sous vide machines are top class and you can’t go wrong with either choice.
12-quart Container – Although you can use a basic stockpot for your sous vide cooking needs, I highly recommend buying a large plastic container. They are inexpensive and spacious, so you won’t have to worry about cooking a big roast in a small pot. I recommend a 12 quart Rubbermaid container, as it is BPA free, sturdy, and large enough for just about anything you will be cooking.
Container Lid – If you are going to buy a plastic container, I highly suggest buying a compatible lid for it. When you sous vide for a long duration, the heat of the water causes evaporation. With a lid, it eliminates a majority of the evaporation so you can cook for 72 hours care-free.
Cast Iron Skillet – If you are looking to take your searing game to the next level, we recommend investing in a cast iron skillet. By using a cast iron in this recipe, you’ll achieve a deep sear on the protein. Cast irons are also extremely handy for searing just about any and all sous vide meat. Lodge offers the best quality and price, which is why it is our favorite cast iron brand.
Check out our full list of recommended gear here.
Sous Vide Tri Tip - Santa Maria Style
- 3 - 4 lb Tri Tip Roast
- 1 Tbsp Kosher salt
- 1 Tbsp Ground black pepper
- 1 Tbsp Garlic powder
- 1 Tbsp Onion powder
- 1 Tbsp Dried oregano
- 1 tsp Cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp Dried rosemary
- 1/2 tsp Dried sage
Set sous vide machine to 55C/131F.
Place the tri tip in a freezer bag, and remove the air through a vacuum sealer or the displacement method. Drop tri tip in the bath for 6 hours.
In a small bowl, mix together salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion, powder, oregano, cayenne pepper, rosemary and sage to create spice blend.
Remove bag from bath. Take tri tip out of the bag, pat dry and season with spice blend. Heat pan on high and add oil. Sear for 1 to 2 minutes on each side.
Slice and serve tri tip with your favorite BBQ sauce or topping and enjoy!