Patterico's Pontifications


Another Tri-Tip Done Sous Vide

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:24 pm

After much experimenting with sous vide, I find that I like aspects of grilled food, and aspects of sous vide. Sous vide gives you tenderness and even cooking. Grilling gives you that excellent outside texture.

Tonight, I experimented with doing a tri-tip in a little different way that I hoped might combine the benefits of each. First, I put the meat in the sous vide machine at 134 degrees Fahrenheit for 7 1/2 hours. (It’s recommended to cook these for 8-24 hours, so this was under the minimum time they recommend, but already far longer than the pasteurization time needed.) Then I slapped them on the grill at 400-500 degrees for four minutes a side (far more than the 30 seconds to a minute they recommend).

The result was heavenly. I lost none of the Maillard reaction you get that makes the sear necessary. But the inside was immensely tender and just the right shade of pink. (It didn’t hurt that, unlike my initial effort, I have now learned to cut against the grain — a process that requires cutting the piece of meat in the middle, and then cutting each one a different direction.)

I may experiment with even shorter sous vide times in the machine. (I once tried 24 hours, the highest recommended time, and I do not recommend that — the meat had essentially turned to mush. Tasty mush, but mush.) I think longer grilling times and shorter sous vide times will get me the best of both worlds: meat that is cooked perfectly throughout, but which retains that grilled texture that makes grilled food so appealing. I definitely recommend that anyone who gets the machine lean towards the shortest cooking times possible.

Did anyone who got one of these machines (I know a couple of you did) enjoy the results? If so, let me know.

P.S. The promo pack is still available on Amazon, but it’s now $479. When I recommended it to you, it was at a historically cheap $395. Shoulda listened to me then!

16 Responses to “Another Tri-Tip Done Sous Vide”

  1. I should have taken pictures, I know, but I was too hungry. The pinkest pieces are already gone.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  2. We like our sous vide machine, but for Tri Tip, it’s going on the Traeger smoker. Come down to North San Diego county and I’ll put some on the smoker for you and the Mrs. P.

    Charlie (1bf147)

  3. Shared this tonight at Ace of Spades, Patterico.

    Some folks agree SV is fantastic, some won’t part with their grills. :-)

    qdpsteve (dc96f6)

  4. Thanks Charlie. Might have to take you up on that.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  5. I have heard some say tri-tip is the “poor man’s prime rib.” Do it this way and it resembles prime rib quite a bit.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  6. I had the best piece of meat ever at Vers a great spot in Chattam. Duck breast done in the sous vide, it had perfect grill marks and was perfectly medium rare. I mean the best ever, hands down, blew me away. As a lover of wood coals I will be purchasing a sous vide soon.

    mg (f9d85c)

  7. If you do it, make sure to do it through the Amazon link!

    Patterico (9c670f)

  8. tri-tip: the best cut of eat ever ruined by foodies…

    i cook it two ways:

    1. grill rare, 8-15 minutes to a side, depending on size. rest on warm, tented plate, and serve, sliced thin at an angle with Westside Paso Robles zinfandel, steamed asparagus, pinquito beans, garlic toast and Romaine & Roma salad w/blue cheese dressing.

    2. sear both sides over hot fire until well marked, then transfer to pan with marinade, sliced onions, peppers, etc. Foil over and cook on indirect heat 3-5 hours.

    pull pan from fire, unfoil, and shred meat. return to heat, warm tortillas over fire, apply salsa, queso and portions of meat, then serve as ready to eat tacos/tostadas. serve with Negra Modelo, helada.

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  9. I’m still a big fan of searing, sealing, then researing on the hottest temp possible to get the crust from the Maillard reaction. I personally think the juices remaining in the bag are way better for using in sauces or gravy. It’s important to cool completely after the initial sear so the bag seals nice and tight without steam getting it puffed up.

    Bruce (a889cf)

  10. P.S. The promo pack is still available on Amazon, but it’s now $479. When I recommended it to you, it was at a historically cheap $395. Shoulda listened to me thei!

    Tempting. I was saving up for whaling explosives, though.

    Steve57 (d38ceb)

  11. 9.I’m still a big fan of searing, sealing

    Bruce (a889cf) — 6/22/2014 @ 4:25 am

    Oh. My bad. I thought we were talking about marine mammals.

    Steve57 (d38ceb)

  12. Sounds interesting but I can’t fit another gadget into my kitchen! But I learned what a Maillard reaction is. Must be why the salmon tastes so good when I add sugar to the dry rub.

    I sear a steak that is at room temp, flip it, then finish it in the oven. And then I let it rest tented. That last one is so important! So I finally get a well cooked steak.

    (I just had breakfast but you’re making me hungry, red!)

    Patricia (5fc097)

  13. At the Steakhouse chain I worked for back in the 70’s, we would first put tri-tips (avg 2.5 lbs) in the oven to get them almost blood-rare. Then, we would cook them to order on a broiler from their refrigerated hold temperature, and bring them to the table on a hot-plate cradled on a wooden trivet, and the server (waitress) would carve them after pouring a small portion of the marinade over the meat for the sizzle-effect.
    Red on the inside, charred on the outside….Heaven!

    askeptic (8ecc78)

  14. 7- Mr. Pat- will do.
    I just arrived back from a week in Wilmington N.C. I love the vinegar style bbq. They have nailed it.
    I love the drive, Once you get to Virginia the women drive like its nascar. Super fun.

    mg (31009b)

  15. I have done tri tip many times and use the reverse sear. Set up my Weber with my Smokenator and Party Q from BBQ Guru. Cook the tri tip at 225 degrees low and slow with just a hint of apple wood (two oz.) until it reaches 115 degrees and then put in on my second Weber with the grate raised with bricks to get within 2 inches of the cooking surface. Blast it with the lid open for direct heat, turning every 30 seconds. when it reaches 135 degrees (med rare), I pull it and serve immediately. The only place I can get a tri tip in Florida is Publix. I get blank looks when I ask other stores for a tri tip.
    Hope you cut it against the grain this time :)

    I would post pics but drag and drop isn’t working

    FLBuckeye (dce950)

  16. Saw this on TV a few days ago and gave it a try yesterday while waiting to watch the US vs Portugal. I’ll be doing it again soon. It was easy and delicious – Pulled pork slow braised in a crock pot. Sounds strange, works great.

    Start with a pork butt, bone-in or boneless, I prefer bone-in, everything’s better on-the-bone, remove skin (discard or make chicharrones to whet the appetite while you wait for the 5 or 6 hours for pork to cook). Allow roast to approach room temperature. Set crock pot to low.

    Prepare wet rub/braising liquid: (T=Tablespoon, t=teaspoon)
    Toast and grind 2 T Cumin seeds, 2 T Oregano, 1 t Red Pepper flakes. Add to juice of 1 orange, juice of 1 lime, 4 to 6 cloves of minced garlic, 1/4 cup olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste.

    Pirece the roast on all sides and vigorously rub braising liquid into openings (or chunk roast for quicker cooking, slow cooking makes meat more tender and more tasty).

    Place roast and remaining braising liquid into crock pot, cover. Give roast 1/4 turn every hour. After 4 hours begin checking with meat thermometer, intact roast is well done at 180 degrees.

    For pulled pork, let roast rest for 20 minutes and using 2 forks pull meat apart and finish with salt and pepper to taste and favorite BBQ sauce. I prefer North Carolina style vinegar based sauces, but any sauce will do. Mix a little of the remaining braising liquid into your sauce.

    Or, you can steam carrots, onions, and potatoes till nearly done and add them to the crock pot for an hour or so before roast reaches temperature.

    ropelight (981ec9)

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