Sous Vide Tri-Tip

Let’s talk about tri-tip perfection. Tri-tip is normally a leaner (and cheaper) cut, which makes it a great candidate to go through a magical sous vide transformation. Sous vide does involve an upfront investment in some equipment (my favorite sous vide is this one), but it couldn’t get any easier to use. You get your sous vide set up at your desired temperature, add the goods, and then let your meat take a loooong delicious bath while you do whatever your heart desires (aka drink copious amounts of wine).

One of the bigger misconceptions people have with sous vide is that the cooking time changes the level of doneness. You can sous vide a piece of meat for 2 hours or 6 hours at the same temperature and it will be the same level of doneness – what changes is the tenderness (aka the best part!). Once the meat reaches the desired temperature, it just hangs out there. Imagine your meat hanging out at a pool party all day, getting comfier and more relaxed the longer it drinks margaritas poolside. That’s what’s happening here. Longer is better when you’re going for juiciness and tenderness.

I set the water to 130.5 degrees, which results in the perfect medium rare.


Tri-tip steak (I typically use a 2-3lb cut)

Kosher salt

Freshly cracked black pepper

Garlic powder

Canola oil (or another high-smoke point oil)


Set up your sous vide according to manufacturer and pre-heat your water bath to the ideal temperature.

Trim the meat as needed and season VERY generously with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. For a 2-3lb cut, I use at least a tablespoon of each of the seasonings. Place the steak in your sous vide bag and vacuum seal.

Place the bag in the water bath and cook for 6-7 hours.

Remove steak and gently blot off excess liquid with paper towels.

Preheat a heavy bottomed pan over medium-high heat. Add oil and sear steak for 1 minute on each side. Remove from pan and let rest for at least 10 minutes. When ready to serve, remember to cut against the grain.