December 21

How Long To Sous Vide Tri-Tip? | Our Tips For a Delicious Meal!


Author: Cornelia Suehr and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

Tri Tip is a great steak because it is flavorful and inexpensive. The only problem is that it can be a bit tough if cooked incorrectly.

The good news is that cooking your Trip tip will turn out perfectly every time

How long to sous vide tri-tip? The amount of time it takes to sous vide tri-tip depends on how well done you want your meat to be plus the thickness of the cut. The minimum sous vide cooking time is 2 hours. Read the entire article for more information.

Key Takeaways

  • A tri-tip is cut from the bottom sirloin area of a cow. It comes with a bit of fat on one side that makes it easy to sous vide
  • Sous vide is a method of cooking that involves cooking food in vacuum-sealed bags in water baths held at specific temperatures for longer periods of time.
  • Tri-tip can be seasoned any number of ways before being cooked in a sous vide machine
  • The cooking time of a tri-tip will depend on how thick the roast is plus the level of your doneness or how rare or well done you want it to be.
  • If you want medium rare, then you would cook it at 134°F. If you want medium rare, then cook it at 140°F, and if you want well done then cook it at 160°F.
slices of tri-tip

Why Choose Tri Tip for Sous Vide Cooking

Tri-tip is a cut of beef that comes from the bottom sirloin. It is also known as sirloin tri-tip roast or simply tri-tip roast. It has a small cap of fat on it, which is why it's sometimes called a "triangle steak."

Has Rich Flavor and Low Fat Content

Tri-tip is known for its rich flavor and low-fat content, making it an ideal cut for cooking in sous vide baths. The lower temperature required for sous vide allows the fat to render out slowly, resulting in very tender meat with very little excess fat.

It has the texture of a tender steak but is less expensive than other cuts like ribeye or New York strip. It can be cooked to different levels of doneness, but when you cook it sous vide, you can achieve the perfect medium rare (130°F) without overcooking your sous vide.

Sous Vide Process Tenderizes Tri Tip

The other reason why I like cooking tri-tip with sous vide is that it allows me to cook the meat at a lower temperature compared to grilling or roasting. This gives the meat time to tenderize and become more flavorful.

Cooking Sous Vide Requires Little Effort

Sous vide tri tip is also very easy to cook since it requires very little effort on your part. Once you have seasoned the meat, all you need to do is set your sous vide machine to cook at 134°F and walk away while the meat cooks itself.

What is sous vide?

Sous vide involves immersing food in a water bath that is heated to a specific temperature. This allows for precise control over cooking times, which makes it easier to cook food precisely how you want it every time. 

Also, sous vide kills bacteria, so there's no danger of food poisoning or food-borne illness from improperly cooked meat or fish.

Results in Consistent Results

The temperature of the water bath is kept at 55°C (131°F) or higher, which allows for even heat distribution throughout the food being cooked.

This ensures that all parts of your food will reach a similar internal temperature at approximately the same time; unlike traditional cooking methods such as pan frying or oven roasting where some parts may be overcooked while others remain undercooked due to uneven heating.

It’s called sous vide because it means under vacuum in French. The term comes from the fact that a vacuum packaging bag is used to cook food under a vacuum.

a tri-tip for sous vide

How Long to Sous Vide Tri-Tip?

The cooking time will depend on how thick your tri-tip roast is (the thicker it is plus your level of doneness). The thicker cuts usually need more time than thinner ones because they need more heat to reach an internal temperature high enough for cooking.

The minimum sous vide cooking time will be 2 hours at 134°F and the maximum time will be 4 hours at 140°F. However, if you want to cook it medium-rare, I would go with 2 1/2 hours at 134°F. If you want to cook it medium, go with 3 hours at 140°F. If you want to cook it medium-well or well done, go with 4 hours at 160°F.

How to Sous Vide Tri-Tip Steak Perfectly

Step 1: Gather Things Needed

  • Tri-Tip steak
  • Vacuum sealer
  • Ziploc bag
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Sous vide machine

Tri-tip steaks are usually around 1 pound in size, so they're perfect for testing out your new sous vide cooker. You can buy them pre-sliced or whole at most grocery stores, but they're also available at steakhouses if you want to make sure you get exactly what you're looking for.

closeup of ingredients for tri-tip sous vide

Step 2: Season Your Tri-Tip Steak

Season your steak generously with salt and black pepper before putting it into the sous vide bag. You can also add other spices if you want (cumin works well), but keep in mind that all seasonings will be concentrated when you cook the meat sous vide so don't go overboard.

The best time to season the steak is right before you put it in the bag because this way, it will absorb all the flavor of the seasoning. This step is optional but recommended as it makes your meat taste great.

Step 3: Vacuum Seal the Tri Tip Steak

Now place your seasoned tri-tip steak in a sous vide bag and remove air using your vacuum sealer. Vacuum sealing removes all the air from your bag which helps keep food moist while cooking in a water bath or a machine for sous vide.

I've been using this method for years and it always comes out great. The key is to vacuum seal your meat before cooking it in the water bath because it also helps keep all the juices inside.

steaks in bags for sous vide

Step 4: Prepare your Sous Vide Machine        

Before you can start cooking, you need to prepare your sous vide machine. If you’re using an immersion circulator, it’s as simple as adding water and placing the machine in the sous vide water bath.

Set Temperature & Time

Next, set the temperature and time for your tri-tip steak using our recommended settings above (134°F degrees for 2 and half hours). The exact times will vary depending on how thick your tri-tip is and how well done you like it.

Step 5: Sous Vide Cook your Tri Tip Roast

Submerge the sous vide bag with seasoned tri tip in water for it to cook sous vide tri tip. After 2 and half hours have passed, remove the tri-tip from the bath.

Pat Dry with Paper Towels

After you remove the tri-tip from its bath, pat dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture. This will help prevent sogginess when you sear it in a pan later on.

sous vide tri-tip closeup

Sear Your Tri Tip Sous Vide

Searing is one of my favorite ways to finish cooking my tri-tip sous vide because searing sous vide steak adds more flavor and makes it look beautiful. Season your tri-tip sous vide with garlic powder, freshly cracked black pepper or seasoning of your choice.

Heat up some oil in a cast iron pan and place your tri-tip steak in the pan, along with a few tablespoons of olive oil or butter (optional).

Sear each side of your tri-tip steak for about 2 minutes per side or until browned on all sides. Serve when ready.

What to Serve with Tri Tip?


Potatoes go great with any kind of meat including tri-tip. You can bake or roast them and then mash them up or slice them into wedges for an easy side dish.


Rice goes well with almost any kind of meat but it especially pairs well with tri-tip. Try serving brown rice or long-grain white rice cooked up with butter, salt, and pepper for a delicious side dish that will go well with your meal.


Sautéed vegetables like broccoli, carrots, and cabbages go well with tri-tip as long as they are not overcooked. You can try serving steamed spinach or kale alongside your tri-tip roast for something different. Try also roasted vegetables.


Sous vide and poaching are two slow cooking methods and we love sous vide poached eggs. They are a great breakfast food, but they can also make an excellent snack or appetizer. The soft yolk is a perfect complement to the crispy toast and crunchy vegetables.

a steak served with rice and vegetables

What Herbs and Spices Should I Use for Tri Tip Steaks?

One of the best ways to enhance the flavor of your trip-tip steaks is by adding herbs and spices to them before cooking. Here are some herbs and spices that will make your trip tip steaks taste amazing:

You can use any herbs or spices you want when making  sous vide steaks. Some people like to use basil or oregano because they give an Italian flavor to the meat.

Others prefer using rosemary or thyme because those flavors go well with beef steak.

However, if you want to try something different, then why not try adding garlic powder or onion powder? These spices will give your meat a nice kick without being overpowering at all.

a steak with spices and herbs


Pepper is one of the most popular spice choices when it comes to beef roast. It will help enhance the flavor of your trip-tip steak.


Salt is another great option for flavoring your trip-tip steak. Salt helps bring out the natural flavors in your meal without being overpowering. If you want to use salt for your sous vide steak, try using Kosher or sea salt rather than table salt so that you don’t add too much sodium to your meal (sodium can lead to high blood pressure).

About the author

Cornelia Suehr

A professional chef and a passionate writer on all topics related to cooking, baking, appliances and kitchenware. Her posts resonate with foodies, home chefs and professionals.


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