Time variances: 2 to 6 hours for tri-tip?

HI: I’m an experienced cook who seldom uses recipes and I’m dying to use my new machine on some tri-tip. In looking at the recipes here and elsewhere, I just don’t understand how tri-tip of about the same size can have recommended sous vide times that vary from 2 hours to 7! While I understand that you can’t “overcook” your food with sous vide, I can’t understand why anyone would want to cook a piece of meat for three times longer than necessary. And I’m sure that there would be changes in consistency the longer one cooks – and not necessarily for the better.

Can someone explain what’s going on here? Suggestions?


This is a common question and has been answered many times. I’m using a phone keyboard currently and not keen to write an essay in this hot weather.

I’ll instead direct you to a few different threads containing variations on the answer that I have given in the past.

Here is one: 6 pound filet - #4 by Ember

Or this one:


Misha, have you considered personal preferences? You have your expectations or standards, but that doesn’t make them appropriate for everyone. They are merely opinions.

The time variables you observed account for personal preferences in different degrees of tenderness, not doneness. What’s “necessary”, or just done, for you may be “chewy” to someone else. Some folks are disappointed if they can’t cut their meat with the side of their forks. Others aren’t. Neither is wrong, just different.

This variations in cook times is one of the conundrums, and benefits, of SV cooking. With your experience in conventional cooking you can expect to have a few of these challenges to your understanding of SV. We all get over it once we accept there are differences and learn them.

Do the work.