I am cooking a private dinner for 14. Americana themed, surf and turf is what they asked for the main entree. I want to cook bison. The only cut I could find in town in time was a tri tip. $15 per lb. So $60 later, roughly 4 oz. per person.


I want a perfect medium rare. Tender/melt in your mouth bites.

My questions:

How do I obtain that maximum tenderness texture. How long do I sous vide for? Is there a significant difference between beef and bison?

I have 24 hours to play with the protein. And I'm open to any suggestions.

  • I don't have an 'exact' answer either sous vide or a bison tri-tip so I'll not proffer an answer, but in the absence of direct information otherwise you should remember that bison (buffalo) is a bovine and so anything relating to beef will serve as a good approximation.
    – Cos Callis
    Aug 4, 2017 at 13:52

2 Answers 2


Medium rare tri-tip can be achieved using a water bath at 130 - 135F (55-57C) for at least two hours and up to 7 hours. You will probably not get "melt in your mouth bites", as bison tri-tip is a leaner cut, but it should be quite tender if it is sliced against the grain.

  • Thin slices but make sure it REALLY rests. That juice will come flying out.
    – ChefAndy
    Aug 5, 2017 at 4:51

I just tried this! It was perfectly medium rare, tender and juicy throughout, without any of the protein breaking down.

The 2.5 lb bison tri-tip started mostly frozen, and went into the water bath at 133°F for 4.5 hours. Afterwards, I let it cool to room temperature in the bag for 30 minutes (cooling relaxes the proteins, so the mean reabsorbs some of the liquid). After that, into a 400°F oven for 10 minutes, then cool, slice, and serve.

The scant ribbon of fat down the middle was dissolved.

Next time, I'll trim all the fat off the meat first. It didn't soften any, and got in the way of the herb rub I was using.

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