Moist And Tender Bottom Round Roast, The Sous-Vide-Que Method

Sous-vide-que makes an extremely lean cut of beef mouthwateringly tender by combining the sous vide method with the grill.

If money were no object then I'd be living on prime, dry aged ribeyes.

Until I hit the lottery, I'll keep making economical cuts of beef taste just as delicious. That's exactly what I do with bottom round roast. Frequently found on sale for half the price of ribeye, this large hunk of beef is perfect for a cost conscious family. But how do you take an extremely lean cut and turn it into something moist and delicious like that beloved ribeye?

The answer lies in sous-vide-que, a preparation method that starts by cooking food for several hours in a low temperature water bath ("sous vide") before finishing it on the smoker or grill for a traditional barbecue element. With this method, an otherwise tough roast stays tender and juicy. A brief stay on the grill adds the seductive flavors of smoke and browning, giving you an inexpensive, flavor packed main course.

The road to a perfect sous-vide-que bottom round roast recipe begins by sous viding it for 30 hours at 131°F (a time and temperature derived from the suggested starting points in our sous vide que time and temperature guide here). Yes, 30 hours. But you don't do a single thing other than let it cook unattended the entire time! After the low and slow water bath, you cool down the roast in ice water to stop the cooking, then let it soak up some smoke flavor on the grill. Or you can refrigerate the roast for up to 2 days before grilling it. The ultimate make ahead meal!

Explore the world of Sous Vide Que, the ultimate marriage of water and smoke, by clicking here to download our ebook "Sous Vide Que Made Easy" for $3.99 on Amazon (free Kindle app runs on all computers). Or get the book and others FREE as a member of the Pitmaster Club. Click here to join.

It doesn't take much effort to transform an inexpensive roast into a mouthwateringly delicious meal for six people. All it needs is time, while you go do something else!

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Sous vide is a preparation method that starts by cooking food for several hours in a low temperature water bath before finishing it on the smoker or grill for a traditional barbecue element.

Course. Dinner. Entree.

Cuisine. American.

Makes. 4 to 6 servings

Takes. 30 hours to sous vide, 30 minutes to chill, 1 hour 45 minutes to grill.

Special tools. Sous vide immersion circulator. One gallon sealable freezer bag.

Serve with. A full-bodied red wine such as Bordeaux.


The Meat

1 bottom round roast about 3 pounds, USDA Choice grade or higher

1/2 teaspoon Morton’s coarse kosher salt per pound of meat

The Rub

1 tablespoon dry mustard

1 tablespoon ground black pepper

1 tablespoon garlic

2 teaspoons onion powder

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 teaspoon ground thyme

About the salt. Remember, kosher salt is half the concentration of table salt so if you use table salt, use half as much. Click here to read more about salt and how it works.


1) Prep. Season the roast with Kosher salt. If you can, give the salt 1 to 2 hours to be absorbed. The process of salting in advance is called dry brining. The rule of thumb is 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt per pound of meat.

2) Prepare a sous vide immersion circulator, such as Joule by ChefSteps, according to the manufacturer's instructions and set the water temperature for 131°F.

3) Place the bottom round roast in a one-gallon sealable freezer bag. Carefully submerge the freezer bag in the water bath until most of the air has been removed and then seal the bag. Once bag is submerged, cook the roast for 30 hours.

4) After 30 hours, remove the bag from the water and submerge in a large container filled with a 50/50 mix of ice and water for at least 30 minutes to reduce the meat's core temperature to a safe range of 34-38°F. Refrigerate the bagged roast until ready to grill (up to two days ahead of time).

5) Fire up. Prepare a grill for 2-zone cooking. On a charcoal grill, place a chimney full of pre-heated charcoal briquets on one side of the grill's charcoal grate in order to create direct and indirect cooking zones. Adjust the grill vents to bring the temperature to about 225°F. Add 2 to 3 chunks of your favorite smoking wood to the charcoal for flavor. On a gas grill, adjust the temperature knobs so that one half of the grill is off and the other half is heated enough to maintain a temperature of approximately 225°F on the indirect side.

6) Prep again. Combine the six rub ingredients in a small bowl and blend well. Season bottom round roast with dry rub mixture.

7) Cook. Once the grill is ready, remove the roast from the bag, pat it dry, and season with the dry rub. Place it on the cooler side of the grill as far away from the heat as possible. Set the lid on the grill with the top vent fully open and positioned directly above the roast in order to force the smoke over and around the meat. Allow the roast to smoke until it reaches an internal temperature of 125°F, about 1 hour 45 minutes. Note that the roast will already be cooked to medium rare from the sous vide step. The goal is to simply to reheat and smoke it without overcooking.


8) Serve. Remove the roast from the grill, slice, and serve immediately.



"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."George Bernard Shaw

Clint Cantwell

Clint Cantwell is's Senior Vice President, charged with creating recipes, writing articles, shooting photos, and a little bit of everything else. Cantwell was was named one of the "10 Faces of Memphis Barbecue" by Memphis Magazine and was the winner of Travel Channel's "American Grilled: Memphis".



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