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 (55°C) (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!
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!
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 AmazingRibs.com Pitmaster Club. Click here to join.
Serve with: a bold red wine.
- 3 pound bottom round roast, USDA Choice grade or higher
- 1 1/2 teaspoon Morton Coarse Kosher Salt (approximately 1/2 teaspoon per pound (453.6 g) of meat)
- 1 tablespoon dry mustard
- 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground thyme
These recipes were created in US Customary measurements and the conversion to metric is being done by calculations. They should be accurate, but it is possible there could be an error. If you find one, please let us know in the comments at the bottom of the page
- 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 (453.6 g) of meat.
- 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 (55°C).
- 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.
- 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 (1.1-3.3°C). Refrigerate the bagged roast until ready to grill (up to two days ahead of time).
- 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 (107.2°C). 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 (107.2°C) on the indirect side.
- Prep again. Combine the six rub ingredients in a small bowl and blend well. Season bottom round roast with dry rub mixture.
- 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 (51.7°C), 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.
- Serve. Remove the roast from the grill, slice, and serve immediately.
High quality websites are expensive to run. If you help us, we’ll pay you back bigtime with an ad-free experience and a lot of freebies!
Millions come to AmazingRibs.com every month for high quality tested recipes, tips on technique, science, mythbusting, product reviews, and inspiration. But it is expensive to run a website with more than 2,000 pages and we don’t have a big corporate partner to subsidize us.
Our most important source of sustenance is people who join our Pitmaster Club. But please don’t think of it as a donation. Members get MANY great benefits. We block all third-party ads, we give members free ebooks, magazines, interviews, webinars, more recipes, a monthly sweepstakes with prizes worth up to $2,000, discounts on products, and best of all a community of like-minded cooks free of flame wars. Click below to see all the benefits, take a free 30 day trial, and help keep this site alive.
Post comments and questions below
1) Please try the search box at the top of every page before you ask for help.
2) Try to post your question to the appropriate page.
3) Tell us everything we need to know to help such as the type of cooker and thermometer. Dial thermometers are often off by as much as 50°F so if you are not using a good digital thermometer we probably can’t help you with time and temp questions. Please read this article about thermometers.
4) If you are a member of the Pitmaster Club, your comments login is probably different.
5) Posts with links in them may not appear immediately.