After extensive research which just means I ate a huge amount of Tri-Tip's I can definitively label this post as the Ultimate Sous-Vide Tri-Tip. I've taken a few my techniques (outlined HERE) and combined them to make this perfect Tri-Tip.
Why dry brine? Dry-Brining will denature the protein strands making them more tender and will preserve moisture. Salt will increase the flavor of the protein too. Dry-brining will force moisture to the surface of the protein and will dissolve the salt. Now comes the best part!!! All of that moisture on the surface along with the salt gets reabsorbed which unravels the protein strands (denaturing), making for a better tasting much more tender protein. More importantly these denatured protein strands will hold on to more moisture through the cooking process.
I have conducted several experiments with spread sheets that proves this. If you like you can read about my experiments HERE. This process takes time so if you think you sprinkle on some salt and get the same results you will be disappointed. Some will tell you that the protein takes on a cured look and feel but that is untrue. You would need about 8-10 days for that to occur and you would need a much larger percentage of salt.
Why use fish salt? I won't go into a lot of detail here but you can read about it HERE and HERE. Suffice it to say the fish salt does two things. It dry-brines the protein and gives you a faux aging effect which amps up the flavor of the beef. Some use fish sauce which I have done many times before but through some experimentation and blind taste studies everyone preferred the fish salt. Oh and the fish salt is much easier to work with.
Going to Warm Age the Meat too.....The story goes like this.... By bringing up the temperature of the meat to 104 f Degrees for X amount of time you increase the activity of the Calpain and Cathepsin. These are the same enzymes that are present during traditional Dry-Aging that is done in Refrigerators. Of course with Warm Aging the process is hastened. Tender meat is the by product of the enzymatic process.
And yes it's safe to do. Anything less than 4 hours is safe. Ahhhhh....do your own research. If you have a compromising immune system or suffer from an autoimmune disease I would be extra careful about my food.
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