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Unread 07-20-2011, 12:48 AM   #1
Midnight Smoke
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Question Grilling a Tri-Tip is Continuous Flipping a Proper Way

My quest to cook a perfect Tri-Tip has me wondering. I see Tri-Tips cooked at Fairs and events over Santa Maria type grills and the cooks are always flipping the meat. I assume these can be cooked different than a normal steak like a Rib Eye or T-Bone.

If so, I can finally use my meat flipper.

Your thoughts?
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Unread 07-20-2011, 12:55 AM   #2
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Personally, I cook them indirect on a kettle, sometimes with Pecan..... Flip once... Pull about 135* tent and rest....... Or smoke to same temp, etc..... That said, that is the way I was shown ...... I'm know there are a lot of different methods..... Lets here them.
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Unread 07-20-2011, 12:56 AM   #3
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I'm a flipper.. They say that's the best way to do it, and I wouldn't disagree
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Unread 07-20-2011, 12:58 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by {Midnight ☼ Smoke} View Post
My quest to cook a perfect Tri-Tip has me wondering. I see Tri-Tips cooked at Fairs and events over Santa Maria type grills and the cooks are always flipping the meat. I assume these can be cooked different than a normal steak like a Rib Eye or T-Bone.

If so, I can finally use my meat flipper.

Your thoughts?
When I was in College at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in about 1988, we had a fundraiser every year and that year we cooked around 1000 lbs on a big Santa Maria type trailer grilll. we would flip it from one end to the other and in a couple minutes start over. We used one of those pigtail type meat hooks. It was and still is the best Tri Tip I have ever had. As far as I know that was passed down from one class to another. We marinated it in beer and pepper.
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Unread 07-20-2011, 12:59 AM   #5
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Personally, I think flipping is for the show... you know, make it LOOK like your doing a lot.. I just smoke hot indirect (300) then do a reverse sear when I'm about 10 degrees from destined temp... Again, that's just how I do them.

Cheers
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Unread 07-20-2011, 01:01 AM   #6
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2 Cali folks with similar methods..... Another one i heard is hanging the roast from a meat hook in a smoker.....
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Unread 07-20-2011, 01:04 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phrasty View Post
Personally, I think flipping is for the show... you know, make it LOOK like your doing a lot.. I just smoke hot indirect (300) then do a reverse sear when I'm about 10 degrees from destined temp... Again, that's just how I do them.

Cheers
Excess flipping-moving may release more of the good fat & moisture I have heard..... Who knows... Great cut of beef though.
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Unread 07-20-2011, 01:33 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishawn View Post
2 Cali folks with similar methods..... Another one i heard is hanging the roast from a meat hook in a smoker.....
My drum is set up to do that, I've just decided that I like my tri-tip cooked over direct heat.. I do get some smoke on them though with soaked chips, or when I feel ambitious I'll start a fire with nothing but red oak and cook over that.


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Unread 07-20-2011, 01:36 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishawn View Post
Excess flipping-moving may release more of the good fat & moisture I have heard..... Who knows... Great cut of beef though.
It also rubs off all the seasoning...
I'm just messing around. To each his own really... Dont think there's all that much that can go wrong...

Cheers
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Unread 07-20-2011, 01:38 AM   #10
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I prefer mine cooked on a rotisserie.
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Unread 07-20-2011, 02:03 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cholloway View Post
I prefer mine cooked on a rotisserie.
I think I have had TT every way, except the rotissserie...... That may be the best of all methods really On my to do list.....
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Unread 07-20-2011, 05:44 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phrasty View Post
Personally, I think flipping is for the show... you know, make it LOOK like your doing a lot.. I just smoke hot indirect (300) then do a reverse sear when I'm about 10 degrees from destined temp... Again, that's just how I do them.

Cheers

I'm agreeing with Phrasty here. I'm not posting a lot of my Tri-tip because I got freezer full of it. My Destined temp is about 10F below most people's though.... so I can drain off the blood and add it to the gravy. Man, that's heaven.

Flipping though? No. Could be just for the show...

Cheers!

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Unread 07-20-2011, 11:17 AM   #13
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If it's being cooked over a hot fire on a Santa Maria style grill, then flipping frequently probably makes sense, esp when there are a lot of tri-tips and several heat zones going on. Since I don't have a Santa Maria grill, I just cook mine on the kettle indirect via reverse sear using some red oak.

For various reasons, I also try to avoid handling/moving my meat as much as possible during the cook process, so I'm usually looking at 4 or so total turns for the entire cook, and that includes two for the searing part at the end.

For me, getting the best possible tri-tip boils down to these factors:

1. The actual quality of the tri-tip. I look for USDA choice or higher, with lots of marbling and about 1/4 inch fat cap on the underside. This for me has been the greatest variable, and on occasion even pieces of meat I THOUGHT looked great didn't turn out as well as expected. But going with higher quality cuts helps a lot.

2. The seasoning - I've had great results with simple Santa Maria style rubs to more complex rubs, but don't feel the need to marinate the meat.

3. How the meat is cooked - again, I've had better results with reverse searing than the usual method, in addition to using some oak for flavor. Oak just seems to be the perfect compliment to Tri-Tip, but I've also had good results with Pecan as well.

4 - The obvious: letting the meat sit for at least 10 mins before slicing, and then slicing against the grain.

Honestly, compared to these 4 factors, flipping frequently isn't going to make a noticeable difference.

Just my $.01...
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Unread 07-20-2011, 11:24 AM   #14
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As mentioned above, I've done tri tip on the rotiss as well and I like the way they turn out.
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Unread 07-20-2011, 11:44 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokinAussie View Post
I'm agreeing with Phrasty here. I'm not posting a lot of my Tri-tip because I got freezer full of it. My Destined temp is about 10F below most people's though.... so I can drain off the blood and add it to the gravy. Man, that's heaven.

Flipping though? No. Could be just for the show...

Cheers!

Bill
Flipping is a Neccesity on a large Santa Maria grill with multiple Tri-Tips, I handle the grill occasionally at Football games and the flipping is to evenly cook multiple pieces.

The reverse sear with minimal turning is a great home method.
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