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Unread 04-15-2011, 11:37 AM   #1
kevine
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Default Slow smoking tri-tip

Hi everyone, I'm planning on doing a couple butts and a couple tri-tips in a couple months. I've done butts before, but not tri-tip. I had a few questions and there's no better place to get the right info than right here:

1. Is a particular cut (other than what's on sale) I should be looking for?

2. How long (presumably around 250 degrees) and what internal temp (med rare)?

3. Rub other than maybe garlic salt and pepper?

4. Foil and wrap, or just slice and serve?

Thanks. I wanted to try to do one ahead of time just to get some "practice" in...
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Unread 04-15-2011, 12:59 PM   #2
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1. Is a particular cut (other than what's on sale) I should be looking for? The cut should just be labeled "tri-tip", especially in California. Other regions have variations on the name, but I've never seen them labeled anything else.

2. How long (presumably around 250 degrees) and what internal temp (med rare)? I really don't care for too much smoke flavor in my tri-tip. If I do smoke, it's a hot cook at 350*. Normally I just cook directly over hot coals like a steak. Cook it to whatever internal temp you would a steak. I usually like to pull it at 125* and rest.

3. Rub other than maybe garlic salt and pepper? It's hard to beat the basics- sea salt/kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper and garlic. I've added a bit of cayenne and ground coffee with decent results.

4. Foil and wrap, or just slice and serve? I keep it lightly tented in foil for a minimum of 15 minutes before slicing and serving. The key to tri-tip is to make sure you slice directly perpendicular to the grain. Keep an eye on the grain direction while slicing as the grain does shift throughout the cut. You'll get the best results if you account for this and slice accordingly. Overdone tri-tip will still be very tender if you slice it correctly.
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Unread 04-15-2011, 12:59 PM   #3
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Here's a diagram that shows what I'm talking about regarding the grain direction of tri-tip.

http://media.photobucket.com/image/t...1/tritip14.jpg
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Unread 04-15-2011, 01:18 PM   #4
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Thanks Kyle, that's exactly the info I was looking for. I've done tri-tips in the past, and they were always a little tough...probably slightly overcooked, and definitely did not pay attention to how I was cutting. This will help a lot. Thanks again.
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Unread 04-15-2011, 01:48 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevine View Post
Thanks Kyle, that's exactly the info I was looking for. I've done tri-tips in the past, and they were always a little tough...probably slightly overcooked, and definitely did not pay attention to how I was cutting. This will help a lot. Thanks again.
Definitely pay attention to the grain when slicing and don't let the temp get away from you. I can cook a tri-tip in the FEC-100 in about 30 minutes. They cook quick!
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Unread 04-15-2011, 02:48 PM   #6
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I almost always think hot and fast (either direct or reverse sear) is the way to go with lean meats and tri-tip is no exception for me. I'd pull it at 130 and expect it to coast to 135 while resting. Essentially just treat it like a big steak.
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Unread 04-15-2011, 05:04 PM   #7
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Thanks guys. My wife picked up a small one for tonite's dinner (small one means, enough for dinner, not enough for left overs )
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Unread 04-16-2011, 09:00 AM   #8
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I always do my tri tips at about 200-225 for a couple hours with lots of smoke, until IT is 140. Lately I have been using both my Traeger and my Kamado Joe, for fun....smoke on the Traeger, reverse sear on the Joe. Just to my liking.
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Unread 04-16-2011, 09:48 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle corn View Post
Here's a diagram that shows what I'm talking about regarding the grain direction of tri-tip.

http://media.photobucket.com/image/t...1/tritip14.jpg
Thanks for the diagram, Kyle. The grain is coarse enough that you can generally see it, but if you're not paying attention you can end up with slices that are very tough.
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Unread 04-16-2011, 11:02 AM   #10
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I smoke tri-tips now, haven't done a direct grill in over two years. I like to smoke around 250F, light smoke, usually pecan or apple. I rub with a mix of kosher salt, black pepper, citrus peel, granulated garlic and chile powder. Definitely slice across grain.
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Unread 04-17-2011, 01:30 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron_L View Post
Thanks for the diagram, Kyle. The grain is coarse enough that you can generally see it, but if you're not paying attention you can end up with slices that are very tough.
Yeah, it's usually pretty easy to spot, but it's a subtle change and if you don't know about it you might not notice so I like to give people a heads up. My first couple tri-tip had some hit and miss slices before I realized I should be adjusting my slicing.

I can't take credit for the diagram, though, it's just one I found on google.
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Unread 04-17-2011, 03:25 PM   #12
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Quote:
Essentially just treat it like a big steak.
Bingo! That's what it is.
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