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Old 06-27-2010, 01:01 PM   #1
Knows what a fatty is.
Join Date: 07-01-09
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Default Best way to do tri-tip?

I'm going to be doing a couple of tri-tips this evening and just wanted some advice on how to cook them.

It's either going to be: 1. Sear 2. Finish direct or 1. Start indirect 2. Finish with reverse sear or 1. Sear 2. Finish indirect

My wife likes her steaks well-done, but I told her I'm not taking these tri-tips past medium, so should I pull around 140 deg?

If I start out indirect, do I need to flip the meat at any point?

I'm going to do a traditional Santa Maria style rub of salt, pepper, and granulated garlic.

Thanks for the help.
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Old 06-27-2010, 01:23 PM   #2
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I personally prefer my tips in the smoker at 300 degrees. No need to sear due to fat carmelization. They slice like butter, if, you pull them off at 140 degrees and let rest for 20 minutes. So, I would go high heat indirect, if, I were in your shoes.

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Old 06-27-2010, 01:32 PM   #3
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Others will surely chime in here...tri-tip lovers unite!!

I've become a big fan of the reverse sear. I've been tri-ing my luck with this piece of meat...hoping to improve my finish over the last time it was cooked in a comp.

I now start indirect...letting it picking some tasty smoke. I shoot for a temp @130. Pull meat at this temp and cooler/foil while I bring up the temp of the fire. Then, it's just a quick minute or two a side for the sear.

Looking for good color oustide, and inside (some of my comment cards didn't like the "grey" color of the meat). I may err on the rare side these days. Don't like to get above 140 for sure.
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Old 06-27-2010, 02:02 PM   #4
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I would definitely go with a reverse sear - the meat will be more evenly cooked. Add a chunk or two of smoking wood (oak is great) to your coals while your meat cooks indirect and you'll be in business. I flip once about halfway through the indirect phase. Once the meat reaches about 110 degrees, I sear it for several minutes a side over the hot coals.

I pull mine at no higher than 135 and let it rest for 20 mins. The great thing about Tri-tip is the uneven thickness of the meat - if you get a reading of 135 at the thickest part of the meat, you'll most surely have some parts that will be cooked on the medium side. Here's a pictorial link of a reverse sear you might find helpful:
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Old 06-27-2010, 03:18 PM   #5
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Thanks for the advice, and Moose, your tri-tip looked awesome! I'm hoping mine turn out somewhat similar to yours. I would be ecstatic. I think I'll go that route and do a reverse sear.
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Old 06-27-2010, 09:33 PM   #6
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I cook mine at 275F on the FEC for about 2 - 2 1/2 hrs depending on the size. Then i move them off at 130F and do a reverse sear on them.

These have tasted the best so far. The last ones we did were marinated in a soy/teri with wasabi.. straight slamin' with flavor!
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Old 06-27-2010, 10:07 PM   #7
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Tri-tip is a simple but flavorful piece of meat. I've grilled hundreds of them and the best way (for me) is Lawry"s season salt and lots of pepper. Cook over medium hi heat to medium/medium rare. With Tri-tip, less is more!
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