First Tri Tip need advice

Discussion in 'Beef' started by 3montes, May 5, 2016.

  1. 3montes

    3montes Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I have never seen tri tips here in the grocery store. Ever, So a friend of my sons works for a large restaurant supply warehouse here in town. I've tried to get a account there in the past but could not because I am not a reseller or a restaurant owner. I'm just a guy with a smoker. So anyhow my sons friend hooked me up and today my first purchase was a case of tri tip and a case of Jennie O Turkey breasts.

    Never done a tri tip before and now I have a case of them. Got them at $3.99lb. average case weight of 60lbs. So I got my new Santa Maria from AZ Outfitters and some Santa Maria seasoning coming from Oak Ridge Rubs. I'm making these on Saturday and my mother in laws place. Feeding about 15 people.

    These look like they will need some trimming.

    4 of these cryovacs came in a case. I will take these out of the cryovac tomorrow and get a better look but in the mean time any tri tip advice would be great!

    Will be cooking with red oak and maple.
  2. These will work great on a Santa Maria style grill. I usually do mine hot 'n fast on my kettle with a simple rub. Sometimes, just for a change, I'll marinate them overnight. Either way, you'll love tri tip.

    Depending on the weight, they can finish to a rare-med rare in as little as 45-60 minutes over a high, indirect heat.

    Smoking is always an option as well. The time difference is the deciding factor for me. Both ways, has their advantages. Smoking doesn't give much of a bark, so I reverse sear them after smoking for the additional caramelization and flavor.

    Once you get them out of the cryovac, you'll have a better idea as to the fat trimming. From the images, they look untrimmed and I generally trim the hard fat down to 1/8-1/4" and cook fat side up.

    Have fun!!!
  3. 3montes

    3montes Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thank you sfprankster! My inital thought was the reverse sear method. I would start them on indirect heat on the Santa Maria. Being my Santa Maria is wood fired and has a lid that can be closed this is basically the same as smoking. I'm wondering what internal temp I would want to take them too before reverse searing on the hot side of the grill. I would like to take them to a final internal of 130 or 132 before resting. Most of my wifes family don't care for real rare beef. How much internal temp can one expect to gain with 2 or 3 minutes of searing per side?
  4. The temperature will continue to rise 4*-8* while resting. After resting for 30-45 minutes, I toss the tri tip over high direct heat to caramelize the exterior.

    Since the shape of the tri tip varies from end to end, the meat will be in several stages of doneness(that a word?). Your wife's family can eat the end cuts and everyone else will get the remaining rare-med rare center cuts.
  5. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I like the Price, but I can't help you with any How-to, because we don't even have them in this area.

    I'll be back to see the Finale---Don't forget some nice close shots!!!! [​IMG]


  6. 3montes

    3montes Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thanks Bear I will return with more Q view as I go. I'm fairly comfortable with it. I know my temps for beef but I'm still in a bit of a learning curve with the Santa Maria. But I'm always open to advice and tips and tricks! You can never stop learning when it comes to Q [​IMG]
  7. b-one

    b-one Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Sounds like a good time new grill/smoker and a case of TT! I always go R/S but really want to try simply smoked sometime just for fun. The last few I have done the meat has been frozen 30- 45 min or only partially thawed and smoked to about 120*, last was smoked for two and a half hours before getting seared and had a great smoke to it!
  8. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I do the reverse sear on mine too.

    Smoke to 115-120, then a quick sear on a really hot grill.

  9. 3montes

    3montes Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Sound advice as usual from all thank you! I'm just about ready to take them out of the cryo and see what I'm dealing with and start trimming. More to come! [​IMG]
  10. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Reverse sear is a great way to go. I prefer to run the smoker slow so that the roast has more time to absorb smoke. I try and keep it in the 180°-200° range. Then sear on a hot grill.  I like to pull mine at 135°. Wrap and rest 30-45 minutes before slicing.  Cherry, pecan, kiawe, red oak are all good options for Tri tip. I really like to use a 50/50 mix of Cherry-pecan or Cherry-kiawe.

    Yes you will want to peel that fat cap off prior to cooking. It is not edible and does nothing for the meat while cooking except block smoke and rub. Yes it can be peeled. Get a start at it with a knife on the fat end of the roast. Grab the fat in one hand roast in the other and pull. Takes some practice. otherwise use a knife to do it.

    Here's the last one I did. It was done high temp though as I wasn't wanting to try and control the temp in the rain and wind. Smoker was running 325-250 the entire smoke.
    Last edited: May 6, 2016
  11. 3montes

    3montes Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thanks dirtsailor for the advice. I just got done trimming them up. I did leave some fat cap on but took quite a bit off. Didn't know you could "peel" them. I'm not the best with a knife, ok I'm very lousy I have the left handed affliction. Lets just say I'm not allowed to carve the Thanksgiving turkey! [​IMG]

    Here are some pics after trimming and a few of the new rig as well!! My plan was to leave a bit of the fat cap on and cook them slow on the indirect side of the Santa Maria to absorb some good smoke and let that fat cap render. Then I will throw them over on the high heat to sear! I still have a dozen left from the case after these so I can try the no fat cap next go around!

    After trimming. Don't laugh I already fessed up to be lousy with a knife! [​IMG]

    The Santa Maria!

    Inside look at the Argentine grates

    The 7 rack vertical. Haven't cooked on this yet but have seasoned. Throwing a couple racks of ribs on tomorrow just for fun!

    More to come!!
  12. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    That's quite the rig! Get yourself some red oak and cook those tips true Santa Maria style!
  13. 3montes

    3montes Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Do have some red oak it's our primary wood source here. Apple can be had pretty regular and so can sugar maple but cherry is hard to come by. So it's going to be as authentic as I can make it!

    Hope I don't screw it up I'm still learning the nuances of the Santa Maria.
  14. b-one

    b-one Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Congrats on that new rig,it's awesome. Good luck with the TT, never left any fat on them before let us know your thoughts between the two.
  15. 3montes

    3montes Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Tri tip has officially been added to my menu! I will post pics later if I find my camera. Might have left it out at my in laws lake place. I left a little of the fat cap on and grilled them indirect on the Santa Maria on red oak. Things got away from me a bit and before I knew it they were about 135 internal and I still needed to reverse sear them. So I stuck to my plan and reverse seared them anyhow. Rested them for about a half hour and sliced them up.  A little well done for my taste but everyone raved about them! No one here has ever seen or heard of tri tips before but everyone's a fan now! [​IMG]

    Also learned a few things on how to use a Santa Maria. AZ BBQ does a superb job on building these things. It's 24X48 so 4 2lb tri tips dosen't even come close to filling it up. I have to get used to building a bigger fire. I started a fire similar to what I build in my smoker fire box. That is not big enough for a grill that large. So from now on it's big wood, big fire for a nice big bed of coals!

    The Santa Maria grill has opened up a whole new avenue of cooking for me. I'm really going to enjoy this! [​IMG]

    Pics to follow once I find my camera. I will say in advance no money shot of sliced tri tip. Things usually get very busy for me at serving time so the camera is usually a after thought.

    One day when I'm not cooking for a crowd which is very seldom I will have a full pictorial from start to finish! [​IMG]  

    Thanks to all for advice and input!!
    Last edited: May 8, 2016

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