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Central California Smoker

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I have been BBQ for about 20 years and currently have 2 22" Weber Kettles (one 37 years old) Charbroil 2 Burner gas grill, Charbroil charcoal smoker (bullet style), Outers (Little Chief) Electric and a brand new Smokehouse Products Vertical propane smoker. My specialty is Tri-tip and do pretty good pork shoulder and baby back ribs. Also enjoy smoking salmon, cheese and making jerky. My next project is bacon. I started curing my pork belly last Saturday and should get it in the smoker next Tuesday or Wednesday. By the way, If you live close to Lodi, you must try Lakewood Meat and Sausage and if you are close to Jackson, Swingles is the place to go for top cuts of meat. Looking forward to learning and sharing with the members of the forum.

post #2 of 7

Welcome to SMF, Treacy!


Glad to have you with us!



post #3 of 7

Hi Treacy, welcome to the forum. Good people on this site with tons of helpful ideas. 


What part of Central CA are you from? I just got back from a road trip that started in Paso Robles and went all the way up through Big Sur. Awesome part of the country. I was really diggin the California tri-tip. Whats your method for smoking tri-tip - rubs, temp, time?





post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 

Lodi. I BBQ my tri-tip on my Weber Kettle indirect. I use a traditional Santa Maria Tri-Tip Rub on mine. I'll post the recipe tonight. I sear mine first on the gas grill, just enough to get a little crust going. For smoke flavoring traditional is Red Oak, but I have trouble finding it so I'll use a handful of Mesquite chips that has not been soaked. I take them off at around 125 degrees and then rest covered until the temp reaches 140-145 degrees. That will leave you with a nice rare to medium rare roast. Do not over cook this cut, unless you like eating shoe leather.

The traditional method of cooking is a ranch grill/BBQ and they sear them then raise the cooking surface. I've seen these types of set uos both covered and uncovered.

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

Here is the Santa Maria Tri-Tip Rub Recipe

1 Tablespoon each of the following:

Kosher Salt

Finely Ground Black Pepper ( I grind peppercorns in a spice grinder for a better pepper flavor)

Garlic Powder

Onion Powder

Dried Oregano ( I use Mexican Oregano as it has more of an earthy taste)

And a 1/2 Teaspoon dry Sage and Cayenne Pepper


If you have a vacuum sealer, season the meat well and vacuum seal it and then freeze it. I have found that the thawing process improves seasoning penetration, but not too much. The great thing about Tri-Tip is it's rich beef flavor, so I don't like my smoke, seasoning or marinade to penetrate too much. I sear this on all sides on the gas grill and then cook indirect between 300 and 350 degrees. Depending on the weight of the Tri-Tip, it takes about 45 minutes to an hour to get it to 125-128 degrees. I use a remote probe thermometer that I can set to whatever temperature I choose.

Hope this helps you recreate your California Tri-Tip Experience.

Edited by Treacy Elliott - 4/2/16 at 9:21am
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

Here is the result of my Tri-Tip recipe


Ready for the grill


Ready to be carved


post #7 of 7

texas.gif  Good afternoon and welcome to the forum, from a windy, warm and nice day here in East Texas, and the best site on the web. Lots of great people with tons of information on just about  everything.




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