Tri Tip French Dips

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Original poster
Dec 7, 2016
Sioux Falls, SD
Good morning from windy South Dakota!  I'm up early because I'm excited to get my car back from the shop...  I broke it one week after buying it, and it has been in the shop for FIVE WEEKS!  Anyway, I thought I'd make a quick post about my smoke yesterday while I wait for the shop to open up

We had a high here of around 35 yesterday, so it was much better to smoke in than the 7 degrees with -11 wind chill I tried in last time.  It's been SUPER windy, however...  sustained 15-30mph winds for about a week.  That made it a little harder to keep my vertical charcoal smoker up to temp, but I just added three chimneys of charcoal instead of my normal two.  That did the job!

I had a small amount left on a gift card to a meat place which carries reasonably priced tri-tip ($6/lb), so I picked up a 4.5lb one to smoke.  I used hickory and cherry, and filled the water pan (I think that went a long way in regulating the temp in those winds).

I dry rubbed it with SPOG and some montreal seasoning and left it in the fridge overnight.  I took it out to come up to room temp at 10:00 am or so.

I started the charcoal at 12:30 pm, brought the smoker up to temp, and added the meat at 1:00 pm.

I played with the dampers a little bit, here and there over the course of the smoke, to try to take advantage of the strong wind, and keep the coals hot.

At 3:45 pm, the smoker temp started dropping, but the meat IT was only 120, so I added another chimney of charcoal and watched closely.

4:30 pm, IT temp of the tri-tip was at 136, so I pulled it, foiled it, and rested it in a beach towel in a cooler for an hour and a half.  It came up to about 138, which is just about perfect for how I like tri tip.

Somebody on the forum gave me an awesome-looking recipe to a smoky au jus, but this time I just went with a packet of pre-made stuff.

I was planning to hand-slice the tri tip, but I had no sooner wished I had a meat slicer, than my wife bought me one for a late Christmas present while she was out doing a return at JC Penney.  It's nothing special, but it did the job just fine!

6:00 pm I sliced half of the tri tip for the french dips, and saved the rest for other meals.  I also fired up the grill, started carmelizing some onions and prepared the au jus.  I briefly gave the sliced meat a dunk in the au jus (mostly because I had a picky eater over, and she would have seen the pink in the meat as being raw, when it's actually done just right. Anyhow, the au jus browned the meat some)

(The meat after slicing and dropping in the au jus)

6:15 pm, I threw some pineapple rings coated with cinnamon and brown sugar onto the grill.  I grilled them for about 3 minutes per side.

6:25 pm, I pulled off the pineapple and threw two sliced, buttered, french breads on the grill to toast.  I pulled those after just a minute or so, when they had some nice grill lines.

6:30 Put the sandwiches together with some carmelized onion on top, sliced them, and served.  It was a hit, and nothing but compliments from the picky eater!

Thanks for reading, and have a great weekend!!!
Looks tasty! Nothing finer than a Tri tip dip!



Fill your water pan with play sand and cover it with foil. That will help regulate temps on cold windy days better than water.
Thanks for the points and compliments guys.  dirtsailor:  I went with your advice from my other post, about doing a tri-tip instead of a brisket for French dips, and boy am I glad I did!  Thanks for the tip as well, about the water pan.  I didn't have too much trouble yesterday, but will try that next time it's this windy.  I'm glad I joined these forums, nobody ever hesitates to jump in with compliments, advice and tips.  Love it here!
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Mmmmm Tri tip dip that sounds and looks tasty! Maybe you need to work on a wind block for your smoker.
Nice sandwiches, good right up and lovely qview must deserve a point! Nice post, Jamie.

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