Tri Tip?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by smokeymose, Jan 3, 2016.

  1. smokeymose

    smokeymose Master of the Pit

    Ok; what the heck is a tri tip? If I go to a meat shop and ask, will they know what I'm talking about?
  2. pit 4 brains

    pit 4 brains Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Probably not in Indy. If they do, I doubt they would have one ready. They are more common out here in the west as they originated in Santa Barbara, CA. I believe. 

    If you can get one, smoke it gently around 300-325 until 135 in the center. Remove and REST in foil for about 10 minutes. Great cut of lean, tender meat!

    Is my first one I smoked..
  3. Likely you won't be able to get one. Most experienced cutters/butchers know what it is. They seem to not be available in the midwest. I have no idea why, but they seem to be mostly only available on the west coast.

     One possibility would be to ask for the "cap meat" from a Top Sirloin. This is (as the meat cutters tell me) part of the Tri-Tip. It is about a 2-2 1/2 pound peice before trim. You will most likely have to pay sirloin price for it.

     If you look at their sirloin steaks and they look like 2 peices with a thin membrane of fatty tissue between them, the small narrow peice on the fat side is the tri-tip section. My store wants this peice cut off and used for stew meat, but sometimes it gets left on or cut into steaks. If you see a pack of sirloin steaks with several peices about 1 1/2 wide and 4-5 inches long, chances are the were cut from the "cap meat" aka tri tip section.
  4. smokeymose

    smokeymose Master of the Pit

    I'll ask. The shop I usually go to might be able to order it. They had to do that for whole racks of short ribs..
  5. b-one

    b-one Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Good luck finding some there great! Are you around any Gordon Foodservice Stores? They carry different items but may have or be able to get some,my local one sells bulk bags 6 per bag currently 3.65 ish a pound.
  6. paul6

    paul6 Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    Ask for a Bottom sirloin that is the Midwest / East coast name for it .
  7. Go to Costco or Sam's and ask. The both have it on their order list and just ask them to get you some. if you buy the cryo pack it will cost less...If you buy the case even less. I just bought some Prime Tri-tip at Costco and it was less than $3.per pound.I paid $80 plus and got 7 tri-tips.

    I do chili cooks and this the meat I use. So I'm always looking for choice and above. Restaurant depot have the same meat at less than $5 pr pound I have found that the depot's meat is a higher quality "choice" than you can get anywhere else. Their choice is as good as Prime at other distributors. .Why. because they supply restaurants!

    Can't go wrong with these guys.
  8. smokeymose

    smokeymose Master of the Pit

    Thanks, all! I'll ask about the Bottom Sirloin at the Meat Shop (I was planning a stop there anyway to check out pork belly).
    I know where a Gordon's is not far from me actually. Not crazy about buying quantities, but it may be the only way to go....

  9. b-one

    b-one Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Once you have some TT you will be glad you got it in bulk! Bulk prices are $3 ish a pound store prices $9 and up generally.
  10. if you have TRDER JOES in your area, they stock Tri tips.
  11. smokeymose

    smokeymose Master of the Pit

    OK, at least two butchers in Indy know what a tri tip is. The Meat Shop on W. Washington St said they could cut one, and while doing the weekly grocery thing at Meijer their guy said the same thing. Both were asking $6.99lb.
    The name they gave it at Meijer was "CAB Top Sirloin Brazilian London Broil" :p
    Going to give it a try today with a simple spog, and if it's as good as everyone says I'll look at bulk.
  12. smokinal

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

    Down here in Florida. Publix will order tri-tip for you, & you don't have to buy the whole case. You can pick & choose which ones you want. I even order pork belly from them & take only the thick end. I would imagine any local grocery store in your area with a meat cutting dept. would do the same.
  13. schlotz

    schlotz Meat Mopper

    Sounds like you and I live on the same side of town.  Dang, that's about the weirdest name they could come up with.  Interesting they used that nomenclature as the TT is usually referred to as bottom sirloin since it's below the sirloin area.   Totally forgot about The Meat Shop and don't know why 'cause I'm in there a lot. Hope it turns out great! Don't get too wet, it's nasty out there.

    Last edited: Jan 9, 2016
  14. smokeymose

    smokeymose Master of the Pit

    Hey Matt!
    I'm wondering if they were just coming up with something they could bar code (Brazilian?). It wasn't a regular item, the butcher just happened to know what it was.
    It turned out all right. Cooks really fast! Cooked to 135, foiled and took it to 155, then took it off and towelled into a cooler for an hour.
    It must have cooked in the cooler, since it was done a little more than I wanted, but still tender and juicy. I'll do another for sure, just pull it off a little sooner.
    I have an 8x8 dining tarp, so I stayed dry 😊

  15. b-one

    b-one Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I suggest cook to 5-10 degrees of the temp you want rest uncovered shortly 5-10,not really needed in my experience,slice against the grain and enjoy! I normally smoke to about 115-120 sear a few on each side pull it off about 125-130 rest shortly to finish sides and or get cutting board and knife ready!
  16. smokeymose

    smokeymose Master of the Pit

    That's kind of what I was thinking, b, pulling it off around 120-130. When I foiled it at 135 the fat was pretty much dissolved, so there probably wasn't much need for resting in the cooler that long. Definitely a different cut of beast. I like it.
  17. b-one

    b-one Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    They are addicting!
  18. pit 4 brains

    pit 4 brains Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    This is definitely one cut of meat you do not want to over cook due to its leanness. 

    Also, Tri tips tend to have three grain directions in different parts of the cut. To get the best slices, I like to start at the blunt point with a bias cut and move toward the longer point. 
  19. schlotz

    schlotz Meat Mopper


    Tri-tip meat thickness varies so I've ventured into using a probe (at the start) placed in the middle of the thickest part to monitor in order to pull the TT around 125°. Then let it rest on a cutting board tented (not wrapped). Usually the temp rises a bit after pulling, maybe 5° or so. Resting is important so the juices re-settle and don't come gushing out when cut.  Continue tracking the IT as it rests, suggest waiting at least until the temp finally starts to go down before slicing.  I personally let mine rest 20 min or more. Of course doneness is a personal thing so pick the pull temp that suits ya.  

    The reverse sear works nicely if you have the capability with your equipment.  When I do that, it's pull at 120°, let rest for 5 min, then onto the grill at high heat to sear both sides - approx 2-3 min/side.

    Last edited: Jan 10, 2016
  20. smokeymose

    smokeymose Master of the Pit

    Yeah, Matt, I probably should have just let it rest instead of towelling and coolering. It must have been alright though, because between the Mrs., her daughter and husband, and myself, there's only a couple of slices left for me a sandwich for work tomorrow 😏 The apple juice in the foil probably helped, too.
    What about this weather? 48 degrees and rain yesterday and now it's 19 with snow...
    This may have been my last smoke for awhile (between the weather and work schedule), but now I can't wait to try another tri tip!


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