Tri Tip

Discussion in 'Beef' started by swkegelguy, Nov 25, 2007.

  1. swkegelguy

    swkegelguy Fire Starter

    I have seen many, many recipes for Tri's and for the life of me cannot find one here in southern FL. I know it is a bottom sirloin but none of the shops or stores handle that part of the cut. I worked as a butcher while living in southern Louisiana for a bit years ago and know what I am looking for but nothing here resembles it. Am I missing something here? Can someone maybe guide me in the right direction? Or am I in the Tri-less part of the states? [​IMG]
     
  2. deejaydebi

    deejaydebi Smoking Guru

    I've never found one either! No body even knows what I'm talking about up here!
     
  3. scotty

    scotty Smoking Fanatic

    Cut the torture folks. PLEEEEEEEZE

    [​IMG]
    What is it
     
  4. deejaydebi

    deejaydebi Smoking Guru

  5. pescadero

    pescadero Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Very common here in Oregon. Until recently(last year or two) they were rather inexpensive. Like everything else, they have caught on and they are now just as spendy as everyting else.

    I have see where the confusion was soloved by their other name. Most butchers can cut them but call them something else. Will ask around tomorrow, when shops are open and try to get the factual answer. They are definitely worth locating.

    With luck someone else will come along with the answer, but if it is still a question I will get something.

    Skip
     
  6. swkegelguy

    swkegelguy Fire Starter

    Glad I am not alone here Dee! I have seen most of the recipes come from the west coast where you are Skip but as I thought it is called something else. Thanks for checking this out for me (or US [​IMG] ). Everytime I see them either on a tv program or an internet recipe I am drooling for I am a beef eater from the midwest and would love to give this a try.
     
  7. camp_cookie

    camp_cookie Smoking Fanatic

    I haven't been able to find it in my neck of the woods either.
     
  8. fatback joe

    fatback joe Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I have found them at Publix here in Tampa...........3 times in 7 years. LOL
     
  9. jerrykr

    jerrykr Meat Mopper

    I'll ask my brother-in-law tonight. They live in Santa Maria, Ca. the absolute home of tri-tip. It's called something else here, but I don't recall what.

    Jerry
     
  10. pescadero

    pescadero Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    OK, I checked with three of the bigger Butchers in my area and also with two of the largest chain stores (Safeway & Fred Meyers). They tend to agree on the following.

    Most beef is slaughtered at 1 year to 18 months of age. The Tri-Tip on that age of animal is only two to three inches in size. It takes an animal of 2.5 to 3 years of age to have a Tri-Tip large enough to be worthy of being treated as a separate cut of meat.

    When the typical younger animal is butchered, this cut is either, thrown in with stew meat, cubed or left on the bottom of the Sirloin for the customer to trim.

    Tri-Tip is really a wonderful cut of meat and for some reason, in great demand along the west coast. This means that even custom butchers have a waiting list and, unless patient, you have a hard time getting any. To solve this problem the major retailers, such as I mentioned above, actually buy some mature animals, or buy specific cuts from mature animals. Not just for Tri-Tip, but for a variety of reasons. For instance Prime Rib is another cut not available on the younger animals. So to satisfy their customers, they end up buying from multiple suppliers. The younger animals from their regular supplier, to be used for their high volume standard cuts. And they buy from different suppliers, ones who specialize in mature animals, to meet the demand for cuts only available on those older animals.

    In areas where Tri-Tip is not a common cut of meat, you face an uphill battle getting it into the mix. They all say that if your local markets and superstores do not currently stock Tri-Tip, you are unlikely to get it unless you can convince their buyer to gamble and take a risk. They usually come four or six to a big box or bag and some retailers do not want to risk buying them and then being stuck because their local customer base doesn’t know what it is, and it ages out, only to be used for hamburger. One way around this is to guarantee that you will buy the whole lot. Or go in partners with a friend or family member. They also say that once you have broken through the local retailers will probably be more willing to work with you again in the future.

    Anyway, that is the story, as I get it.

    Good luck to you. It is well worth the effort if you can pull it off.

    Skip
     
  11. swkegelguy

    swkegelguy Fire Starter

    Thanks for the lowdown Skip and everyone else who has replied. We have a Publix here like Fatback in Tampa. I will consider asking them although I rarely shop there but will drop in and speak to the butcher there about this since Fatback has found it there in Tampa.
     
  12. fatback joe

    fatback joe Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I have not seen them in months and I stop in there weekly. Good luck.
     
  13. pescadero

    pescadero Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    This probably wasn't the 'good news' you were hoping for, but it is what I learned from all my phone calls. Guess I am really lucky living where they are easily available.

    Good Luck. Let us know how you make out.
    Skip
     
  14. swkegelguy

    swkegelguy Fire Starter

    Well it makes sense it is a west coast thing because anytime seeing it done on the Food Network they are normally in Cali.
     
  15. navionjim

    navionjim Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Skip is dead on there, it was a common item in Oregon, I haven't seen it in any market here in Texas .
    Jimbo
     
  16. squeezy

    squeezy Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Sounds similar to a problem here ... my local butcher only has small briskets due to the younger animals used. The larger packer briskets, he tells me are from older bulls. It is interesting how market driven (profit making) the meat industry is! If all beef was raised longer, the price would go up, if demand is high for it. Take chicken wings for example; when I was growing up, they were cheap meat for the poor (trust me I know) and now with the high demand ... well you know the cost now!
    I guess we just have to enjoy what is available to us, each in our own area.
    I'll be visiting Wisconsin at Xmas, so will be taking advantage of Wally-world and grab a couple of packers to bring home.
     
  17. mobcounty

    mobcounty Smoke Blower

    ""The tri-tip is a cut of beef from the bottom sirloin primal cut. It is a small triangular muscle, usually 1.5 to 2.5 lbs. (675 to 1,150g) per side of beef. In the United States, this cut was typically used for ground beef or sliced into steaks until the late 1950s, when it became a local specialty in Santa Maria, California, rubbed with salt, pepper, and spices and cooked whole on a rotisserie or grilled. (The tri-tip is still often labeled "Santa Maria steak".) Tri-tip is now available in most of the U.S., though it remains a relatively overlooked cut. Most popular in Central California, it has begun to enjoy increasing popularity elsewhere for its full flavor, lower fat content, and comparatively lower cost. Tri-tip has become a popular cut of meat for producing Texas Red Chili con carne on the competitive chili cooking circuit, supplanting ground beef because the low fat content produces little grease, which judges take off points for.''

    -Wikipedia
    --------------------------------------------

    I live on the central coast California "The home of Tri-Tip". I have had tri-tip from a lot of places, a lot of the so called best places.. Do not be fooled. There is no tri-tip here that can compare to an mediocre brisket done by someone who knows how to smoke.

    Tri-tip is notoriously dry and tough. The point of the cut dries up, way before the body. You have two choices, sear it quick, cook for a bit, then hope for the best.. Or smoke it, keep it wet, and hope for the best.

    It's only popular because it used to be very cheap. You used to be able to get a tri tip for half the price of a brisket per pound. When I just went shopping tri-tip was the same price as pork butt per pound.. [​IMG]

    Frankly, the only reason tri-tip sells is because it is sorta-cheap, and nobody here (besides a few hobbyists) smokes meat to any degree of quality... If you are accustom to real southern BBQ you will be shocked at the quality of what passes for good BBQ here in this area.

    That all said, I will try to smoke a tri tip to quality some day, perhaps it will be the first [​IMG] ..

    MC
     
  18. pescadero

    pescadero Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    The tri-tip is a cut of beef from the bottom sirloin primal cut. It is a small triangular muscle, usually 1.5 to 2.5 lbs. (675 to 1,150g) per side of beef. In the United States, this cut was typically used for ground beef or sliced into steaks until the late 1950s, when it became a local specialty in Santa Maria, California, rubbed with salt, pepper, and spices and cooked whole on a rotisserie or grilled. (The tri-tip is still often labeled "Santa Maria steak".) Tri-tip is now available in most of the U.S., though it remains a relatively overlooked cut. Obviously no longer true. Just read all the difficulty members are having, trying to find the cut. Most popular in Central California, it has begun to enjoy increasing popularity elsewhere for its full flavor, lower fat content, and comparatively lower cost. Tri-tip has become a popular cut of meat for producing Texas Red Chili con carne on the competitive chili cooking circuit, supplanting ground beef because the low fat content produces little grease, which judges take off points for.''

    -Wikipedia
    --------------------------------------------

    I live on the central coast California "The home of Tri-Tip". I have had tri-tip from a lot of places, a lot of the so called best places.. Do not be fooled. There is no tri-tip here that can compare to an mediocre brisket done by someone who knows how to smoke.

    Tri-tip is notoriously dry and tough. The point of the cut dries up, way before the body. You have two choices, sear it quick, cook for a bit, then hope for the best.. Or smoke it, keep it wet, and hope for the best. How does this opinion of yours, wash with the statement from Wik that you quoted, which says "Most popular in Central California, it has begun to enjoy increasing popularity elsewhere for its full flavor, lower fat content, and comparatively lower cost." I am curious how it can be, on the one hand, full of flavor, lower fat and still be this notoriously dry, inferior piece of meat.

    It's only popular because it used to be very cheap. It is popular with everyone I know because we find it flavorful, tender and delicious when prepared on the outside Grill. You used to be able to get a tri tip for half the price of a brisket per pound. When I just went shopping tri-tip was the same price as pork butt per pound.. This last statement, I agree with. Even here in Oregon the price has increased dramaticly in the last couple of years.

    Frankly, the only reason tri-tip sells is because it is sorta-cheap, and nobody here (besides a few hobbyists) smokes meat to any degree of quality... If you are accustom to real southern BBQ you will be shocked at the quality of what passes for good BBQ here in this area. Frankly the only reason it sells here in Oregon is because we love to Grill it and find it absolutely delicious when done this way. I personally find it superior when grilled, to all but a good New York

    That all said, I will try to smoke a tri tip to quality some day, perhaps it will be the first ..

    I want to clarify a couple of things. First, I have grilled hundreds of these little puppies but never smoked them. If your negative comments are directed to smoking them, then you may very well be correct. I will defer to your experience at that. But if directed to Tri Tip in general, or if encompassing Grilled, I heartily disagree.

    Secondly, I have not been overly impressed with Tri Tip Roasts. I am directing my comments and opinions to Tri Tip Steaks and Roasts that have been steaked out.

    Of course the standard disclaimer applies to everything I have stated, and that is: This is just my opinion and "Your Mileage May Vary".

    Skip
     
  19. navionjim

    navionjim Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Skip,
    I've cooked a bunch of Tri tip when I lived in Oregon and found it to be a pretty decent cut of meat, never smoked one myself either, but I bet it would be good. No matter where it's cut from on the cow, I just can't find it here in Texas or perhaps it goes by a different name. IMHO any piece of beef properly smoked is good. When I lived in Mexico any part f a cow that could be sliced off was called Beef steak. Works for me as long as it's cooked or smoked correctly I'll eat it.

    On another note, hows the weather in Newport? Thanksgiving here in Houston was cold and rainy, almost like home only uglier.
    Jimbo
     

Share This Page