Tri-tip is a very tender cut of beef from the bottom sirloin. Depending on where you live it may not be readily available, but the secret is getting out. This extremely thick, well-marbled cut has a tremendous, rich flavor that steak-lovers crave.
If I had to describe it I would say it is somewhere between a ribeye and prime rib (full of flavor and beyond tender). It doesn’t need very much help in the seasoning department – either a plain dalmatian rub or my Tri-Tip Rub (below) is what I’d recommend. The Tri-Tip Rub is actually little more than a spiked dalmatian rub – it’s just enough spices to bring out the flavor that made this Northern California steak famous.
Tri-tip may be labeled as a "Tri-tip steak" or a "Tri-tip roast". It also may go by any other number of names (Newport steak, sirloin tip, etc) so just ask your butcher. Uncut, it’s a fantastic roast that is perfect for indirect grilling or barbecuing. You can also cut it into individual 1-inch steaks that grill up in under 10 minutes. This spice rub will obviously work with either, but this recipe will guide you through barbecuing the roast.
Yield: Serves 3-4
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hours
1 Tri-tip roast
Tri-tip Rub or Santa Maria Rub
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp ground coriander (about 12 seeds)
1) Prepare your smoker or grill for indirect cooking at 275°F. Traditionally, in the Santa Maria valley Tri-tip is smoked with red oak - so I'd recommend either oak or hickory.
2) Mix all the ingredients for the rub and evenly rub the Tri-tip roast – you shouldn’t need it all.
3) Cooking for approximately 60-75 minutes (time will vary depending on size). I’ve normally experienced a 10-15 degree range depending on where you probe with the thermometer. So pay attention the lowest average. When the internal temperate is between 130-135°F pull it off and let it rest for 10 minutes before cutting.
4) Cut against the grain. With the triangular shape this may take a few sample cuts.