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Tri-tip roasts: cook like a steak or a brisket?

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  • SmokingPat
    Club Member
    • Sep 2019
    • 127
    • Coastal southern California

    Tri-tip roasts: cook like a steak or a brisket?

    In another cooking forum, someone said they cook tri-tip like a brisket -- to an IT of 200 deg.
    I've always treated tri-tip like a steak, cooking to an IT of 120-145 deg.
    I wonder whether I've been missing out after all these years. If you cook tri-tip, how do you cook it?
  • Jerod Broussard
    Moderator
    • Jun 2014
    • 9925
    • East Texas
    • Pit Barrel Cooker "Texas Brisket Edition"
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    #2
    Sous vide. I hate the straight low and slow reverse sear texture. A real fatty Wagyu would probably turn out good at 200 with a hot cook.

    Comment


    • tbob4
      tbob4 commented
      Editing a comment
      ecowper - he has to venture out west

    • Jerod Broussard
      Jerod Broussard commented
      Editing a comment
      ecowper as I see it Santa Maria is a grill style married to a technique that can't be that great if so many people move away from it hehehehehe Low and slow then reverse searing is a technique that does well on real steaks such as ribeyes, Tri-Tip is a roast. From what I have read they sear first then low and slow on the Santa Maria. Either way, too tough, even when sliced across the grain razor thin. Sous vide to the rescue!!

    • ecowper
      ecowper commented
      Editing a comment
      True Santa Maria cooking uses an adjustable grill to manage the cooking and temperatures on the meat. The searing actually occurs all throughout the cook, not at any single point. I use reverse searing as the closest I can get to Santa Maria style outcomes without a Santa Maria grill.
  • Skip
    Founding Member
    • Jul 2014
    • 3741
    • Blue Earth, Minnesota
    • LSG Adjustable Grill/Smoker, MAK Pellet Grill, Large BGE, Weber Kettle with SnS, Weber Gasser, Pit Barrel Cooker, Cast Iron Pans & Griddle, Grill Grates, Mostly Thermoworks Thermometers

    #3
    I usually SV and sear like steak. BUT--just last weekend I smoked one like a brisket just for the fun of it. IMO they're good both ways.

    Comment

    • ecowper
      Founding Member
      • Jul 2014
      • 3673
      • Maple Valley, WA
      • Grill = Hasty-Bake Gourmet Dual Finish
        Smoke = Weber Smokey Mountain 22.5"

        Thermometer = FireBoard FBX11 with 2 ambient and 6 meat probes
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        Thermometer = ThermoWorks Chef Alarm
        Thermapen Mk IV = Light blue
        Thermapen Classic = Grey
        PID Controller = Fireboard Drive + Auber 20 CFM Fan

        Favorite cook = Tri-Tip for the grill, whole packer brisket for the smoker
        Favorite wine = a good Bordeaux with steak, a good Syrah with pork, or a nice bottle of Champagne or California sparkling wine
        Favorite beer = Sam Adams Boston Lager or Shiner Bock
        Favorite whisky = Lagavulin 16 year old single malt

        Best Cookbooks - Meathead's "The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling", Chris Lilly's "Big Bob Gibson's BBQ Book", Aaron Franklin's "Franklin BBQ"


        Eric Cowperthwaite aka ecowper

      #4
      Cook the full tri-tip like a steak. Reverse sear, don’t get it above medium rare. I’m from central CA and love tri-tip done right. Do tri-tip Santa Maria style and brisket Texas style and life is wonderful :-)

      Last night’s dinner

      Click image for larger version

Name:	F2B2B16D-74ED-4374-A62C-95BEE5ABEB2F.jpeg
Views:	223
Size:	3.16 MB
ID:	898877

      Comment


      • ecowper
        ecowper commented
        Editing a comment
        Mr. Bones the salad appeased my wife .... I was gonna make a batch of pinquitos

      • Mr. Bones
        Mr. Bones commented
        Editing a comment
        Olive oil, basalmic, some herbage, in yer dressin?

        Pinquitos'd a been dang dang nice, but theys always mañana, Brother

        Happy Wife, ya know th Rest...

        Added Fruit to my post, though I consider that a salad ,kinda thing...
        Last edited by Mr. Bones; August 19, 2020, 09:26 PM.

      • Donw
        Donw commented
        Editing a comment
        Looks just like my dinner plate from tonight. You can’t go wrong with that combination.
    • BFlynn
      Charter Member
      • Oct 2014
      • 950
      • Third Coast

      #5
      I marinade the tri tip in a Cabernet / soy /ginger marinade for 3 - 4 hours and then reverse sear.

      Take marinade, boil and reduce to make a sauce.

      Comment

      • SparkDog
        Club Member
        • Dec 2018
        • 70
        • Amarillo
        • Hunsaker Vortex Drum, Weber 2-Burner Spirit Gas Grill and 22" Weber Kettle with SNS on the way.
          When time permits, I will also brew some beer and ride bicycles

        #6
        I put mine on to smoke on the grill (I use the Weber with the SNS) for about an hour or hour and a half. The grill runs about 250 or so and I pull it at 135 internal temperature. Some days I sear other days just pull it at 135.

        Comment


        • Cheef
          Cheef commented
          Editing a comment
          Second on this technique.

        • zzdocxx
          zzdocxx commented
          Editing a comment
          Third this one, except I bring to temp on smoker grill rather than Weber before searing.
      • Dadof3Illinois
        Club Member
        • Jul 2017
        • 959
        • Southeast Illinois

        #7
        I front sear over a 3/4 full charcoal chimney then bank the coals add some Montreal steak seasoning and go low and slow until 130 ish. Remove from the grill and hit it with a good dose of Parmesan cheese and slice across the grain.

        Comment


        • TripleB
          TripleB commented
          Editing a comment
          You got it right sir! Front sear all the way!

        • cgrover60
          cgrover60 commented
          Editing a comment
          Agreed. My chef wife insisted and I've done tri tip this way ever since with great results.
      • Randy-Phx
        Club Member
        • Apr 2018
        • 537
        • Phoenix, AZ

        #8
        I had Tri tip for dinner tonight. Smoke at 250 until internal temp is 128, then sear until internal temp is 138 - 145.

        Comment

        • Donw
          Club Member
          • Jul 2017
          • 3539

          #9
          Tri-tip doesn’t need the same treatment as a brisket and definitely doesn’t need to reach high temperatures like a brisket to be tender. Perfect range for me is medium rare but some others like it better in the medium range. If someone is saying treat it like brisket I believe they just don’t know how to slice it properly to show its tenderness. A quick search for a video on the proper way to slice a tri-tip will set them straight.

          Comment

          • mnavarre
            Club Member
            • Jan 2018
            • 623
            • San Diego

            #10
            I've done tri-tip cooked up to 200ish a few times. It's pretty good, not my favorite way to cook it, but pretty good for a change up. Basically, rub it with rub of choice, smoke until it's 160 or so, wrap in foil with some BBQ sauce & juice, and cook until probe tender. Slice against the grain as usual.

            That being said: SPG, oak fire, reverse sear, 130F, beans, pico, salad. Done.

            Comment


            • barelfly
              barelfly commented
              Editing a comment
              What’s the texture like cooking to that finished temp? Is it like brisket? You have any photos? This has me curious, but I love a tri tip cooked like a steak. Especially when I can find the prime grade at costco!

            • SmokingPat
              SmokingPat commented
              Editing a comment
              Don't forget the garlic bread! 😋

            • mnavarre
              mnavarre commented
              Editing a comment
              It's kinda similar to brisket flat I guess. It's been ages since I've done one that way, might have to do it if prices ever come down to a reasonable level. I ain't paying $6.99 a pound for untrimmed tri-tip, nosiree.
          • tbob4
            Charter Member
            • Nov 2014
            • 2494
            • Chico, CA
            • BBQ's
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            #11
            I'm the oddball. I never temp it except for curiosity. I front sear, smoke at 200-225 for 3 - 3.5 hours, pull, wrap, rest for a minimum of 30 minutes. I cut across the grain. Whatever I don't eat on day 1 goes into a plastic bag with salsa. I quickly sear the meat the next day for tacos or fajitas.

            Comment

            • GolfGeezer
              Club Member
              • May 2019
              • 327
              • San Clemente, CA
              • Sam

                MAK 2 Star
                Hestan Aspire 36" Grill
                Blackstone 22" Griddle

              #12
              We've been buying ours from a market in Cardiff by the Sea. "Cardiff Crack" is a proprietary burgundy/pepper marinated tri-tip (the rumored trick is they use a commercial vacuum sealed tumbler to infuse the meat). Forward sear then on indirect on our gasser to preferred IT of 130-135*. Very tender like a great NY strip with incredible flavor. Yum.

              https://order.seasidemarket.com/

              Comment

              • CaptainMike
                Club Member
                • Nov 2015
                • 2714
                • The Great State of Jefferson
                • 24X40 Lone Star Grillz offset smoker
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                #13
                I have cooked literally thousands of tri tips (fundraisers, weddings, caterings, firehouse meals, etc) and my favorite is Santa Maria style over an oak fire. However, SVQ, QVQ, smoked, F or R seared, and even this L&S recipe from Traeger https://www.traegergrills.com/recipes/tri-tip-roast are all acceptable. Play around with the different techniques and see which one you like best. Each method produces slightly different textures and flavor profiles. Tri tips are a very forgiving cut and are great even if you overshoot IT's. And the leftovers are very versatile.

                Comment


                • BFlynn
                  BFlynn commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Thanks guys. That's real helpful. I've done them hanging on the PBC before and then seared in CI on my gasser side burner.
                  I have a plan. May start a new thread instead of hijacking this one.

                • Dick Anderson
                  Dick Anderson commented
                  Editing a comment
                  CaptainMike, during the 80's/90's I attended several Hopland Street Dance and Firemans' BBQ's. Wondering if you were the cook? That claim of thousands would be modest! I always tried to buy some to take home

                • CaptainMike
                  CaptainMike commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Dick Anderson yep, I was one of those guys hustling around the
                  pits back then. Some of the best experiences of my life. Thank you for your support! How are you guys doing with the fires and smoke?
                  Last edited by CaptainMike; August 20, 2020, 01:58 PM.
              • Old Glory
                Club Member
                • Feb 2018
                • 1327
                • Northshore MA
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                #14
                I treat it like a small roast or thick steak. I either Sous Vide it or reverse sear. I always shoot for a nice medium rare. I never found it to be tough.
                Attached Files

                Comment


                • zzdocxx
                  zzdocxx commented
                  Editing a comment
                  That looks the way mine usually looks. Lots of jus.

                  Great pic !
              • zzdocxx
                Club Member
                • Jun 2020
                • 178

                #15
                I have occasionally got a tough one, only once since I started buying prime (Costco).

                The one that was tough was a great big one. Maybe I'm superstitious but I am staying away from big ones.

                Comment

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