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What to do with Tri-Tip Roast

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Fatemeh Aug 16, 2004 03:33 PM

I've never cooked a tri-tip. I've done some research, and found a few interesting preparations. But I trust my hounds to give me tips (no pun intended) for getting a nice, rare to med-rare, very flavorful & juicy dinner.

I'll tailor the sides to the main, so no worries there. I can use the grill , but would prefer NOT to use it for the whole cooking time if it's longer than, say, 40 minutes.

Help me, dear hounds!

  1. k
    Kirk Aug 16, 2004 04:06 PM

    On the grill, over a hot charcoal fire, it should take no more than 15 minutes to get a tri-tip to medium rare. I recommend you put Montreal Seasoning (or another Quebec roast seasoning) on it, insert a meat thermometer in the center and grill until it reaches 135 degrees, and then let it rest for five to 10 minutes before serving.

    Robb Walsh's book on Texas barbecue includes a great recipe for slow-smoked tri-tip, but it takes a couple of hours at least.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Kirk
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      Amy G. Aug 16, 2004 09:59 PM

      Friends of mine from New Mexico tell me that for their Block Party every year, they rub the tri tips,with seasonings,cook them on the grill and then, they throw them into coolers until time to eat. I presume this is the resting part. They tell me there is never a bite left it is so popular, and they make many of them for this party.

    2. m
      Melanie Wong Aug 16, 2004 04:40 PM

      My mom uses a Chinese marinade and bakes it in the toaster oven. The pan juices are great.

      Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

      2 Replies
      1. re: Melanie Wong
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        Fatemeh Aug 16, 2004 05:40 PM

        The TOASTER OVEN!!!

        I LOVE it... I think I might try this... sounds lovely! Will report back on the results.

        1. re: Fatemeh
          m
          Melanie Wong Aug 16, 2004 07:08 PM

          Mom made this a couple weekends ago when my siblings and I were in Salinas. My sister and I couldn't get over how stupidly easy it is and how good. You don't get the charry crust on the outside, but the marinade (sometimes she does it overnight) gets the flavor deep inside and keeps it moist. I guess you could sear it in a skillet if you wanted to. Lots of black pepper and crushed garlic in Mom's seasoning - sort of smells like kalbi when it's cooking. I don't know how long it takes, so best to use a thermometer to check internal temperature. These roasts aren't that big, so not too long, especially if the meat isn't refrigerator chilly when you put it in. It is really nice to not heat up the house with the regular oven or have to stand over an outdoor grill.

      2. n
        Neta Aug 16, 2004 07:36 PM

        I've always put salt and pepper and put it in a 450 degree oven for 40 minutes then turn down the oven to 350 for another 30 minutes and I end up with a perfect medium rare juicy roast. It is so tasty a cut of meat that it does well without anything but the salt and pepper in my opinion.

        1. a
          applehome Aug 17, 2004 12:44 AM

          I just did my first tri-tip - found it at TJ's - it's not a cut normally found in these parts.

          I salted & peppered it, then rubbed it with olive oil and minced garlic and let it sit for 30 minutes.

          I got the hardwood charcoal going very hot in half of my weber kettle - started the tri-tip over the very hot coals, turned it over once, then put it over the no-coal part (indirect heat) and covered the grill. Came back after the green beens were steamed and then plunged into ice water and the pasta was done and in the collander - maybe 15-20 minutes - tested with the thermometer to 115 and took it off to rest. Total in grill maybe 30 minutes - doesn't matter to me as long as I don't have sit there and watch it, so I can do other things. Using indirect heat for roasts and thick steaks allows me to do that.

          Finished the beens with VOO and garlic in a pan, ditto the pasta (plus some basil from the window box) - put both in serving dishes and then started to cut the tri-tip. Good and rare in the middle, and the ends were medium rare.

          I found the meat to be a very tasty cut - a little chewy, but what I'd expect from the sirloin. It didn't need anything more than I did (e.g. a strong marinade) - it's not a grainy or tough cut like a flank or skirt. I'll buy it again - the family gave it thumbs up.

          One point of interest - the meat didn't shrink but actually kind of puffed up in the middle. I started with a piece that I wasn't sure was going to feed us all, and ended up with a respectable roast. I know TJ doesn't pump up the meat (even though it is cryo'd), so I wonder if it's just the cut or what...

          1. l
            LBQT Aug 17, 2004 10:10 AM

            The Montreal seasoning is good; also try Snyder's roast seasoning (a reddish-orange color, probably b/c of the paprika in it). Both make an easy and tasty tri tip, either on the bbq or in the oven.

            1. e
              Eric Aug 17, 2004 02:07 PM

              Below is a link for an entire Santa Maria tri tip meal. Santa Maria is where bbq tri tip was started. The website has the history of and recipies for bbq tri tip.

              Link: http://www.santamaria.com/section_vis...

              1. t
                Tebester Aug 17, 2004 05:11 PM

                I've cooked a lot of Tri-Tip over the years and used to live a few miles from Santa Maria, CA. I can't say I like the way they usually cook it there, which is "until dead".
                I think Tri-Tip definitely needs a marinade. I like either Italian dressing or Lawry's Jamaican that has lime juice in it. In each case it is the vinegar or lime juice that breaks down the meat fiber and makes it more tender. I put the meat in a big ziplock, pour in the marinade and then squeeze out all the air before sealing. All day or overnight is best.
                I find that cooking it is fairly labor intensive in the beginning. I cook it over a fairly hot fire with the lid just tight enough to enough to keep the flame retarded. Baste it with a fresh batch of the marinade and keep turning it every 2-3 minutes until each side has been basted and cooked at least two times. Three of four is more preferable. Then you can place it on a cool area of the grill and allow to cook using indirect heat for about 20-30 minutes, or until the 135 degrees mentioned previously. This is one cut of meat where slicing across the grain is particularly necessary, and the thinner the better. Resting is required or all the juice will be on the slicing plate rather than in the meat.

                1. t
                  TerriL Aug 17, 2004 05:16 PM

                  I follow the Bruce Aidell's recipe -- it's incredibly easy and good: Salt and pepper the roast and let it air-dry for 30 minutes or so, then put it on convection at 425 until it reaches 128 degrees on a meat thermometer (takes about 20 minutes). I've also done some of his rubs and marinades (the Bourbon one is terrific), but this is such a flavorful cut that it doesn't really require the extra effort. Good luck!

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