Sunday, April 25, 2010

Tri-Tip on the Grill

Well the rain and cold have given way to a beautiful weekend here in SoCal, so it's ime to bust out the Weber grill.  This recipe for Santa Maria tri-tip appeared in the LA Times a few years back and it's a keeper:

6 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/4 cup of olive oil
4 teaspoons of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1  (3 pound) tri-tip roast with a thin fat layer

Start by grinding the garlic, oil, salt and peppercorns in a blender to a coarse paste.  Trim the roast of excess fat but leave a nice layer that you can score with a knife.  Pat dry the meat and place in a sealable plastic bag.  Add the garlic paste and seal the bag, pressing out the air.  Massage the meat until evenly coated and then place in the refrigerator for at least an hour.  Soak some chunks of oak (or whatever smoking wood you prefer except mesquite) in water.

After the coals in the chimney starter begin to ash over, pile them on one side of the grill and add the soaked wood chunks.  Place the meat fat side down directly over the coals for a few minutes.  Don't worry about a little char, it's necessary for a good crust.  Turn the meat over and sear the lean side for the same amount of time. Check out the flames in this pic.

Since we're grilling indirectly, we now move the meat to the cool side of the grill, insert the meat thermometer probe and cover.  Open the vents on your lid about halfway.  Now we wait.  Sittin' in a lounge chair, drinking a cold beer and watching the smoke puff out the top - 'nuff said.  Don't peek - remember, if you're lookin' you ain't cookin'.

Trust in your meat thermometer, it pays to get a good one.  If you like it on the rare side of medium, wait until the temp reads 128 degrees and then move it to a platter.  Set the roast aside for about 10 minutes to finish cooking and to allow the juices to settle.  Carve thin slices against the grain.

That's Sunday at my house.


  1. Nice post, nice pics, mixing it it up, you may have found "your thing."

  2. MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM - looks good! Why the heck wasn't I there? And I belive true Santa Maria tri-tip calls for Red Oak!