Tri-Tip

This is what tri-tips look like.

When I first started using a smoker way back in 2015, the first, second, and third thing I smoked was tri-tip. It is a favorite of mine to smoke because of the great flavor and the short amount of time it takes to reach the desired result of awesomeness. It is a great cut of meat that comes from the hind quarters of the cow in the bottom sirloin. Here’s the recipe I used:

Meat: tri-tip

Ingredients: olive oil, rub, brown sugar

Wood: apple, hickory

Smoke Temperature: 240°F/115.6°C

Time: 2 hours

Finish Temp.: 145°F/62.8°C

Rest: 20-30 minutes

When purchasing beef, you’ll want to look for some good marbling in the meat. Marbling is when you see small pockets of fat interwoven into the meat. I picked up a couple of tri-tips, one of which has some decent marbling in it.

Marbling in the tri-tip.
Marbling in the tri-tip.

Prepping the meat was simple. First off, I rubbed some olive oil on the meat. It creates a good base layer to add the rub. It helps the rub stick. For the rub, I used a mix of beef rub from The Slabs and some brown sugar. I have no exact measurements for these ingredients, I just eyeball it. That’s one of the beauties of learning to cook. You can learn from trial and error and while I haven’t shared them much, I’ve definitely made errors. It’s part of the process and we learn from it.

Brown sugar, beef rub, and olive oil were used to prep the tri-tips today.
Brown sugar, beef rub, and olive oil were used to prep the tri-tips today.

Going back to the meat, after I’ve rubbed it I let it sit out so it can both settle in and bring the meat closer to room temperature so it has a better transition when it hits the smoker. This is preferably done with beef. You definitely don’t want to do this with poultry for fear of salmonella.

Seasoned, rested, and ready for the smoker.
Seasoned, rested, and ready for the smoker.

As I prepped the smoker, I used a mix of hickory and cherry woods. Once the temperature was at 240°F the meat went in. Two hours later, we got the desired temp of 145°F, pulled it out, and let it rest.

This is what tri-tips look like.
This is what tri-tips look like.

I used my Thermopop from Thermoworks to get the right temperature quickly. It’s a great digital thermometer and I’ve been quite happy with it. Now that the meat is ready to eat, make sure you slice against the grain for an easier chew.

Even in bad lighting, that smoke ring is still a pretty sight.
Even in bad lighting, that smoke ring is still a pretty sight.

There you have it. Thanks for reading and feel free to comment!

 

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