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First tri-tips: prep questions.

Boilermaker BenBoilermaker Ben Posts: 1,956
edited 7:47PM in EggHead Forum
Tri-tip isn't exactly common around here; I only see it occasionally in my grocery. As I browsed through the meat section yesterday, I saw some beautifully marbled specimens, and had to pick them up. Looks like just shy of two pounds each. I've got a couple questions for you tri-tip pros:

They're still in the packaging, but it looks like there is a fat cap on the underside. Is that how you normally see them? This should be removed, yes?

It looks like if I remove the fat cap, they'd be a little thinner than a steak that I would normally do a roast/sear technique on. Are you normally seeing tri-tips bigger than 2 lbs each? Would you go with a direct cook on a 2 lb tri-tip, rather than a roast/sear?


  • RipnemRipnem Posts: 5,511

    I'm not to 'Pro' level yet, but have been cooking a mess of them this year. Hands down the best one to date is this recipe of Rich's

    Regarding the fat cap. I believe all that I've done (maybe 10) have not had one. Sounds like the butcher decided to let you spend the 7-8 bucks a pound for the fat and not have to remove it themselves.
  • Fat cap is normal. You would cook with it fat cap down. No need to trim it until after the cook unless it is excessively thick.

    I cook indirect at 275F until internal is about 125, then post sear on both sides, then rest 10 minutes.

    Traditional (Santa Maria) rub has heavy garlic component. Can be as simple as salt + pepper + granulated garlic, but some folks use their favorite rub, pepper, and granulated garlic. The proportion of granulated garlic to rub is about 1:1 (I said heavy garlic!)

  • AngelaAngela Posts: 536
    I lived in CA for 30 years, home of the tri tip and I rarely ever saw a fat cap. Since leaving the West I see stuff labeled as tri-tip once in a blue moon and it never looks like what I grew up with.
    Egging on two larges + 36" Blackstone griddle
  • Link didn't work...dunno why. A google of eggsbythebay takes me right to the site with the same URL. Go figure. Anyway, I'll keep that recipe in mind. I was thinking about just some salt. Since I've got two, I might do one Rich's way, and one with just salt.

    Try $5 per pound. I love my meat market.
  • Thanks for the advice, Don.
  • Hmm, I'll have to post a pic. They look like most of the tri-tips I've seen on the forum.
  • RipnemRipnem Posts: 5,511
    I was also getting it for around 5 bucks at Cosco, but they recently decided the upper midwest isn't going to be receiving that cut any longer. :angry:

    The other method I've used came from Little Chef and it is simply marinated in red wine for an hour or so and then heavily salted. Also a winner and obviously very easy.
  • Ben
    Trader Joe's in Chicago and the burbs usually has tri-tip. They have them marinated and plain. I have done them and had good results, but I know I could do better. I seared on all sides for like 1-2 minutes at like 500* on a CI and then roasted on a raised grid at like 400* until the desired internal temp.

    Make sure you slice it right otherwise it blows!
  • Link works fine from here. :)
  • Actually, it works for me now, too. Either my browser was acting up earlier, or there's some kind of glitch when opening a site while responding to a post. I had hit the "reply" link, to respond to Adam's post, and while typing my reply, I clicked on the link in his post, as it appeared in the "Topic History" below the message entry box. Maybe that was the problem.

    Anywho, you're works. :)

    above linked are my tri tip adventures,, as i said before they seem to be regional and they made an appearance here [philly burbs] for a while but i have not seen one for a while..
    never saw one with a fat cap and suspect you might have part of a brisket flat,.
    Broc , who has not been around for a while, recommended a long rest in a pre heated cooler. i followed his advice .. basically got the sear and pulled early wrappped in hdaf and towels and into the cooler. i was happy with the results.
    i took a bit of guff about costco mislabeling meat in another post , hence the comparison pics.
    it is beefy but it is not inherently tender, good luck and post pix if you can
  • thebtlsthebtls Posts: 2,300 Tip Beef

    Here's my tri tip blogs...a littler fat makes them even better.

    Keep on egging,
    Visit my blog, dedicated to my Big Green Egg Recipies at You can also follow my posts on FaceBook under the name Keep On Eggin' or the link!/pages/Keep-On-Eggin/198049930216241
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