The maiden voyage of my new Grill Dome kamado involved my first ever Tri-tip. A Tri-tip is technically the bottom sirloin and is located directly below the top sirlion (see the graphic here). They are hugely popular out West, particularly in California (known as “Santa Maria steaks”), but they have also gained popularity in New York and are commonly referred to as “Newport steaks”. Tri-tips have very little fat in them and may or may not come w/ the fat cap, depending on how your butcher has prepared it. One note: if you’re going to smoke it over indirect heat, then make sure the butcher removes the fat cap b/c in the short amount of the time it will be on your cooker the fat cap won’t have enough time to render.
One major difference between this cut and a brisket, is that Tri-tips are typically cooked more like a steak and only cooked to around medium-rare. Some people even cook them a bit rarer than that if they have a prime (or better) cut. I’ve even read where some people even prefer Tri-tips over prime rib, which is really saying something about the quality of this cut of meat. I’m not sure I’m ready to agree w/ that statement yet, but this first one was unbelievably good. I’ve cooked some amazing briskets before and this was definitely tastier than any of those. And I know how to cook a good brisket if that’s what you’re thinking… 🙂
This cook was super straight forward and the Grill Dome cooked it perfectly. All I did was bring the kamado up to my target pit temp of 300° and then tossed the Tri-tip on and cooked it to about 145° (about 2 hours) then pulled it and let it rest for 15-20 minutes. Next time I’m going to pull it closer to 130° – 135° though b/c it was borderline medium and I was shooting for medium-rare. I also had seasoned it with Simply Marvelous Peppered Cow (which was developed for beef) and it was phenomenal on it.
Pics and video below. Thanks for stopping by!