Santa Maria Tri Tip Demystified

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rms827
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Santa Maria Tri Tip Demystified

Postby rms827 » Sun Apr 08, 2018 5:24 am

Boots mentioned in my welcome thread that some of y'all have spent a good deal of time studying Santa Maria Tri Tip,and that input here was welcome (given my location dead center of the PRC, LOL). Anyhow... I'm sure some of yah know it pretty well, BUT, I'm going to write this for the folks with no experience with it. If nothing else because Napa Valley chefs have gotten as pretentious as any in NYC, and like to complicate things to make themselves look sophisticated.

So, for the rookie, Santa Maria grilling is, at it's simplest level, cooking low and slow. Originally, you'd sear the meat first, but with reverse searing catching on, that's becoming the preferred method. Rub is typically just SPG, usually with a bit of paprika and rosemary added in for a bit of flavor depth. Here's the rub recipe I use:

4 Teaspoons of Salt
4 Teaspoons of Freshly Ground Back Pepper
5 or 6 Teaspoons of Garlic (depending on how much garlic you like)
3 Teaspoons of Paprika
2 Teaspoons of Onion Powder
3 Teaspoons of Rosemary
1/2 Teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper


That's a minor tweak of a doubled recipe I originally found on AllRecipes.com. It's enough to coat a good sized Tri Tip or go light on 2 of them (never enough tri tip, right? :mrgreen: ). Here's my last tri tip done this way:

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Before Rub, and....

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After rubbing.

Now, as it so happened, that grilling session was rained out. Electric powered grill in rain storm = bad idea. :mrgreen: So, the tri tip went into a vacuum seal bag for a couple days. Keeps the food fresh and has the added benefit of vacuum infusing the spices into the meat. ;) Here's what it looked like when it hit the grill Saturday night:

Image


At this point, alot of folks like to baste the meat with some sort of glaze. Typically it's an oil and vinegar mix, but like alot of cooking, there's no real right or wrong here. Guy Fieri uses a glaze made from Achiote (Annatto) seeds, which gives the Tri Tip a mild peppery flavor. Achiote is hard to find in my exact neck of the woods so I went with an oil and vinegar glaze. Balsamic Vinegar is the most common choice. Don't ask me why, but folks in Napa think EVERYTHING has to be made with Balsamic Vinegar... To me, balsamic has a funky taste that clings to whatever is cooked with or in it. I prefer Red Wine Vinegar. Here's my glaze:

1/3 Cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/3 Cup of Red Wine Vinegar
4 Cloves of crushed or Minced Garlic (I usually go a bit more though, I love garlic)
1/2 Teaspoon of Dijon or stone ground mustard


I make this when I season the meat the night before. Letting it sit overnight gives the flavors a chance to fully merge.

What you normally do at this point is flip the meat over every 5 to 10 minutes and baste it lightly with the glaze. I have to emphasize lightly too... You don't want to wash off all the rub or have your tri tip so saturated that it tastes like salad dressing instead of beef. Here's my tri tip about half way thru the cooking process:

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If you couldn't tell, I use Christopher Ranch minced garlic instead of crushing cloves. Less work and CR is the only bottled brand I've tried where the minced garlic tastes right. Anyway, note that the glaze has been applied light enough that none of the rub has washed away.

Once the meat reaches a decent IT, I moved it to the gas grill to get a good sear on it. I try to pull the meat from the smoker at 100 IT. If it gets over 110 IT before I pull it, I've found I can't get a good sear without overcooking it. YMMV depending on how you're cooking it.

Image


And the moment we've all waited for... Off the grill and rested for 10to 15 minutes:

Image


Here's a couple pics of it cut open. I think I didn't quite make the 10 minute mark, hence all the juices in the plate. This one got just a hair overcooked on the gas grill, but overall turned out very nice.

Image

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And that's really all there is to it. :cheers: :chef:
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Re: Santa Maria Tri Tip Demystified

Postby rms827 » Sun Apr 08, 2018 5:30 am

OK, I'm betting this is going to come up, so I'll answer it ahead of time... Anybody wondering what that strange colored spice is next to the small bowl of pepper, it's ground Himalayan rock salt. It has a pink color to it vs the normal white sea salt. No difference in flavor, it just costs more and looks pretty sitting on the table in a salt grinder, LOL. Actually it is supposed to have more beneficial trace minerals than regular salt. :dont:
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Re: Santa Maria Tri Tip Demystified

Postby OldUsedParts » Sun Apr 08, 2018 6:15 am

Looks Good :tup: :salut:
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Re: Santa Maria Tri Tip Demystified

Postby egghead » Sun Apr 08, 2018 6:44 am

Like the info and pictorial :chef:
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Re: Santa Maria Tri Tip Demystified

Postby bobcat1 » Sun Apr 08, 2018 9:42 am

Wow! That looks perfect to me! :cheers: :cheers: :cheers:
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Re: Santa Maria Tri Tip Demystified

Postby CaptJack » Sun Apr 08, 2018 12:55 pm

Image
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Re: Santa Maria Tri Tip Demystified

Postby bondobill » Sun Apr 08, 2018 1:42 pm

Good Triping for certain. :salut:

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Re: Santa Maria Tri Tip Demystified

Postby Copasspupil » Sun Apr 08, 2018 2:31 pm

I can’t see squat.
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Re: Santa Maria Tri Tip Demystified

Postby woodenvisions » Sun Apr 08, 2018 2:51 pm

I'll take one togo :)

Looks awesome, kudos to you for that !
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Re: Santa Maria Tri Tip Demystified

Postby Boots » Sun Apr 08, 2018 5:36 pm

Is the old man in kung fu used to say, “you have done well grasshopper!”
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Re: Santa Maria Tri Tip Demystified

Postby Canadian Smoker » Sun Apr 08, 2018 7:38 pm

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Re: Santa Maria Tri Tip Demystified

Postby Sailor Kenshin » Mon Apr 09, 2018 2:56 pm

How could you stand waiting even TEN minutes? I wish we could find that cut here.
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