Archive for February, 2014

Feb 15 2014

Second Tri Tip Smoke

Published by under Uncategorized

My mouth is on fire!!!  And I’m happy 😉

So this time I wanted to experiment a little more.  I got 4 tri tips and marinaded 2 of them in red wine, pepper, salt, garlic, ancho, and a few more spices.  I’d had a few beers and wanted to get them in the fridge overnight, so I may have been a bit too generous with the spices 😉

2014-02-15 11.30.20

I decided that I’d rub 2 of the tips, and leave the others plain.  I mixed up some pepper, salt, sugar (just 2 teaspoons), chili flakes, ancho, garlic, and onions and rubbed that on one plain and one marinaded tip.

2014-02-15 11.38.46

Then into the smoker with all 4!

2014-02-15 11.52.55

On our trip to Santa Maria, I’d picked up a couple boxes of red oak sticks, so I cut those down and used 3 chunks.

2014-02-15 12.00.42

I could probably have just used one!  After 3 hours, while I’d had plenty of smoke, the wood looked only half burned.

I let the meat temp get over 135F this time, to firm the meat up a bit and to see what the flavor might be like if it was less rare.  When I checked, some of the pieces had even gotten up to 145F.

2014-02-15 13.54.18

Out they come, and into the pan for 30 mins of foil covered resting.  Next came the slicing!  Here’s the plain:

2014-02-15 14.47.55

It was a lot firmer and easier to cut thin than the rare tips I made last time.  The beef flavor really came through.  Next was the rubbed, non-marinaded one:

2014-02-15 14.50.14

While it tasted great, I should have skipped any spice hotter than black pepper.  The heat just detracted from the beef flavor and the rub flavors were too complex for such a great piece of meat.  Next was the marinaded non-rubbed:

2014-02-15 14.53.23

I’m trying not to cut my glove, and fingers, open 😉  The wine smell and flavor were very strong.  Quite salty too.  Last was the rubbed and marinaded and, again, there was too much going on in the flavors.  I’ll take it a LOT easier on the rubs next time.

Here’s the bunch all together:

2014-02-15 14.58.16

I didn’t slice it all because I’m going to chill it down to see if I can slice it even thinner.

My wife mixed up a little Santa Maria salsa to add to the meat:

2014-02-15 15.15.15

All in all, a pretty good Saturday!  😉

3 responses so far

Feb 08 2014

Santa Maria Roadtrip

In researching tritip for my smoking experiment, I learned that it was “invented” in Santa Maria, CA, so I’m sitting in a hotel here now!  I live in San Diego, so the wife and I jumped in the car and drove 5 hrs north and started hunting for good tritip.

Our first stop was at the Rancho Nipomo, and it’s been the best one so far!  The tritip is sliced very thin, and made into a sandwich.

2014-02-07 19.12.26

I was more interested in the meat than the bread, but then the owner, Richard, came over and said he forgot to tell us about the salsa that we HAD to put in the sandwich.  Wow!  It’s a pretty simple, fresh tasting salsa – made with canned tomatoes.  The combo was excellent.  He also had us try a hot salsa, made with Manzano peppers.  I think I’m still sweating!

You can tell he loves what he does.  He threw in a pulled pork sandwich

2014-02-07 19.12.32

and kept bringing us over other stuff to try, like the amazing chili on some chips.  My wife had the pork with a red sauce and nopales.

2014-02-07 19.12.37

It was great, with a good heat.

For Saturday lunch, we tried out Jocko’s in Nipomo, CA, but failed to read that the BBQ pit doesn’t open til 4, so I got a pretty good bbq sandwich.

Next, we headed up the coast, stopping for a bit to see some Butterflies:

2014-02-08 14.07.21

And llamas:

2014-02-08 16.01.13

But the pony ride was a lie!

2014-02-08 16.02.16

Very disappointing 😉

We headed back to Arroyo  Grande, CA to the Oak Pit BBQ.  I couldn’t decide what to get, so I got the sampler, which at $15 isn’t too bad!

2014-02-08 18.05.14

Pork rib, beef rib, tritip, pulled pork, and sides.  Oh, and corn muffin.  mmm! Like Rancho Nipomo above, their tritip was not cooked rare.  It was good, but not as good as Rancho.  Or mine 😉

Elaine was missing vegetables, so she got a salad.  A tritip salad!  😉

2014-02-08 18.05.28

The cook was VERY nice and told us that they smoked on red oak, just like I’d learned from my research.  I asked where I could get some and he pointed across the street to a market.

2014-02-08 18.57.02


So now I have a trunk full of red oak pieces that are too big to fit into my smoker.  Elaine thinks my solution will be to cut it down, but it occurs to me that maybe the REAL solution is a bigger smoker!  😉

On Sunday morning we got up and headed back to Rancho Nipomo for more BBQ!  Here’s a tri tip sandwich with the proper salsa:

2014-02-09 11.35.34


Also tried his ribs, which were very good!  Not as smokey as I like, but still great!

2014-02-09 11.37.14

And here’s a picture of that super hot sauce I mentioned above:

2014-02-09 11.57.56


3 responses so far

Feb 02 2014

First try at smoking tritip

Published by under Food,Fun

I got 4 tritips from Major Market in Escondido, 2 plain and 2 marinated. One was wine and pepper, the other just wine, I think.

2014-02-02 10.17.03

2014-02-02 10.17.01

I put Emeril’s steak rub on them all. Mostly it’s salt and pepper. They range in weight from 1.77 lb to almost 3 lb.

I put them on at 10:30a, hoping I can get them to a 2p Super Bowl party.  I’m sticking to around 225F and will start pulling them at an internal temp of 130-135F

2014-02-02 10.26.25


11:20 and I’m at 115F internal temp on the 1.77 lb one, pit temp is hovering around 226F.  Worried that I might have put it on too early.

Oh yeah, woods are cherry, oak, and hickory.  The hickory was a huge chunk – hope it doesn’t overpower everything.  Also wonder if I should have rubbed the marinaded pieces, but I like a good crust.  I haven’t done much beef before, just lots of pork.

12:00p and the smallest is at 129F.  I’m going to let it get to 135F.

12:30 and I pulled the small one at 135F, and the next size up at 133F.  I left the others to heat up some more:

2014-02-02 13.09.27

1:00 and the other two were 133F, so time to come out!

2014-02-02 13.10.17


I let each of them rest for 30 mins, then cut!

2014-02-02 13.17.28

2014-02-02 13.19.10



Thoughts later:

So I brought most of the tritip to the Superbowl party and it was a big hit.  People I didn’t know hugged me.  Grown men cried.  Someone snagged a bunch to take home to her husband 😉

I’m thrilled with the results.  The pepper rub really accented the beef.  It was really rare, which people liked a lot.  I brought some buns and horseradish sauce, but no one used it – there was so much flavor in the slices alone.

One of the cuts had a really chewy vein of tissue which didn’t detract from the flavor, but sure lengthened the chewing time 😉  Not sure what I could do about that, other than make smaller slices.

Slicing was kinda hard, so I ended up with much thicker slices that I wanted.  I need to work on my knife skills so I can get it thinner for sandwiches.

The marinaded tritips didn’t seem to taste much different from the plain ones.  That pepper rub probably didn’t give the other flavors a chance.  Maybe I’ll do a rubless one next time.


One response so far