Barbecue – meat cooked in the heat and smoke of a wood fire – is an American tradition. Different parts of the country have their distinctive styles of barbecue: pulled pork from North Carolina, pork spareribs from Tennessee, beef brisket from Texas. Even California has it’s own distinctive style of barbecue: the tri-tip.
Smoked Tri Tip Roast
Tri-tip is a cut of beef not normally seen in parts outside the western United States. It’s a triangular-shaped (hence the name “tri-tip”) piece of meat from the bottom of the sirloin. It is tender, has just the right amount of fat, and can be roasted, braised, made into ground beef, cut into steaks and grilled, or as I like to prepare it, smoked.
Barbecued tri-tip is very popular in the Central Coast area of California, around Santa Maria. The way they do it is to season the roasts simply with salt, pepper, garlic powder and parsley, then cook them on large grills suspended about a foot over coals made from the red oaks common to the area. Since I don’t have a large grill or logs of red oak readily available, I will be cooking my tri-tip roast in my trusty Weber Smokey Mountain bullet smoker. Yes, Veronica, it is possible to do high-temperature grilling on the WSM.
But first, a rant about lighting charcoal.