This super simple recipe from Bon Appetit has become our favorite grilled meat of the summer. We hadn’t done a lot with tri tip in the past, but we cook a lot of flank steak in a somewhat similar fashion. This is an especially good recipe for a dinner party where you don’t have a lot of prep time. The Sicilian herb sauce (thyme, garlic, oregano, salt, lemon, olive oil), called salmoriglio, can be made a day ahead of time. And there’s little to do to prep the tri tip, which is cooked over smoke for about 20 minutes.
We have generally followed the recipe on this. Make sure to check out the reviews online for more information on how other chefs have prepared this wonderful recipe. The one change we have made is that we’ve generally kept the tri tip over the smoke, rather than removing it after a short period of time as we like a smokier taste.
The marriage of the Sicilian herb sauce with the smoked meat is a match made in heaven. And tri tip is very reasonably priced so it’s an economical, yet elegant, choice for a wonderful dinner.
3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt or coarse sea salt
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 well-trimmed 2 1/2- to 2 3/4-pound tri-tip beef roast
3 cups oak, mesquite, or hickory wood chips, soaked in water 1 hour and drained
Blend thyme leaves, garlic cloves, dried oregano, and coarse salt in mini processor until garlic is finely chopped. With processor running, gradually add lemon juice, then olive oil. Season herb sauce to taste with pepper and transfer to bowl. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Bring to room temperature before using.
Sprinkle roast generously on both sides with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Let stand at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.
Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). If using gas grill: Wrap wood chips in foil; pierce foil all over with fork. Remove top grill rack, place foil packet directly on burner, and replace grill rack. Place roast over packet and grill uncovered 6 minutes (wood in foil will begin to smoke). Turn roast over. Move to spot on grill where heat is indirect and medium-hot. Cover grill and cook until thermometer inserted into thickest part of roast registers 128°F to 135°F for medium-rare, turning roast occasionally, about 13 minutes.
If using charcoal grill: Sprinkle wood chips over coals and place roast on rack. Cook roast uncovered 7 minutes. Turn roast over. Move roast to spot on grill where heat is indirect and medium-hot. Cover grill and cook until thermometer inserted into thickest part of roast registers 128°F to 135°F for medium-rare, turning roast occasionally, about 13 minutes.
Transfer roast to platter. Let stand 10 minutes. Thinly slice roast across grain. Serve, passing sauce separately.