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Santa Maria Smoked Tri-Tip

Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Leigh Ann Ross
Yield 8 servings (serving size: 3 ounces steak and 1/4 cup salsa)
Flavorful tri-tip steak is a cut of beef also known as bottom sirloin or sirloin tip. Compared to other styles of barbecue, this recipe for smoked tri-tip comes together quickly, making it ideal for a weeknight dinner.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups hickory wood chips
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 (2 1/4-pound) tri-tip steak, trimmed
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 cups Santa Maria Salsa
  • Cilantro sprigs (optional)

Nutrition Information

  • calories 259
  • caloriesfromfat 46 %
  • fat 13.1 g
  • satfat 4.8 g
  • monofat 6.9 g
  • polyfat 0.5 g
  • protein 30.9 g
  • carbohydrate 2.6 g
  • fiber 0.7 g
  • cholesterol 66 mg
  • iron 3.9 mg
  • sodium 544 mg
  • calcium 26 mg

How to Make It

  1. Soak wood chips in water 1 hour; drain well.

  2. Combine salt, pepper, and garlic powder; sprinkle evenly over steak. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.

  3. Remove grill rack; set aside. Prepare grill, heating one side to high and one side to medium. Place wood chips on hot coals on medium-heat side of grill; heat wood chips 10 minutes. Coat grill rack with cooking spray; place on grill.

  4. Lightly coat steak with cooking spray. Place steak on grill rack over high-heat side of grill; grill 6 minutes, turning 3 times. Place steak on grill rack over medium-heat side of grill; grill 40 minutes or until a thermometer registers 140° (medium-rare) or until desired degree of doneness. Remove steak from grill; let stand 10 minutes. Cut steak diagonally across grain into thin slices. Serve with Santa Maria Salsa; garnish with cilantro sprigs, if desired.

  5. Wine note: Tri-tip from California's Santa Ynez Valley goes naturally with a full-throttle merlot from the same region. Gainey Merlot 2004 (Santa Ynez Valley, California), $26, is plush and plummy, with enough structure to stand up to the steak, the char-smokiness of the wood chips, and the pungency of the salsa. --Karen MacNeil