Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Leigh Ann Ross
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.

How to Make It

Step 1

Soak wood chips in water 1 hour; drain well.

Step 2

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

Step 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.

Step 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.

Step 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

Ratings & Reviews

ktleyed's Review

June 27, 2013
Not bad but the salsa was nothing special at all. Hickory flavor really came through for us.

detailaddict's Review

March 31, 2012
I thought this was just ok, but I may have done something wrong. I had two steaks which totalled 1.5 lbs, so I had to guess at the grilling time and they were a bit overdone. Overall the flavor was good but they could have used more than a dusting of spices, and the smoke flavor didn't come through at all. This was my first time cooking with this cut however, and it may make a good substitute for flank steak.

Annecourager's Review

July 31, 2010
I'm from Santa Maria - the barbecues up and down Broadway St. all use oak, not hickory. If at all possible, use oak when making this! :)