Reverse Seared Tri-Tip with Smoked Tomato Salsa

Reverse Seared Tri-Tip with Smoked Tomato Salsa

Over the years, I’ve smoked a lot of beef ribs and brisket, but there’s one cut you don’t normally smoke and that’s steak. You need a hot fire to sear the exterior while keeping the center juicy. I’m going to show you an ingenious technique called reverse searing.


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Reverse Seared Tri-Tip with Smoked Tomato Salsa

Recipe Notes

  • Yield: Serves 4
  • Method: Reverse searing/hot smoking
  • Equipment: Memphis Wood Fired Grill; oak wood; remote meat thermometer (optional)


For the rub:

  • 2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried rosemary (crumbled between your fingers)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1 beef tri-tip (2-1/4 to 2-1/2 pounds)

Recipe Steps

Step 1: Set up your smoker following the manufacturer’s instructions and preheat to 225 degrees.

Step 2: Combine the ingredients for the rub in a small bowl and stir to mix. Place the tri-tip in a baking dish and sprinkle on all sides with the rub, patting it into the meat with your fingertips. Insert the remote thermometer probe, if using, through one end of the tri-tip deep into the center.

Step 3: Place the tri-tip on the grate as far away from fire as possible. Toss the wood on the coals. Cover the grill and smoke the tri-tip until the internal temperature reaches 115 degrees for a rare meat or 120 degrees for medium-rare. This will take 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Step 4: Transfer the tri-tip to a wire rack over a foil pan and let it rest for 10 minutes.

Step 5: Meanwhile, add 10 to 15 fresh coals to the bed of embers and build a hot fire in your smoker or grill.

Step 6: Lightly brush or drizzle the tri-tip on both sides with olive oil. Place it on the grate over the fire and direct grill until the top and bottom are sizzling and darkly crusted and the internal temperature reaches 125 degrees (for rare) and 135 degrees (for medium-rare), 2 to 3 minutes per side. If you like, give the tri-tip a quarter turn on each side halfway through searing to lay on a crosshatch of grill marks.

Step 7: Serve hot off the grill, very thinly sliced across the grain. I wouldn’t say no to an additional drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Step 8: Serve with the Smoked Tomato Salsa and grilled bread, if desired.

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Steven Raichlen, a national barbecue treasure and author of The Barbecue! Bible, How to Grill, and other books in the …

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