New Years Dinner – Smoked Tri-Tip

Early this morning, Heather & I were talking about plans for today..  It was then that we realized we had absolutely nothing planned, including dinner.  Since we had planned nothing, we neglected to take anything out of the freezer to defrost.  So, I trotted off to Wegmans this morning to see what struck me.  As I perused the meat case, a pile of tri-tips were being freshly put out.  Hmm..  Tri-tip.  It’s been forever since I’ve had any, and I’ve never actually cooked it myself, though I’ve been interested in doing so. As an added bonus, this would afford me the opportunity to play around with the iGrill2 that Heather gave me for Christmas.  Have I mentioned how amazing my wife is?

So, I rubbed the tri-tip with a store-bought mix of kosher salt, coarse ground black pepper and garlic and stashed it in the fridge. Later, I loaded up the smoker box with hickory chips, got the grill going at about 225F and then loaded up the meat.  We did a reverse sear on this tri-tip.  For those who don’t know, searing first, then finishing over indirect heat makes for a less evenly cooked piece of meat than if you flip the process around.  Roast/indirect cook first, then sear second.  While we’re at it, let’s shoot the notion of “sealing in the juices” right between the eyes.  This has been debunked multiple times, just let it die, ok?  I set the iGrill’s alarm for 120F, at which point I’d pull and rest the meat.  This took almost 90 minutes to get from 40F up to 120F, at which time, I pulled the meat and chucked the tater tots in the oven for 20 minutes.  During the 10-minute rest, I cranked up all the burners on the grill to high to get everything nice & hot.  By the time the 10 minutes was up, the grill was up to 650F, and the roast went back on for a blast of heat that made a crust that would have made Dr. Maillard proud.

After a nice crust was laid upon the meat, I sliced it against the grain to maximize the tenderness, and served it with the tots and some warmed up olive oil & rosemary rolls I also picked up at Wegmans.  We have plenty of leftovers, which will probably end up as tacos in the next few days.  Future yum.

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