Tip of the ‘tip
bbq today. I’m heading off to the store. Here’s some I made awhile ago for inspiration.
The best street-bbq in Santa Maria is found at the corner of Broadway and Newlove and comes with a side of steamed rice. It is admittedly not what most would call traditional SM style, but it is the best and made by the Filipino Community Center.
My wife’s mom taught me to make adobo a few years ago. Based on that recipe, I came up with this tri-tip marinade. This really is secret information and I feel a little guilty making it public. Maybe I’ll leave out an ingredient just to make sure no one can truly duplicate mine.
Recipe: Filipino Style Tri-Tip
Combine all ingredients in the Ziploc bag. Smell it to make sure you have the right ratio of vinegar to soy sauce. It should smell really good, almost like teriyaki but also like beer and garlic. Try to balance the aromas by adjusting each ingredient. Squish the bag so that almost all of the air is out and then zip it closed.
If you have time, leave the bag in the refrigerator overnight and then take out and leave it on the counter for a couple of hours before putting the meat on the grill. If you don’t have time to marinate overnight, just leave it on the counter for as long as you can before cooking. You want the tri-tip to approach room temperature before cooking. Putting it on the grill right out of the fridge will cause problems. You can also use a marinade injector to save time.
Remove the tri-tip from the bag, and discard the marinade. BBQ over oak coals for 45 minutes to an hour, depending on desired doneness. Flip it over every 15-20 minutes or so. The thin side of the try-tip will be well-done, the thicker side rare.
Use a meat thermometer to judge when it is done. Once you are there, take it off the grill and let it sit for at least 20 minutes, preferably a half-hour. Don’t poke it, slice it, or otherwise touch it while it rests.
After it rests, slice it thin against the grain, and serve with steamed white rice and salsa.
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A lot of people around Santa Maria will say that real Santa Maria-style bbq requires a special type of grill with a large box for burning oak logs and a steel grill that hangs from cables which can be raised and lowered using a crank. Here is a link to one made locally.
As you can see, though, a good tri-tip can be made using a plain old Webber Kettle, as long as you know what you are doing. The secret is using both direct and indirect heat during the process, and knowing when to switch from one to the other. I’ll post a step-by-step guide for using a Webber soon.
Admittedly, the hanging grill crank-style bbq delivers better results more consistently, and I use mine most of the time for tri-tips. They aren’t necessary though, as long as you can regulate the heat properly and get some oak in there for smoke.
Whatever you do, don’t try to use anything with a propane tank. That’ll get you thrown out of town around here.