Grilling Tri-Tip on the Weber Charcoal BBQ
Yesterday, we had a big family get together at our house - and grilled three tri-tip roasts on our Weber BBQ as one of the main courses. Roasting tri-tip in the oven is super easy - see my Lazy-S Oven Roasted Tri-Tip recipe) but it was a beautiful late Spring day and just called out for firing up the Weber and grilling instead.
Note: If you've got a gas grill, here's my super easy recipe for grilling tri-tip on a gas grill!
For the meat, I picked up two plain tri-tips from our local meat market (Bianchini's Market in Portola Valley) along with one of their dark, marinated versions (they sell four different tri-tip marinated versions - tough choice!) In total there was about 6 lbs of tri-tip.
For the fire, I used the local Lazzari Mesquite Charcoal - not the usual briquettes. The Lazzari is very chunky stuff - with pieces of charcoal of all sizes - and it adds great smoky flavor to the meats! I used the chimney starter to get it going and then added a couple of large chunks to the fire once I had emptied it out of the chimney starter.
The key to grilling tri-tip on the Weber is to have the coals only on one side of the grill - with the other side completely devoid of any coals. This provides a super-hot source of direct heat for searing the tri-tips and then a large area of indirect heat for finishing the grilling.
Once you've spread the charcoal over half of the grill, sear the roasts about 5-7 minutes on both sides. Then move them to the indirect heat area and let them cook over the indirect heat with the Weber top closed for another 20 or so minutes. Then, check the meat temperature with a meat thermometer - I removed ours yesterday at about 130 degrees - turned out just perfect for medium rare beef.
Importantly, wrap the tri-tips in foil and let them sit for another 15 minutes to allow the meat juices to reintegrate into the roast. Then slice thinly, across the grain, and serve. We had small buns for yesterday's event - allowing mini sandwiches to be made - or not if you just wanted to taste the tri-tip by itself!