Friday, April 20, 2012

Grilled Tri-Tip Chunks

Grilled Teriyaki Tri-Tip Chunks
Just pink in the middle.  Served with Bacon Fried Rice.
Ah, beef.  Other than chile colorado burritos, I think this may be my next favorite way to enjoy beef.  When I lived in California, tri-tip came whole, like a 2.5-3.5 pound roast kind of thing.  My mom would marinate it and grill it whole, slice it, and it was fabulous.  I did that a little bit, until our friend Jamie Gillentine served us some tri-tip at their house.  But it was in these 3-inch chunks.  The flavor of the marinade and caramelized exterior was amazing.  I never grilled a whole tri-tip again.  Now that I live in Iowa, the only place I've found that sells something called "tri-tip" is Sam's Club, and they sell it in these long strips.  This actually makes it easier to prepare it the way I like.  I just cut each strip into three or four pieces.  It works.
Like I said, when you grill this cut of meat in this way, each bite has the flavorful, caramelized exterior and the tender, juicy pink interior.  Mmmmm... I'm looking forward to the leftovers tomorrow, which are great even cold.
If you're going to grill, and you want it done right, I really think you ought to invest in a meat thermometer.  Mine is almost dead, and I need to replace it, but it works just well enough to get by.  I like to grill my beef to 145 degrees Fahrenheit, and then I allow it to rest for about 10 minutes.  It creates what I think is the perfect piece of meat, and it's what you see pictured above.
My favorite way to enjoy this grilled meat is with Mr. Yoshida's Gourmet Sauce, which is pretty much a teriyaki sauce.  I can't find it here in Des Moines, so I import it from California.  My mom either brings it when she comes, or I stock up when I'm out there in the summer.  I know I should ask my grocery store manager to get some, but I just haven't yet.  It gives me an excuse to see my mom and go to California.

Grilled Tri-Tip Chunks

  • 1 1/2 pounds tri-tip cut into 2 1/2 to 3 inch chunks
  • 1/2 cup teriyaki sauce (I love Mr. Yoshida's Gourmet Sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
About two to four hours before you want to eat, put meat and teriyaki sauce into a large plastic zip-top bag and place in the refrigerator.
About half an our before you want to eat, heat your grill to about 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place oil in bag with the marinating meat and smoosh it around.
Place meat on grill, leaving at least an inch between pieces.  Check and turn meat after about 5 minutes.  Adjust heat, if necessary.  Check meat again after another 4 minutes or so.  When the exterior is dark and caramelized, start checking the smallest chunk with your probe thermometer.  You really should check each individual chunk, but you can also guess that similarly sized/shaped pieces are probably cooking at about the same rate.  When meat gets to 145 degrees Fahrenheit, remove to a clean, heat-proof plate to rest.  Not all pieces will be done at the same time, so close the lid between temperature checks, and remove meat as it finishes cooking.
Allow all meat to rest at least 10 minutes before serving.
Makes about 5-6 servings.

The way tri-tip comes at Sam's Club
In case you're wondering what the store calls it.


  1. Have you tried to find Mr. Yoshida's at Costco? That's where I have gotten it - when I lived in Virginia and New Mexico. Now I live in Japan...and they have it here too...sort of surprised me!

    1. Hmmm...I have not checked there because I don't have a membership myself. I will have to ask my sister-in-law who does, though. Thanks for the idea! :)

  2. Seems to me that it would be less stressful for the griller to leave the steak in strip form and not have to wonder which pieces got turned. You're only loosing one thin cut side to the flavorings.

    1. You're right, Dixie, but I'm willing to endure the stress for the neatness of individual serving portions that are browned all over. ;)

  3. On our menu this evening! Thanks ~~~

    1. Excellent, Helen! I hope that it was enjoyed! :)


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