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Uncle Tim’s BBQ Tri-Tip Steak

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  • Author: Sarah Kenney
  • Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 1x


BBQ Tri-Tip steak barbecued over a hot flame with soaked hickory chips is a fabulous holiday grill.


  • 2 1/2 pounds tri-tip beef (leave fat layer on)
  • Pappy’s dry rub (Snippets Notes: or Grub Rub is a good dry rub as well)
  • Hickory chips (soaked for 30 minutes before bbq)


  1. Heavily coat tri-tip with Pappy’s dry rub , wrap in butcher paper and allow to season/marinate in fridge for at least several hours (overnight if possible).
  2. Take 3-4 hand fulls of Hickory Chips and soak in water for at least 30 minutes.
  3. If using charcoal grill, make a fire on one side of grill, leaving other half of grill without fire under it. (Uncle Tim prefers to use lump real wood charcoal as opposed to brique charcoal for better wood flavor).
  4. Allow fire to get well established and hot. If using gas grill heat grill on high to get hot.
  5. Place tri-tip on fire side of grill, or directly over gas flame, fat side down and sear 5 -10 minutes depending upon heat of fire (don’t char, but sear to put on crust).
  6. Lightly sear the meat side also (2-3 minutes).
  7. Move tri-tip meat side down to side of grill without fire, or turn off one burner and place tri-tip on cold burner, leaving other burner on.
  8. Sprinkle soaked hickory chips directly on fire, (or in smoke box if using gas grill).
  9. Close grill, allowing some air flow through vents if using charcoal to allow fire to burn.
  10. Chips should make heavy smoke (more smoke the better).
  11. Leave meat in covered grill smoking for 1 hour. (After 30 minutes you may want to open charcoal grill to allow fire to breathe or add wood chips).
  12. Remove tri-tip, allow to sit for 5 minutes.
  13. Carve starting at tip and go across grain in 1/2″ – 3/4″ slices.
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
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