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Where To Find A Tri-Tip?


tenunda
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Does anyone know where to get a tri-tip? I think they're alternatively called the triangle roast or culotte roast back here. It's huge in CA and OR (home for me), and may be the tastiest cut of meat out there. I asked both butchers in Eastern Market if they had it, but they didn't. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

Adam

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My sighting of this cut has been at Trader Joe's

That's right -- TJs does carry this, but I advise on avoiding the ones that are pre-marinated. The last time I brought one of these and it tasted like it had been washed in chemicals of a fairly toxic quality. I brought a plain one before and it was quite good after tossing on the barbie.

Edited to add "Oh goodie! Just made the exalted ventworm status." :lol:

Edited by FunnyJohn
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Costco only sells tri-tip sliced, not whole. An aggravation for a transplanted Californian. Finally, Trader Joe's started selling them. They're good. I buy them. To echo the post above: do NOT get the pre-marinated one. Dry rubs work better for a steak on the grill or in the oven--you can make a simple one with salt, pepper, garlic and Spanish paprika.

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Costco only sells tri-tip sliced, not whole. An aggravation for a transplanted Californian. Finally, Trader Joe's started selling them. They're good. I buy them. To echo the post above: do NOT get the pre-marinated one. Dry rubs work better for a steak on the grill or in the oven--you can make a simple one with salt, pepper, garlic and Spanish paprika.

I'll have to try the paprika. I've only ever made them with salt, pepper, and garlic. Too bad I can't get any good mahogany back here, we'd all have a big time grill! We always used to cut our own from some delicious self-slaughtered grass-fed beef. We also got the bonus of the tongue and heart out of the deal!

I don't think I've ever had any pre-marinated meat from the store that doesn't taste like toxins.

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Good news - I can get tri-tip (of course, hormone-free, antibiotic-free, free range). In fact, I just ate some yesterday and it was fantastic. I wasn't aware that they were little guys - about 8 ounces each. I was expecting a big "roast". Anyway, they are the perfect serving for one person and taste wonderful grilled and sliced thin.

At this point, I can get them in 6-packs. I will be getting my own cryo equipment so I can start packaging them in smaller sets. I'll update you when I do. In the meantime, if you'd like a pack of six, give me a holler! I expect they'll be about $6 per pound.

Jill

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After reading this thread, I picked up a tri-tip at WF in Springfield this week. It weighed about 1.25 lbs. I kept it very simple on the grill, and we loved it. Mr. and I are skirt steak fans, and this is a nice alternative, for variety.

I spotted the 3-lb tri-tips at TJs. That would be too much for 2 of us, but maybe would leave us some great fixings for tacos another night.

I'll check Wegmans next time I'm out there.

ScotteeM

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In addition to the vacupak from TJ's, I noticed that the Darnestown Harris-Teeter has tri-tips as well. You'll have to ask at the meat counter for an intact one as they only put sliced tri-tip in the meat display (edit: whole ones now in the fresh meat case, approx 2 lb and well-trimmed). The meat counter manager said H-T started carrying them about 7 months ago.

Now, with bbq4me's recipe in mind, what H-T didn't have was the mesquite-flavored Lawry's marinade. Actually, the entire sauce display was heavily skewed towards Carolina-style sauces, but in the case of the 15 Lawry's varieties, it almost looks like they selected their 8-or-so based on which NASCAR driver endorses that flavor :)

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Actually, the entire sauce display was heavily skewed towards Carolina-style sauces, but in the case of the 15 Lawry's varieties, it almost looks like they selected their 8-or-so based on which NASCAR driver endorses that flavor :)
H-T is a North Carolina based operation. That could account for the abundance of Carolina-style sauces.
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Additionally, Springfield Butcher either has it, or will order it for you. Most of their meat is raised locally (or at least it used to be - I haven't been a customer in a few years) at a small producer. The business is small and family run, for those of you who are interested in that - it was run by a great guy who used to hand out samples, and has been taken over by his son.

Features the best ground meat ever!

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Good news - I can get tri-tip (of course, hormone-free, antibiotic-free, free range). In fact, I just ate some yesterday and it was fantastic. I wasn't aware that they were little guys - about 8 ounces each. I was expecting a big "roast". Anyway, they are the perfect serving for one person and taste wonderful grilled and sliced thin.

At this point, I can get them in 6-packs. I will be getting my own cryo equipment so I can start packaging them in smaller sets. I'll update you when I do. In the meantime, if you'd like a pack of six, give me a holler! I expect they'll be about $6 per pound.

Jill

Jill,

Not sure what you got but it wasn't a whole tri tip. Also not sure why you would cryo an 8 oz mystery steak, or 6 of them for that matter.

OP,

Harris Teeter has them at generally about $5/lb as do most costco type places. At HT you need to talk to the meat man and deal with some odd looks and questions but you will eventually get one. As for cooking them, Santa Maria style rub and moderately high heat on a grill. Don't sear it quite like a steak but char it a fair bit. Serve at rare to medium rare but not blue. I like oak wood for them but you really can't go wrong with most woods. The flavor is probably the beefiest available and one of my favorites but tender beef lovers should know that it is a tough cut for steaks.

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I know that one of the vendors at the Ashburn farmers market has it. Great in burgers.

"In" burgers? How do you mean?

I just got two packages ($16 each for 4 tri tip strips) at Costco last week. They were a little less fatty than I like, but still great. I coated them in balsamic and then rubbed with coarse black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and rosemary. Cook on high heat for 5 minutes with the fat side up and then 2 minutes fat side down. Move to medium low heat, cook 15 more minutes, and then serve with a vinegar based BBQ sauce. Focking great.

Make sure when you slice them to cut against the grain, it makes a huge difference. If you just simply cut them lengthwise with the grain, the slices come out much less tender.

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Thanks for all the advice.

I've gotta re-join Costco. Unfortunately, the only one near my house is in Pentagon Row (or whatever its called), and I've lost years off my life shopping there. Sooooo stressful.

Sorry for the re-post, Pete. I searched for tri-tip and nothing came up. Anyway, thanks for the link.

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I don't buy Costco's sliced tri-tip. If you want the true tri-tip experience, you have to get a whole tri-tip and slice it after it is cooked. When I want a really good one, I go to The Organic Butcher of McLean. They are more expensive there (like $11 or $12 a pound), but tastier than the cryovaced ones at Trader Joe's.

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"In" burgers? How do you mean?
Mix 10oz of tri-tip with 6oz of short rib. Chop into 1/2-3/4" pieces. Freeze until firm but not frozen. Grind half with a small die. Mix the ground mixture with the unground and rerun through a medium/large die. Loosely pack, season, and stick on a griddle over high heat. Mmm-mmm. Tri-tip has such a great beefy flavor.
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Mix 10oz of tri-tip with 6oz of short rib. Chop into 1/2-3/4" pieces. Freeze until firm but not frozen. Grind half with a small die. Mix the ground mixture with the unground and rerun through a medium/large die. Loosely pack, season, and stick on a griddle over high heat. Mmm-mmm. Tri-tip has such a great beefy flavor.

Why grind a great cut of meat!! Season and thrown on grill.

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Why grind a great cut of meat!! Season and thrown on grill.

It is very unusual for me to agree with Dan, but this time I need to. Cuts like Tri-Tip make for a great addition to burger meat. There is something very different about the burger experience from that you get with a steak. I have thrown tri-tip into my mix, but my recipe for burger meat always includes some meatier cuts like short ribs or flank steak to give the burgers a beefier flavor, and some extra body over what I get from chuck or sirloin.

And quit triple spacing!

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Go to Santa Maria California any weekend during football season and there will be tons of sidewalk stands offering Santa Maria BBQ diner. They grill tri tips over live red oak and serve them with a special bean called the pinkerito (sp?) and a blender salsa. You get a plate piled high with tri tip that you either take to eat somewhere else or just stuff your face just standing there, using your fingers to slowly lower the dripping sliced of beef into your mouth. Add in a bottle of local wine in a paper bag and it was heaven.

The last time we enjoyed this treat was probably back in the mid 90's. Today, there are probably few stands left and the cops would bust you for open container violation as well as beef eating without proper utensils!

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I just returned from Pentagon City Costco. They did not have sliced tri-tip in the case, but had enormous cryovaced "whole tri-tip" for about $65 a pop ($7.99 a pound). Whole tri-tips that I have seen run about 2-3 pounds each, so I am guessing that there are several packed together in the cryovac bag. One of those would make a helluva Santa Maria-style bar-b-q for a bunch of people.

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I picked up a 2 lb tri-tip (grass feed Jersey, actually quite marble-y) from Painted Hand last week and would like to know if people think a dry rub or marinade is the better way to go? After reading through thread it seems there's no serious consensus. Is cooking this on a gas grill preferable to searing and oven? I'm leaning towards BBQ4ME's prep since I still remember it fondly from the 06 picnic. The only problem is I'm pretty sure they don't have Lowry's Mesquite on Mt. Pleasant street.

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Back in the summer sometime I was looking for tri-tips and called J.W. Treuth and Sons in Ellicott City (HowChowBlog's post here) and they were willing to work with me and get the cut. If I remember correctly, it required a decent advance so I'd probably inquire 10-14 days before you want to pick it up just to be on the safe side and then they can time to order correctly. It might be a hike for some of you depending on where you are located along 495, but its tucked in nicely on the side of a scenic area in the Baltimore suburbs and you could even parlay a side trip to old Ellicott City.

(I don't normally cruise the Shopping and Cooking forum, but I should start....I got inspiring and got into the smoking mood (meat, not tobacco or cannabis) and saw this thread and many others that should be a good help and figured I'd chime in with a new addition)

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I've had good luck with very tasty tri-tips from Organic Butcher of McLean. Don, the Organic Butcher's owner used to live in California, so he understands how good a tri-tip is, cooked over charcoal, in the California style. I would also check with Harvey's at Union Market, because when I was there a couple of weeks ago they had fresh pork cheeks and beef cheeks for sale, so they are probably open to selling what is considered an unusual cut of beef, here on the right coast.

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If you've dined much in Austria and Bavaria, you've undoubtedly encountered the beloved dish of boiled beef known as Tafelspitz. What I learned only recently is that Tafelspitz refers not just to the dish, but to the cut of meat used in its preparation, which is the cut known in the U.S. as the tri-tip.

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Tri tip is one of my favorite summer grilling cuts, reminding me very much of the massive amount of my childhood spent in California. Canales in Eastern Market pretty much always has it, although with the fat cap removed, which is unfortunate. I've bought it here a number of times, however, and it's delicious. I've seen it at Red Apron at Union Market, but have not purchased it. Tends to be a much smaller cut. Not sure about Harvey's at Union Market, but I'd imagine that they could get it. I've also purchased it (again, with the fat cap removed) at the farmer's market at Penn Quarter.

The best tri tip I've purchased in the area, however, is at Wagshall's. Fat cap on, cut to order, incredible.

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I suppose this is important, and I'll be honest, I don't remember exactly. Wagshall's isn't very close to me, so it's never going to be a regular source of meat for my kitchen. Based solely on my faulty memory I'll guess that Canales comes in at around $10 per pound and Wagshall's was probably at least $2 more per pound? Around there at least. 

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