Karl’s Salt and Pepper Barbecued Tri-tip

Daughter Miriam has been sick lately and cannot eat anything in the pepper or lily families— no chili powders, garlic, leeks, onion, or peppers (even bell peppers).  This has made Sunday dinners quite a challenge lately. I needed to make something that was both flavorful, but without the things that would make her feel ill.

Karl's Salt and Pepper Barbecued Tri-tip

Karl’s Salt and Pepper Barbecued Tri-tip

I decided to barbecue some tri-tip this Sunday. Normally, I would slather the meat in oil, garlic and onion. Today, I limited my seasoning to just Kosher salt and black pepper. To go with the meat I decided on a bean salad, steamed artichokes, and barbecued corn.

Karl’s Salt and Pepper Barbecued Tri-tip


1 beef  tri-tip (about 3 lbs, trimmed of fat cap)

1 Tbs. olive oil
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1 tsp. black pepper, cracked


1. If the tri-tip has a thick fat cap trim much of it off.

Tip: Leave about a ¼ inch over the fat side and score cross hatches through the remaining fat cap about half an inch apart.

Note: If the tri-tip has been refrigerated, set the roast on the counter to come to room temperature for one hour.

2. Rub the tri-tip on all sides with the olive oil and sprinkle the salt and pepper evenly over the meat.

Tip: Doing this the night before is best, but letting it sit for just a few hours to marinate is OK.

3 Prepare your grill.

a. For a charcoal grill, start the coals at least an hour before dinner. Spread the coals against the back of the barbecue and place an aluminum pan on the front side. Replace the grill and heat it for 5 minutes

b. For a gas grill, start heating on high 10 minutes before grilling. Turn off the burner(s) on one side when you start grilling the meat.

4. Use a paper towel to spread vegetable oil on the grate.

Note: For a gas grill, turn off the burners on one side of the grill and oil the grate. You do not need an aluminum pan with a gas grill.

5. Place the tri-tip, fat cap down, over the hot side of the grill.

Tip: Close the grill lid.

6. Sear the first side of the tri-tip for 10 minutes.

7. Flip the meat over and sear the second side of the tri-tip for another 8-10 minutes.

8.  Place the meat on the cool side of the grill fat cap up.

Note: Close the grill again.

9. Roast the meat for 20 minutes.

10. Turn the meat over and place the thickest part of the roast at the edge of the coals with the thinner end slanted from the heat.

11. Insert a constant-read meat thermometer and close the grill again.

Tip: If you have a tri-tip that is thick on one end and thin at the other use this technique. If you have a tri-tip that is thick in the middle and thin at both ends lay it just off the high heat side of the grill.

12. Then the meat reaches 135º F, about another 10-30 minutes, remove the tri-tip from the grill and wrap it in tin foil to rest for 10 minutes.

Tip: How long your meat will take to reach this temperature can vary on your personal grill.

Note: Grilled beef cooked to 135º F and then wrapped in foil to rest continues to cook to an internal temperature of 140 º F, which is medium rare.

13. Slice thickly across the grain and serve.


Filed under Beef, Main Dishes

2 responses to “Karl’s Salt and Pepper Barbecued Tri-tip

  1. Suddenly I’m starving 😀

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