Sweet and Spicy Grilled Tri-Tip

Sweet and Spicy Grilled Tri-Tip
  • Yield:serves 4 to 6
  • Active time:40 minutes
  • Total time:40 minutes

[Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

A sweet and spicy rub adds flavor to this otherwise mild but tender cut of beef.

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Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dark or light brown sugar
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 whole tri-tip roast, (about 2 1/2 pounds) or 1 top sirloin roast (about 2 1/2 pounds)

Directions

  1. 1.

    Combine pepper, cumin, paprika, coriander, cayenne, brown sugar, garlic, salt, and oil in a small bowl to form a paste. Set aside.

  2. 2.

    Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and arrange the coals on one side of the charcoal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Alternatively, set half the burners on a gas grill to the highest heat setting, cover, and preheat for 10 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate. If desired, add a few chunks of oak that have been soaked in water for 30 minutes directly to the coals.

  3. 3.

    Rub steak with paste, place over cooler side of grill, cover, and cook, turning and flipping occasionally until an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the steak registers 115 to 120°F for medium rare, 20 to 30 minutes

  4. 4.

    If coals are not hot, remove steak from grill, add another quart of coals, and wait five minutes for them to heat up. Return steak to hot side of grill. Cook, flipping regularly until well-charred on exterior and center of steak registers 120 to 125°F on an instant-read thermometer, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes. Slice thinly and serve.