Is this really a Tri Tip?

Discussion in 'Meat Selection and Processing' started by suie, Jul 19, 2013.

  1. suie

    suie Meat Mopper

    Hi all, hoping someone can help me figure this out. I've been searching for a local source for Tri Tip and finally found one, or so I thought....when I went to pick it up I was presented with this gigantic 7 pound roast. This is the top side:

    And the bottom.

    I was expecting a 2-4 pound roast in the shape of a triangle. This weighs 7 pounds and looks like something totally foreign. Does any one have any idea of what this is?? Did I get duped or is the little triangle on the inside of this somehow? (i.e. could this be he whole bottom sirloin?)

    Last edited: Jul 19, 2013
  2. kathrynn

    kathrynn Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Doesnt look like the ones that I have purchased.  BUT...I am not a butcher so will let some of the others chime in.

    Here is what I get from Costco.

  3. suie

    suie Meat Mopper

    Thanks Kat, what you showed is what I was expecting to see.

    If no one has any insight I guess I'll just try smoking it whole and hope for the best. 

  4. meitreya

    meitreya Newbie

    I am no tri-tip expert, but I agree with your assessment that it doesn't look right.

    Hey, rub it and smoke it. Will still be delicious!
  5. s2k9k

    s2k9k AMNPS Test Group

    It looks like a whole sirloin to me. The tri tip is part of the sirloin and is probably why the butcher called that a tri tip.

    You could smoke it whole and but as big as it is the outside will get done a lot more than the center. You could also trim it into smaller pieces for more even cooking. Just follow the fat lines with your knife and you will probably find 2 or 3 different pieces of meat. Smoke them to an IT of about 135* for a nice med/rare roast beef, it is great sliced real thin for sammies.

    I buy whole sirloins whenever I find them on sale and trim them down for pastrami and usually end up with a piece too small for strami so I rub it with some of Gary's Java Rub and smoke it med/rare and it comes out fabulous!
  6. suie

    suie Meat Mopper

    That's what I'm hoping. :)
    Thanks! I think I've come to the same conclusion.

    Using the triangle of fat in the picture as a guide, it seems to line up with this side of my roast.

    If I follow the pdf as a guide, it looks like I can cut the tri tip out of this roast. I guess I'll see how brave I'm feeling about this tomorrow. [​IMG]

    Thanks for the help!

    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 19, 2013
  7. s2k9k

    s2k9k AMNPS Test Group

    A very sharp boning knife works good and just stay on the fat lines and it will separate into some nice pieces.

    I cut up a whole sirloin once and found a triangular piece that looked like a tri tip, I'm not a butcher so i don't know for sure but it sure was tasty!!
  8. suie

    suie Meat Mopper

    Thanks! I have a good boning knife so I'll give it a try.

    p.s - sorry about the external link, I forgot those weren't allowed!
  9. Kat and I go to the same Costco.  Good luck on the butchering job.
  10. suie

    suie Meat Mopper

    Thanks Bama!
  11. I think Dave gave you the best info for breaking it down into smaller more manageable cuts. You already have a good sharp boning knife, so that's half the battle. Just follow the fat seams.

    I now cut up our elk, deer and antelope, as well as larger cuts of meat like whole sirloins and whole pork shoulders. You'll do fine and I'll bet you find that Tri Tip in there!
  12. suie

    suie Meat Mopper

    Thanks for the encouragement! I've been wanting to learn how to do this so might as well dive right in!!
  13. suie

    suie Meat Mopper

    Here's what I ended-up with. If I'm reading the diagram from the California beef council correctly these cuts are: the ball tip (top), the flap steak (right) and the tri tip (bottom)

    I missed the seam a little between the ball tip and tri tip but the rest wasn't too bad. Step one was removing the flap, A lot of this involved just sticking my hand down the seam, then separating with the knife when it snagged.

    The ball tip started easily enough, but as I got further down I couldn't find the seam anymore so just kept cutting.

    All in all a very educational experience and I have three decent size cuts that should smoke nicely. Thanks everyone for the advice and encouragement!!

    markbeer likes this.
  14. Sure looks like you did a fine job splitting them up  [​IMG]   You have some tasty smokes to look forward to  [​IMG]
  15. suie

    suie Meat Mopper

    Thanks! I've got a carne asada marinade for one part, Scarbelly's java rub for another, and the last I'll probably just do salt, pepper & garlic. Should be fun!
  16. kathrynn

    kathrynn Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    OOOOO.....great job!  Looks like you found your Tri!  I am impressed!

    You will have to show those in q-views!

  17. s2k9k

    s2k9k AMNPS Test Group

    You're going to love the Java rub but don't go heavy with it, just a light dusting, it can be overpowering.

    Great job on separating that thing!!!! Nice Skills!
  18. suie

    suie Meat Mopper

    Thanks Kat!! I was surprised, especially since I couldn't see the Tri until the very last cut. I'll definitely post some q-view over in the beef forum.
    Thanks Dave!! I've never used the java rub before so thanks for the tip on that too. It sure smells interesting!
  19. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I apologize, totally missed this one!  You have a sirloin tip roast, and you get the following:

    Sirloin Tip Ball Tip:

    Sirloin Tip Flap:

    Sirloin Tip Tri Tip:

    The narrow white strip on the bottom is where it pulled off the bone from the femur, next to the round.

    Did a great job separating it, how were the steaks? 
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2013
    markbeer likes this.
  20. You're da man Pops!

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