Toledo Talk

Tri-tip? Where to buy it, how to cook it?

Tri-tip is a cut of beef that is famous along the west coast.
Link here for history and cut specs:

Where can tri-tip be bought in town? We need locations, names, and phone numbers. Additionally it would be great that if you have a recipe for tri-tip to share it.

created by OhioKimono on Apr 04, 2011 at 09:37:22 am     Food     Comments: 34

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I have meat custom cut at Churchill's on Briarfield in Maumee. They bend over backwards to get me exactly what I want. The butchers there seem to actually know the anatomy of a steer or a pig.

3320 Briarfield, Maumee

I dont advise trying any of the "House of Meats". They seem unwilling or unable to cut anything out of the ordinary. My last conversation was hilarous. They didn't know a shank from a t-bone.

posted by holland on Apr 04, 2011 at 10:16:00 am     #  

Zavotski cuts their own beef, and they take custom requests.

posted by jr on Apr 04, 2011 at 10:24:35 am     #   1 person liked this

Contrary to Holland's experience, the Lee Williams House of Meats in Point Place is terrific. They'll gladly provide cuts we request and often have terrific ideas for recipes or other tips about cooking time for the amount of meat we order, etc.

I don't think all 'house of meats' are the same, though, so my recommendation is for the one on 131st St. in Point Place.

posted by MaggieThurber on Apr 04, 2011 at 11:26:32 am     #  

+1 for Zavotski Custom Meats!

posted by bam2 on Apr 04, 2011 at 11:42:51 am     #  

I've always had good experiences with the House of Meats in Rossford.

posted by tm2 on Apr 04, 2011 at 12:02:26 pm     #  

I don't have my tri-tip recipe in front of me but here goes.

1. Make a mixture of soy sauce, fresh minced ginger, fresh minced garlic (sorry I don't have the proportions).
2. Make another mixture of brown sugar and cracked black pepper.
3. Rub the sugar/pepper all over the tri-tip.
4. Marinate the tri-tip in the liquid for a day before you want to grill it. Depending on the size, I can usually use a gallon zip lock bag. I sometimes have to cut the tri-tip into two pieces and use two bags. I use the tri-tip roast which is usually 4-5 pounds. The tri-tip steaks are much smaller, but can be used too.
5. Before grilling, let the marinated tri-tip sit out so that it warms up a little (maybe and hour). Keep any excess marinade.
6. Get the grill up to high heat and sear both sides for 5 minutes each.
7. Turn down to medium and continue grilling until done. Pour any extra marinade on the meat while it is grilling.
8. I don't guess at done-ness with expensive meat, so I use a meat thermometer once the searing is done. I cook until interior is 135 degrees in the thickest part. Tri-tip is best (to me) at medium-rare or even medium. Any more cooked, and it gets too tough.
9. Remove from grill and cover with foil. Let rest for 20 minutes.
10. Cut in thin slices against the grain of the meat.

This is not a traditional tri-tip recipe, but I like it better. Usually tri-tip is done with a dry rub (google it) and grilled with the presence red wood smoke. Also good!

posted by Matt on Apr 04, 2011 at 12:19:15 pm     #  

OhioKimono: I've been doing the "What? No tri-tip?!?!?!" dance for the last 15 years (moved to Toledo in 1996 after being on the Left Central Coast for more than two decades.) Dozens of phone calls and visits to the folks who provide us with meat in Toledo: No tri tip. The cut is simply not available in this part of the country. At least that is my experience. And you KNOW if you are getting true tri-tip. Once you've seen the cut of meat you understand why it is called "Tri-tip." This is far from the same cut that makes beef tips, and many local butchers will try to convince you that you are looking for an end of sirloin. Tri-tip can be made many ways (hadn't heard of the cheapest beer method, but can see how that could be great :) but true tri-tip is unlike any locally available cut of meat. If someone finds REAL tri-tip locally, PLEASE SHARE!

posted by LetItBe on Apr 04, 2011 at 07:46:01 pm     #  

HOM on Starr close to Wheeling has always been awesome for 34 years! I'm close to the one in Andersons at Woodville Mall now, but they can't carry the goods Starr Ave has coz they can't compete with Andersons. Also, try Tanks out in Elmore, they seem to have great people and unusual things but I've only been there once.

posted by nana on Apr 05, 2011 at 03:28:20 pm     #  

COSTCO, I've seen it there but have not purchased any. I seem to always be taking home the ribeyes or the loin.

posted by MI_Builder on Apr 05, 2011 at 05:52:51 pm     #  

Tri-tip is now in Toledo at House of Meats (Talmadge Road Anderson's.) Available plain or marinated. The manager said they have carried it for about a week, though sales are not as brisk as hoped. Mine is now marinating (made my own) and will be a yummy meal tomorrow.

posted by LetItBe on Jun 09, 2012 at 05:47:09 pm     #   1 person liked this

Will be eager to hear how it turns out, LetItBe.

I've had the Costco Tri-tip, and it wasn't bad.

posted by gamegrrl on Jun 09, 2012 at 06:13:11 pm     #  

We recently bought 2 full size tritip cuts at the Anderson's and made it up. We can't quiet figure out the mix and rub that was used out west...all the same it was realllllllllly good.

posted by OhioKimono on Jun 10, 2012 at 07:32:09 am     #  

Never been much of a fan of sirloin and sirloin-related steaks (they dry too quickly on the grill and the lower fat content makes them less flavorful), but I will give this a try. Normally when I eat steak I want the better cuts, and I would rather delay gratification for an especially good cut of meat (fliet mignon, tenderloin, strip) rather than settle for a lower-cost sirloin. BUT : I will try this.

posted by historymike on Jun 10, 2012 at 09:17:08 am     #  

Fat is what make a steak tender and flavorful, the leaner the cut the less taste and drier it gets to a point, not the layer of fat around the steak but in between the fibers of the meat. Choice or Select are the grades most common Choice will be the more tender and moist of the 2, Select is a leaner quality of meat.

posted by Linecrosser on Jun 10, 2012 at 09:47:10 am     #  

"... I would rather delay gratification for an especially good cut of meat (fliet mignon, tenderloin, strip) ..."

If you don't mind advice from celebrity chefs, Michael Symon listed in his book Live to Cook five things you should never buy, and number 4. was:

Beef tenderloin/filet mignon. Can we please get over our love affair with the most expensive and least flavorful part of the entire animal? Buy a beautifully marbled rib eye; it'll cost you less and make you happier.

In his recipe about hanger steak, Symon wrote:

This classic French bistro cut, the hanger, is also referred to as onglet or butcher's steak. The reason it is called the butcher's steak is because while everyone else is eating the flavorless tenderloin, the butcher is chowing down on this super-flavorful cut.

I have no experience, however, in any of this, but that's the goal for the summer. I bought Symon's book because of his Cleveland roots, his emphasis for salt, the chapter on pickles, and his opening paragraph in the chapter on meat with my emphasis added:

I am a carnivore for so many reasons. I love meat for its texture. I love ... eating flesh. Fish and vegetables, they don't have that chew. I love cutting into a big rib-eye steak or a grilled port chop. I love a charred outside combined with a beautiful fleshy center. I love fat. With so many other foods, all other foods, fish and vegetables, you have to add fat. Not meat; it's got the fat built into it, it's got the flavor and richness built into it.

posted by jr on Jun 10, 2012 at 10:48:22 am     #  

That paragraph is pure food porn. Love it!

posted by gamegrrl on Jun 10, 2012 at 10:53:10 am     #  

Personally I prefer a nice NY strip to keep it from drying out put butter on top while cooking, I've even gone so far as to use an injector needle to inject a combination of pepper, salt, butter, A-1 into the very lean cuts of beef. Cant remember what it was called but one of the best steaks I had was a roast of some sort, injected and grilled it was mighty fine tasty.

posted by Linecrosser on Jun 10, 2012 at 11:01:35 am     #  

Costco and just cook low and slow

posted by In_vin_veritas on Jun 10, 2012 at 11:05:54 am     #  

As long as we're comparing food to porn I second jr's deep appreciation and enjoyment of red meat for its flavor, texture and fat content, and add two other foods that give me great similar satisfaction - sour cream and chocolate. A meal which has those three components in the courses can leave me weak at the knees.

posted by holland on Jun 11, 2012 at 08:55:24 am     #   1 person liked this

Got to weigh in here-Lived in Central Coast Cal for a while, the home of Tri Tip. It's a bit of a religion out there. First, Tri-tip is super lean (It's the triangle tip of the sirloin primal. In most places it ends up in lean ground beef or stew meat), so low and slow doesn't really gain anything. what makes it so great is the ability to get a lot of flavor onto the crust and actually grill a family size piece of meat in a relatively short amount of time. while it's great for BBQ, being so lean, it doesn't need it, like say ribs or a pork butt. If you are looking for ich flavor, this cut isn't it, but it's a great medium for the rub, which bring up the other important detail- (and maybe more important) the rub. Most use a wet rub technique that is largely lime juice, olive oil, salt, pepper,cumin, chili powder and any number of herbs, especially rosemary and oregano. Lots of onion and garlic powder too. Or fresh garlic, a lot. Let it chill for 3-5 hrs with the rub and then grill away over a pretty hot flame. No more than 7 minutes per side.

Costco stopped carrying it a couple years ago. I had searched and searched for someone to do a custom cut with no real luck (Schorlings charged me like $15/ lb). I used to grill it all the time. I'm mixed about House of Meats because, well, they don't seem to care about quality, only price. And anyone that would put raw bacon in the middle of a raw burger is very questionable. Carrying tri tip would forgive many sins in my world though...

posted by ahmahler on Jun 11, 2012 at 09:38:10 am     #  

A very recent ToledoTalk post about BBQ led me indirectly to this discussion. As yet another former (temporary) resident of California who loves Tri-tip, I'm glad to say that it's easier to find in Toledo than in Chicago. Heck, even Kroger has it here at times. I haven't tried it at Milo's Meats on Lewis, but they cut their own beef and say they can set you up with a tri-tip. (When I asked about, they said, "let me guess--you're from California.")

The great thing about it on the west coast, other than the flavor, was that it was so cheap, probably owing to its popularity and widespread availability. In suburban Chicago, I could only get it by special order from a place that sold only prime meats. So that was quite pricey, but also the best I've had outside of a California restaurant. Tried Costco's tri-tip once--never again.

When Kroger has it here, it's normally $7.99 a pound for choice, but you can sometimes find it in the markdown bin as well.

posted by Bandito on May 02, 2016 at 06:56:07 pm     #  

Wait, what? Kroger? Which one? I've been on the lookout and have all but given up.

posted by ahmahler on May 03, 2016 at 02:25:48 pm     #  

Just saw it at the Kroger on Reynolds in Maumee a few weeks ago.

posted by slowsol on May 03, 2016 at 03:11:53 pm     #  

ahmahler, I've gotten it at the Kroger on Monroe and Secor.

posted by Bandito on May 03, 2016 at 03:32:22 pm     #  

I've seen it Costco...

posted by SensorG on May 03, 2016 at 03:36:18 pm     #  

SensorG posted at 03:36:18 PM on May 03, 2016:

I've seen it Costco...

Yeah, but how recently? They used to carry it regularly, but it been years since I've seen it-I talked to one of the butchers and they told me that they discontinued that cut in this area.

I'll check the Kroger meat departments! Thanks

posted by ahmahler on May 03, 2016 at 07:11:16 pm     #  

Holy Shit-Kroger stocks Tri-Tip, as previously reported. About $7/lb. They have it 2 ways-Steaks and the roast. Excitedly, I told the butcher that this was a game changer-In return, I received a very blank stare.

I can't recommend this enough-If you are cooking for 4+ go for the Roast. Heck, large parties call for multiple roasts. Tradition dictates a Salt/Pepper/Garlic Powder type simple rub with butter and red wine basting throughout. This is called "Santa Maria" style, and it's served with Salsa, Pinquitto Beans. Maybe a tortilla. I like to augment that rub with fresh garlic, Onion powder, Cayenne Pepper, Paprika, Lime Juice and fresh Garlic-I also like to let it marinade or sit with the rub/ paste for 3-8 hours. The best part about cooking this, is, since it's so lean, you can really cook it on high heat, even over a charcoal grill. Just keep an eye on the temp. If you go for Med Rare in the middle, the ends will probably be more like Med -well. Any steak recipe works well with this-Lemon Garlic, Teriyaki, Chimichurri.

Good luck

posted by ahmahler on May 09, 2016 at 08:43:38 am     #  

....eagerly awaiting the text from ahmahler for a tritip dinner....

posted by endcycle on May 09, 2016 at 11:51:38 am     #  

I'm going to try one on the smoker...maybe this Sunday!

posted by SensorG on May 09, 2016 at 01:07:03 pm     #  

The best I ever fixed was in California when the local store had a big sale and offered it a two prices--trimmed and untrimmed (or slightly trimmed). I bought an untrimmed piece, took some of the fat off but left a lot on. That extra fat made a big difference during the grilling and I suspect helped add to the flavor and tenderness of the meat (and the juicy, charred fat was delicious on it's own).

For that reason, even though I think the ones at Kroger are quite good, I think I'll get one from Milo's on Lewis and Eleanor. They cut their own beef, and I'll be able to ask them to keep some extra fat on it.

Glad that I bumped this old thread, and hope that more of you give the tri-tip a try. The more it's bought and asked for, the more the stores will carry it.

posted by Bandito on May 09, 2016 at 06:03:37 pm     #  

So, I'm sitting in a hotel room in Cleveland, post-dinner at Mabel's, the new Michael Symon BBQ on East 4th. We shared, among other things, the fatty brisket. I can't speak highly enough of the influence of the right kind of fat into slow cooking. This gang has nailed it. If I have 1 criticism of tri tip, it's that it's too lean. Bandito-I think that's a great idea.

posted by ahmahler on May 09, 2016 at 10:04:48 pm     #  

ahmahler, or anyone else who's recently done some tri-tip: have you anything to report, or further knowlege to share?

I barbequed one (from Kroger's) this last Sunday, but overdid the soy sauce in the marinade. Basted melted butter on it while grilling, and I think that worked fairly well.

posted by Bandito on Jun 14, 2016 at 08:11:51 pm     #  

I'm personally not a big marinade fan for steaks. I'd maybe do a chimichurri or something like that.

Or simple salt and pepper. Maybe garlic. Not sure if you have to treat tritip differently tho.

posted by endcycle on Jun 14, 2016 at 08:28:10 pm     #  

So, tri tip is obviously really lean, so you're not looking to tenderize-if you do anything, make sure it can stand up to a high heat, or a smoker. I usually like to use a rub/paste with some kind of chili, lime juice, tons of garlic, salt, Rosemary, cumin, black pepper, maybe some paprika. Chimichurri is great. I've seen lots of interesting coffee based rubs. You can also use a brisket/ ribs rub. Since its effectively a primal cut, and you'll be slicing this to serve, the crust is sort of secondary. Hope that helps!

posted by ahmahler on Jun 15, 2016 at 01:01:27 am     #