Pitmaster Recipe Series: BuffalowBBQ's Classic Tri-Tip Steak

Pitmaster Recipe Series: BuffalowBBQ's Classic Tri-Tip Steak

It's almost the middle of July, and If you haven't pushed your steak game yet, now is the time. This week's recipe is brought to you by Jason Buffalow of BuffalowBBQ (@buffalowbbq), and is the first of many forthcoming installments. Check him out on instagram!

Tri-Tip Recipe


  • 3-5 lbs trimmed Tri-Tip steak
  • Sea salt
  • Olive oil
  • Butter
  • Rosemary (optional)

 1. The Prep.

  • Start with trimmed Tri-Tip. I like to dry brine when I have time. Dry Brine is the process of taking the meat and washing it, patting dry, sprinkle a good dose of sea salt on all sides. Not a ton and not super light. Put it in the fridge overnight that way uncovered or lightly covered.
  • About 1 hour before I am ready to cook it, I pull out of the fridge and rub it down with olive oil, and my favorite rub. If you did not dry brine, you will need to have salt in the rub here.

2. The Cook

  • Fire up your Smoker on the smoke setting (150-180 degrees). I prefer @greenmountaingrills with @knottywoodbbq pellets
  • Put the Tri-Tip on the grate for about 45-60 minutes until the internal temperature is around 100 degrees. The goal here is to get smoke on the meat and slowly bring it up in temp and to not make the meat tighten up. There is no need to look at it, spritz it or wrap it. If you have a wireless thermometer, this is a perfect use for that. Time for a few adult beverages and spend time working on side dishes or hanging with friends and family.
  • Once the internal temperature hits 100 degrees, I like to pull it out, and crank the grill to the max (500-600 degrees). Then I throw in my cast iron pan. I let it get smoking hot. Once I am around 350-400 degrees and the pot is hot, I toss in some butter (and rosemary if I have it) and the Tri-Tip. You will want to sear the Tri-Tip all the way around. I often do this phase on my gas grill since it gets hotter. Mainly you are trying to get a good color and crust on at this stage.
  • Pull the Tri-Tip at 130-135 internal temp for medium rare to rare - I generally shoot for 132.
  • Take the Tri-Tip off, place on a plate, then pour the excess butter over. I place it in the oven or microwave for 10 minutes. This will hold the heat and let the juices go back into the meat. DO NOT cover with foil.
  •  Time to slice! Remember to slice against the grain. This is critical. Try adding a chimichurri or sautéed mushroom sauce to finish this steak. Enjoy! 




 Total cook time 60-100 minutes.