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June 2002 Issue
Teriyaki Tri-Tip
by Philip R. Gantt
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Welcome to Seasoned Cooking and to Phil's International Flair!

Summer is nearly upon us, and the time for the outdoor barbeque is here! This recipe is from my mother, who often prepares this dish for company when it is too warm to cook in the house.

Select a tri-tip that has some fat remaining on one side. The fat will add to the flavor and protect the meat from burning. If the fat is more than 1/4" thick, you may want to trim a little off, or have the butcher do it before you pay for the meat. It is best not to trim all of the fat before cooking though.

Tri-tip is a very versatile piece of meat and may be marinated with a variety of ingredients. Any type of vinegar-based salad dressing, such as Italian dressing, may be used as a marinade. A sweetener such as honey or brown sugar will add a pleasant flavor to the meat and a little wine will also enhance the flavor.

Here, in California, large picnics are common at ranches where tri-tips are barbequed by the dozens. The local term for this type of event is a "Santa Maria Style BBQ", named after a city between Santa Barbara to the south and San Luis Obispo to the north. There are many local variations to the theme, but tri-tips are most frequently the meat of choice for a BBQ. Some prefer to cook the meat over an open fire, basting frequently with a BBQ sauce, and others marinate the meat ahead of time. Both methods are good with this economical, boneless cut of beef.

The recipe presented this month is from my yet to be published cookbook. Feel free to email me at with your comments, questions and requests.

Now, on to the recipe!


Teriyaki Tri-Tip

Tri-tips are a perfect meat for that picnic in the park. Once marinated, the meat does not need to be under refrigeration immediately prior to cooking. I prefer to bring the meat to room temperature before putting it on the grill.
  • 1 Tri-tip roast, about 1½ to 2 lbs.
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup honey
  • ½ cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tbls. finely sliced ginger root or 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 4 cloves crushed and diced garlic
Combine the garlic, ginger, soy sauce, honey and vinegar in a deep pan and thoroughly dissolve the ingredients. Place the meat in the mixture, coat all sides and cover. Alternately, place the meat and marinade into a heavy duty zip lock bag, squeeze out most of the air, and seal. Turn the meat periodically, once or twice per day. Allow the meat to marinate in the refrigerator for three days. So, if you plan this for a Sunday BBQ, start marinating the meat on Thursday.

Prepare a fire and allow the coals to ash before cooking the meat. Sear the meat on both sides to seal in the juices, about 3 minutes per side, and then cover the BBQ and cook about 6 inches directly above the coals, fat side down, until done. Allow about 10 minutes per pound for medium rare, 12 minutes per pound for medium.

Slice diagonally across the grain and serve with beans, cole slaw, baked potatoes, fresh corn on the cob, and a green salad.

TIP: Try this recipe using chicken breasts, marinating for only 1 or 2 days instead.


  • Yields: 6 servings
  • Preparation Time: 3 days

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