California Barbecued Tri-Tip Roast - America's Test Kitchen

Total Time
Prep 15 mins
Cook 20 mins

I watched this episode of America's Test Kitchen, and knew I had to try it! MMMMM! The crust on the meat is outstanding. This is almost more a method than a recipe. I have a little container that you put wood chips in and I used that for the smoking portion. I also used Mesquite. Prep time does not include marinating time.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Pat roast dry with paper towels. Using fork, prick roast about 20 times on each side.
  2. Combine garlic, oil, and salt and rub over roast. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour or up to 24 hours.
  3. Soak wood chips (if using) in bowl of water to cover for 15 minutes, seal in foil packet, and place over primary burner.
  4. Turn all burners to high and close the lid, keeping grill covered until wood chips begin to smoke heavily, about 15 minutes. Scrape cooking grate clean.
  5. Using paper towels, wipe garlic paste off roast. Rub pepper and garlic salt all over meat.
  6. Place roast on side of grate opposite primary burner and grill, covered, until well browned, about 5 minutes per side.
  7. Leave primary burner on high and turn all other burners off; cook until roast registers about 130 degrees (for medium-rare), about 20 minutes.
  8. Let rest at least 10 minutes and slice against the grain.
Most Helpful

Perfect, perfect, perfect! We did ours in a charcoal weber and it came out wonderful. We just moved the coals around to use them indirectly with the wood chips. The smoke flavor was just delicious with the garlic marinade. After we removed it off the grill, I coated it with a small pat of butter and tented it for 20mins. I sliced it super thin and served on crusty french rolls with grilled portabellos and sweet roasted garlic. It was even great the next day. This will be the only way we do tri-tip from now on. ATK has never let us down.

GinaCucina June 22, 2010

It's very rare that I absolutely follow a recipe, but since tri tip is a new cut of meat to me I wanted to try this recipe from start to finish without any of my own ideas thrown in (however, I cooked the roast a bit longer to fit my family's preference). This is a fantastic recipe, that was a total family and guest pleaser. I will cook my tri tip like this eternally - thank you for posting!!!

Gluten Free Mama October 15, 2010

I've tried a few BBQ tri-tip recipes and this is my favorite. Delicious, fast, and easy with simple ingredients. Our roast was perfectly medium rare and juicy. I adjusted the time as the shape of our meat was long and skinny. Thank you.

Nado2003 January 31, 2013