Grilling for the Fourth by Niman Ranch Executive Chef Andrew Hunter

Tri tipI love everything about the 4th of July. The fireworks, picnicking with friends and family, and of course the undeniable aroma of smoky charcoal and searing meat, all remind of us of our great national pride. To go along with my favorite festivities, Niman Ranch Tri-Tip is perfect for the outdoor grill. You simply can’t beat the texture or flavor.

If you’re on the fence about what to cook this holiday, search no more! This recipe will please everyone in your gathering and simplify your job as host of the party. Best of all, it draws on diverse flavors helping us celebrate what truly makes America great… we’re a melting pot!

Tri-tip is a triangular roast cut from the bottom sirloin weighing in at two to three pounds. If you can’t find it at your neighborhood Niman Ranch butcher, any steak from the sirloin, loin or flank will also grill beautifully.

Because tri-tip is shaped like a triangle with a thin narrow-end and a thicker wide-end, it’s easy to get different degrees of doneness for everyone’s taste. Slice medium well portions from the narrow tip and medium rare portions from the wider base.

Niman Ranch Tri-Tip Roast, Santa-Maria style

Dry Rub:

1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon chipotle powder
1 teaspoon brown sugar
¼ cup natural maple syrup, optional

Combine dry rub ingredients in a small bowl and rub all sides of the meat to coat. Place the seasoned roast on a plate and refrigerate – don’t cover it with plastic though because the meat needs to breathe. Take it out of the fridge one hour before grilling.

Place on a medium-hot charcoal grill, turning occasionally, and cook until it’s about 145 degrees on the thin end and 130 degrees on the thick end. Just before removing from the grill, brush with maple syrup and turn to sear. Let the meat rest for 30 minutes so it reabsorbs its juices, and then slice it across the grain.

One tri-tip will make approximately six-  6-ounce portions. The recipe can be doubled, tripled or quadrupled and beyond, so cook as many as will fit on the grill. It makes great steak sandwiches the next day.

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