This time though, with the budget we had left, it looked like we were going to be able to afford actual beef. Maybe not Prime Ribs, but it looked like we would be able to swing Tri-Tip. I've never really worked with tri-tip, but I've got a reputation to live up to, so, I started planning.
Cash and Carry had two options for tri-tip, untrimmed, or 'peeled'. Wanting to save money, I bought a 12 pound bag of untrimmed to see what I was getting into. The 12 pound vacuum sealed bag had three separate roasts in it...and by the time I had trimmed off the fat cap and silver skin, I was left with 8 pounds of meat. Redoing the math showed that going the 'peeled' version would probably be cheaper, and it was. I bought a 19 pound bag of peeled, and it had 6 roasts, and I only lost 22 ounces when getting silver skin and stubborn fat/gristle off.
That gave me 9 tri-tips totaling right around 26 pounds, and I'm not sure the Traegger could have handled one more.
Because I knew the lid was going to be open for a while, and Traegger's lose heat bad, I started out at 325, and kept it there for 15 minutes, before dropping the temp. They cooked way faster than I thought they would, and for the next two hours, I alternated between 180 and 'smoke' setting. Right at the end, since I still had to do some chicken and corn, I cranked the temp up to high, so, the tri-tip got a last little shot of heat.
In the end, I'm going to say that the meat came out a little more done that I would have preferred at home, but, with slightly different weights(and even having 4 thermometers), it seemed safer to go to 145ish than 135ish.
I was actually very surprised how moist and juicy the meat stayed, especially once I saw how lacking in pink it was. And the flavor...yum. I had rubbed the meat Monday after cutting them up with a rub based around brown sugar, salt and garlic powder and cumin, and love.
Best of all, I didn't even cut into two of them roasts for lunch, so after lunch, I was slicing them as thin as possible, day dreaming of sandwiches for lunch Thursday.