Green Chile Rubbed Tri-Tip (Raised Direct Method)

January 16, 2014

Leave it to Chris Grove of to provide a unique way to cook thicker roasts such as the tri-tip used in this recipe. Here’s his green chile rubbed tri-tip, cooked using a raised grate which allows for a much more even cook.

Grilled tri tip

Green Chile Rubbed TriTip

I have been into beef tri-tips the past few months.   It is a tender and beefy cut that, to me, is every bit as good as a roast tenderloin.  In fact, I might like it better.

Last week I reverse seared a tri-tip, which is a technique of slow roasting to the done point and then finishing with a quick red hot sear.  This week I am using a technique called “raised direct” which is when you grill over hot coals but with distance between the food and heat.


Green Chile Rubbed Tri-Tip


  • 1 tri-tip beef roast
  • 1.5 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp green chile dust


  1. Season the roast with the remaining ingredients.  Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4-6 hours. Take off of refrigeration during the last hour and let rest at room temp.
  2. Set up your grill for raised direct heat (see notes below) and preheat to 400f.
  3. Grill the tri-tip with the lid closed.  Flip about every 6 minutes and cook until the roast reaches an internal temperature of 127f for medium rare.  This will take between 24 and 30 minutes.
  4. Remove and let rest on a raised rack for 10 minutes.  Slice against the grain into 1/2 inch slices.

Okay, here’s the deal on cooking “raised direct”, it’s simple.  All you are doing is putting a little distance between your food and the hot coals.  This accomplishes a few things and their are technical reasons why (inverse square law, etc) but who cares.   In plain terms, the two advantages are:

  1. More evenly cooked roast
  2. A bigger target for getting it cooked to the temperature you want.

For example, I want to cook this roast to medium rare (pull at internal temp 125-130f).  If I direct grill close to a hot 400f, the internal temps will rise fast and the time the roast spends between 125 and 130 will be brief, heading straight on to overdone and dry.   But doing raised direct grilling keeps it in that target range for minutes longer.  For conceptual folks, think of your target range as a destination.  For visual learners like me, look at it in this way in terms of length of time.

You can get the extra distance several ways.  For grills with adjustable cooking grates, raise it up to higher settings.  For grills with adjustable coal trays, lower it down.  For kamado or grills with standard round grates, I like using a raised grid like pictured below.  They are cheap to make and you can buy they parts at most local hardware stores.

Big Green Egg

Big Green Egg

The green chile dust that I used was one that I bought after seeing reviewed on Hot Sauce Daily.   I figured that Crazy Good Green Chile Dust must be “crazy good” since they one a 2013 Scovie Award (those are a big deal in the chile head industry).

Green Chile Powder

Green Chile Powder

You can see the green chile dust isn’t so green as much as it is a “green tinted off white”.   Tasted straight up it has an earthy flavor kind of like cumin but with the taste and mild heat of roasted green chiles.

Tri Tip


Grilled Tritip

Grilled Tri Tip

The one slightly tricky thing about tri-tips is slicing them.  You need to slice them against the grain but the grain of the tri-tip changes direction (see the arrows in the picture).  I cut it in half where the change occurs like this, then turn and slice against the grain.

Slicing Tri Tip

Slicing Tri Tip

Grilled tri tip

Grilled Green Chile Tri Tip


Fantastic meal and I am really enjoying tri-tips.   I think the next one I do will be cooked sous-vide.


Related Topics: Chris Grove | Editor's Picks | Green Chile Dust | Green Chile Rub | Grilled Tri-tip | Grilled Tritip | | Tri Tip Recipe | Tri-tip | Tritip | Tritip Recipe

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