Smoked Tri-Tip with Sun-Dried Cherry Steak Sauce

Yield: Serves 4 - 6

Chef: Brian Streeter

Smoked Tri-Tip with Sun-Dried Cherry Steak Sauce


Coffee & Ancho Chili Spice Rub:

  • ¼ C. dark roast coffee, finely ground
  • 2 Tbsp. ancho chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 2 Tbsp. sweet paprika
  • 1 tri-tip (1½ – 2 lbs.), trimmed

Steak Sauce:

  • 1 oz. sour dried cherries
  • 2 Tbsp. pomegranate molasses
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • ¼ C. ketchup
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • pinch ground star anise
  • pinch ground cloves
  • pinch ground ginger


Combine ingredients for the spice rub. Rub two tablespoons of the mix into the tri-tip. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Reserve remaining spice rub for later use.

To make the steak sauce, cover the dried cherries with a cup of hot water and allow to soften for 20 minutes. Place in a blender jar and puree on high until smooth. Pour into a small saucepan along with the remaining ingredients. Simmer over low heat for 15 minutes to thicken. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

To cook the tri-tip, start a charcoal fire. While coals are heating up, soak a handful of oak chips in water. When coals are white, bank them onto one side of the grill. Grill the tri-tip for 2-3 minutes a side to brown. Remove to the side of the grill without any coals. Drain the oak chips from the water, set on top of the coals and cover the grill with a lid. Smoke for 15-20 minutes until medium rare (120°F) or to desired doneness. Remove from the heat and allow to rest for 5 minutes before slicing. Slice and serve with a side of the steak sauce.