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Buffalo Tri-Tip and more.... (Pics!)

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Post Wed May 19, 2010 7:39 pm
CharredGriller User avatar
BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 5864
Location: Central Alberta, Canada
I picked up an interesting piece of meat this weekend at the farmer's market I regularly sell pens at. It was a tri-tip, but it was from a buffalo (a Canadian bison, if you want to get picky). It was similar in shape and size to a beef tri-tip, but there was absolutely no fat in the meat whatsoever.

Since it was a nice day yesterday, I figured I'd try Steven's Santa Maria Tri-Tip recipe from BBQ USA. I also had a bit of rub left over, so I tried it on a very small prime rib roast - more like a big bone-in rib-eye steak, actually. :D

Here's how it went:

First things first - I figured I'd try out a different lump charcoal than my usual Maple Leaf or Royal Oak. I didn't like the small piece size of Kingsford Charwood for a start, but more later.
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Here's a shot of what I use to start my chimney these days. :twisted:
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500,000 BTUs does a really good job of starting a chimney. This one was fully lit almost all the way through after a 20-second burst from the torch. Sorry, but I only have one set of hands so there are no pics of me actually lighting the chimney (it did happen, though). :D
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3 minutes later, it was almost ready to go, and 3 minutes after that it was completely lit and the 3-zone fire was almost set up. You can also see my smokestack mod in the left-hand picture - that's a standard 3" duct elbow and it does a marvelous job - I like it a lot better than currugated ducting.
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That's the tri-tip in front and the supersize rib steak in back. It looks like a lot of rub on the meat, but it's not.
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5 minutes into the cook, and here's a reason why I love cast-iron grills. I liked the grill marks so much I had to try two shots of them.
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After a few minutes more I started getting flareups from the fat in the roast, so I figured I'd try something. I opened the side firebox lid and smokestack lidf all the way and then closed the lid of the main chamber. This created a convection current, as you can see by my two add-on thermometers on either side of the MC lid (the smokestack therm is on the left and the one under the coals is on the right). This did a great job of cooking the meat indirectly and helped avoid flareups.

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And finally, the finished product! No pictures of the rib bone, though, as it's already gone. :twisted:

The supersize rib steak (OK - so it was a small roast :D) was fantastic. The tri-tip was also very good - the crust was a little bit tough, but the center of the meat was very tender. A bit of marbled fat might have made it even more tender, but buffalo is super-lean so you get what you can.
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I think I'll finish off that bag of Kingsford Charwood and switch back to my other brands. There was a bit of an off-taste to it, and the stuff burned up very quickly. It threw a lot of heat (enough to burn off the seasoning on the grates, in fact), but that heat only lasted for about half an hour and the coals were dead in twice that time. I'm used to a lot longer burn times from the Royal Oak and Maple Leaf brands of lump I normally use. I can't justify the extra price for Kingsford lump as it seems to me to be an underperformer, and I'll use it for burgers and small cooks but I won't be buying it ever again.

I expected the buffalo to taste a bit sweeter than the beef, but this happens more one fattier pieces than on tri-tip. The piece I cooked was excellent, though, and I think I'll try it again sometime. As for the rib steak (aka. roast), it was pure heaven - I'll be cooking these more often, and the next one I think I'll try a reverse sear. :D
Unlike propane, you'll never wake up scorched and naked in another county because you mishandled a bag of briquettes.

Post Thu May 20, 2010 8:08 am
BBQ Bob well done
well done

Posts: 536
Location: Clifton, New Joisey
Oh man CBBQG...that looks awesome! Buffalo tri-tip. I love to try that! The only thing we get around here is ground buffalo or buffalo steaks and they come around during a short period of summer.
One question for ya...that blow torch thingie you used to get your charcoal going...what is that called? I've been wanting to get one for years but dont know the name of it. And being a plumber I asked everywhere and noone knows what the heck I'm talkin about.
Nice job and thanks for sharin!
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FURN. Short for furniture that I should have instead of this thing - wifie

Post Thu May 20, 2010 8:19 am
beercuer User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 2287
Location: Southern Californy
What an awesome looking treat, Canada! Them be some killer grid marks, too. :D

Post Thu May 20, 2010 9:55 am
Kenny 13 well done
well done

Posts: 4051
Location: Belle Chasse, LA
Great job and nice pics. I'd like to try some buffalo too. Not many places to get it around here though. Whole Foods sells it, but not tri-tip.

That recipe from BBQ USA is a good one, and it's the one I always use for tri-tip, but I recently found another one for Santa Maria Tri-tip on the BGE forum that I'll be giving a try on my next one.

The weed burner has to be great for lighting lump. I've been wanting to pick one up for lighting the egg. Guess I'll break down and get one in the near future. I just need to get a new propane cylinder too. Haven't had one of those since I lost all my crawfish boiling gear in Hurricane Katrina back in 2005.
Large Big Green Egg

What's On The Grill?

Post Thu May 20, 2010 10:38 am
WPCatfish well done
well done

Posts: 415
Location: Kent County, Delaware
BBQ Bob wrote:
One question for ya...that blow torch thingie you used to get your charcoal going...what is that called? I've been wanting to get one for years but dont know the name of it.


Enter 'Weed Dragon" on Amazon. Just don't have a credit card handy!

http://www.amazon.com/Red-Dragon-BP-251 ... 124&sr=8-9
I have fire!

Last grills:

Pork Chops
Chargriller Fried Chicken
Roast Chicken
Grilled Pineapple
Cheese Dogs

Post Thu May 20, 2010 2:13 pm
QJuju well done
well done

Posts: 1918
Location: Louisville, Kentucky

I had a buffalo burger once, but thats as close as I have gotten. They have it where we shop now so after seeing those pics I have to give it a try. Great looking Q there brother! Thanks for sharing.
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Post Thu May 20, 2010 3:04 pm
CharredGriller User avatar
BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 5864
Location: Central Alberta, Canada
BBQ Bob wrote:
Oh man CBBQG...that looks awesome! Buffalo tri-tip. I love to try that! The only thing we get around here is ground buffalo or buffalo steaks and they come around during a short period of summer.
One question for ya...that blow torch thingie you used to get your charcoal going...what is that called? I've been wanting to get one for years but dont know the name of it. And being a plumber I asked everywhere and noone knows what the heck I'm talkin about.
Nice job and thanks for sharin!


That blowtorch thingy is a Mr. Heater MH500PT. Here's a bit of info:
http://www.mrheater.com/Product2.aspx?id=37

Basically it's a bigger model of the standard weed-burning torch. But where the average torch kicks out about 50,000 BTU, this one is 500,000 BTU. Really nice for cleaning snow off your driveway, burning grass off your property, and of course, lighting chimney starters. It also sounds like you're firing up a hot air balloon when you turn it on full-blast - that's a real head-turner. :twisted:
Unlike propane, you'll never wake up scorched and naked in another county because you mishandled a bag of briquettes.

Post Thu May 20, 2010 4:08 pm
rogerja well done
well done

Posts: 2288
Location: Central Ohio
Those are beautiful.... I almost licked my monitor.

Post Thu May 20, 2010 8:50 pm
BBcue-Z well done
well done

Posts: 3045
Location: Atlanta-GA
That’s awesome looking stuff!!!
You are making me hungry :shock:
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Post Thu May 20, 2010 10:07 pm
BBQ Bob well done
well done

Posts: 536
Location: Clifton, New Joisey
Thanks to Catfish and CBBQG for the info. Since I use lump to get FURN up to temp, lookin for thew blowtorch/Mr Heater thingie to get my logs goin when my temps are down.
Just wonderin here anyone ever use a blowtorch/M r Heater thingie to cook a steak???? :lol:
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FURN. Short for furniture that I should have instead of this thing - wifie

Post Fri May 21, 2010 10:13 am
tex_toby well done
well done

Posts: 1791
Location: Van Alstyne, Texas

I sure would have loved to give that a try! mmmMMMMmmMMMmmmm :)
20" x 40" Party Gator Pit
Char-Griller Wrangler w/Side-burner - My camping grill

Post Fri May 21, 2010 10:20 am
WPCatfish well done
well done

Posts: 415
Location: Kent County, Delaware
BBQ Bob wrote:
Just wonderin here anyone ever use a blowtorch/M r Heater thingie to cook a steak???? :lol:



Wouldn't that be like using a gasser?
I have fire!

Last grills:

Pork Chops
Chargriller Fried Chicken
Roast Chicken
Grilled Pineapple
Cheese Dogs

Post Fri May 21, 2010 11:50 am
CharredGriller User avatar
BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 5864
Location: Central Alberta, Canada
WPCatfish wrote:
BBQ Bob wrote:
Just wonderin here anyone ever use a blowtorch/M r Heater thingie to cook a steak???? :lol:



Wouldn't that be like using a gasser?


Yes - at least in part.But some of the recipes I've seen call for searing the steak first with the torch and then finishing it over indirect heat. I think I'll try that sometime too - sear the steak in the torch flame, and then finish it up in the Outlaw over a very smoky fire.
Unlike propane, you'll never wake up scorched and naked in another county because you mishandled a bag of briquettes.

Post Sun May 23, 2010 11:11 am
Old Smoker well done
well done

Posts: 1247
Man, that does look pretty good and I'm not much for the rare/med. rare fare. Of course I won't be trying that here, I already know my famlies opinion on buffalo. :lol:
22.5 WSM - Chargriller - Traeger Texas
I cook to eat not to compete


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