This Grilled Tri-Tip with Charred Corn Salsa is based on classic Santa Maria Tri-Tip dinners from central California. It’s made with juicy grilled steak and taken up a notch with spicy pinquito beans and homemade charred corn salsa!
Dry Brine the Steak
First, we season. Because great Grilled Tri-Tip with Charred Corn Salsa comes pretty darn easily if you start with a spice rub. So, lather your trimmed tri-tip generously with canola oil and stir together kosher salt, black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and cayenne powder. Next, use your hands to rub the seasonings all over the outside of the steak. Be sure to get all the nooks and crannies so your steak is nice and flavorful.
Next, set the seasoned steak in the fridge for 45 minutes to dry brine. We want to give it plenty of time to really soak in all of that flavor. Fifteen minutes before you’re ready to get cooking, pull the steak out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature. This helps it cook more evenly!
Chipotle Pinquito Beans for Grilled Tri-Tip with Charred Corn Salsa
Next, it’s time to whip up a quick batch of smoky and spicy chipotle pinquito beans, because beans, corn, and steak is the magical trio you didn’t know you needed.
Preheat your fire to medium-high heat of around 375ºF for direct cooking. Add a cast-iron skillet onto the grill, then add in diced bacon. Cook until browned and crispy, then transfer to a separate container and drain all but 1 tablespoon of the grease.
Next, add in the canned pinquito beans. Don’t strain! The liquid is used in the chipotle pinquito beans for your Grilled Tri-Tip with Charred Corn Salsa.
To the beans, add in tomatoes, jalapeños, chipotle puree, brown sugar, minced garlic, and kosher salt. Simmer until thickened, stirring occasionally. This usually takes around 30 minutes. To finish, stir the bacon back into the mix, then pull the beans off the grill and keep them warm while you cook your steak.
Cook Your Tri-Tip for Grilled Tri-Tip with Charred Corn Salsa
Our tri-tip starts with a simple basting liquid. First, add a basting skillet onto the grill, then mix in crushed garlic, olive oil, and red wine vinegar. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then pull the skillet off of the heat.
Next, clean and oil your grill grates, then add the tri-tip onto the grill. Cook with the fat side down for 5 minutes, then flip it over and baste with your prepared liquid. Repeat this process every 5 minutes. Be sure to baste after each flip to keep the steak nice and moist!
When the internal temperature of the steak reaches 130ºF, pull it off the grill and set it aside to let it rest for about 15 minutes. This gives the flavor and moisture time to settle back into the meat.
Make Your Charred Corn Salsa
Grilled Tri-Tip with Charred Corn Salsa just isn’t complete without the corn salsa itself. First, add the corn on the cob onto the grill. Roast it, rotating as needed, until well charred. Pull it off the heat and slice the corn off of the cob, placing it into a bowl.
To the bowl, add diced tomatoes, sour cream, diced jalapeño peppers, diced red onions, chopped cilantro, chopped green onions, hot sauce, and lime juice. Mix it all up, then set it aside until you’re ready to serve.
Now, it’s time to serve up your Grilled Tri-Tip with Charred Corn Salsa! Place the rested tri-tip on a cutting board and slice. Don’t forget to slice against the grain because that’s the key to getting that perfect tender bite.
Next, serve your steak with your prepared beans and corn salsa!
Grilled Tri-Tip with Charred Corn Salsa
This Grilled Tri-Tip with Charred Corn Salsa is made with juicy grilled steak, spicy pinquito beans, and homemade charred corn salsa!
- 1 Tri-Tip trimmed
- 1 tbsp Kosher Salt
- 1 tbsp Black Pepper
- 2 tsp Onion Powder
- 2 tsp Garlic Powder
- ½ tsp Cayenne Powder
- Canola Oil
- 3-4 Crushed Garlic
- 2 cups Olive Oil
- 1.5 tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
Chipotle Pinquito Beans:
- 30 oz Pinquito Beans do not strain
- 2 cups Diced Bacon
- ½ cup Diced Tomato
- ¼ cup Diced Jalapeño
- 2 tbsp Chipotle Puree
- 2 tbsp Brown Sugar
- 1 tbsp Minced Garlic
- Kosher Salt to taste
Charred Corn Salsa:
- 3-4 Corn on the Cob
- 1 cup Diced Tomatoes
- 2 tbsp Sour Cream
- 2 tbsp Diced Jalapeño Peppers
- 2 tbsp Diced Red Onions
- 1.5 tbsp Chopped Cilantro
- 1 tbsp Chopped Green Onions
- 2 tsp Hot Sauce
- 3-4 medium Limes juiced
Begin by lathering your tri-tip with oil and mixing together the seasoning. Season the steak generously then place in the fridge for 45 minutes uncovered to dry brine. Pull the steak out 15 minutes before cooking.
Preheat your fire to medium high heat temperature (around 375F) for direct cooking.
Add a cast iron skillet to the grill and add your diced bacon to the skillet. Cook until they reach an amber brown color (about 8-12 minutes). Once the bacon is done, pull it off and remove all the bacon grease except for 1 tbsp of it. Add your pinquito beans to the skillet along with the tomatoes, jalapenos, chipotle puree, brown sugar, minced garlic and kosher salt. Let simmer, stirring occasionally, until they thicken (about 30 minutes). Once thickened, add your bacon back to the beans and mix into the skillet. Pull off and keep warm.
Add a basting skillet to the grill with the crushed garlic, olive oil and red wine vinegar. Let come to a low simmer, stir then pull the skillet off the fire.
Making sure your grill grates are cleaned and oiled, add your tri-tip to the grill fat side down first. Cook for 5 minutes, then flip over and baste with your basting liquid. Repeat this every 5 minutes, making sure to baste after the flip until the tri-tip reaches 130F internal at its deepest point (about 25-30 minutes). Once done, pull off and let rest for at least 15 minutes.
Finally, add your corn on the cob to the grill and roast until they are well charred. Sliced your corn off the cob and add to a bowl along with the rest of the ingredients for the Charred Corn Salsa. Mix and set aside.
Once rested, pull out your tri-tip and slice against the grain. Serve with the beans, corn salsa and enjoy!
Derek is the driving force behind Over the Fire Cooking. He started cooking with live fire in 2016 and decided to start a social media page so his friends and family could follow the journey. Fast forward to today and Over the Fire Cooking has spread across multiple platforms with millions now following Derek’s fire cooking journey. He’s a southern fellow who enjoys everything from classic BBQ to Central and South American inspired dishes. Whatever he’s cooking up, it’s guaranteed to be so freakin’ delicious!