This special rub gives you restaurant quality steaks with a deep, smoky flavor—without taking away from the meat itself—and a beautiful crust created by the brown sugar.
I was on en route to purchase Rib-Eye steaks at Costco, and my brother Gary (BBQ-guru) advised me to try these Tri Tip Strips instead.
One 5.39-oz package fed about ten adults comfortably—for $40!
Beef Loin Tri Tip Steak from Costco
They’re already pre-sliced into strips which makes for much quicker cooking than a huge slab of Tri-Tip.
Rubbing them the day before gave time for the flavors to penetrate, but without overpowering the meat.
Gary’s marinate of choice these days is simply olive oil, salt and pepper, so we made one that way for comparison and contrast. The rub was the clear winner—everyone agreed that it adds wonderful flavor and tenderness.
For Sam’s recent birthday celebration, I doubled the recipe and made seven gorgeous New York steaks from Costco, which comfortably fed 10 – 12 adults.
We find New York steaks less fatty than Rib Eye, though the steaks we used this time were not as tender as the Prime New York Steaks—so I would definitely recommend splurging a little on a prime cut.
What’s your favorite cut?
I love that you can marinate these ahead and have your steaks all prepped and ready to throw on the grill.
Steaks wrapped in plastic and refrigerated 24 hours.
Make sure to use Kosher Salt—which is less salty than table salt.
Anne Burrell’s recipe on FoodNetwork.com calls for 3 tablespoons of salt (or to taste), but people complained it was too salty. I find 2 tablespoons of kosher salt is the perfect amount. Taste your steaks just before serving, and if necessary you can always sprinkle with a little kosher salt.
Anne Burrell’s recipe on FoodNetwork.com doesn’t include cumin, but since it’s one of my favorite spices, I went with her version from her cookbook, Cook Like a Rockstar; if you’re not a fan just leave it out.
I was psyched to buy whole Cumin Seeds from World Flavorz at our local Farmer’s Market; the incredible aroma of the spices had been calling to me for weeks.
Adam at the World Flavorz stand at the Calabasas Farmer’s Market
I was happy to see that he didn’t just measure some out from the bowl that had been sitting in the sun, but had these ready-made packs!
I got to use my brand new spice grinder from my favorite store, Sur La Table, but something didn’t seem right.
Even after putting it through a strainer it didn’t seem useable. (I see now that I should have toasted the seeds first.)
Luckily, I opted for ground cumin instead—which had worked perfectly last time; easier and less mess.
You’ll find ground cumin on my Trader Joe’s Shopping List >>
Red Pepper or Cayenne
At least I got to grind the crushed red pepper!
If you don’t have crushed red pepper, you can substitute with cayenne pepper. I use a little less than a teaspoon of crushed red pepper or cayenne, because I don’t like my steak spicy.
Tip: Give some bread crumbs a whirl to clean out the spices!
Smoked Spanish Paprika (Pimenton)
Smoked Paprika is different than regular Hungarian Paprika. It reminds me of the smoky flavor of BBQ potato chips!
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar (I used light), packed
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper, ground (or cayenne pepper) (I use a little less than a teaspoon because I don't like my steak spicy)
- 2 teaspoons smoked Spanish paprika (pimenton)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin (optional but highly recommended)
- 3 - 4 New York strip steaks or 2 (22 to 24-ounce) bone-in rib eye steaks (1 1/2 - 2 inches thick)
- high quality extra virgin olive oil
- oil for brushing the grill (vegetable or canola)
- Remove the steaks from the refrigerator about 20 - 30 minutes before cooking. (while you preheat the grill)
- Preheat the grill; brush and oil the grill to loosen and remove any leftover bits with a cloth or folded paper towel dipped in vegetable oil.
- Right before cooking, remove the plastic wrap and lightly oil the steaks with extra virgin olive oil.
- Place the steaks on a hot grill to put a good char on both sides of the steak; about 3-4 minutes per side over medium-high heat until they're nicely browned. Move the steaks to a cooler part of the grill and cook for another 6 - 7 (Anne says 3 - 4) minutes per side for medium rare.
- Remove from the the grill and let them rest for 7 - 8 minutes, under tented foil to keep them warm. (Resting keeps the steaks juicy, and when you cut them the juices don't run out.)
- Cut the meat off the bone (for rib-eye) and slice on the bias across the grain into about 1-inch slices. Taste for seasoning and sprinkle with a little kosher salt if necessary. If desired, serve the slices with a drizzle of high quality olive oil. (We didn't find this necessary.)
- Pick 1-1/2 to 2-inch thick steaks that will stand up to the rub!
- Serving slices allows everyone to select pieces done to their liking and makes for far less waste.