What is an Engineer’s Favorite Food?

Written By: Mark Colzani

With Labor Day weekend upon us, I asked our team of robotics engineers about their favorite food. From the results, it seems our engineers are very carnivorous!

It’s hard to believe the summer months are coming to a close and Labor Day weekend is here. It seems like yesterday we were waiting for the Polar Vortex to end, so we could get out our grills and begin the summer parties.

So as we enter into the holiday weekend for one of our final summer cook-outs, I find myself asking, “What is an engineer’s favorite food?”

Being in a building full of them, I thought I’d take a survey and share the results. Turns out engineers are carnivorous, and in St. Louis, their favorite food is overwhelmingly barbecue. Take a look at the responses:

Survey: Engineer's Favorite Food

What’s an engineer’s favorite food? Survey says: Barbecue

My favorite miscellaneous answer was, “Just about anything my wife sets in front of me.”

After analyzing the results, it looks like the way to an engineer’s heart (apart from just putting anything in front of them) is to serve a barbecue steak taco – with a hint of curry!

Although I don’t have a recipe for a barbecue steak taco, I did want to share one of our controls engineer’s favorite recipes. He’s a master when it comes to grilling, so if you’re celebrating the Labor Day weekend with friends and family, hopefully, this comes in handy.

Recipe for Tri TipSmoked Tri-Tip

Recipe courtesy of Geoff Schreiber, Controls Engineer at Bastian Robotics

Tri-Tip is a relatively unheard of beef cut in the midwest that’s relatively cheap compared to steaks, but in my opinion, blows every steak away when cooked right. The tri-tip is part of the bottom sirloin and is triangular (hence the name). Average weight is 1.5-2.5 pounds and will easily feed a family of four.

First, trim the excess fat off the outside of the cut and remove any large chunks easily found on the surface. If it appears to have a ‘skin’, that’s ok on this cut as its not tough at all and will go away during cooking.

The next step is to mix up the brine. I like to soak mine for a minimum of 3 hours before grilling. Once the brine is mixed, I simply pour it into a gallon bag over the tri-tip and mix it around by hand a few times for consistency.

Brine Ingredients:
1 cup olive oil
¼ cup minced garlic
2 tbsp minced onions
2 tbsp course ground black pepper
2 tbsp sea salt
1 tbsp Italian seasoning (Marjoram, Thyme, Rosemary, Savory, Sage, Oregano, and Basil)

After removing from the brine, it is time to add some rub. I like to leave a little of the seasoning from the brine on the tri-tip and simply add the rub over the top of it. Whatever your favorite rub is will work perfectly, but I like mine to be a little spicy and use Code 3 Spices 5-0 Rub. Give it a light dusting on one side to start with (that side will be put face down on the grill/smoker), and hit the other side once it is on so you don’t waste any seasoning on your prep surface.

Best recipe for tri tipWe’re going to reverse sear this, so you want your grill or smoker to run around 200 degrees Fahrenheit. If on a grill, set your fire on one half and cook on the other (the two-zone method). To add a little smoke flavor, I prefer to use apple or cherry wood as it doesn’t have the bite of hickory or mesquite if you get too much smoke. Once you get a little smoke running, put the tri-tip on and close the lid. We want to get about 90-120 minutes of smoke in the tri-tip and then sear it to finish up at a nice medium rare. Be sure to keep an eye on the smoke and add wood chunks as needed for the full 90-120 minutes (cook time depends on the size of the cut).

Once the tri-tip hits 120 degrees Fahrenheit internally, it’s time to sear it. If you started on a smoker you’ll want to fire up your grill, if you’ve been on the grill all along, add some charcoal to raise the temp. Once the grates are nice and hot, move the tri-tip over to the hot grate and give it about 3 minutes per side to get a good sear. After searing, pull it from the grill and let it rest for about 10-15 minutes. The resting time is critical as it lets the juices ‘slow down’ and stay in the meat when cutting instead of running out and all over your cutting board.

After resting, I prefer to cut my servings similar to brisket. Slices ¼” to ½” are perfect and allow for easy portioning to the whole family.

Have a delicious holiday weekend everyone!

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4 comments

  1. Blake says:

    Nice recipe from Geoff, thanks for sharing! I regularly smoke tri tip out here but have never seared it as a final step…will have to give that a try! I think the LA office would also unanimously go with BBQ as our favorite food as well!

  2. Geoff says:

    Blake, feel free to share a recipe sometime-doing two tomorrow but had to beg our butchers to get them!

  3. Homepage says:

    Our Texas Style rub is our original blend, inspired by an old family members recipe and ideal for all types of meats. This award-winning rub is a savory blend of premium spices, with hints of sweetness, lots of flavor and no MSG or gluten. It goes properly with just about anything you want to add flavor to!

  4. Ken says:

    Geoff

    Could you post a link on how to get that Texas Rub?

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