By Christie Vanover | Published December 29, 2022 | Last Updated July 24, 2023
What is Tri Tip?
The tri-tip is a triangular-shaped beef cut from the bottom sirloin butt. It gained popularity in Santa Maria, California. While it may not have as much marbling as ribeye, it is still tender and great for smoking or grilling. You have the option of grilling or smoking the whole roast and slicing it afterward, or slicing it into steaks before grilling. Consider choosing tri-tip the next time you visit the meat counter for a delicious new meal.
How to Trim Tri Tip
When purchasing a tri-tip roast, most of the connective tissue and fat should already be removed, so you won’t need to do much trimming. However, if you do find any fat or silver skin, you can easily remove it by sliding the tip of your knife under the layer of fat and trimming both sides if necessary.
Steps for Trimming Tri Tip:
- After trimming the tri-tip, season both sides with a generous pinch of kosher salt and black pepper. Enhance the flavor by adding a layer of tri-tip seasoning, such as our Brisket Rub or Steak Rub. Let the roast rest at room temperature while you preheat the grill to 350F degrees, ensuring you have an indirect heat zone.
Cooking Tri Tip on the Grill
Steps for Grilling Tri Tip:
Once the grill reaches 350F degrees, place the seasoned tri-tip over the indirect heat zone, where the burner is turned off. Close the lid and let it cook until it reaches an internal temperature of around 100F degrees, which usually takes about 30 minutes.
As the tri-tip cooks, you’ll notice a change in color and the formation of a subtle crust on the outside. When it reaches an internal temperature of 100F degrees, move it over direct heat, where the burner is turned on.
Cook the tri-tip for 5-7 minutes per side, flipping it once.
Once the internal temperature reaches about 130F degrees, or your desired level of doneness, remove it from the grill. Place it on a sheet pan and loosely cover it with aluminum foil. Allow it to rest for 10-15 minutes. Note that the final temperature will rise slightly during resting.
How to Slice Tri Tip
To ensure the most tender bite, it’s crucial to slice the tri-tip against the grain. Identify the direction of the grain or the cracks in the meat and make your slices in the opposite direction. For example, if the grain travels from right to left, start slicing from the right side, then move to the left side once you reach the middle.
Serving Grilled Tri Tip
Grilled tri-tip makes a fantastic lunch or dinner option. For a simple and delicious serving suggestion, drizzle the tri-tip with olive oil and sprinkle some sea salt. Alternatively, you can enhance it with chimichurri, a flavorful blend of fresh herbs, garlic, vinegar, and olive oil. Check out the chimichurri recipe from Girl Carnivore—it’s one of my personal favorites!
Leftover tri-tip can be stored sliced or unsliced in an airtight container. It can be kept in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months. However, please note that when reheating tri-tip in the microwave, toaster oven, or skillet, it may continue to cook. Therefore, I recommend enjoying it cold or incorporating it into recipes such as my Champion Chili Recipe with Smoked Tri-Tip. Additionally, you can layer thin slices on a hoagie roll with horseradish sauce or use chunks or strips in tacos.
For more cooking tips and delicious recipes, visit Family Cuisine.