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How To Grill Tri Tip Steak

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How To Carve A Tri

How to Grill Tri-Tip Steaks | Beef Recipe |
  • Once the roast has had a chance to rest after grilling, its time to slice and serve.
  • In the photo, the fork is positioned in the same direction the long strands of the meat form to easily identify where to position the knife and begin slicing.
  • Cut against the grain and on a slight biasthis shortens the long strands of the muscle making it more tender to chew.

TIP: Keep in mind, tri-tip has three points and the grain may change direction while cutting . Simply turn the roast to keep the knife slicing across the grain.

Smoked Traeger Tri Tip Roast Recipe: A Step

This recipe is straight forward and uncomplicated. A 2 to 3 pound roast will feed approximately 6 to 8 people. You will need 10 minutes to prepare the meat and approximately 2 hours to smoke it to medium rare. The roast then needs to rest for 20 minutes before slicing so that the juices are reabsorbed into the muscle fibers.

Pro tip: Remove the meat from the refrigerator 30 to 60 minutes prior to cooking. You want the roast at room temperature for optimal results.

Tools and Equipment Needed:

  • 2 to 3 pound tri tip roast
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon mild chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder


  • Take the roast out of the refrigerator 45 minutes prior to cooking. Place it on a platter or in a glass baking dish with the fat side up. Score the fat about an inch apart with a sharp knife. Turn the plate 90 degrees and score again to form a hatch pattern. Do not cut into the flesh.
  • In a small bowl, mix together all of dry rub ingredients. Season the meat all over with the rub, pressing it into the roast with your hands.
  • Remove the roast to a clean cutting board and tent loosely with foil for 20 minutes to allow the juices to be reabsorbed. Slice the roast thinly against the grain and serve with your favorite side dishes.
  • Setting Up Your Grill

    Authentic Santa Maria style barbecue starts with red oak logs. Red oak may be a little challenging to find, so you can substitute it with white or post oak logs or wood chunks or oak lump charcoal.

    In Santa Maria, chefs cook on a grill that has an adjustable grate that can be raised and lowered over the red oak coals. Fortunately, I have a couple of these in the backyard.

    Theres no exact temp when cooking on a grill like this. Instead, hold your hand at the grill grate and aim for a heat that allows you to hold your hand there for 5-6 seconds, until it gets too hot. Thats roughly 325-350F degrees.

    If you dont have a Santa Maria style grill, thats okay.

    For instance, when using a kettle grill, adjust the vents, so the temperature is about 325-350F degrees and cook over an indirect cooking area following the recipe.

    When using a ceramic grill, add the ceramic plate to diffuse the heat and get the temperature to 325-350F degrees.

    If you have a pellet grill, simply set the temp to 325F degrees, using oak pellets.

    Lastly, if youre cooking with gas, adjust one burner so the grill temperature reaches 325-350F degrees and cook the meat over the indirect zone. Add a foil pouch with oak wood chips to the grill to get some smoke flavor.

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    How To Bbq Tri

    A grilled Tri-tip is a favorite for every steak enthusiast. Grilled tri-tip roast is bound to satisfy all preferences, from the I like it rare to the no pink for me, all in one cut of beef. The steak-like quality makes grilling tri-tip steaks, either for the family or a special celebration, an enjoyable experience. Tri-tip has had continuous growth in popularity due to its remarkable texture and flavor assimilation which is just as good as any other regular steak. You might also hear it being referred to as California cut, Santa Maria roast, Newport steak, and triangle steak or roast.

    Tri-tip can be sliced for fajitas, grilled as a whole roast or steak, and can even replace ground beef in gourmet chili recipes. Depending on where you live and availability, tri-tip can be an inexpensive cut of steak for your weekend grilling as a whole roast or sliced into steaks.

    The Best Way To Cook Tri Tip Steak

    Dry Aged Wagyu/Angus Grass Fed Tri Tip Steak  Flying B ...

    Tri tip can be grilled or roasted. By now you may have surmised that grilling is by far my favorite way to prepare tri tip steak.

    Grilled tri tip is the ultimate in juicy steaks. Its tender enough to cut with the side of your fork and requires no special skills to prepare.

    I rub the meat with a spice blend of salt, cayenne pepper, black pepper, sugar, garlic and granulated onion before cooking and I absolutely love the flavor it adds to the meat. Completely savory with just the very faintest hint of spice, this grilled tri tip is a hit with everyone who tries it.

    Last time I made this grilled tri tip receive, I served the steak with sauteed zucchini, buttery steamed green beans, and Salt Potatoes. Even my pickiest eaters ate every bite!

    Tri-Tip steak is flavorful but simple and pairs well with just about any side dish you like. Weve also enjoyed it with Garlic and Paprika Roasted Cauliflower, Smashed Potatoes and Roasted Sweet Potatoes. Theyve all been great pairings and I love how easy this steak makes it to create a delicious meal with whatever sides you have in your fridge.

    Theres no way of eating this steak that my family hasnt enjoyed!

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    Selecting The Perfect Tri

    Depending on regional availability, tri-tip can be an economical cut of steak for weekend grilling or entertaininggrilled as a whole roast or sliced into steaks.

    Its a triangular muscle located on each side of the cow just under the bottom sirloin . If unavailable in your area, U.S. Wellness Meats is a quality source.

    Tri-tip ranges from very lean to overly fatty .

    • Look for roasts or steaks with visible streaks of fat running through the meat indicating a well-marbled, flavorful cut. If the roast is closely trimmed, you can see the white streaks across the muscle within the grain of the meat.
    • Some roasts are sold untrimmed, which means a fairly thick layer of fat is left on the muscle on one side. If this exterior fat cap is thicker than 1/4 inch, trim to a little less than 1/4 thick.

    NOTE: Exterior fat does little to flavor the meat, it is the interior fat, referred to as marbling, in the meat that enhances the flavor.

    TIP: Trimming the exterior fat will help minimize flare-ups yet retain enough fat to protect the meat from drying out on the grill. Visit Virtual Weber Bullet to see a trimmed and untrimmed photo.

    This post may contain affiliate links. See our disclosure policy for more information.

    Th Step: Its Grill Time

    Youre a step closer to eating, but here is the fun part.

  • With the fat side up, sear the tri-tip on the hot/ direct heat side of your grill for 5-7 minutes. It should develop a dark brown crust.
  • Then turn and sear the other side for 5-7 minutes as well.
  • Move the meat to the cooler side/ indirect heat to continue cooking for 20-30 minutes. Turn the meat as needed.
  • Once your steak reaches the desired temperature, you can remove it from the grill and transfer it to a cutting board.
  • Voila! Youre almost done!

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    How Long Does It Take To Grill A Tri

    Essentially, your cooking time will depend onhow thick the meat is and what is your preferred steak doneness .Lucky for you, the Tri-Tip doesnt take long on the grill!

    Formedium-rare, grill the tri-tip at 350°F or 176°C and sear for 5-7 minutes on each side on the DIRECT heat part of your grill.

    Once both sides have been seared, move the meat to the INDIRECT heat part of the grill, and let it cook for 20-30 minutes orwhen internal temperature reaches 130°F/ 54.4°C.

    Tip: Use a meat thermometer to get a precise reading of the internal temperature. Its the best way to check for your desired level of doneness.

    Forget Everything You Learned About Flipping Steak

    How to Grill a Tri-Tip Steak

    All my life, I was told to only flip a steak once, so you dont lose the juices, and to sear steak to lock in the juices. Turns out, both of those methods are wrong at least in Santa Maria.

    According to Anthony Endy, another Santa Maria style pitmaster , if you sear a steak, you will lock the seasonings on the outside, which doesnt allow them to absorb into the center of the meat.

    Endy and Ostini both recommend barely getting a sear on the steak and basting it right away with the garlic oil and vinegar. As its cooking, the heat will start to push the juices up to the top surface of the steak.

    Just before the juices peek through, flip the steak. This keeps them locked in. Then, baste it again and repeat the process over and over, until the internal temperature reaches 130F degrees.

    Throughout the cook, the juices are now circulating back and forth while pulling in the seasoning, basting liquid and smoke, flavoring the meat completely.

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    What Part Of The Cow Is The Tri

    The tri-tip or Santa Maria steak is a triangular piece of beef thats cut from the sirloin.

    The tri-tip has excellent marbling as well and its very tender if cooked properly.

    But the bottom line is, theres only one tri-tip cut on each side of the beef, which is why this cut is not easily accessible at the grocery store.

    So its best to ask your local butcher if they have a tri-tip cut available.

    How To Grill Tri Tip

    Grilling tri tip is a fairly easy process when all is said and done. All it takes is keeping an eye on the steaks and monitoring the internal temperature of the meat for doneness.

    Before putting your tri tip cut on the grill, make sure to let it come to room temperature. This step helps ensure the steak cooks evenly and achieves the desired tender texture.

    Once the meat is room temperature, its time to blend the spices. My favorite spice blend for tri-tip includes salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, granulated garlic, granulated onion and just a little sugar to bring it all together.

    Preheat your grill then rub your spices all over the steak. When coating the meat in your spice blend, do your best to get as much of the beef covered as you can. I usually end up having a little bit of the spice blend leftover, so dont worry if you wind up with extra.

    You want to place your tri tip on the grill fat side down and let it cook for about 5 minutes on the first side. This may take more or less time once you see a dark brown crust develop youre ready to flip the meat.

    The second side of the steak will take a little longer, about 8 minutes. After both sides are beautifully brown and crusted, take them off of the grill and let them continue cooking on indirect heat until they reach desired doneness.

    When Im cooking a medium rare steak, I remove it from heat when its internal temperature has reached 130. This is where your meat thermometer will come in handy!

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    How To Cook Tri Tip Like They Do In Santa Maria

    As a California native, it was important for me to learn about the states most popular style of barbecue and live fire cooking Santa Maria style.

    To understand the history and methods of this style of cooking, I traveled to Santa Maria Valley and learned firsthand from Frank Ostini, the owner of the Hitching Post, one of Californias most authentic Santa Maria style barbecue restaurants.

    Santa Maria Valley, California, is located between LA and San Francisco near the coast of the Pacific Ocean. When natives and early settlers prepared Spanish style feasts, they turned to the areas natural resources.

    A predominant resource was red oak, which was burned to hot coals and used to prepare a variety of dishes, including sirloin that was seasoned simply with salt, pepper and garlic.

    Over time, in addition to using the top sirloin, chefs began grilling the tri tip, following the same method.

    How To Cook Tri

    California Grilling: How to Make the Perfect Tri

    Beef tri-tip is a relatively cheap and lean steak cut from the sirloin. It cooks up tasty and tender with a marinade. Because it doesn’t have a lot of fat marbling like a rib-eye steak, it’s best grilled, broiled or pan-seared so it doesn’t dry out. If you’d rather cook it “low and slow,” we recommend buying a whole tri-tip roast instead.

    First we’ll explain what a tri-tip steak is, but keep reading to find out about the best ways to cook tri-tip steak.


    Tri-tip steaks are cut from a tri-tip roast, which is the small, triangular end of the beef sirloin. They are boneless and typically pretty thin with a rich, meaty flavor. Some people consider it a “healthier” red meat option since it’s on the lean side and it’s also cheaper than many other steak cuts so it’s budget-friendly, too. While you can purchase it sliced into steaks, our Culinary Producer Grant Melton likes to cook tri-tip sirloin whole, like you would a flank steak.


    Because tri-tip steaks are leaner than a lot of other beef cuts, marinating will help them turn out juicy and tender.

    If you’re using a highly acidic marinade like this chimichurri, they only need about 15 to 20 minutes to tenderize. Depending on the type of marinade, you may want to let your steak marinate for at least a few hours or up to overnight in the fridge.

    Just be sure to toss any leftover marinadehere’s why.

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    The Easiest Most Flavorful Marinated And Grilled Tri

    If I am thinking about my ideal meal, especially during grilling season, it would have to involve some sort of steak. Steak and potatoes is a staple for my husband and I for two reasons. First, he loves potatoes. Second, I love beef.

    Its like we are a perfect match or something, am I right?

    The easiest way for me to get steak on the table is by marinating and grilling it. It has become second nature to me and its the best way to get my red meat craving satiated. Particularly on a hot summer evening with a cool beer in one hand.

    When it comes to cooking different cuts of meat, if youve ever been to a barbecue, youve undoubtedly run across the lean cut of meat that is the tri-tip.

    For those of you who dont know, tri-tip is a lean cut of beef that is also known as the triangle steak because of its shape. Tri-tip can be smoked, grilled, or even roasted in the oven. Its very flavorful.

    Theres no better time than right now to throw one on the grill for yourself, especially when you have a simple marinade in your back pocket to flavor it.

    You can certainly use your choice of spice rubs to bring flavor to the meat, but I always reach for a marinade as my go-to. Thats because its super simple all you have to do is let the meat sit in the mixture in the refrigerator for a period of time.

    To err on the side of food safety, do not use the marinade as a sauce unless you cook it first. The marinade can carry harmful bacteria otherwise.

    How To Broil Tri

    If you dont have a grill or the weather isnt cooperating, cook your tri-tip steak inside under the broiler. The broiler works the same way as the grill except the heat comes from above.

    Preheat the broiler using the High setting on your oven. Position an oven rack three to four inches below the heat. Place the steak on a broiler pan and slide it onto the oven rack. Cook for four to five minutes per side, reducing the cooking time if your steaks are thinner than one inch thick.

    Read Also: Seasoning Steak Overnight

    Rd Step: Mix The Spices And Ingredients

    Mix all your preferred spices and olive oil in a bowl.

    You can also remove the fat at this point, but for added flavor, its best to keep the fat. Once your steak has been set to room temperature, its time to give it some TLC .

    Generously rub the mixture and make sure the meat is thoroughly coated. You dont want to waste all that goodness.

    Once the seasoning is on, leave it for a couple of minutes just so the seasoning has enough time to seep into the meat.

    Trust us, this step will seriously ENHANCE the flavor.

    Heres How You Make It

    How To Grill The Perfect Tri Tip Roast | BBQ Tri Tip Steak | Texas Style Cuisine

    Making the Tri-Tip Marinade

  • Combine olive oil, soy sauce, lime juice, garlic, Chinese five spice, and Sriracha in a bowl. Whisk well. Add to the Tri-Tip Steak in a bowl with a lid or a Ziplock bag.
  • Allow to marinade for 20-30 minutes.
  • Making the Tiger Sauce

  • Stir the mayo and Sriracha sauce together.
  • Then add the lime juice, stirring again. It should be able to be drizzled over the grilled steak. If its too thick, add a little more lime juice or a couple teaspoons of water till its the right consistency.
  • Grilling the Tri-Tip

  • Take the marinated Tri-Tip out of the bag or bowl with tongs and add to a grill thats been preheated on high.
  • Sear each side of the steak for about 2 minutes. Then turn the heat down to medium and keep cooking the steak for another 8-10 minutes, or till an internal temperature reaches 145 degrees on a meat thermometer.
  • Take the Tri-Tip off the grill and let it rest for 5 minutes.
  • Slice the grilled Tri-Tip against the grain, and drizzle with teriyaki sauce and tiger sauce. Dig in!
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