How to Cook Tri Tip: Tips and Tricks for Deliciously Tender Meat

Tri-tip is a cut of beef that comes from the bottom sirloin primal cut. It’s a lean and flavorful beef that’s perfect for grilling, roasting, or smoking. And with the right cooking techniques, you can turn tough and chewy tri-tip into mouthwatering, tender meat that’s perfect for any occasion. In this article, we’ll show you how to cook tri tip to perfection.

1. Choose the Right Tri-Tip

When it comes to cooking tri-tip, choosing the right cut of beef is crucial. Look for a piece of meat that’s around 3-4 pounds, with a nice layer of fat on one side. The fat adds flavor and helps keep the meat moist during cooking. You can also ask your butcher to trim the meat for you, removing any tough connective tissue.

2. Season the Tri-Tip

Before cooking, you’ll want to season the tri-tip to enhance its flavor. You can use a simple seasoning blend of salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Rub the seasoning into the meat, making sure to cover both sides. You can also experiment with other herbs and spices, such as paprika, cumin, or rosemary.

3. Grill Tri-Tip

Grilling is a popular way to cook tri-tip, and it’s also one of the easiest. Start by preheating your grill to high heat. Once the grill is hot, place the tri-tip on the grill, fat side down. Close the lid and cook for about 5-7 minutes, or until a nice crust forms on the meat. Flip the tri-tip over and cook for an additional 5-7 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 135°F. Remove the meat from the grill, cover with foil, and let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

4. Roast Tri-Tip

If you prefer to cook tri-tip in the oven, roasting is the way to go. Preheat your oven to 375°F. Place the seasoned tri-tip on a rack in a baking dish, fat side up. Roast for about 25-30 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 135°F. Remove the meat from the oven, cover with foil, and let it rest for 10 minutes. Slice against the grain and serve with your favorite sides.

5. Smoke Tri-Tip

Smoking is another great way to cook tri-tip, but it requires a bit more time and effort. Start by soaking your preferred smoking wood chips in water for at least 30 minutes. Preheat your smoker to 225°F and place the tri-tip on the rack. Add the wood chips to the smoker, close the lid, and smoke for 3-4 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 135°F. Remove the tri-tip from the smoker, cover with foil, and let it rest for 10 minutes. Slice and serve.

Tips and Tricks

– Use a meat thermometer to ensure your tri-tip is cooked to perfection.
– Let the tri-tip rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing. This helps distribute the juices evenly throughout the meat.
– If you’re grilling the tri-tip, make sure to keep an eye on the temperature, as it can cook quickly.
– Don’t overcook the tri-tip, as it can become tough and dry.
– Experiment with different seasoning blends and cooking techniques until you find your favorite flavor and texture.


Q: How do I know when my tri-tip is cooked?

A: The best way to determine if your tri-tip is cooked is to use a meat thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat, and when the internal temperature reaches 135°F, the meat is ready to rest and be sliced.

Q: Can I marinate tri-tip before cooking?

A: Absolutely! A marinade can add flavor and help tenderize the meat. Just be sure not to marinate for too long, as the acidity can break down the meat and turn it mushy. A few hours up to overnight is the perfect amount of time to marinate tri-tip.

Q: Can I freeze tri-tip?

A: Yes, you can freeze tri-tip. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, then place it in a freezer-safe bag or container. Be sure to label and date it. Frozen tri-tip can stay fresh up to 6 months.

In conclusion, tri-tip is a delicious and versatile cut of beef that can be prepared in many ways. Whether you choose to grill, roast, or smoke, following these tips and tricks will help ensure your tri-tip is juicy, flavorful, and tender every time.