How to Cook Tri-Tip Roast

Tri-tip roast is a tender, lean beef cut that gets its name from its triangular shape. It is sold as a small roast from the bottom sirloin or cut into tri-tip steaks. What makes it special is the full flavor it promises for an affordable price. Season tri-tip and roast in the oven for an easy-fix dinner. You can also grill tri-tip roasts.

The best ways to cook tri-tip roast recipes (aka bottom sirloin roast or triangle roast) are by indirect grilling and roasting in your oven. Other fast-cooking methods wouldn't get the big cut of beef done all the way through as evenly. We'll walk you through each of these cooking methods and share our best tri-tip recipes along the way.

Step 1: Season Tri-Tip Roast

For added flavor, consider a tri-tip rub. If you have the time, cover the seasoned roast and chill for 6 to 24 hours. This will allow the flavors to penetrate the meat more deeply. Or marinate the roast in your favorite marinade for up to 24 hours in the refrigerator. You can also just sprinkle the meat with salt and ground black pepper before cooking, then serve with a sauce or a topper. You can season tri-tip roast like this no matter the cooking method you choose.

Tri-Tip Rub Recipe (for 1½-pound roast)

  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh oregano
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

Get the full recipe for our Southwestern Tri-Tip Roast

Step 2: Choose Your Cooking Method

If it's a perfect summer day, grilling may be the best way to cook tri-tip roasts. If it's too cold for outdoor grilling, or you simply prefer an oven-roasted tri-tip, roast it in the oven. Here's how to cook tri-tip using either method.

How to Cook Tri-Tip in the Oven

Roasting tri-tip is probably the best way to cook tri-tip in colder months when you can fill your home with extra heat and enjoy the mouthwatering aromas indoors. To roast tri-tip,start by choosing a roasting pan that's the right size for the job. It should be a large shallow pan with a rack inside. The pan sides should be 2 to 3 inches tall. If you don't have a roasting pan, you can use a 13x9-inch baking pan with an oven-safe wire rack set inside.

How to Roast a Tri-Tip Roast:

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F. 
    • Test Kitchen Note: Because a tri-tip roast is only a couple of inches thick, it will brown nicely on this high heat while keeping the center moist and pink. 
  • Place the roast on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Insert an oven-going meat thermometer into the thickest part of the roast. Do not add water or liquid and do not cover.
  • Roast in the preheated oven as long as directed below based on desired doneness
  • Remove the roast from the oven, tent with foil, and let stand 15 minutes before slicing.
    • Test Kitchen Tip: The stand time not only brings up the temperature, it also allows the juices to be absorbed back into the meat so they don't spill out onto the cutting board.

How Long to Cook Tri-Tip Roast in the Oven (at 425°F):

  • For a 1½ to 2 pound roast, roast 30 to 55 minutes for medium rare (135°F) or 40 to 45 minutes for medium (150°F)
    • Test Kitchen TipBecause this cut contains so little fat, don't cook it past medium doneness.

How to Grill Tri-Tip Roasts

Grilling tri-tip roasts is done differently than grilling a tri-tip steak. Learn about grilling tri-tip steaks here

How to Grill a Tri-Tip Roast:

  • Prepare gas or charcoal grill for indirect heat using a drip pan. Place the tri-tip roast on the grill over the drip pan.
  • Cover and grill to desired doneness using the timings below as a guide.
  • Remove meat from grill. Cover meat with foil; let stand for 15 minutes. Temperature of meat will rise 10° F during standing.

Low Long to Cook Tri-Tip on the Grill:

  • For a 1½ to 2 pound tri-tip roast: Grill 35 to 40 minutes for medium rare (135°F) and 40 to 45 minutes for medium (150°F). 

Test Kitchen Tip: for the most succulent tri-tip roast, we recommend not cooking past medium doneness (150°F) because the cut contains so little fat. Always use a meat thermometer to ensure a safe-to-eat tri-tip temperature. Learn how to use a meat thermometer if it's new to you.

Step 3: How to Cut a Tri-Tip Roast

When your tri-tip is done cooking:

  • Transfer the roast to a cutting board. With a carving knife, thinly slice the meat across the grain.

Test Kitchen Tip: Slicing fibrous cuts of beef such as brisket, flank steaks, and tri-tip across the grain helps make them fork tender.

 

What is Beef Tri-Tip Roast?

If you haven't heard of tri-tip, that's because for a long time, it was primarily a cut marketed in California. Other names for the tri-tip roast are bottom sirloin roast and triangle roast. If you don't see it in the meat case, you may need to request it from your butcher. A boneless tri-tip roast weighs around 1-1/2 to 2 pounds and is around 2 inches thick. It can also be cut into steaks or cubed for kabobs. Tri-tip meat should be nicely marbled even though it is considered a lean, tender cut. It is especially prized for its rich, beefy flavor.

Test Kitchen Tip: One tri-tip roast, weighing 1-1/2 to 2 pounds, makes 6 to 8 servings.

Get the recipe for Tri-Tip Roast with Grilled Avocados.

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