Tri-tip 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 experiment with grilling tri-tip and broiling it.
If you haven't heard of tri-tip, that's because for a long time, it was primarily a cut marketed in California and is still sometimes called a Santa Maria steak. Other names for the tri-tip 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.
Tip: One tri-tip roast, weighing 1-1/2 to 2 pounds, makes 6 to 8 servings.
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 baking, then serve with a sauce or a topper of sauteed mushrooms and onions.
Tri-tip oven roasting (high-heat baking) works well for this compact meat. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place the roast on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Insert an oven-going meat thermometer into the center of the roast. Because a tri-tip roast is only a couple of inches thick, it will brown nicely on high heat while keeping the center moist and pink.
Cooking tri-tip is even easier than you think! Just follow these steps for roasting and serving:
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.
You can ask the butcher to cut a tri-tip roast into 3/4- to 1-inch-thick steaks. These are best suited for broiling in the oven.
1. Seasoning Tri-Tip Steaks
2. Broiling Tri-Tip Steaks
Tri-tip grill cooking puts a delicious new twist on your backyard barbecues. Once you learn how to grill tri-tip, this method will be an easy and mouthwatering way to share tri-tip with your family and friends.
Treat a tri-tip roast differently on the grill than you would a tri-tip steak. To grill a tri-tip roast:
Tip: for the most succulent tri-tip roast, we recommend not cooking past medium doneness (150 degrees F) because the cut contains so little fat.
Always use a meat thermometer to ensure a safe-to-eat tri-tip temperature. Here are our guidelines for how to cook tri-tip steak to the correct doneness.
Now that you know how to cook tri-tip, it's time to make use of your skills! Put your new-found knowledge to the test with these favorite steak and tri-tip recipes.