How To Grill Tri Tip: Things to Know (2021)

How To Grill Tri Tip? Grilling tri-tip is one of the easiest ways to cook up a delicious meal for your family and friends. The marinade makes it tender and juicy, while the rub adds flavor.

There are three different grilling techniques that you can try out – traditional, reverse sear, or smoking. You’ll want to make sure you have an indirect heat source so that the meat doesn’t burn before it’s cooked through.

If you’re looking for more information on how to grill tri-tip, stay tuned because we will cover everything from preparing the marinade down to when it’s ready to eat!

What Is Tri Tip Steak?

First of all, what is a tri-tip steak? It’s also known as a bottom sirloin butt roast or triangle roast, and it comes from the bottom part of the steer where cowboys cut steaks and roasts because it was easy to reach.

It fell into obscurity because butchers didn’t know how to cook it properly, so they just threw out these perfectly good cuts thinking that they were bad cuts of meat.

Restaurants learned years ago that the quality of these steaks was excellent if you cooked them correctly. The shape and architecture of the tri-tip make it lean and tender without a lot of fat or bone.

It has this fine grain to produce a texture similar to filet mignon but with the taste of barbecued steakhouse ribs coming from its marbling life in the smokehouse.

The tri-tip is cut from where the sirloin meets the leg, making for juicy and flavorful beef that’s very mild in taste. This allows for high grilling temperatures so you can get those great grill marks on your tri-tip steak before searing it inside at a lower temperature than they would spoil before anyone could eat them.

What Is Tri Tip Steak?

Should you use Marinade or a Dry Rub on Tri-Tip?

Always begin with a marinade or dry rub. Wondering how to grill tri-tip steak on a charcoal grill? Don’t be afraid of great flavor! Marinades are good for tenderizing cuts by allowing the meat’s natural enzymes to dissolve the meat fibers.

Dry rubs give you that extra little flavor boost but won’t get in the way of your grilled Tri-Tip Steak from tasting like itself, mainly because they don’t contain any liquid.

Marinate for Specific Flavors. Use a marinade primarily as a flavor carrier, then add your spices as you wish. Be sure to use a clean container that’s non-reactive and large enough to hold all the meat along with its marinade.

This will ensure that your marinated tri-tip is evenly coated. Set the meat in a container or bag and pour the marinade over it, taking care not to submerge the meat under any liquid because this can cause spoilage.

How To Grill Tri Tip?

How to grill tri-tip steak on a charcoal grill? First, preheat the grill to high heat. This will allow you to get those grill marks and sear before putting in low-temperature cooking or finish off by finishing it with sauces.

Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water and wash the work surface you’re going to be using to cut up your tri-tip roast. Put on some plastic gloves because it allows you more talent than latex would while handling raw meat and also keeps any cuts from meat juices out of your eyes.

After all, how do you want to enjoy those smoky flavors if your eyes are burning like crazy! Next, cut away any silver skin known as a pellicle, a thin membrane of protein found on the outside of all cuts of meat.

This is just one of those little details that make your grilled food taste better. After all, how do you want the meat to taste like if it’s got some rubbery, greasy stuff on it?

Put a small amount of oil (or nonstick cooking spray) onto a paper towel, or use a brush and spread it across the surface of the grill grate. This will help prevent sticking when putting the tri-tip steak on the grill.

Next, season both sides with salt and pepper before placing them over direct high heat. If you’re using a charcoal grill, be sure to crumple up some tin foil into balls to start those coals burning evenly for you this way, they don’t burn down unevenly while you’re waiting for your tri-tip to cook.

Let the steaks sear for about 4 minutes on each side over direct heat. Then, after searing them, move them to the indirect side of the grill and cover.

You’ll want to continue cooking at this lower temperature until meat reaches its desired doneness – whatever that might be for you! Use a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of your tri-tip roast to evaluate how close they are getting to their final goal.

Read also: Best Pellet Grill 2021: Top Brands Review

How To Grill Tri Tip?

Should you use a charcoal or gas grill?

Not many people will argue with someone who says “yes” when using a charcoal grill instead of gas.

The flavor imparted from charcoal is just so much more intense and a lot of fun. If you’re going to grill tri-tip steak on a charcoal grill, then be sure that you have about 40 lbs of good quality briquettes in place, all ready to go for you.

What’s the difference? Lumpwood charcoal is made from hardwoods, whereas most commercial brands are usually made with petroleum products like coal tar or other chemicals. It lights easily and burns hotter than traditional charcoal, although it does burn down quicker.

Most natural hardwood lump wood available in stores these days comes from either Georgia or South Carolina! Some people swear by using hickory coals when they’re grilling Tri-Tip Steak; if you want an authentic flavor, then you should try it out.

On the other hand, gas grillers can continue cooking without having to worry about a thing. But remember that if you use gas for grilling tri-tip steak, there’s no need for charcoal or wood chips. This can leave an off-taste and create flare-ups from fat dripping on coals.

Never put lump wood onto a gas grill because of the potential fire hazard! You can achieve very good results with your grill by simply using hardwood chunks instead of briquettes and placing them along the outside walls of the grill, where the heat is not as intense.

How to Carve a Tri-Tip Roast?

Once your tri-tip steak has finished cooking, you’ll want to get yourself a large carving knife and some tin foil. The first thing that you need to do is let the meat rest for at least 5 minutes by placing it onto a cutting board with the fat cap facing up.

Make sure to cover it with aluminum foil, too, because this way, the juices won’t run out of all over the place! Now you’re ready to slice into those cuts of meat. You can either cut thin slices across the grain or thick ones along the grain – make sure that they are nice and even so that everyone gets an equal portion.

This isn’t rocket science if you think about it, but there’s one more important technique in ensuring that your tri-tip steak dinner is a success. This is to carve up your meat into cubes and then serve it over cooked rice instead of on a plate with potatoes or veggies.

It’s served the same way you would have at a barbecue, but this will add some class to your meal. And don’t forget that they’re called ‘tri’ tips for a reason!

Sauces for Tri-Tip and Grilled Meats?

We all enjoy a good sauce or two to go with our meals, and tri-tip is no exception. It’s tasty enough on its own, but when you add BBQ sauce or other condiments, your mouth will be watering before the sizzling ends – whatever temperature it may be by then!

Here are some traditional sauces that are great for any grilled meat:

  • Chili Sauce / Dog Sauce (Thai style)
  • Pesto
  • Curry Sauce (use as a marinade first)
  • Soy Sauce try adding garlic and grated ginger for extra flavor. (Great for Teriyaki).
  • Chipotle Pepper Aioli – finely mash one chipotle pepper in a bowl, then whisk 3/4 cup of sour cream, 1/4 cup mayonnaise, 2 cloves crushed garlic and some chopped coriander together.
  • Sweet & Sour Sauce (try adding chili paste or even a spoonful of pineapple juice to kick it up)
  • Plum Sauce – perfect for barbecued pork, this thick sweet sauce will go especially well with your tri tip too.

Delicious Side Dishes for Grilled Tri-Tip?

Just about any vegetables are great when they’re grilled – but don’t forget the starches because these can really help fill you up! Try one of these recipes that are cooked just like baked potatoes:

  • Baked Potatoes (be sure to cut them in half so that they taste crispy on the outside)
  • Grilled Corn-on-the-Cob (add some hot sauce or butter too if you want)
  • Mashed Potatoes (use a garlic salt instead of plain salt to give it that extra flavor)

Should you use a charcoal or gas grill?

Delicious Tri-Tip Side Dishes?

Oven Roasted Vegetables – Cut carrots into chunks, then cut any other veggies you like into pieces too – like half red peppers and onions. Drizzle with olive oil, then roast in the oven for about 20 minutes at 425�F – make sure to flip them over once from each side so that they cook evenly!

Delicious Rice Recipes for Tri-Tip?

Carolina Style Rice: Soak 1 cup rice in 3 cups water for 20 minutes, drain well, then add to ½ cup vinegar, ¼ cup sugar, 2 tsp salt, 2 tsp ground mustard, and Tabasco sauce to taste. Mix well, then bring to a boil and cover. Cook 10 minutes more or until liquid is absorbed (fluff with fork before serving).

Tri-Tip Steak and Corn Casserole Recipe: Chop bell pepper and yellow onion into small pieces, then sauté in oil. Add tri-tip meat and brown, then add a 2 tbsp chili powder, salt, and cumin and mix well.

Cook rice according to package instructions, then stir into pot with ½ cup water or beef broth; bring to boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat, then cover for 10 minutes more or until liquid is absorbed. Top with grated Cheddar cheese, scallions & corn kernels (fresh are best).


How hot should the grill be for tri-tip?

To achieve a juicy, flavorful roast that is perfect for your guests, be sure the grill temperature stays between 250°F and 300°F.

To finish cooking, it covers the grates. It keeps them covered until you reach 120 degrees Fahrenheit in rare roasts or 130-140 degree range for medium doneness, resulting in an inviting pink center surrounded by caramelized crusty bits of beef fat!

How do you slow cook tri-tip on a gas grill?

Place the foil packet on the grill and cover it with a tight-fitted lid. Be careful to avoid direct contact with flames, as this will cause an unpleasant flavor in your meat. Cook for roughly 2 1/2 hours until internal temperature reaches 145 F or higher (use a food thermometer to check).

Read also:

Do you close the grill when cooking tri-tip?

I love grilling. It’s fun to cook outside, and it smells great when you’re done! One of my favorite meats is tri-tip, which I’ll show you how to grill today. First off, place the meat on a grate that doesn’t have coals directly below it (not too hot or cold).

Then close up with your lid for about 20 minutes per side until it’s at your desired temperature – this will depend on what level of doneness you want. Finally, sear both sides over the flames before serving, so they get nice and crispy all around. Enjoy!


Thank you for following our article. If you find it interesting, please share it with your friends and family on social media! Florentinesgrill hopes to see you again soon in another blog post where we discuss how to use tri-tip steak as a great main dish recipe that is easy to prepare at home.

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