How To Grill Tri-Tip

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Juicy, flavorful tri-tip steak tender enough to cut with a fork is possible with just a few minutes on the grill. This is a fool-proof method for grilling tri-tip.

How To Grill Tri Tip Steak - get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

 

What is Tri Tip?

If you aren’t familiar with tri-tip, it is a small triangular piece of beef cut from the sirloin. Tri Tip is one of my favorite cuts of beef for feeding my family, especially when it comes to steaks.

It turns out perfectly on the grill every time we make it. My kids like their steak a little more well done than Sean and I do, so I slice theirs from the narrow tip and I slice ours from the center.

There is only one tri-tip cut on each side of beef so it can sometimes be difficult to find. I make sure to grab one anytime I see it. Tri tip is hands-down the best, most underrated and inexpensive steak for grilling.

The Best Way To Cook Tri Tip Steak

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. It’s 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. We’ve also enjoyed it with Garlic and Paprika Roasted Cauliflower, Smashed Potatoes  and Roasted Sweet Potatoes. They’ve 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.

There’s no way of eating this steak that my family hasn’t enjoyed!

How to grill juicy tri-tip steak tender enough to cut with a fork - get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

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, it’s 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 don’t 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 you’re 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 I’m 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!

After just 10 minutes of resting to let the steak continue tenderizing in all its delicious juices, it’s ready to enjoy!

I can’t emphasize enough how delicious this grilling method is. I know you’ll love it as much as we do!

Grilled Tri Tip Recipe

  1. Place the beef on the counter and allow it to warm to room temperature.
  2. Stir together all of the spices and generously rub over all sides of the meat. (There will be spices remaining, just be sure to thoroughly coat the beef.)
  3. Preheat the grill to medium-high.
  4. Grill the tri-tip on each side to develop a dark brown crust, about 5 minutes on the first side, flip the steak and grill about 8 minutes on the second side.
  5. Remove to indirect heat and continue cooking until the internal temperature is 130-135 degrees. (I pulled ours at 130 degrees for medium rare.)
  6. Let the meat rest and redistribute the juices for 10 minutes before slicing thinly against the grain.

When slicing the steak, be sure to slice against the grain of the meat. Check out this quick video for a reminder on how to find the grain of the meat.

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How To Grill Tri-Tip

5 from 5 votes
Juicy, flavorful steak tender enough to cut with a fork is possible with just a few minutes on the grill.
Pin Print Review
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 35 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 -5 servings

Ingredients 

  • 2 pounds beef tri-tip steak
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons raw sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 3/4 teaspoon granulated onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Instructions

  • Place the beef on the counter and allow it to warm to room temperature. Stir together all of the spices and generously rub over all sides of the meat. There will be spices remaining, just be sure to thoroughly coat the beef.
  • Preheat the grill to medium-high. Grill the tri-tip on each side to develop a dark brown crust, I did about 5 minutes on the first side, flipped the steak and grilled 8 minutes on the second side. Remove to indirect heat and continue cooking until the internal temperature is 130-135 degrees. I pulled ours at 130 degrees for medium rare. Let the meat rest and redistribute the juices for 10 minutes before slicing thinly against the grain. Enjoy!

Notes

When slicing the steak, be sure to slice against the grain of the meat. Check out this quick video for a reminder on how to find the grain of the meat.

Nutrition

Calories: 389kcal · Carbohydrates: 3g · Protein: 47g · Fat: 19g · Saturated Fat: 7g · Cholesterol: 149mg · Sodium: 1863mg · Potassium: 738mg · Sugar: 2g · Vitamin A: 50IU · Calcium: 63mg · Iron: 3.5mg
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{originally published 5/27/15 – recipe notes updated 2/7/19}

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. Millican Pecan says

    Making this for a church dinner and very thankful for your easy instructions and video on slicing against the grain. I know if done right, it can be so so good! Thank you for your recipe. My husband, Robert will be doing the grilling!

  2. Ken says

    I tried your cooking method this past weekend and need to commend you for nailing this process that delivered the most tender and delicious tri tip steak!
    Thanks so much for sharing what I think is a perfected process. Best regards Ken.5 stars

  3. Mark Block says

    I’d never heard of tri tip until last year, but after reading up on it I’ve cooked it three times on the grill. Each one was tough as a boot. I used three different butchers or meat suppliers (the latest came from D’Artagnan, which was expensive even with a sale price). I’ve tried three different recipes: first time with your rub only (which would have been good if the meat had been tender), the next time with a vinegar marinade, and tonight with a lime-juice marinade for 6 hours, which should have tenderized it substantially. I’ve gone through the lessons and the videos videos on how to slice it against the grain, which is tricky. My wife bought four of them on sale, so I have three others in the freezer that we’ll have to eat. Any advice? To me, tri tip seems to be a cut made for the pressure cooker, not the grill.

    • Mary Younkin says

      That is just bizarre, Mark. (And I imagine it’s unbelievably frustrating!) I’ve only ever cooked tri-tip on the grill or in the oven and I have actually never had a tough one. Even a tough cut of meat should have been tenderized with those marinades. I’m wondering if it simply isn’t a cut to your tastes. I’d recommend trying one in the pressure cooker as you mentioned and see what you think of it that way before trying it on the grill again.

    • Angel says

      It was the vinegar,never use acid on the beef for grilling and oven,it turn the meat tough.It was my first time doing and mine was delicious but I follow the receipe step by step including seasoning and grilling and cutting.Try again like that and you are not regret it.

  4. Angel says

    First time I did,my family isso pickiest and they ate everything .I did medium and I was nevious about making but ,it was so good at 160 degrees5 stars