How to Cook Tri-Tip on the BBQ

You can grill your own tri-tip at home, but keep it away from direct flame.
You can grill your own tri-tip at home, but keep it away from direct flame. (Image: stock.xchng)

Tri-tip, also known as triangle roast, is a triangular cut of beef that comes from the end of the sirloin. The tri-tip can be sliced into steaks or cooked whole and sliced across the grain before serving. It has a rich flavor, but is lean. Because there is little fat on the cut, it can dry out easily and become very tough if it is overcooked. For this reason, tri-tip is usually cooked only to medium-rare. Marinating the beef will also help keep it moist, as well as add to its flavor.

Things You'll Need

  • Marinade of choice
  • Tri-tip (about 2 lbs.)
  • Barbecue grill
  • Grilling tongs
  • Instant-read meat thermometer
  • Clean platter

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Place the meat in a large bowl and pour your favorite marinade over the meat. If you do not have a favorite marinade, you can use two or three bottles of store-bought Italian dressing.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight, or for at least an hour.

Bring the meat to room temperature when you are ready to cook it. This will take about one hour with the meat sitting on the counter.

Prepare your barbecue grill while your tri-tip is coming up to temperature. If you are using a charcoal grill, rake the coals slightly to one side of the grill so that you will have a low-temperature spot, away from the flames, where you can cook your tri-tip.

Remove the meat from the marinade and pat the extra marinade off with paper towels.

Place your tri-tip on a low-temperature spot on the grill, once your grill is ready. Grill your tri-tip, turning it occasionally with grilling tongs, until it is medium-rare---about 35 to 40 minutes. The tri-tip's internal temperature should be 135 degrees F when you cook it, which is just below medium-rare.

Remove the tri-tip from the grill onto a platter. Let it rest for 15 to 20 minutes. During this time, the tri-tip's internal temperature will continue to rise 5 to 10 degrees F, cooking it to medium-rare.

Thinly slice the meat against the grain and serve it while it's still hot.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you'd rather grill the tri-tip as steaks, cut the marinated tri-tip into steaks, 1-inch thick. Grill the steaks over indirect heat until they are medium-rare, about 8 minutes. Flip the steaks halfway through the cook time. Again, use the instant-read thermometer and remove the steaks when they reach 135 degrees F. Let them rest for 10 minutes before serving.
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