How to Cook a Frozen Tri-Tip

Do not thaw the tri-tip before marinating.
Do not thaw the tri-tip before marinating. (Image: Jupiterimages/ Images)

A tri-tip is a triangular muscle taken from behind the loin of a cow. The cut is relatively inexpensive and keeps well in the freezer. Rather than thawing out the cut of meat, you can cook a frozen tri-tip without much effort. All you need is a good seasoning rub to complement the meat, and flavor the tri-tip, as it thaws and cooks. Begin preparing the tri-tip between eight and 17 hours before you plan to enjoy your meal.

Things You'll Need

  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Small bowl
  • 3 to 5 pounds frozen tri-tip roast
  • Freezer bag
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • Slow cooker
  • Meat thermometer

Mix the chili powder, dried oregano, ground cumin, onion powder, cayenne pepper, ground black pepper, olive oil and Worcestershire sauce in a small bowl. Stir with your fingers to blend the seasoning mixture.

Place a 3 to 5 pound frozen tri-tip roast onto a clean working surface. Rub the entire exterior with the seasoning mixture. Place the roast into a freezer bag and refrigerate for one hour to marinate and thaw slightly.

Pour the red wine vinegar into a slow cooker. Remove the roast from the freezer bag and place into the slow cooker. Cover and leave the roast to cook on high for 7 to 9 hours or on low for 14 to 16 hours.

Place a meat thermometer into the center of the roast. If the internal temperature is not at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit, cook for half-hour increments on high. Serve while hot.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you would like to cook veggies with the roast, slice them and place them around the meat halfway through the cooking time.


  • "Cooking Basics for Dummies"; Bryan Miller, Marie Rama and Eve Adamson; 2011
  • "Beef for All Seasons: A Year of Beef Recipes"; Frederick J. Simon, John Harrisson and Tim Turner; 1999
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