How To Cut Tri-Tip | Grill Guide

We may receive compensation when you click on external links. Learn more

How To Cut Tri-Tip

Grilling is a great way to cook tri-tip beef roast. This cut of meat comes from the bottom sirloin, and it's a great choice for those who want something a little different than the usual steak or burger. Tri-tip roast is relatively lean, so it's a healthy option as well. Plus, it's easy to prepare and can be cooked quickly on the grill. So, how to cut tri-tip?

How to Cut Tri-Tip

If you're looking for flavorful and tender cuts of beef, tri-tip is the perfect option. This relatively inexpensive cut can be cooked in a variety of ways, but here we'll show you how to cut tri-tip like a pro. With just a few simple steps, you'll have everything you need to make this delicious dish at home. So fire up the grill and get ready to cook some amazing tri-tips!

What Is Tri-tip?

What Is Tri-tip

A tri-tip is a cut of beef that comes from the bottom sirloin. It's a triangular-shaped piece of meat that's well-marbled and full of flavor. Tri-tip is a great choice for grilling, as it cooks quickly and evenly. And because it's leaner than other cuts of beef, it's relatively healthy as well.

When shopping for tri-tip, look for a piece of meat that's about two to three pounds. This will be enough for four to six people. Tri-tip is usually sold as a roast, so you'll need to cut it into steaks before cooking. But don't worry, it's easy to do! Just follow these simple steps and you'll be ready to grill in no time.

The History Of Tri-tip

Tri-tip beef roast is a relatively new cut of meat. It was first introduced in the 1950s by a butcher in Santa Maria, California. The butcher, Bob Schutz, named it after the triangular shape of the roast.

Tri-tip quickly gained popularity in the area and eventually spread to other parts of the country. Today, it's a popular choice for grilling and barbecuing.

What Else Is Tri-tip Called?

If you're having trouble finding tri-tip at your local grocery store, don't worry. It's also known by a few other names, including triangle steak, Newport steak, and Santa Maria steak. So if you see any of these names on the menu or at the meat counter, you can be sure that it's a tri-tip.

Understanding Meat Grain

Understanding Meat Grain

Before you start cutting the tri-tip, it's important to understand the grain of the meat. The grain is the direction that which the muscle fibers are arranged in the meat. When you're cutting steak or roast, you always want to cut against the grain. This will result in shorter, more tender pieces of meat.

If you were to cut with the grain, the meat would be tougher and harder to chew. So when you're cutting tri-tip, be sure to slice it against the grain. This will ensure that your steak is tender and delicious.

You can usually see the grain of the meat before you start cutting. Just look for the long, parallel lines running through the roast. Once you know which direction the grain is running, simply slice the meat in the opposite direction.

There are tips to help you find the meat grain even if you can't see it.

First, try to feel the direction of the muscle fibers with your fingers. You can also look for the lines of fat running through the roast. These lines will usually run perpendicular to the grain.

Once you've located the grain, simply slice the meat against it. Some people like to cut their steak into thin strips, while others prefer thicker pieces. It's really up to you. Just be sure to slice against the grain for tender, delicious results.

Why Do You Cut Tri-Tip Against The Grain?

We've all heard that you're supposed to cut meat against the grain, but do you know why? slicing meat against the grain makes it easier to chew and digest.

When you cut meat with the grain, your muscles have to work harder to chew through the tougher fibers. By cutting meat against the grain, you're breaking those fibers up so they're easier to eat.

In addition, cutting against the grain also helps retain more juices, making your steak or roast taste even better. So next time you're cooking up a piece of beef, be sure to cut against the grain for maximum flavor and tenderness.

Should I Trim Tri-Tip Before Grilling?

Should I Trim Tri-Tip Before Grilling

It is not necessary to trim the tri-tip before grilling. In fact, trimming it too much can result in a tougher piece of meat.

The tri-tip is a flavorful cut of beef that comes from the bottom sirloin. It is triangular in shape and has a well-marbled texture. This cut is best grilled over medium-high heat and should be cooked for about 8 minutes per side for medium-rare results.

So, should you trim the tri-tip before grilling? The answer is no - it's not necessary, and you may end up trimming off too much meat and making it tougher. Grill it up over medium-high heat and enjoy!

How To Cut Tri-Tip: A Step-by-Step Guide

  1. If your cut of steak has a thick layer of fat on it, carefully trim it off. This will help the steak cook more evenly and prevent the fat from making it greasy.
  2. Place the roast on a cutting board, with the top point closest to you. This will ensure that you can make clean, even cuts.
  3. The roast is too large to cook evenly. Cut it in half from the top point along the large seam of fat to the opposite end. This will give you two more manageable pieces to work with.
  4. Slowly take the long half of the divided roast and rotate it about 30° towards yourself. Ensuring that it's rotated evenly.
  5. To begin, start cutting slices from the uncut end, working your way across the grain. This will ensure that your slices are evenly cut and will cook more evenly.
  6. To get thin slices, hold the knife at a shallower angle. Point the blade towards the cutting board as you apply even pressure from your other hand. Slice along the entire side of the food item.
  7. Turn the meat until the point is pointing to you. Right, now the next section has the top. Keep going until you reach the end.
  8. To ensure that your cuts are perpendicular to the sliced end, be sure to cut against the grain. This will result in more interesting and engaging cuts.
  9. Thin slices are cut until the final section is complete. This leaves precise, intricate pieces that are beautiful to behold. It's a delicate process, but the results are worth it.


1. Why Is My Tri-Tip Tough?

There are a few potential reasons why your tri-tip might be tough. One possibility is that the meat was not cooked long enough. Tri-tip is a thicker cut of meat, so it needs to be cooked for a longer period of time than thinner cuts in order to reach the correct internal temperature and ensure that it is not tough.

Another possibility is that the tri-tip was not stored or refrigerated properly before cooking. If the meat is too warm when it is cooked, it will be more likely to be tough. Make sure to store your meat in the refrigerator or freezer until you are ready to cook it.

Finally, if the tri-tip has been overcooked, it will also be tough. Be sure to use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the meat before serving.

2. How Long Should Tri-Tip Rest Before Cooking?

The USDA recommends that you let your tri-tip rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking. This will allow the meat to cook more evenly and ensure that it is cooked to a safe temperature.

If you are in a hurry, you can cook the tri-tip straight from the fridge, but it will take a bit longer to reach a safe internal temperature. Tri-tip is best cooked over medium-high heat so it doesn't dry out or become too charred on the outside. Allow about 10 minutes per side for a medium-rare roast.

3. How Do You Carve A Tri-Tip Roast?

Place the tri-tip roast fat-side down on a cutting board.

With a sharp knife, carefully slice off the thin layer of fat that covers the top of the roast. (If there is a lot of fat, you can trim away most of it, but leave a small layer to protect the meat.)

Turn the roast so that it is facing sideways and make 1-inch thick diagonal cuts against the grain. (This will help ensure that the meat is cooked evenly.)

Make crisscross cuts across each slice to create cubes. (If you are serving guests, they will appreciate being able to easily cut their own meat.)

Place roast in roasting pan and cook according to your preference.

When carving a tri-tip roast, it is important to first remove the thin layer of fat that covers the top of the meat. Then, turn the roast so that it is facing sideways and make 1-inch thick diagonal cuts against the grain. Finally, make crisscross cuts across each slice to create cubes. This will help ensure that the meat is cooked evenly and will make it easier for guests to cut their own meat.

4. How Do You Make a Tough Tri-Tip Tender?

There are a few different ways that you can make a tough tri-tip tender. One way is to marinate the meat for several hours or even overnight. This will help to break down some of the muscles and make them more tender. Another way is to cook it low and slow, either in the oven or on the grill.

This will also help to break down the tough muscles and make them more tender.

Finally, you can slice it thinly across the grain before serving, which will make it easier to chew and more palatable. Whichever method you choose, with a little time and effort you can turn tough tri-tip into a delicious, tender meal.

5. How Do You Know When Tri-Tip Is Done?

How Do You Know When Tri-Tip Is Done

The best way to determine whether or not a tri-tip is done is to use a meat thermometer. When the temperature reaches 125 degrees Fahrenheit, the tri-tip is done cooking.

Another way to tell if tri-tip is cooked through is to cut into it and look for signs of pinkness or redness. If the meat is still pink in some places, it needs to cook for a few more minutes.

Remember that tri-tip will continue to cook after you take it out of the oven, so be sure to remove it from the heat when it reaches 125 degrees Fahrenheit. overcooked tri-tip will be dry and tough.

6. How Do You Keep Tri-Tip Moist?

A tri-tip is a cut of beef that comes from the bottom sirloin. It is a relatively lean cut of meat, and it can be a little tough if not cooked properly.

The best way to cook tri-tip is by grilling it over medium-high heat. You can also roast it in the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15 minutes per side. Make sure to let the tri-tip rest for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing it into thin strips.

Tri-tip can be a little dry if overcooked, so make sure to keep an eye on them while cooking. You can brush it with some olive oil or melted butter to help keep it moist. You can also wrap it in foil or place it in a covered dish to help retain its moisture.

7. Should I Remove Fat Cap From Tri-Tip Before Smoking?

It depends on your personal preference. Some people like to remove the fat cap before smoking tri-tip, while others leave it on. If you choose to remove the fat cap, you can do so by cutting it off with a sharp knife.

Some people also like to score the fat cap in a crosshatch pattern before removing it, which can help the meat absorb the smoke flavor more evenly. Ultimately, it’s up to you whether or not to remove the fat cap from your tri-tip before smoking it. Experiment and see what you prefer!

8. How Often Should You Flip Tri-Tip?

Every 6-7 minutes, you should flip your Tri-Tip. This will help to ensure that it cooks evenly on all sides. If you don't flip it frequently enough, then one side may become overcooked while the other side remains undercooked.

However, if you flip it too often, then the meat may become dry and tough. Thus, flipping it every 6-7 minutes is the perfect middle ground.

9. What's Better Tri-Tip Or Ribeye?

When it comes to choosing between tri-tip or ribeye, it really depends on your personal preferences. If you're looking for a more tender cut of meat, then ribeye is the way to go.

However, if you're looking for a more flavorful cut of meat, then you might want to choose tri-tip. Ultimately, it all comes down to what you're looking for in a piece of meat. Read more about Ri-beye vs. NY Strip here.

10. What Do You Eat With Tri-Tip?

What Do You Eat With Tri-Tip

Some people like to eat tri-tip with a simple dry rub of salt, pepper, and garlic. But I prefer to serve mine with a nice rich bbq sauce. You can either make your own sauce or buy a good quality pre-made sauce.

My personal favorite is to use a bourbon bbq sauce. It goes great with the smoky flavor of the tri-tip. And if you're looking for something a little bit different, you could also try using a Chimichurri sauce instead.

11. How Thick Do You Slice Tri-Tip?

It depends on how you plan to cook it. For example, if you are going to cook it on the grill, then I would recommend slicing it about 1/4 inch thick. However, if you are going to cook it in the oven, then I would recommend slicing it about 1/2 inch thick.

12. What Is Tri-Tip Steak Good For?

Tri-tip steak is a cut of beef from the bottom sirloin. It's a relatively lean cut of beef that is best grilled or roasted.

Tri-tip steak is a good source of protein, zinc, and selenium. It also contains B vitamins and antioxidants, which can support overall health. Tri-tip steak is particularly beneficial for people who are trying to lose weight or maintain their weight, as it is a low-calorie, nutrient-rich food.

13. Is Tri-Tip A Lean Meat?

Tri-tip roast is a lean cut of beef. The tri-tip comes from the bottom sirloin butt, which is a triangular muscle that sits below the ribeye and above the round steak on a steer. This muscle is well-exercised and has little fat, making it a lean cut of meat.

Some people trim off any visible fat from the tri-tip before cooking, but I like to leave a thin layer of fat on mine to help keep the meat moist as it cooks. You can also ask your butcher to trim the fat for you if you don't want to do it yourself.

Tri-tip roast is a great choice for grilling or roasting, and it's also perfect for sandwiches, tacos, or stir-fries.

14. Does Tri-Tip Have Silver Skin?

Yes, tri-tip does have silver skin. This tough connective tissue must be removed before cooking, otherwise, the Lowell team described it as “chewy like a car tire.” The much-preferred fat cap should also be trimmed down to about 1/4 in (6 mm) so that it renders during cooking and bastes the meat.

 If you're not sure how to remove the silver skin, here's a quick tutorial: 

Using a sharp knife, make a small cut at the corner of the silver skin. Then, holding the skin taut with your non-cutting hand, carefully slice away the Silver skin by slicing along its length parallel to the cutting board. Be sure to only remove the Silver skin and not any of the underlying meat.

15. How Do You Cut Tri-Tip Before Cooking?

There are a few different ways that you can cut tri-tip before cooking. The most important thing is to make sure that you cut it against the grain. This will ensure that the meat is more tender and easier to chew.

One way to cut a tri-tip is to slice it thinly against the grain. This is a good option if you are planning on grilling or cooking the meat quickly.

Another way to cut a tri-tip is to cube it. This is a good option if you are looking for something more hearty or if you want to cook the meat for a longer period of time. Cubed tri-tip can be used for stew, braising, or roasting.

Whichever way you choose to cut your tri-tip, make sure that you do it against the grain.

16. Is Tri-Tip A Tough Cut Of Meat?

Tri-tip is a tougher cut of meat than, say, a tenderloin, but it's still quite tender when cooked properly. The key to cooking tri-tip is to be low and slow keeping the temperature low and cooking it for a longer period of time will help break down the tough muscle fibers.

Additionally, marinating the tri-tip in a flavorful sauce or marinade will help to add moisture and flavor to the meat.

17. How Long Does It Take To Cook A Tri-Tip On A Propane Grill?

The cooking time for tri-tip on a propane grill can vary depending on the size of the roast, the heat of the grill, and your desired level of doneness. In general, you'll want to cook the tri-tip for about 8-10 minutes per pound on medium-high heat. If you're looking for more exact times, use this handy guide:

For a 3 lb roast cooked to medium-rare, cook for 24 minutes total (8 minutes per pound). Adjust accordingly for different sizes and levels of doneness.


If you're looking for a delicious and easy-to-prepare cut of beef, tri-tip is the perfect option. This flavorful and tender cut can be grilled quickly and easily, making it a great choice for any occasion. So fire up the grill and get ready to enjoy some amazing tri-tip roast!

If you have any questions or comments about this post, please leave them below. We'd love to hear from you!


I love grilling and cooking. There’s nothing better than spending a weekend afternoon in the backyard, firing up the grill, and cooking up some delicious food for friends and family. I’m always experimenting with new recipes, and I’m pretty proud of my skills in the kitchen.

I’m also a bit of a smartass. I like to make people laugh, and I have a pretty sharp wit. So if you’re looking for someone to keep you entertained, you’ve found your man!

Leave a Comment