How To Grill Tri-Tip: A Complete Guide

How To Grill Tri-Tip

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If you’re looking for the perfect grilling recipe, look no further than tri-tip. This delicious cut of beef is easy to prepare and can be grilled to perfection every time. In this complete guide, we’ll show you everything you need to know about cooking tri-tip on the grill. So fire up your barbecue and let’s get started!

What Is A Tri-Tip?

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Tri-tip is a triangular cut of beef that comes from the bottom sirloin. This cut is relatively lean, but it’s also very flavorful. It’s a popular choice for grilling because it cooks quickly and evenly.

The tri-tip cut was originally created in the 1950s by a butcher in Santa Maria, California. The butcher noticed that there was a lot of waste when he was trimming bottom sirloin steaks. He decided to cut the steak differently so that it would be more efficient, and the tri-tip was born.

Since then, the tri-tip has become a popular choice for grilling and barbecuing. It’s especially popular in Santa Maria-style barbecue, where it’s cooked over an open fire with red oak wood.

How To Grill Tri-Tip?

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Things You’ll Need:

  • 1 Tri-tip roast (2 to 3 pounds)
  • Your favorite dry rub or marinade
  • Heavy-duty aluminum foil
  • barbecue grill


  1. Trim the fat. Trim any excess fat off the roast, but leave a little bit to protect the meat while it cooks. Season the roast. Season the roast with your favorite dry rub or marinade. Be generous with the seasoning, as it will help to create a flavorful crust on the outside of the meat.
  2. Preheat your grill. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat, about 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Sear the roast. Place the tri-tip on the grill and sear it for 3 to 4 minutes per side. This will create a nice crust on the outside of the meat.
  4. Wrap in foil. Once the roast is seared, wrap it tightly in heavy-duty aluminum foil and place it back on the grill.
  5. Cook indirect heat. Cook the roast over indirect heat for 30 to 40 minutes, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
  6. Remove from grill and let rest. Remove the tri-tip from the grill and let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing against the grain into thin strips.

Different Ways On How To Grill Tri-Tip

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There are a few different ways you can go about grilling tri-tip, and each one will produce delicious results. Here are some of the most popular methods:

1. Grilling over direct heat

This is the most common way to grill tri-tip, and it’s pretty straightforward. Simply preheat your grill to medium-high heat and then place the tri-tip on the grates. Grill for 6-8 minutes per side, or until evenly charred.

2. Grilling over indirect heat

If you want to cook your tri-tip more slowly and evenly, try grilling over indirect heat. To do this, preheat your grill to low heat and then place the tri-tip on one side of the grill. Close the lid and cook for 10-12 minutes per side, or until evenly cooked through.

3. Smoking

Smoking your tri-tip is a great way to impart flavor and achieve tender, juicy results. To smoke tri-tip, preheat your smoker to 225 degrees Fahrenheit and place the meat on the grates. Smoke for 2-3 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 125 degrees Fahrenheit.

4. Reverse searing

Reverse searing is a two-step process that first involves cooking the meat over low indirect heat until it’s nearly cooked through. Then, you sear it over high direct heat to create a flavorful crust. To reverse sear tri-tip, preheat your grill to low heat and cook the meat for 30 minutes. Then, move it to direct high heat and cook for 2-3 minutes per side, or until evenly browned.

5. Sous vide

In the sous vide cooking technique, food is vacuum-sealed before being heated to a certain temperature in a water bath. The results from this technique are very juicy and tender. Tri-tip may be cooked sous vide by vacuum-sealing the meat and submerging it in a water bath that has been heated to 135 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook for two to three hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 125°F.

Regardless of the technique you use, make sure to give the meat at least 5 minutes to rest before slicing and serving. Juicier and more delicious outcomes will be obtained as a result of the fluids being able to redistribute.


Grilling Tri-Tip is not as difficult as you might think. With the right preparation and seasoning, you can create a delicious and juicy steak that will be the envy of your friends and family. When grilling Tri-Tip, be sure to keep an eye on the temperature of the meat and use a meat thermometer to ensure that it is cooked to your liking.

Now that you know how to grill Tri-Tip, get out there and try it for yourself! Experiment with different rubs and sauces to find the perfect flavor combination for your steak. Be sure to share your results with us in the comments below. Happy grilling!


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