view sourceprint? 01 Ramblings from a Ranch Wife: 2017

Random Thought:

"The darkest nights produce the brightest stars"

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Beef Tri Tip

The eight primal cuts of beef are: chuck, rib, loin, round, flank, short plate, brisket, and shank.  The Tri Tip roast hales from the sub primal bottom sirloin, which is a sub primal of the loin.

For years, the beef Tri Tip found itself ground into hamburger or cut into cubes and sold as stew meat.  This often-overlooked cut of meat is relatively inexpensive and very flavorful.  Also known as a Bottom Sirloin Roast or a Triangle Roast, Tri Tip is a popular crescent shaped cut of beef.  It comes from the Bottom Sirloin sub primal cut.  The Tri Tip has a good amount of marbling throughout but is quite lean.  Tri Tip roasts are popular because of its full flavor, lower fat content, and comparatively lower costs.  It is a juicy, tender, and versatile roast that offers a rich beef flavor.


Tri Tip became a local specialty in Santa Maria in the late 1950’s.  The roast is quite popular in the Central Coast of California, and gaining popularity in the western states.  The Tri Tip is to the west, what the Brisket is to the south.

Cooking Methods

Season with salt, pepper, garlic, and other seasonings and grill to a medium rare doneness.  Roast whole on a rotisserie, smoke in a pit, bake in an oven, or braise after searing on a grill.  It is a fantastic roast that should be grilled indirectly for 30-40 minutes.  You can also cut the Tri Tip into 1” thick steaks that grill up in about 8 minutes.  Always let your steak or roast rest for 5-10 minutes before carving and serving.  This allows the juices to redistribute and evens out the heat.  Because Tri Tip is lean, be careful not to overcook.  Medium is as far as you should go with this cut to avoid drying out.

Also known as a Bottom Sirloin Roast or a Triangle Roast, Tri Tip is a popular crescent shaped cut of beef.  It comes from the Bottom Sirloin sub primal cut. 
Within the Tri Tip cut, two different grain directions intersect:  approximately half of the steak contains fibers running vertically and the other half contains long muscle fibers coming in at an angle.  This makes slicing it correctly slightly more difficult than other meats.  The tenderness of Tri Tip is in a large part reliant on how it is sliced post cooking.  Incorrectly slicing meat can make a Tri Tip steak tough and chewy.

To correctly slice, first allow to rest at least 5 minutes before slicing.  Next locate where the two grains intersect and cut vertically, splitting the roast roughly in half.  One side should be longer than the other.  Inspect the grain of each piece of the severed roast, slice perpendicular to the grain of each half.  Enjoy!


Each 3-ounce cooked serving contains 158 calories, 7 g fat, 23 g protein, .5 mg vitamin B6, 1.2 mcg vitamin B12, 1.5 mg iron, and 4.2 zinc.


Santa Maria Style Tri Tip

Prep Time:  30 minutes

Cook Time:  60 minutes

Serves: 6


3-pound Tri Tip roast, fat trimmed

Dry Rub-(1/2 cup)

·         1/8 c. paprika

·         1 T. chili powder

·         1 tsp. cayenne pepper

·         1 T. cumin

·         1 T. dark brown sugar

·         1 ½ tsp. granulated sugar

·         1 tsp. garlic powder

·         1 tsp. onion powder

·         1 T. salt

·         2 tsp. ground black pepper


1.      Combine all dry rub ingredients in a small container and set aside.

2.      Trim fat from the Tri Tip roast.  Place Tri Trip on a sheet of plastic wrap.

3.      Generously coat the Tri Tip with 4 T. of dry rub, 2 T. on each side.  Store dry rub in an airtight container for later use.

4.      Tightly wrap the seasoned Tri Tip and refrigerate until ready to use.  Allow the rub to settle into the meat for at least 3 hours, up to 3 days.

5.      When ready to grill, remove the seasoned Tri Tip from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature, about 1 hour.

6.      Heat the grill to medium-high heat if using a gas grill.  Place the meat on the grill, searing one side for 10 minutes with the lid open.  Turn Tri Tip over and sear for another 10 minutes.  Turn heat down to medium and close the lid.  Allow the meat to cook for about 15-25 minutes, checking temperature until the thickest part of the meat reaches 135*F for medium rare to medium doneness.  The meat will continue to cook after being removed from the heat, so stop cooking at a temperature a few degrees lower than the desired doneness.

7.      Remove the Tri-Tip from the grill and allow to rest wrapped loosely in foil for at least 15 minutes before slicing.  The foil will catch any juices from the meat, which can be added back to the meat after slicing for more flavor.

8.      Thinly slice the Tri Tip against the grain.  Serve!

The Tri Tip is a juicy, tender, and versatile roast that offers a rich beef flavor.