How to make the perfect tri-tip

Shutterstock.com/ Animas Photography
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

The tri-tip is one of the finest cuts of meats to barbecue yet many people are intimidated by it and avoid. There is no need. With just a few small tips you can start cooking the perfect tri-tip. Be careful though, once you make this for your friends and family they will start appearing on your doorstep every weekend begging for more. Follow our advice and start making the perfect tri-tip straight away.

- Advertisement -

I know that some readers are already reading this and wondering “what the heck is tri-tip?” Ok maybe you didn’t say heck but you may not have heard of this cut of meat. Depending on where you are from Tri-tip has many names. The name tri-tip is an American one but even in America, it has many names. In some places, it is known as a Newport steak, Santa Maria steak, Triangle tip, and Triangle steak. In Europe, it has many names too and is popular in Germany, France, Austria, and Spain under a variety of titles. Even in the Americas it is very popular and is known in Argentia as colita da cuadril and in Brazil as maminha. In many butchers, it is simply called bottom sirloin. 

While it is loved around the world people tend to stay away from home cooking it because they perceive it as difficult meat to cook. However, it can be easy once you know the right approach to take. Start by cutting the fat from your cut and giving your meat a good rub. We like a spicy mix of dry herbs to cover our steak and it goes perfectly on this beautiful cut.

Heat your grill next and if you have a more sophisticated model you may be able to choose two heats if so have one on high and one on low. If not simply place the charcoal in the center which will allow the edges to be cooler. Ensure the grill is well oiled to avoid the meat sticking to the grill. 

Place the cut on the high heat to sear the juices inside for two and a half minutes on each side. Halfway through moving the meat as well to create a crosshatch pattern on the meat. Next, move the meat to the low heat for 20 minutes per pound. You should blanket the meat with the fat you cut earlier to ensure you have a tender cut in the end. Close the lid of your grill and leave it, turning every 7 minutes.

You want to remove the meat when it is cooked medium rare through, a thermometer is the best way to know if this has been achieved and it should read around 60 degrees celsius. Once this is done take it off the grill and put it in tin foil loosely wrapped. Leave it to sit for 15 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute throughout the cut. 

My best tip for tri-tip is to then cut it diagonally before serving. These diagonal cuts are crucial as they will cut through the fibers of the meat. If you don’t do this some of your guests will complain that the meat is a little too tough.

Cooking a tri-tip is easy once you know how. The cut has a reputation for being difficult because people treat it as if it is a standard cut. Although it requires a special approach that approach is a rather easy one. This is not a cut to stress over and if you do it right you will have friends and family singing your praises for the entire night. When you look at the countries that this cut is most popular in, they are all steak lovers. They know what they are doing and now so do you.