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How to Cook

COOKING TRI-TIP ROAST

How to Cook Tri-Tip Roast

Tri-tip roast – also known as triangle roast and Santa Maria roast – has long been a favorite in California and along the West Coast. Now, this distinctive cut is gaining attention across the nation for its hearty, steak-like flavor and juicy, tender texture. Cooking tri-tip in the oven is easy, but you may also want to know how to BBQ tri-tip on the grill. We're here to help you find the best way to cook tri-tip for your needs.

 

While generally well-marbled, tri-tip roast is still considered a lean cut and is best served medium-rare to medium, otherwise it can become dry. Everything you need to know is in the instructions below. We've also included a chart that will tell you how long to cook tri-tip in the oven or on the grill, depending on the cooking method you choose. Be sure to use a meat thermometer for best results.

 

Incredibly versatile, a tri-tip roast is perfect when you have a diverse group of diners because the shape of the roast means you have the option of offering rare or medium-rare slices from the wide, thicker end and medium slices from the narrow, thinner end. With its rich, flavor and melt-in-your-mouth texture, tri-tip roast is terrific on its own or used in sandwiches and fajitas, with noodles or pasta, and on top of salads.

 

You may find a tri-tip roast is your best bet for pleasing both steak and roast lovers alike!

How to Cook Tri-Tip Roast in the Oven

Cooking Tri-Tip roast in the oven is easy. Just follow these guidelines and don't be surprised when everyone asks for seconds!

  • Be sure your tri-tip roast is completely thawed. If frozen, thaw it in the refrigerator for at least two days before preparing.
  • Bring the meat to room temperature. Remove your roast from the refrigerator at least an hour (but no more than two hours) before roasting.
  • Preheat your oven to 425°F.
  • Season the roast well. Our Kansas City Steak Original Steak Seasoning is an excellent choice.
  • Place the roast fat-side up on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Do not add water or cover the roast. Roast to desired doneness, according to the times listed below.
  • For a tri-tip roast that is medium-rare at the thicker end, roast for 25-30 minutes until a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the roast registers 125°F. Remember, your roast will continue to warm after removing it from the oven.
  • Transfer your roast to a carving board and tent loosely with aluminum foil. Allow it to rest for 10 to 15 minutes before carving; the temperature of the meat will continue to rise for as much as 10°F during this time (this is called "carryover cooking"). While resting the juices in the roast will redistribute evenly throughout the meat, ensuring the best succulence, texture and flavor.
  • Once your tri-tip roast has rested, it's time to carve. Make sure your carving knife is sharp (See our Expert Tips for How to Sharpen a Knife and Expert tips for How to Carve a Steak).
  • Take a good look at your tri-tip roast and note which direction the fibers are running. Slide your knife back and forth across those fibers – across the grain – cutting your tri-tip into slices. Keep each slice no more than 1/4" thick.
  • To make each bite extra tender, hold your knife blade at a 45° angle; this is called "cutting on the bias." Cutting against the grain this way exposes more surface area in each fiber and keeps the fibers from being stacked directly on top of each other in each slice of meat, further weakening the bonds that hold them together.

How to Roast a Tri-tip on the Grill

Did you know you can learn how to roast a tri-tip on the grill? A grill can function as an oven, with the added benefit of that unmistakable grilled-over-an-open-flame flavor. Follow these instructions to grill an incredible tri-tip roast.

Charcoal Grill

  • Be sure your tri-tip roast is completely thawed. If frozen, thaw it in the refrigerator for at least two days before preparing.
  • Bring the meat to room temperature. Remove your roast from the refrigerator at least an hour (but no more than two hours) before roasting.
  • Prepare charcoal grill for indirect cooking by arranging an equal number of charcoal briquettes on each side, leaving an empty area in the middle of the grill. When coals are medium, ash-covered (about 25 minutes), add a few new briquettes to each side. Position the cooking rack handles over coals so adding extra briquettes is easy.
  • Place the seasoned tri-tip roast roast on cooking rack directly over the coals; sear 2-3 minutes, turning once to brown both sides. Move roast to the center of the grill for indirect cooking and cover with the grill lid.
  • For a tri-tip roast that is medium-rare at the thicker end, continue to grill over indirect heat for 20-25 minutes until a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the roast registers 125°F. Remember, your roast will continue to warm after removing it from the grill.
  • Transfer your roast to a carving board and tent loosely with aluminum foil. Allow it to rest for 10 to 15 minutes before carving; the temperature of the meat will continue to rise for as much as 10°F during this time (this is called "carryover cooking"). While resting, the juices in the roast will redistribute evenly throughout the meat, ensuring the best succulence, texture and flavor.
  • Once your tri-tip roast has rested, it's time to carve. Make sure your carving knife is sharp (See our Expert Tips for How to Sharpen a Knife and Expert tips for How to Carve a Steak).
  • Take a good look at your tri-tip roast and note which direction the fibers are running. Slide your knife back and forth across those fibers – across the grain – cutting your tri-tip into slices. Keep each slice no more than 1/4" thick.
  • To make each bite extra tender, hold your knife blade at a 45° angle; this is called "cutting on the bias." Cutting against the grain this way exposes more surface area in each fiber and keeps the fibers from being stacked directly on top of each other in each slice of meat, further weakening the bonds that hold them together.

Gas Grill

  • Be sure your tri-tip roast is completely thawed. If frozen, thaw it in the refrigerator for at least two days before preparing.
  • Bring the meat to room temperature. Remove your roast from the refrigerator at least an hour (but no more than two hours) before roasting.
  • Preheat grill on high.
  • Sear the seasoned tri-tip roast 2-3 minutes, turning once, until browned on both sides. Move to the center of the grill and turn off the burners directly under the roast. Close grill lid.
  • For a tri-tip roast that is medium-rare at the thicker end, continue to grill over indirect heat for 20-25 minutes until a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the roast registers 125°F. Remember, your roast will continue to warm after removing it from the grill.
  • Transfer your roast to a carving board and tent loosely with aluminum foil. Allow it to rest for 10 to 15 minutes before carving; the temperature of the meat will continue to rise for as much as 10°F during this time (this is called "carryover cooking"). While resting, the juices in the roast will redistribute evenly throughout the meat, ensuring the best succulence, texture and flavor.
  • Once your tri-tip roast has rested, it's time to carve. Make sure your carving knife is sharp (See our Expert Tips for How to Sharpen a Knife and Expert tips for How to Carve a Steak).
  • Take a good look at your tri-tip roast and note which direction the fibers are running. Slide your knife back and forth across those fibers – across the grain – cutting your tri-tip into slices. Keep each slice no more than 1/4" thick.
  • To make each bite extra tender, hold your knife blade at a 45° angle; this is called "cutting on the bias." Cutting against the grain this way exposes more surface area in each fiber and keeps the fibers from being stacked directly on top of each other in each slice of meat, further weakening the bonds that hold them together.

Cooking Times

for Tri-Tip Roast

Follow the cooking temperatures and times below to cook the perfect tri-tip roast roast.

1.5-2 Pound Tri-Tip Roast
Oven
425°

Grill
Sear all sides 5-10 min.
Then indirect heat for:
Rare
Remove at 115°
After resting 125°
20-25 mins 15-20 mins
Medium-Rare
Remove at 125°
After resting 135°
25-30 mins 20-25 mins
Medium
Remove at 135°
After resting 145°
30-35 mins 25-30 mins
Medium-Well
Remove at 145°
After resting 155°
35-40 mins 30-35 mins
Select The
Perfect Steak
How to
Carve a Steak
How to
Sharpen a Knife