is tri tip beef or pork

Tri-tip is a specific cut of beef, well-known for its rich flavor. This cut gets its name from its triangular shape and tapered tip that comes from the bottom of a cut of sirloin.

The shape gives it the name! The tri-tip is a triangular cut of beef that comes from the bottom sirloin of the hindquarter. It is one of two muscles in the bottom sirloin; the other is the bavette steak. Both are unique in their own way.

The bavette is larger and tapered on both ends weighing about 3 ½ to 4 pounds. As a butcher, I feel the Bavette is best to be cut thinner and treated just like a skirt steak. Tri-tip, on the other hand, is smaller and weighs 2 to 3 pounds. Tapered on one end, it is best prepared whole. Though different, both are highly marbled and delicious.

Tri-tip steak is always on my menu when I’m hosting a bbq for a large crowd. Everybody loves a grilled steak! The best thing about serving tri-tip is the different levels of doneness you can achieve. The smaller tapered end might be more medium, while the thicker end is more medium-rare.

Tri-tip is also a less expensive piece of meat than other steaks like ribeye or strip, yet is still tender and has a nice, beefy flavor. It’s such an underrated steak! Since there are only two tri-tips on an entire cow and may not be popular where you live, you might have to source out a good butcher shop. Ask the butcher if you can order it in advance.

Tri-tip first became popular sometime in the 1950s in Santa Maria, California. It is also known as “California’s Cut” or “Santa Maria Steak”. There are regions in the states that are known for different types of barbecue. Texas has brisket, the Carolinas have pork, and California has the tri-tip. That’s what is so great about barbecue… you can travel around our beautiful country and discover so many unique styles and flavors, all done with such great passion.

Years ago, when I was an apprentice meat cutter, we would receive fresh hanging quarters of beef and would break them down into smaller primal cuts for retail sale. Back then, we would not go after these cuts. We didn’t even know about them! Instead, this meat would end up in trimmings for ground beef or cut for beef stew. Little did we know what we were missing out on. Today, when we break down a hindquarter of beef, we separate all these different muscles. The bottom sirloin cuts are now very desirable and sometimes hard to find, unless of course, you know a good butcher.

Etymology edit Roasted tri-tip

The term “tri-tip” is used across the US, but is especially popular in California.[2] The precise origin of the name for this cut of beef is unclear, with several sources claiming original usage of the term. This cut of beef has been referred to by a variety of names including “Newport steak”,[3] “Santa Maria steak”, “triangle tip”, and “triangle steak”.

How to trim tri-tip

Some tri-tips may be sold untrimmed with a fat cap on one side. I prefer to remove all the fat so you can get a nice charred crust on all sides. Before you season, look at how the grain of the meat runs. You’ll notice the grain slightly changes direction at the thickest part, so keep that in mind for later when slicing against the grain.

How to cook tri-tip

My favorite way to make tri-tip is to first lightly brush it entirely with olive oil then season it with Dead Rooster’s Black Gold dry rub. Black Gold has that perfect combination of spicy and sweet, with a hint of coffee flavor. It’s perfect on large cuts of beef like tri-tip. Let the cut sit out at room temperature for about an hour and then fire up your grill.

For this cut, I prefer a charcoal grill with a two-zone fire, meaning coals on one side for direct cooking and empty on the other side for indirect cooking. Once your grill is up to medium temp (350-375 degrees), place the tri-tip directly over the coals and sear on all sides. This may take 10 to 15 minutes. Once you get a beautiful sear, move the tri-tip to the indirect side of the grill until it has reached your preferred doneness. I like to grill mine until it reaches an internal temperature of 130-135 degrees using an instant-read thermometer to check for doneness.

The next step is the most important: let it rest! Pull the tri-tip off the grill and place it on a cutting board and tent it with foil for about 10 minutes. This will allow all juices to slow down and redistribute inside.

Tri-tip is a specific cut of beef, well-known for its rich flavor. This cut gets its name from its triangular shape and tapered tip that comes from the bottom of a cut of sirloin.

FAQ

Is tri-tip only beef?

Tri-tip steak comes from the sirloin primal cut of beef, specifically the lower or bottom portion towards the cow’s underbelly muscle. This cut gets its name from its triangle shape and the fact that it’s from the tip of the sirloin.

Does a pig have a tri-tip?

A pork tri-tip, also called a “cushion” by some, can make for a wonderfully delicious meal; it’s versatile and extremely easy to cook. As easy as a pork tri-tip is cook, it is a satisfying meal that’s popular with everyone in the family–and looks like it took you all day.

What is another name for tri-tip beef?

Often confused with brisket or picanha, tri tip is most popular in southern California, so you can be forgiven if you’ve never come across it before. It is also called a California cut, a bottom sirloin butt, a Newport steak, a Santa Maria steak or even referred to as a “poor man’s brisket”.

What meat is used for tri-tip?

Tri-tip is the 1.5-2.5 pounds of meat that comes from the bottom (“tip”) of the sirloin. Its name comes from its triangle shape and the fact that it is the at the very tip of the sirloin.

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