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. It’s rich in meaty flavor and lower in fat than other cuts.

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Add SEO information[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row full_width=”stretch_row” content_placement=”top”][vc_column][vc_column_text el_class=”post-intro-para”]Want to smoke a brisket but don’t have the time? Tri tip might just be your new best friend.

Tri tip is a triangular cut of beef cut from the bottom of the sirloin. Named after its triangular shape with a tapered “tip”, tri tip might just be one of the most flavourful cuts of meat that you’ve never heard of.

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”. But unlike brisket – which comes from the front of the cow, below the chuck – tri tip is actually considered a steak.

Tri tip dates back to early 19th century America, where it was a write-off and ground up to be used in hamburger meat. It wasn’t until the 1950s when Bob Schutz, the then-owner of Santa Maria Market, upon receiving an excess of hamburger meat, decided to prepare and eat it like a steak. The result was well received and the rest, as they say, is history.

Flavor and Texture of Tri-Tip Steak

This cut has a brisket-like, tender texture and is known to be one of the most flavorful parts of the tri-tip beef cut. There is extensive marbling throughout a steak of this cut, giving it an almost buttery taste, but it can become tough if it is overcooked. After cooking, the tip of the cut will be tougher than the rest of the meat, no matter the level of doneness.

what is beef tri-tip

What Is Tri-Tip Steak?

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. Called by many names such as a California cut, a Santa Maria steak, a Newport steak, a triangle steak and a bottom sirloin butt, this steak is amongst the cheaper cuts of beef. While it isn’t sourced from a brisket, it is also known as a “poor man’s brisket” because the flavor and texture is similar to a brisket but at a fraction of the cost.

It’s a leaner, boneless cut of meat and usually averages about an inch thick. However, it is still packed with protein and zinc, with just enough fat marbled in to enhance the flavor profile. It’s a tender cut that is ideal for roasting and grilling but can also be broiled or cooked in a skillet.

what is beef tri-tip

Originally, tri-tip beef was used only for hamburger meat up until about the 1950s, when Bob Schutz of the Santa Maria Market decided to try his hand at cooking it like a regular steak. Locals loved the idea, and this steak’s popularity soared from there. (This is where the nickname “Santa Maria steak” originated.)

Now it can be used as standalone meat, for stews or sandwiches, placed on kebabs or sliced up for tacos. The versatility of this cut of steak for differing recipes is part of the reason it’s so desirable, apart from its tender texture and appetizing flavor.

what is beef tri-tip

How to cook tri tip

Rich and meaty in flavour and low in fat, tri tip cooks like a tender steak but slices like a brisket – perfect for people who want to do a brisket-like cook up but dont have the time. It can be smoked, barbecued, grilled or roasted, but it’s always best when cooked to a nice medium rare, before letting it rest and slicing.

Cook the tri tip in a low oven at 275ºF / 135ºC or smoke it with indirect high heat for about 45 minutes, letting the meat cook evenly the whole way through. For best results when cooking, always use a meat thermometer. Insert the thermometer horizontally into the thickest part of the tri tip and aim for an internal temperature of 125ºF–130ºF/51ºC–54ºC. Remember that it’s triangular shape will mean that the tail or “tip” will be more done, while the centre will be slightly pinker.

Once you have achieved your desired doneness, transfer the tri tip directly onto charcoal or onto a hot pan to give it a final sear on the outside.

Allow the meat to rest for 5–10 minutes before slicing.

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. It’s rich in meaty flavor and lower in fat than other cuts.

FAQ

Is tri-tip a good cut of beef?

This unique steak cut is rich in flavor and naturally lean. It’s been a popular steak in South American steakhouses for decades and is on trend here in the States. And, for good reason. The tri-tip is a versatile steak cut that tastes great on its own or adds incredible flavor to your favorite steak recipes.

What is another name for tri-tip meat?

This cut gets its name from its triangle shape and the fact that it’s from the tip of the sirloin. Called by many names such as a California cut, a Santa Maria steak, a Newport steak, a triangle steak and a bottom sirloin butt, this steak is amongst the cheaper cuts of beef.

Why is tri-tip so cheap?

You will see these on sale really cheap! This is because the store is making you pay for all of the waste of unwanted fat. All Tri-Tips should have some fat cap, but the butcher has removed excess fat so you pay only for what is going to be eaten. Untrimmed Tri-Tips can have up to as much as 40-50% extra fat.

What is the difference between steak tip and tri-tip?

Despite its name, the sirloin tip is actually found on the round primal. It’s often made into roasts, individual steaks, or ground beef. The tri-tip is cut from the bottom sirloin subprimal cut.

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