what part of beef is 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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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.

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.

How to prepare tri tip

Tri tip can be bought from the butcher trimmed or untrimmed. While it’s generally cheaper to buy the latter, make sure you have a knife sharp enough at home to trim it yourself – otherwise it’s probably worthwhile spending a few extra dollars per pound/kilogram to have the butcher do it for you. You can also buy tri tip steaks individually, which are ideal for smaller households.

Just like a brisket, you want to cut off any ragged ends and silver skin, trimming down the fat as much as possible. It’s fine to leave a little fat on, but get rid of any thick chunks of fat so that you are left with a lean, boneless, boomerang-shaped piece of meat.

When it comes to seasoning, tri tip is incredibly versatile and takes well to both dry and wet rubs. As it’s a fairly thick cut, you want to season it aggressively with salt, pepper and your favourite spices. To help the seasoning stick, first rub it with a neutral oil and coat it in your preferred spice mix.

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.

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.


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.

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.

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 part of the cow does a tri-tip come from?

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.

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