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How to Grill Amazing Beef Tri-Tip

Written by Keith Underwood, Associate Professor.

The beef tri-tip is a newer cut which earned its fame in California and has become increasingly popular in the last several years due to its excellent flavor characteristics. The beef tri-tip is fabricated from the bottom sirloin and was traditionally used as a roast or made into ground beef. This muscle has been regarded by many beef consumers as one of the best cut of beef they have ever eaten because it is tender, flavorful and lean. We have put together a list of tips that will you get started to making a great tri-tip on the grill to utilize your grill and enjoy the nice fall weather.

Grilled Beef Tri-Tip


  • Season with Pappy's Choice seasoning.
  • Put the seasoning on fairly liberally, but not as much as it will hold (cover the tri-tip pretty good with seasoning, but don't roll the tri-tip in a pan of seasoning to get on as much as possible or it will be too salty).
  • Rub the seasoning in with hands.
  • Optimum seasoning time is 2 to 4 hours before grilling, but seasoning can be done as early as one day before or as late as right before grilling.


  • Charcoal gives the best flavor, but gas grilling works too.
  • Grill on medium heat (300-400°F).
  • Grill for 20 to 40 minutes until internal temp is 135°F.
  • Flip tri-tip every few minutes.
  • Rotate around on grill if grill cooks unevenly.
  • Let stand for 10 to 15 minutes uncovered (except if it is windy) after removing from the grill.


  • Slice across the grain.
    • Approx. 0.2 inches thick (5 slices per inch).
    • Very important to slice across (perpendicular to) the grain.
  • After slicing, put into covered container to keep warm.
    • This is an important step because all of the juices from the meat will be reabsorbed into the tri-tip's hard outer crust.
    • This will also turn the meat more brown (it will look pretty rare when you slice it, but it will not look rare after the slices sit in the juice awhile).
  • Periodically (especially during serving) mix the slices so the juice at the bottom keeps getting mixed in.
  • Don't waste any juice during slicing; dump it in with the sliced meat.
  • If you use electric roasters instead of plastic coolers, you could overcook the sliced meat, so set the electric roaster at 150 degrees F and stir occasionally.

Garlic Bread

Serving grilled tri-tip with grilled garlic toast is a tremendous eating experience.

  • Melt butter with fresh-pressed garlic (or garlic in a jar) in a cake pan on the grill.
  • Slice French bread loaves as if you were going to make a big sub sandwich, and then cut each loaf in half (you will have four pieces from each loaf and each piece will fit in the cake pan).
  • Grill the bread on medium grill (cut side down) until browned nicely (it can be black on the edges) -- you have to watch this closely because it doesn't take very long.
  • Immediately dip the toasted bread into the melted garlic butter.
  • Cut toast into 2-inch portions for serving.

Related Topics

Nutrition, Meat Consumer