How to Cut Tri Tip: With 2 Best Method

If you love flavorful, tender, and juicy beef, you must have heard of tri tip. How to cut tri tip is also known as triangle tip Cutting, which is gaining popularity for its amazing taste and versatility. However, cutting tri tip properly is essential to ensure the best results. In this guide, we’ll take you through step-by-step instructions on how to cut tri tip like a pro, along with some useful tips and recipe ideas to get you started.

What is Tri Tip?

Tri tip is a triangular-shaped cut of beef that comes from the bottom sirloin area of the cow. It’s known for its rich marbling and beefy flavor. The meat is relatively lean but still tender and succulent when cooked correctly. Tri tip is commonly found in the Western United States and has become a favorite among barbecue enthusiasts.


Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a home-cooking enthusiast, mastering the art of cutting tri-tip is essential for creating delectable dishes. Tri-tip is a popular cut of beef known for its rich marbling and exceptional tenderness. Properly cutting tri-tip not only enhances its flavor but also ensures even cooking and perfect presentation.

Equipment Needed To Cut Tri Tip

Sharp Knife: A high-quality, sharp knife is crucial for smooth and accurate cuts. A long, thin-bladed knife works best for tri tip.


Cutting Board: Choose a sturdy and spacious cutting board to provide ample space for handling the tri tip.

Tongs: Tongs will come in handy to hold the meat securely while cutting.


Meat Thermometer: While not directly related to cutting, a meat thermometer is essential for checking the internal temperature and ensuring the desired level of doneness.

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Pro Tip: Look for tri tip cuts that are around 2 to 3 inches thick and weigh about 2 to 3 pounds. This size ensures even cooking and ideal tenderness.

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How to Cut Tri Tip: Understanding the Basics

Before we dive into the cutting techniques, let’s familiarize ourselves with some key points that will set the foundation for a successful tri-tip cutting experience:

Know Your Tri Tip

Tri-tip is a triangular-shaped muscle cut from the bottom sirloin of the beef. It typically weighs between 2 to 3 pounds and boasts a generous amount of marbling, which contributes to its tenderness and flavor.

Choosing the Right Knife

Investing in a high-quality, sharp knife is crucial when it comes to cutting tri-tip. A long, thin-bladed knife, such as a boning knife or a carving knife, works best for achieving precise cuts.

Proper Handling and Safety

Before handling raw meat, always ensure your hands, cutting board, and knife are clean. Practice food safety guidelines to prevent cross-contamination and maintain a hygienic workspace.

Against the Grain

Cutting against the grain is a fundamental principle when slicing tri-tip. This ensures the meat’s fibers are shortened, resulting in a more tender and easier-to-chew bite.

Pro Tip: Reserve the trimmed fat for rendering into beef tallow or discard it if desired.

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Step-by-Step Guide: Tri tip How to Cut

Now that we have the basis down, let’s delve into the step-by-step guide to cutting tri-tip to perfection. Follow these instructions carefully, and you’ll be amazed by the results:

Prepare the Tri Tip

Start by placing the tri-tip on a clean cutting board. Pat it dry with paper towels to remove any excess moisture, which will help achieve a better sear during cooking.

Identify the Grain

Locate the direction of the grain in the tri-tip. The grain usually runs diagonally across the triangular shape. Marking the grain with a shallow cut will guide you during the slicing process.

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Pro Tip: The grain of the tri tip runs diagonally across the cut. Keep this in mind when making slicing decisions.

Slice the Tri Tip

Using your sharp knife, make thin slices against the grain. Each slice should be approximately 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Take your time and use smooth, controlled motions to ensure even cuts.

Trim Excess Fat

While tri-tip is known for its marbling, some parts may have excessive fat. Trim any excess fat carefully, keeping in mind that some fat is desirable for flavor and juiciness.

Portioning the Tri Tip

If you’re planning to serve individual portions, consider slicing the tri-tip into smaller pieces. Alternatively, leave it whole for presentation purposes, especially if you’re serving a larger group.

Serve and Enjoy

Your perfectly cut tri-tip is now ready to be cooked and enjoyed. Season it with your favorite marinade or dry rub, and cook it to your desired level of doneness. Get ready to savor the mouthwatering results!

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Tri Tip Recipe Ideas

  • Grilled Tri Tip with Chimichurri Sauce
  • Garlic and Herb Roasted Tri Tip
  • Teriyaki Marinated Tri Tip Skewers
  • Tri Tip Tacos with Avocado Crema
  • Tri Tip Stir-Fry with Vegetables

Tips for Perfect Tri Tip

  • Always let the tri tip come to room temperature before cooking.
  • Don’t forget to season the meat generously with salt and pepper before cooking.
  • Invest in a good meat thermometer to ensure accurate doneness.
  • Let the tri tip rest after cooking to retain its juiciness.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  • Overcooking the tri tip, resulting in tough and dry meat.
  • Cutting the tri tip with the grain instead of against it, leading to chewiness.
  • Skipping the marinating step, which reduces flavor and tenderness.

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FAQs about Cutting Tri Tip

Can I use a different marinade for the tri tip?

Absolutely! Feel free to experiment with various marinades to suit your taste preferences.

Can I freeze leftover tri tip?

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Yes, you can freeze cooked tri tip for up to 3 months. Just ensure it’s properly stored in an airtight container or freezer bag.

What’s the best way to reheat leftover tri tip?

To maintain its tenderness, gently reheat the sliced tri tip in the oven or on the stovetop with a little beef broth to keep it moist.

Can I grill tri tip in advance for a party?

Grilling tri tip in advance and reheating it is a great time-saving option. Cook it to

What is the best way to store uncooked tri-tip?

To store uncooked tri-tip, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place it in the refrigerator. Use it within 2-3 days for the best quality.

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Can I freeze tri-tip for later use?

Yes, you can freeze tri-tip. Wrap it securely in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil or place it in an airtight freezer bag. Frozen tri-tip can last for up to 6 months.

Should I trim the fat before cooking?

It’s a personal preference. Some like to trim excess fat before cooking, while others prefer to keep it for added flavor. Just be mindful not to remove all the fat as it contributes to the meat’s juiciness.

Can I cook tri-tip in the oven?

Absolutely! Tri-tip can be cooked in the oven using the roast or the reverse sear method. Ensure you preheat the oven and use a meat thermometer to monitor doneness.

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How do I know when the tri-tip is cooked to my liking?

The best way to determine doneness is by using a meat thermometer. For medium-rare, the internal temperature should be around 130°F (54°C).

Can I use a gas grill for cooking tri-tip?

Yes, a gas grill works well for cooking tri-tip. Set it to medium-high heat and sear the tri-tip on both sides before reducing the heat to finish cooking.

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