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My Spice Rubbed Grilled Tri Tip is the best ever recipe for Tri Tip steak on the grill. With 10 spices and seasonings in an overnight tri tip rub and marinade, this tri-tip roast is tender, juicy and incredibly flavorful.
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Tri-Tip has been my favorite meat to grill for so long it’s pretty much what you can expect from me if you attend a barbecue we’re hosting. I’ve been making it this way for years and have perfected the grilling method and the perfect tri tip rub over time.
Today I’m not only sharing the recipe for my Best Ever Grilled Tri Tip, but I’ll be sharing some of the best tips and tricks I’ve learned for how to cook this particular cut of meat.
My spice rub is great for breaking down the muscle fibers on this lean cut of meat. It’s going to help make it super tender and juicy.
Tri-tip is not one the most tender cuts of beef you can buy. However, when treated right, it can yield juicy, flavorful, and yes, tender slices of meat right from your grill.
The real key to getting tender, juicy grilled tri tip is the marinade. I am enamored by this spice rub and have been using it for as long as I can remember. There are 9 different spices and a little brown sugar for a touch of sweetness. You can see there’s quite a bit of fat marbled through the meat which helps keep it juicy.
This particular cut is somewhat regional and more readily available on the west coast, and more specifically in California. If that’s not where you are, ask your local butcher (or grocery store) to order some for you. It’s also known as a Bottom Sirloin Roast or Triangle Roast. I bet you’ll love it as much as we do!
A tri-tip needs a good amount of time to marinate for the seasonings to penetrate the meat and help to break down that muscle. I’ve used a variety of different rubs and marinades but this spice rub is by far my favorite. There are a total of 8 spices, plus salt and brown sugar.
A tri tip has 3 sides – it’s sort of like a 3D triangle shape. You’ll want to get grill marks on all sides, so you may have to flip it more than once. But, generally speaking, throw it on the grill and LEAVE IT ALONE.
Just like any piece of meat that you cook on the stovetop or grill, please let that meat be. It can take anywhere from 8-12 minutes per side depending on how rare you like it. Every time you lift it up or flip it over before it’s ready, you risk losing that nice sear and also overcooking your meat. Flip it once, let it sit and then flip it one last time.
Heat your grill to about 350-400 degrees F. It’s important to keep the grill closed when cooking to maintain the cooking temperature. Using too high of a heat can cause the meat to cook too fast on the outside, and not enough on the inside, and can also lead to flare-ups.
If your BBQ has a temperature gauge on the front, you’ll notice that the temp goes down dramatically when the lid is open. It can drop as much as 100-200 degrees. Keeping the grill lid closed as much as possible keeps the heat in and allows the roast to cook more evenly.
It can take up to 20-25 minutes to cook a 2 pound tri-tip, so check the temperature with an instant read digital meat thermometer (120 degrees for rare, 130 for medium rare, and 140 for medium).
If you don’t have a meat thermometer, try the flesh test. It’s not quite as reliable, but it will do in a pinch.
The Flesh Test for Meat Doneness:
Different parts of your face will match the feel of the center of the meat at certain levels of doneness.
Touch your cheek with your index finger. This is what “rare” feels like. Touch your chin; this is what a medium-rare to medium piece of meat will feel like. Touch your forehead – this is about the way a well-done steak will feel.
I’ve been using this method for years and it’s almost foolproof!
The rub and marinade will impart a ton of flavor to your roast, so you don’t need a ton of toppings to finish it off. However, it’s nice to have options! Try one of these delicious finishes the next time you make this recipe.
If you have leftover meat, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
Reheating can be tricky because it’s easy to overcook. I usually melt some butter in a skillet and heat the slices that way. They are delicious with scrambled eggs and toast!
You can also thinly slice leftovers for sandwiches.