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How Long to Grill A Tri-Tip?

by Outdoor Cooking Pros September 30, 2021

How Long to Grill A Tri-Tip?

Tri-Tip steak has got to be the most underrated steak out there. 

Why? Because it’s packed with flavor and it’s CHEAPER compared to the other popular cuts of steak.

But first...how long does it take to grill a tri-tip? It depends how cooked you want it to be! For a full answer, our guide will answer all your questions! 

We’ll even show you the best and fool-proof method to get the most flavorful, juiciest steak ever in just a couple of minutes!

How Long Does It Take to Grill a Tri-Tip? 

Essentially, your cooking time will depend onhow thick the meat is and what is your preferred steak doneness (rare, medium-rare, medium, or well done).
Lucky for you, the Tri-Tip doesn’t take long on the grill! 

Formedium-rare, grill the tri-tip at 350°F or 176°C and sear for 5-7 minutes on each side on the DIRECT heat part of your grill. 

How Long Does It Take to Grill a Tri-Tip?

Once both sides have been seared, move the meat to the INDIRECT heat part of the grill, and let it cook for 20-30 minutes orwhen internal temperature reaches 130°F/ 54.4°C

Tip: Use a meat thermometer to get a precise reading of the internal temperature. It’s the best way to check for your desired level of doneness.

Internal Temperatures and Level of Doneness:

  • 120°F/ 48.8°C for Rare
  • 130°F/ 54.4°Cfor Medium Rare
  • 140°F/ 60°C for Medium 
  • Above 140°F/ 60°C for Well Done

What Part of the Cow is the Tri-Tip From? 

The tri-tip or “Santa Maria” steak is a triangular piece of beef that’s cut from the sirloin. 

The tri-tip has excellent marbling as well and it’s very tender if cooked properly.  

But the bottom line is, there’s only one tri-tip cut on each side of the beef, which is why this cut is not easily accessible at the grocery store. 

So it’s best to ask your local butcher if they have a tri-tip cut available. 

Grilling the Perfect Tri-Tip Steak

Now that you have an idea how long to grill a tri-tip, here are the steps on how you can make it.

1st Step: Monitor the Temperature of the Steak

First things first,let your tri-tip steak cool down to room temperature. 

Monitor the Temperature of the Steak

DO NOT SKIP this step because you want the steak to be cooked evenly. The closer it is to room temperature, the more evenly it will cook. 

2nd Step: Prepare the Grill

As we mentioned, you must pre-heat the grill to medium-high,preferably to 350°F or 176°C.

3rd Step: Mix The Spices and Ingredients

Mix all your preferred spices and olive oil[1] in a bowl. 

You can also remove the fat at this point, but for added flavor, it’s best to keep the fat. Once your steak has been set to room temperature, it’s time to give it some TLC (Tender Loving Care). 

Generously rub the mixture and make sure the meat is thoroughly coated. You don’t want to waste all that goodness. 

Mix The Spices and Ingredients

Once the seasoning is on, leave it for a couple of minutes just so the seasoning has enough time to seep into the meat. 

Trust us, this step will seriously ENHANCE the flavor. 

4th Step: It’s Grill Time!

You’re a step closer to eating, but here is the fun part.

  1. With the fat side up, sear the tri-tip on the hot/ direct heat side of your grill for 5-7 minutes. It should develop a dark brown crust. 
  2. Then turn and sear the other side for 5-7 minutes as well. 
  3. Move the meat to the cooler side/ indirect heat to continue cooking for 20-30 minutes.  Turn the meat as needed. 
  4. Once your steak reaches the desired temperature, you can remove it from the grill and transfer it to a cutting board. 

Voila! You’re almost done!

5th Step: Let it Rest

We know, it’s hard to resist. But you MUST allow the tri-tip steak to rest by loosely covering it with aluminum foil for at least 5-10 minutes. 

After 5 minutes, grab your knife and slice away. Marvel at your glorious creation! 

Munch Away!

Pair this with any side dish, grab your favorite bottle of red and enjoy! 

As we said, the tri-tip steak is the ultimate showstopper and barbequestaple. Now that you know how long to grill a tri-tip, don’t be shy and make this recipe for your family and friends.

Expand your knowledge of grilling with more of our guides:

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