BBQ Beef Tri-Tip

When my cousins from Texas visited us last year, I was surprised to find out they never tasted Tri-tip before. They have plenty of briskets, ribs, blue crabs, and crawfish in Texas, but no Tri-tip. Before their flight back to Texas, I barbecued a few USDA Prime Tri-tips and introduced them to the beautiful, juicy, and beefy cut of meat we know as Tri-tip here in California.

There are endless possibilities when it comes to seasoning and/or marinating Tri-tip, but this is a quick way to season it for ridiculously good flavor.  What’s most important is to cook the Tri-tip to the desired internal cooking temperature you like and to slice the Tri-tip against the grain.  If you don’t pay attention to how you slice it, it can be really tough and chewy.  I like to cook my Tri-tips to 145 degrees…the perfect medium for the family.

3 pound Tri-tip roast, trimmed
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1-2 tablespoons salt-free BBQ Rub

Season Tri-tip – Coat Tri-tip with a single layer of vegetable oil.  Mix kosher salt and BBQ rub and liberally season Tri-tip.  Refrigerate for at least four hours.

BBQ Tri-tip – Setup up grill for indirect cooking.  Bring the grill to 300-325 degrees. Place Tri-tip on the indirect side of the grill and cook covered until the internal temperature of Tri-tip reaches 130 degrees. Remove lid and sear Tri-tip, two minutes a side, over direct heat, or until the internal temperature of Tri-tip reaches 140-145 degrees.  Remove Tri-tip from the grill, tent with aluminum foil, and allow Tri-tip to rest for 10 minutes.

Carve Tri-tip – Cut Tri-tip, against the grain, in 1/4-1/3 inch slices. Serve with your favorite sides.


  • If possible, purchase only a trimmed USDA Choice or USDA Prime Tri-tip.
  • You must cut Tri-tip against the grain or it will be tough to chew.
  • If you have time, dry brine with kosher salt the night before to allow the salt to penetrate through the meat.
  • If you decide to use a BBQ rub with salt in it, dry-brine with the salt-based rub and skip the Kosher salt.
  • Cook tri-tip on indirect heat until internal temperature is 15 degrees less than the desired temperature.  Finish Tri-tip off by searing over direct heat.

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