How to Grill Tri Tip Steak
Learn how to season, prep, grill, and serve a tri-tip steak by following our step-by-step directions. Kingsford's easy tri-tip recipe is perfect for your next gathering.
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Remove the tough, chewy “silver skin” from the tri-tip. Using a sharp knife, cut just below the skin and work your way across the meat. Next, trim the excess fat down to about an 1/8-inch layer. Tri-tips love advance seasoning. Either marinate the tri-tip or sprinkle on about two to three tablespoons of rub evenly on each side. Place the tri-tip in a plastic bag or large dish and let it refrigerate for several hours or overnight. You can find a selection of rub and marinade recipes for your tri-tip here.
Light a full chimney of Kingsford® Original Charcoal or a pile of about 100 briquets. When the coals are ready, arrange them in a medium-hot [two-zone] fire and place a drip pan next to the coals. Replace the grate, allow it to heat up — all vents should be fully open — then pour cooking oil on a folded paper towel and oil the grate using long-handled tongs.
A great option for tri-tip is adding a bit of smoke taste. If you like, add about two cups of Kingsford® hickory or mesquite wood chips. Be sure to soak the chips for at least 30 minutes in water before spreading on the coals.
Unlike a steak, with tri-tip you’ll want to sear it after grilling to better allow the charcoal-grilled aroma—and smoke flavor if you added wood chips — to penetrate the meat. Place it on the warm side of the grate (not directly over the coals), close the lid, and grill it for about 20 to 30 minutes, then turn it over and repeat. When the tri-tip is close to your desired meat temperature, remove the lid and sear both sides directly over the coals.
Using a meat thermometer, cook the tri-tip to your desired temperature: about 135°F for rare, 140°F for medium rare* (the recommended temperature for optimal taste and texture), and 145°F for medium. Keep in mind that the tri-tip will continue to cook after it’s been removed from the grill—internal temperatures will rise, sometimes by as much as 10° during resting. (
For safe meat preparation, reference the USDA website.
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