In this recipe, Tri Tip is coated in a delicious marinade and then grilled to perfection over an open flame. The Grilled Tri Tip has wonderful beef flavor and slices up tender and juicy. When it comes time to serve you enhance the flavors with a homemade mustard butter. You are going to love this flavor combination and find yourself revisiting this recipe whenever you want to grill a delicious tri tip!
In this post we don’t stop with the recipe… we are sharing all the tips and tricks from trimming your tri tip to slicing it correctly for maximum tenderness. This is the ultimate guide to Grilled Tri Tip.
After you have tried and loved this Grilled Tri Tip recipe, we highly recommend giving this recipe for Braised Tri Tip with Red Wine Glaze a try too!
There are three sections of ingredients to gather to make your Marinated Grilled Tri Tip: the marinade ingredients, the tri tip, and the mustard butter. Everything is made with simple ingredients you either have on hand or can easily grab at the store.
Just three ingredients to make the Mustard Butter; Dijon mustard, softened butter and black pepper.
What Is Tri Tip
Tri Tip, originally called the California Cut, is a cut of beef from the bottom sirloin. It is called the tri tip because it literally has 3 tips, and looks like a triangle.
It is becoming increasingly popular because it is a lean cut of beef that is still super flavorful AND economical.
This cut is traditionally cooked on a grill or smoked. But, we have found that tri tip cooks up beautifully in a braising liquid too.
It has rich beef flavor similar to a chuck roast. It also has beautiful marbling throughout which lends to the buttery flavor.
Trimming A Tri Tip
Unless you purchased your tri tip already trimmed up, it will come with a decently sized fat cap on one side and possibly some silver skin. You will want to remove both of these before marinating and grilling.
With a really sharp knife start at one tip on the tri tip, grab the fat cap and start slicing underneath of it, being careful not to remove much meat with it. Keep peeling and slicing as you move across the tri tip.
That may reveal some silver skin underneath (see the second photo below). That is a little harder to remove. You will want to slip your knife tip between the silver skin and the meat, slide your knife so it removes the silver skin.
This is a great You Tube video showing how to remove the fat cap from a Tr Tip.
Simple Step by Step
- Trim the Tri Tip
- Mix the Marinade
- Coat the Tri Tip & Wrap
- Make the Mustard Butter
- Grill the Tri Tip
- Cut and Serve
Trim the fat cap and silver skin from the tri tip. See the section above for more in depth details.
In a small bowl mix together worcestershire sauce, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, smoked paprika, onion powder, brown sugar, kosher salt and black pepper.
Lay the trimmed tri tip on large sheets of plastic wrap. Slather the wet rub on all sides of the tri tip. Wrap it up completely in the plastic wrap.
Refrigerate for 8 hours up to 24 hours.
Mix together the Dijon mustard, black pepper and softened butter. Pour onto a large sheet of plastic wrap. Form the butter mixture into a log by rolling in the plastic wrap.
Twist the ends to close the wrapping. Refrigerate until needed.
Preheat the grill to high heat. Leave unwrapped tri tip at room temperature for 30 minutes while the grill heats up.
Grill the tri tip over direct heat for 5 minutes, each side, on a covered grill.
Now move the tri tip to the indirect heat side for about 5-10 minutes. You want to remove the tri tip when it reaches 135℉ at it’s thickest point. This is medium rare to medium. Use an instant read thermometer to check temp.
Remove the steak from the grill and top with two pats of the mustard butter. Let it sit at room temp for about 5 minutes.
Slice the tri tip into thin slices against the grain (noting that there are two grain patterns, see section below).
Serve with extra mustard butter slices on the side.
Slicing a Tri Tip For Serving
As always, it is crucial to cut beef against the grain. Doing so ensures the most tender chew on any cut.
Because of where the tri tip is cut from it has two different grains, you will want to take note of this before you grill.
Correctly Cutting a Grilled Tri Tip
Side Dishes for Grilled Tri Tip
You can treat your Grilled Tri Tip just like grilled steak, the same delicious side dishes apply. We love to serve this with a starter of The Perfect Side Salad. Then for side dishes; Steakhouse Mushrooms with Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans, or Crispy Cast Iron Potatoes and Baked Beans.
More Popular Beef Recipes
Marinated Grilled Tri Tip Recipe with Mustard Butter
Marinated Tri Tip
Trim the Tri Tip
- To prepare the tri tip for marinating remove the fat cap and silver skin, unless it is sold already trimmed.
- One side of the tri tip will have a layer of hard fat. With a sharp knife remove as much of the fat as you can without removing much meat.
- If your tri tip has silver skin under the fat cap, a thin membrane that is tough to chew and looks cloudy or slivery (see photo), you will want to remove that as well.Slip the tip of a sharp knife under the silver skin and try to carefully peel it off.
- For a visual watch this You Tube Video on trimming a tri tip.
Tri Tip Marinade
- For the marinade, mix all the wet rub marinade ingredients together in a small bowl.2 Tbsp. worcestershire sauce, 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, 2 large garlic cloves, 1 tsp. smoked paprika, 2 tsp. onion powder, 1 tsp. brown sugar, 1 tsp. kosher salt, 1 tsp. coarse ground black pepper
- Place a few sheets of plastic wrap on the counter (enough to cover the tri tip completely) and place the trimmed tri tip on top.2-3 lb. Beef Tri-Tip
- Generously spread the mixture over all sides of the steaks and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 8 hours up to 24 hours.
Mustard Butter – can be made up to a week ahead
- To make the mustard butter, in a small bowl, combine the softened butter, Dijon mustard and pepper and mash the ingredients together.6 Tbsp. salted butter, 2 Tbsp. dijon mustard, ¼ tsp. black pepper
- Scoop the mixture out onto a sheet of plastic wrap and shape the mixture into a log about 1 inch in diameter.
- Twist the ends of the plastic wrap to form a tightly enclosed cylinder. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Grilling Tri Tip
- When ready to grill, preheat the grill to high heat. Remove the tri tip from the refrigerator and unwrap, allow to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes while the grill heats up.
- Start the tri tip over direct heat for 5 minutes on a covered grill. Then flip and grill the other side for another 5 minutes, on a covered grill.Note: position the tri tip so the smaller point is closer to the indirect heat of the grill. The smaller tip will cook through fast!
- Now move the tri tip to the indirect heat side for about 5-10 minutes (keeping the smaller tip away from the direct heat side of the grill) . You want to remove the tri tip when it reaches 135℉ at it's thickest point. This is medium rare to medium.Use an instant read thermometer to check temp.
- Top the tri tip with 2 large 1 inch slice of the mustard butter. Allow the steaks to rest at room temp for 3-5 minutes while the butter melts over the top of the steak.
Cutting and Serving Tri Tip
- A tri tip has two different directions of grain, and it is crucial to cut the beef against the grain for tenderness!!! This is a great You Tube Video on properly cutting a tri tip for maximum tenderness.
- Showing cutting "against the grain" #1
- Showing "cutting against the grain" #2
- Cut the tri tip into thin slice, and serve with more mustard butter slices on the side.
If nutrition facts are provided they are calculated as an estimate to the best of our knowledge.