Butcher’s Guide: What is a Tri-Tip Steak?

  • by Omaha Steaks
Three raw tri-tip steaks and a knife on butcher's paper
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Tri-tip steak is one of Omaha Steaks butcher’s best kept secrets. This unique steak cut is rich in flavor and naturally lean. It’s been a popular steak in South American steakhouses for decades and is on trend here in the States. And, for good reason. The tri-tip is a versatile steak cut that tastes great on its own or adds incredible flavor to your favorite steak recipes.

What is a Tri-Tip Steak?

The tri-tip is an incredibly flavorful steak with a bold, beefy taste and tender texture. It has dense marbling – the white flecks of fat – that melt into the steak as it cooks. At Omaha Steaks, our beef is aged 21+ days for maximum tenderness and butcher-cut from hand-selected premium beef. We deliver the tenderest tri-tip steak available.

Cutting a Tri-Tip Steak

Tri-tip is cut from the sirloin subprimal. Cuts from the sirloin are known for their rich flavor and are low in fat. The top portion of the sirloin subprimal provides top sirloin steaks and the bottom portion provides the tri-tip.

The tri-tip is approximately 1.5-2.5 pounds from the very bottom tip of the sirloin. The tri-tip muscle is naturally in a triangular shape within the bottom sirloin butt, hence the name ‘tri’. This cut can be served whole as a tri-tip roast or trimmed by master butchers into 5 oz. tri-tip steaks.

Butcher’s Guide: What is a Tri-Tip Steak?

How to Cook a Tri-Tip Steak

A tri-tip steak tastes best when cooked to medium-rare or medium doneness over very high heat. Make sure not to overcook, because it can get tough. Use our steak doneness guide and temperature chart and a meat thermometer to nail your steak doneness.

Cook a tri-tip steak on the grill on high heat using the indirect cooking method and reference our steak cooking chart for estimated grilling times. You can also broil the tri-tip steaks indoors in an oven with great results.

Once cooked to your desired doneness, rest the tri-tip steak 5-10 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute. Then, slice against the grain for the most tender steak experience. Top this lean cut with a compound butter or chimichurri sauce for an incredible steak dinner.

Tri-Tip Steak in Recipes

The tri-tip’s robust beefy flavor and firmer texture adds incredible flavor and bite when added to recipes, like tacos, sandwiches or fajitas. For mouth-watering results try a marinade and marinate two to three hours before you cook. Or, use a simple dry brine to tenderize and season the steak.

No matter how you serve the tri-tip steak, the bold, beefy flavors of this unique steak cut will delight your taste buds.

More Butcher’s Guides:

Butcher’s Guide: What is a Tri-Tip Steak?

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