Easy Tri-Tip (Oven or BBQ)

6 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Marinate 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 25 minutes

The easiest recipe for juicy, flavorful Tri-Tip made on the grill or oven-roasted! Marinated overnight in seasonings and olive oil rub.

Classic Prime Rib is a great classic Dinner Recipe for special occasions during the winter and fall, just like the Oven-Baked Salmon or BBQ Beef Short Ribs. These are the only easy summer crowd pleasing meals you’ll need!

Easy Tri-Tip on plate with coleslaw and beans

Tri-Tip Steak is an easy to prepare cut of meat with no need to trim or cut it down. You want to leave the fat as-is to lock in the natural juices and flavor while it slow roasts. The marinade also keeps this roast tender and allows the seasoning and oil to absorb in the the fat. Along with flavor, the fat from the olive oil melds with the natural fat to give you extra juicy, melt-in-your-mouth steak.

If this is your first time making Tri-Tip, the most important thing to know is where and how to buy Tri-Tip. You aren’t likely to find a whole Tri-Tip sirloin on a grocery store case. Some grocery butchers will have it in the back, but your best bet is to go to a local butcher. We included a buying guide in this post so you can buy Tri-Tip with confidence!

Another popular way to cook Beef Tri-Tip Roast is to use a dry rub, like they do in Santa Maria, CA. Santa Maria style Tri-Tip is what really brought this steak to the mainstream and its a great way to prepare Tri-Tip if you don’t have time to marinate it overnight. Check out our Santa Maria dry rub in FAQ.

No matter how you prepare this Tri-Tip steak, it’s sure to be juicy and tender, the perfect summer barbecue dinner. Serve sliced Tri-Tip with your favorite BBQ sides like Baked Beans and Mac and Cheese. Leftovers make great sandwiches, especially smothered with Homemade BBQ Sauce and topped with Coleslaw!

Easy Tri-Tip collage of marinade steps

How to Make Tri-Tip Roast

From how to buy Tri-Tip to how to carve Tri-Tip, we have all the tips and tricks you need to easily make the most flavorful Tri-Tip Roast you’ve ever had. The best news it that Tri-Tip is a very forgiving cut of meat. Rest easy (while your steak is resting) knowing your roast will be crowd pleasing perfection whether it’s oven-roasted or grilled, even if you missed a tip or two.

  • Step One: Marinade the meat with your steak seasoning and oil, overnight is best to really get the flavor into the meat.
  • Step Two: Sear the room temperature meat on both sides to lock in the juices and flavors. Flip meat every 4 minutes or so. 
  • Step Three: Cook covered in the oven in the amount of 10 minutes per pound of meat (e.g. 2lbs=20 minutes). If it’s on the gas grill, keep one half on medium-high heat and let the tri-tip cook on the other half where there are not flames. Let it cook with the lid on. Give it 10 minutes of cooking time for each pound of meat. 
  • Step Four: Give it a good dusting of kosher salt (optional) and let the meat sit for about 10-15 minutes without any heat. This lets it relax and you’ll be eating juicy steak in no time!  

Side Dish Recipes for Easy Tri-Tip

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you make Santa Maria Tri-Tip Rub?

Use the spices and brown sugar in this recipe along with dried rosemary and oregano to make a Santa Maria dry rub. Leave out the oil and rub the dry mixture all over the roast before allowing to rest for 30 minutes.

Does Chimichurri sauce go well with Tri-Tip?

Absolutely! Serve Tri-Tip with Chimichurri Sauce or use it as a marinade! This garlicky cilantro-parsley sauce is a staple in South and Central America, and one bite of it on any steak will make you a true believer in it.

What cuts of meat can be used in place of Tri-Tip?

If you are having trouble finding Tri-Tip Roast, you can use London broil or a thick, well-marbled sirloin steak. The cooking times will be similar, just be sure to check for the internal temperature of 145 degrees.

What is silver skin? 

Some cuts of meat have a thin layer of connective tissue that is incredibly tough to chew and doesn’t cook down, even with high heat. It’s not pleasant to try to eat and should be removed before eating. Some untrimmed tri-tip will have this silver skin and a nice layer of fat around one edge. We recommend trimming the silver skin and proceed cooking with the fat to help it stay nice and juicy!

Easy Tri-Tip collage of cooking steps

Key Ingredients in Tri-Tip

  • Tri-Tip: This prized cut of meat comes from the bottom sirloin section of a cow, which is located towards the rump and just off the back leg. 
  • Seasoning: We are using both garlic powder and minced dried garlic along with brown sugar and other seasonings to bring a lot of flavor to our steak. If you have a premade steak seasoning, feel free to use that too! 
  • Oil: The type of vegetable oil we are using olive oil for our meat here is olive oil as it gives a nice flavor.
Easy Tri-Tip on plate with coleslaw and beans being cut

How To Carve a Tri-Tip Roast 

You want to slice Tri-Tip against the grain. The easiest way to determine the “grain” of the meat is the direction the fat and cut opposite to the fat. Your roast may have fat that changes direction near the middle. To make slicing easier, cut roast in half where fat changes direction and cut each half in thin slices against the grain.

How To Buy Tri-Tip Roast

  • Ask For It – The most important thing in buying a Tri-Tip Roast is to ask for it! Ask the butcher for a “well-marbled Tri-Tip Roast.” They may also call it bottom sirloin, triangle roast, triangle tip roast, triangle steak, or California cut.
  • Inspect It – The roast should be triangle-shaped, and about the same thickness end to end. A prime cut will have a thick fat membrane on one end and fat ribboned through both sides. 
  • Shop Local – Visit a local butcher, if possible, for a “prime cut” of beef. Local butcher cuts of meat have more fat and are well-marbled, meaning your roast is going to be packed with natural flavor.
  • Grocery Stores – The better the grocery store, the better the cut of Tri-Tip you are going to get. Discount grocery stores, if they have it, are going to have lean cut Tri-Tip that will cook much faster and shrink. Stick to the high end grocery stores for a better marbled roast.

More Mouthwatering Main Dishes

How to Store Easy Tri-Tip

  • Serve: Allow Tri-Tip to rest at least 10 minutes before slicing. Cooked Tri-Tip Roast can be at room temperature for up to 2 hours before it should be cooled and stored. 
  • Store: Place sliced Tri-Tip in a plastic storage bag or airtight container and refrigerate up to 3 days. Enjoy leftovers cold or reheat in the microwave in 30 seconds bursts so it doesn’t overcook.
  • Freeze: Once cooled, place Tri-Tip slices in a sealed container or freezer safe bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating in the microwave or serving cold.
Easy Tri-Tip on plate with coleslaw and beans

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Easy Tri-Tip Roast

The easiest recipe for juicy, flavorful Tri-Tip made on the grill or oven-roasted! Marinated overnight in seasonings and olive oil rub.
Yield 6 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 25 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 1 tablespoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons garlic , dried, minced
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 pounds tri-tip roast



  • In a large bowl mix together the garlic salt, black pepper, brown sugar, dried minced garlic, onion powder, cayenne pepper and vegetable oil.
  • Add the tri-tip roast, coat well and cover with saran wrap.
  • Marinate for a minimum of 2 hours, or up to overnight.

Oven-Roasted Tri-Tip

  • Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees and add tri-tip to a large skillet on high heat.
  • Sear the tri-tip on both sides until browned.
  • Move tri-tip to roasting pan.
  • Cook in the oven for 10 minutes per pound.
  • Remove and tent roast with foil.
  • Let meat rest 10 minutes (covered with foil), before slicing against the grain to serve.

Grilled Tri-Tip

  • Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking.
  • Preheat grill to high heat and season with an oiled brush.
  • Sear well on each side for 3-4 minutes.
  • Turn off heat on half the grill and leave meat on the side the heat is off (you’ll be cooking on indirect heat).
  • Cook, covered, for 10 minutes per pound.
  • Transfer meat to a large foil pan, cover with foil and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing against the grain.



Calories: 447kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 47g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 147mg | Sodium: 1284mg | Potassium: 735mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 69IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 59mg | Iron: 3mg
Easy Tri-Tip (Oven or BBQ) pin 1

Photos used in a previous version of this post.

Easy Tri Tip Collage
Cross section of Tri-Tip
Tri-Tip in roasting pan before roasting
Tri-Tip after roasting
Sliced Tri-Tip after roasting
Easy Tri-Tip collage

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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  1. Followed the recipe exactly and it was perfect! Absolutely delicious! I will be making this again.

  2. I surprised my Husband and made this steak for him, so he wouldn’t have to grill it when he got home. And he loved it, and it was perfectly cooked and a new thing for me! So thank you for your detailed instructions. They helped a lot.

  3. I let it marinate overnight and cooked it in the oven. So flavorful and juicy! My boys are already asking when we can have it again. 🙂

  4. Wow! This was delicious! And so easy! I made it tonight according to the recipe except I had no dried garlic so I used fresh. Took a chance that the fresh garlic might burn, but it was just fine! I had a 2 lb tri-tip roast and seared it in my cast iron skillet, then put the skillet right into the oven. Cooked it for 20 mins, checked the temp and it was rare. I cooked it about 6 more minutes and it was perfect. My family loved it! I will definitely be making this again!!

  5. If you cook a tri tip roast until well done, or almost well done, will it be tough? My husband likes his roast and steak well done, but my son and I prefer it to be medium (cooked but red in the middle, whatever that is). I have a three lb. tri tip and am in a dilemma about how to please everyone. Son and I will eat well done meat, but don’t want it to be tough. All I can think of is to cut some of it off at the point where we like it, and roast the rest longer for my husband. Can you cook it in a slow cooker and have it well done but tender?

    1. I haven’t tested it in the slow cooker so I can’t speak to that, I would do as you suggested, cook to your preferred temperature first then finish cooking for your husband. It won’t be tender well done, so I would keep a piece in the oven just for him.

  6. Is there some reason you didn’t post my comment? Maybe you haven’t seen it yet?
    Or: I realize that I only gave you 3 stars, so maybe you didn’t want to lower your overall rating?

    My question is how long should you cook it if it’s only one or two pounds? You said 10 minutes per pound, but it came out half raw…
    You do NOT need to post this, but please either post my other one or could you answer me by email?

    1. I am so sorry, I am just seeing this tonight. I am sure the recipe has long been cooked/or not but I still want to try to help.

      I don’t change/omit ratings, but we get about 100 comments a day and sometimes comments get lost. I am happy to post this, and would love to help. How big was your tri-tip? I’ve never had a 1 pound tri-tip so perhaps the timing is off. I would love to hear more about this. Sorry for the delay!

  7. Although the seasoning was great, I followed the recipe exactly and it was totally RAW in the middle. I’m guessing that 10 minutes per pound doesn’t apply when it’s only 1 pound.

    It was only for me, and I like it rare, so ate what I could. Will finish cooking it tomorrow. And I’ll use a meat thermometer.

  8. This tri tip was amazing, super juicy and tender. I served it with roasted potatoes and veggies and it made for the best family dinner.