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<strong>The Tri-Tip Roast – Tender, Flavorful, Affordable</strong>

The tri-tip roast is a very tender, juicy cut of beef, yet lean and affordable—the perfect cut for your next barbecue. This roast usually weighs between 1 ½ to 2 pounds and is about 2 inches thick. It gets its name from its triangular shape. It is called a tri-tip because it comes from the point where the sirloin, sirloin tip, and loin cuts intersect.

The tri-tip by any other name is still a tri-tip. In different parts of the country or in different markets it might also be called a sirloin tri-tip, a California roast, a bottom sirloin butt roast, a Newport steak, a Santa Maria steak, or a triangle roast. The tri-tip roast can be cut into steaks, which are called tri-tip steaks.

The history of the tri-tip roast, like most things, is a bit murky. Legend has it that the tri-tip roast originated in the 1950s in a Safeway store in Santa Maria, California. Larry Viegas, a butcher at the store, claimed the store had an excess amount of hamburger, which is typically made from the part of the cow where the tri-tip is located. The store manager, Bob Schutz, not wanting to waste the excess triangular chunk of beef, seasoned it, put it on a rotisserie, and discovered this tender, flavorful marvel. Schutz handed out samples to his customers, who found it delicious. He began marketing this cut as the tri-tip, and it slowly became a California favorite.

Grilled Tri-Tip Roast Serves 4 to 6

The tri-tip has excellent marbling and great flavor provided it is not cooked more than medium rare.

For the marinade: 1 cup vegetable oil ½ cup soy sauce ¼ cup Worcestershire® sauce ½ cup Dijon mustard 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice 2 teaspoons minced garlic 2 teaspoons large grind black pepper

2 pounds tri-tip roast In a large glass baking dish, combine vegetable oil, soy sauce, Worcestershire® sauce, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, garlic, and pepper. Using a sharp fork, pierce tri-tip roast several times to allow the marinade to penetrate into the interior of the roast. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate for 24 hours in the refrigerator, stirring occasionally and turning to coat all sides.

Preheat the grill to medium. Grill over medium coals for 15 to 20 minutes per side, turning and basting frequently with the marinade. Use a meat thermometer to test for doneness; 130 to 135 degrees F for medium rare. Remove the meat from the grill and cover with aluminum foil. Let stand for 15 minutes before slicing.

Tips on slicing a tri-tip roast: Using a carving knife, slice tri-tip roasts across the grain.

Tips on shopping for beef: When shopping, make your meat selection last. Shop with your eyes. Look for bright cherry red meat that does not have brownish blotches. Look for packages that are cold to the touch and tightly wrapped with no tears or punctures. Occasionally packages of meat may have a red liquid. This is not blood. Beef is about three fourths water. This liquid is natural moisture from the beef. Since prices of beef are rising, we don’t want to throw any meat away if it is still edible. Regarding dates on packages: Many stores mark packages with a “Sell-By” date. Beef steaks are good for 3 to 5 days passed the “Sell-By” date. The “Sell-By” date tells the store how long to display the product in the meat case. A “Use-By” date is the last date recommended for use while the product is at its peak. A “Best if Used By/Before” date means the product will be at its best flavor or quality before that date. You can tell if your steaks have passed their prime if they have a bad odor or feel slimy.

Carol Ann

Carol Ann Kates is the award-winning author of cookbook, Secret Recipes from the Corner Market and Insider Grocery Shopping Secrets. She’s an expert in how to shop, select, and store produce for maximizing home cooking outcomes and minimizing time and money spent. As a former supermarket and deli operator, Carol Ann shares grocery-insider wisdom—the same expertise you used to receive when patronizing a mom-and-pop establishment. Contact her at and explore her website,

Copyright 2022 All Rights Reserved Carol Ann Kates

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