Not everyone has access to a smoker or charcoal grill, so gas grilling a tri tip can be a great way to still enjoy this crowd pleasing cut of beef! This tutorial will walk you through the prep, reverse searing, searing, and slicing your tri tip to perfection!
If you’re not from the west coast, then chances are you may have never heard of a tri tip. Tri tip is a unique cut of muscle that is found near the back of the cow in the bottom sirloin area and is fairly lean.
This recipe is great for reverse searing (and I love a reverse sear with lean cuts like I did with this coffee rubbed rack of lamb) because it locks in the juice, allows for better time and temperature control, and makes one heck of a meal.
This recipe features a spicier black pepper crusted tri tip. A nice, flavorful rub is a good way to go for this cut of meat because it helps add some flavor and heat to meat. Tri tips are great for serving a family and planning on some leftovers, serving a larger crowd, or making this just because it’s delicious.
Get all the helpful grilling tips and techniques below on to make the perfect gas grilled tri-tip!
- Boning Knife
- Mixing Bowl and Whisk
- Measuring Spoons
- Small Baking Sheet
- Small Baking Rack
- Meat Thermometer
If you want to feel confident on the grill when it comes to cooking a tri tip, then it’s best to read through this post below and get acquainted with this process. Overall, it’s an easy cook but there are some important things you need to know!
How to prepare the tri tip for grilling:
I live in the Chicago area and I had to pre-order my tri-tip cuts from my local grocery store. These are awesome cuts and worth the work to plan ahead because they are fairly affordable and yield a large quantity of meat. Plus, it’s a shorter cook and works great for those of you who only have gas grills!
Though a good smoked tri tip roast is a great way to go, I wanted to create a flavorful recipe for anyone with any type of grill. My tri tip came pretty well trimmed from the butcher, but if you see and silver skin remaining on your cut of meat, remove with a boning knife.
Before adding a dry rub to any type of protein, it’s important to always remove the excess moisture. Moisture encourages steaming and could also impact how well your rub adheres to the meat. Use a paper towel and dry it off nicely!
Next, you need a binder! This is the “glue” that adheres the rub to your meat. For this cook I used horseradish because I thought it would pair nicely with the black peppercorn rub. Other binders could be:
- Hot Sauce
- Worcestershire Sauce
- Olive Oil
Lightly coat the entire cut of meat. Combine your rub ingredients (or use a pre-made rub) and evenly coat the bottom first, then the top. Allow it to rest for 10-15 minutes while you set up your gas grill for indirect heat.
Reverse searing a tri tip on a propane grill:
While the meat rests, set up your grill for indirect and direct heat (aka two zone cooking). I prefer to heat only one burner on my grill (direct) and leave the remaining two burners off (indirect). Preheat your grill to around 300 degrees for this reverse sear.
I place my tri tip on a foil lined baking sheet and rest a cooking rack over the top. This allows heat and air to pass under the tri tip, but prevents juices from dripping off and making a mess over my grill grates (juices going over a burner with no direct flame is not so great for clean up).
Place the whole pan with the meat on top onto the cooler, indirect side of the grill. Allow it to cook until it reaches an internal temperature of about 115 degrees. If you’re going for a nice, medium rare then this is a good temperature to pull it at. The reverse sear process for this should take roughly 30 minutes or so depending on the size of your tri tip.
Finishing with a direct sear:
Always use a meat thermometer to check your internal temp for accuracy. Once it hits your target temperature, remove it from the heat and let it rests briefly while you prepare the grill for direct heat.
In order to get a nice sear, I like to bring my grill up to a temperature that is over 600 degrees. This helps to prevent the meat from steaming and gives us those nice sear marks from the hot grill grates. Lightly oil the grates if needed (helps prevent all that yummy rub from sticking too) and sear each side for a minute or so and flip until your internal temperature hits around 120-125 degrees.
Remove it from the grill and place on a pan or a cutting board and tent with foil. Allow the meat to rest at least 10 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute through the meat!
How to slice a tri tip:
There is 100% a right way to slice a tri tip and it’s important to make note of this before cutting into it! Tri tip can be tough if not slice correctly and needs to be divided first as well. This is because with this particular cut, you will find two sets of grains on the muscle.
Here are the steps you should follow:
- Identify where on the cut you see the lines of the meat going into two separate directions. Typically one side is slightly longer than the other but its about halfway through the cut for reference.
- Cut the meat into two slices where you see this divide.
- Cut each piece individually and slice against the grain for maximum tenderness!
Ways to eat and serve your tri tip:
I love eating as is, sliced thin and paired with some delicious smoked cauliflower mac and cheese or with this grilled yellow squash with bacon and blue cheese! However, there are other great ways to use such a large amount of meat and enjoy being creative.
If you’re looking for fun low carb ways to enjoy this dish try:
- Try it with my Keto tortillas and make tacos or in a keto flauta
- Make a (chaffle) sandwich and pile on the arugula, tomato, and some onion too
- Put over tortilla chips or over pork rinds (low carb) for a delicious nacho appetizer
I hope you enjoy this easy break down of the perfect reverse sear for a tri tip on your gas grill. Follow similar steps for preparing on a charcoal or pellet grill too. Be sure to catch me over on Instagram and view my highlight section for a full break down of this cook.
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Love to gas grill? Check out these fan favorites:
How To Reverse Sear a Tri Tip on a Gas Grill
- 1, 2-3 lb Tri Tip trimmed
- Binder of Choice see post above
- Spice Rub of Choice see post above
- Prep your tri tip and trim off any silver skin if needed. Pat the meat dry and apply a binder very thinly all over the entire cut, top to bottom. Add your proffered seasoning over the bottom first in an even layer and then over the top.
- Place the tri tip on a foil lined baking sheet on a cooling rack (so air gets under it) and let it rest so rthe rub can set. While the rub is setting, preheat your grill to 300 degrees and set it for two zone cooking (direct and indirect heat). See more details in the post above for cooking indirectly for a reverse sear.
- Place the baking sheet with the tri tip on the indirect side of the grill and cook until you reach an internal temperature of 110-115 degrees. Remove when you hit this temperature and preheat the direct side to at least 600 degrees.
- Sear each side of the tri tip for a minute or so, flipping until you reach a medium rare of 120-125 degrees (there will be some continued cooking even after pulling of the grill so plan for this). Set the tri tip on a cutting board and tent with foil and let it rest 5-10 minutes.
- Looking at your tri tip cut, identify where on the meat the grain lines intersect (around halfway) and divide the meat in two. Slice each piece individually in thin pieces against the grain to achieve maximum tenderness! Serve with your favorite sides or make this epic tri tip sandwich.