Grilled Tri-Tip Steak




Introduction: Grilled Tri-Tip Steak

Ever wondered how to make a great-tasting, delicious-looking, mouth-watering, tri-tip steak for barbecues, dinners, or to enjoy over a nice pint or six? Well, look no further than this Instructable.

If you ever wanted to impress your friends on game day, break bricks with your head, and be an all-out manly grill master who cooks to perfection and does karate at the same time, then you're in luck, my friend, because here is where I show you how(sans karate. I only know the art of kill, not karate).

Step 1: Tools, Spices/marinade, and Skills REQUIRED

First off, you will need some skills:

The skill of using your eyeballs

The skill of owning a grill

The skill of knowing you're awesome

Karate/bow hunting skill/nunchuck skill/bo staff skill (optional)

Tools: Any grill master will already have a sweet personal grilling tool kit, if you don't have one or can't afford to buy one, all you need is a knife, a fork, and some tongs or a really strong spatula when it comes time to flip the meat, and a container to marinate it in. You will also need a grill. Let's review; You will need:

Grilling Tool Kit(optional)



Tongs or Strong Spatula

Container for Marinating


Star Wars "May The Forks Be With You" Apron, or your mom's flowery frilly apron of some other variety

Manly know-how and a mugshot rivaling that of James Dean(absolutely 100% required, no exceptions)

Spices/marinade: I use a homemade seasoning of my own creation that I like to call "Famous Seamus: All Purpose Seasoning", because it goes with, well... everything, because it's an all purpose seasoning. The marinade I use is called "Chaka's Mmm Sauce", but you can use your own favorite steak marinade. Overall, you will need:

Empty Seasoning Container

Seasoning Salt

Garlic Powder

Black Pepper

Cayenne Pepper(optional)

Chaka's Mmm Sauce or other delectable marinade

Step 2: Creating "Famous Seamus: All Purpose Seasoning"

Let me preface this section by saying that if you EVER share this recipe with anyone who is not deemed worthy of being a grill master, then Macho Man Randy Savage will fall from the heavens like an anvil with a righteous elbow to your face before promptly exploding in a fireball of slim jims and cowboy hats.

Ok, now that you know the steaks(Ha! Puns...) of sharing this recipe, we can proceed...

For the "Famous Seamus: All Purpose Seasoning":

One at a time, pour the spices into your empty seasoning container, preferably using a funnel if you have one, if not, then using some of those eyeball skills mentioned earlier. Typically, I pour about 1/4 of an inch of each seasoning into the container. You should be able to see the different layers of spices, each one about 1/4 of an inch thick. NOTE: IF YOU DO NOT LIKE SPICY FOOD THEN DO NOT ADD THE CAYENNE PEPPER!!(If you are truly all that is man, then you will eat the entire jar of cayenne by itself, just for fun) You WILL NOT use all of the seasoning blend on the steak, but it's so delicious that you WILL use it on other foods later, so keep the extra around.

As you can see from the pictures, you SHOULD end up with around a quarter of the container filled if you have one of the tall ones like me.

If you like your seasoning a little spicier, like me, then add in the CAYENNE PEPPER to the mixture as well.

Once you've added all of your seasonings, shake up the container so you get a nice blend of all your spices. WITHOUT the cayenne, your blend should look mainly off-white with a few flecks of pepper. WITH the cayenne pepper, your blend should have a slightly more reddish tint to it(like the one in the picture).

Now that you've created this seasoning, be ready to take this secret recipe to your grave, or else the whole Macho Man Randy Savage thing will happen.

Step 3: Prepping Your Meat

To begin, you must find the perfect cut of meat. Personally, I found a wild bovine and entered into a staring contest to the death with it in order to obtain my cut(I donated the rest of the animal I didn't use to a local charity that supports men who can't cook and don't hold doors open for women). If you blink a lot or don't know where to find wild bovine, don't fret, your local butcher or grocery store should carry a solid cut of tri-tip.

Once you have your tri-tip, throw it on a cutting board and break out your fork. Using your natural instincts, you are going to stab the meat with the fork(with no murderous intentions) 50 times on each side; this is for two reasons:

A) To tenderize the meat.

2) To let the marinade soak all the way into the meat.

Once you have tenderized the meat, add a generous amount of "Famous Seamus: All Purpose Seasoning" to both sides before using your hand to rub it in; this is for 2 reasons:

1) To make sure all of the seasoning is firmly on the meat and not just sitting on top, waiting to fall off.

B) To give you a deeper connection to the animal and become more in touch with your inner self.

Once you have completed the ritual of soulful seasoning, you will put the meat into your container and pour on a healthy amount of marinade. Don't worry about using too much marinade, the more that soaks into the meat, the better. Now, seal your container and throw it in the refrigerator. Let it soak for one hour, then flip it and let it sit for one additional hour. In total, the steak should marinate for 2 hours; this for 2 reasons:

$) To ensure that the marinade soaks all the way through the meat, not just on one side.

*) To let you relax and enjoy a pint or 6 of your favorite beverage, preferably in Das Boot.

Step 4: Prepping Your Grill

Once you have finished your last Das Boot of beverage and the meat has finished marinating, it's time to start prepping your grill.

Turn on your grill to the highest setting. If you are using a charcoal grill(points for manliness), make sure to let the coals set before continuing. Let the grill sit with high heat for about 5 minutes, this will let any extra food particles on the grill char and be easily cleaned off before cooking your steak. If you do not own a grill brush, don't worry, that's just extra flavor. But in all seriousness it probably is a good idea to buy a brush and clean your grill beforehand, you can pick one up from your local dollar store.

Once the grill has been cleaned, turn down the heat to it's lowest settings, or if using charcoal wait for the coals to turn fully grey and allow it to cool off for about 15-20 minutes. In the meantime, enjoy another pint of beverage.

Step 5: Grilling Your Steak to Perfection

Once the grill is prepped and your belly is at capacity from beverage and shaking like a bowl full of jelly, it's time to cook your steak.

With the grill on low heat and the steak marinated, use your tongs or spatula to carefully place the meat onto the grill, away from the flames. This is so your former wild bovine meat does not burn or char on the outside before it cooks through. If this happens, your meat will have a crunchy exterior and raw interior(The most manly way to eat steak, no doubt, but not the preferred method for this particular Instructable).

Let the meat cook slowly for about 2 hours, flipping it every 30 minutes. The flipping is done to ensure that one side does not cook more than the other and to keep boredom at bay and give you a reason not to forget about the delicious meal you are about to enjoy. If you are using a charcoal grill, it may take more than 2 hours. For a propane grill, it may take less.

While the meat is cooking, feel free to practice roundhouse kicks, karate chops, and Road-House-style throat-rips on any nearby oak trees. By the time the steak is done, you should have karate'd the tree down to have enough firewood to supply a village for 3 years and your skills should be such that you are able to single-handedly defend yourself from an entire syndicate of ninjas while battling a horde army of orcs straight from the gates of Mordor.

If you have a meat thermometer, cook the meat until the thickest part is at 135-140 degrees Fahrenheit or 57 degrees Celsius. If you do not own a meat thermometer, check the meat by making a small surgical incision no wider than 1/4 of an inch in the thickest part of your steak, if it is done, the center will be a pink color, but not red. This will give the meat a medium-rare condition. The reason the steak must be taken off once it is medium-rare is because it will continue to cook for a few minutes after you remove it, due to it's high temperature.

Once you have removed the steak from the grill and put it safely on a cutting board, finish fighting off the ninjas and orcs, then turn off your grill or extinguish your coals.

Step 6: Cutting and Serving Your Steak

With the steak on the cutting board, be sure sure to take your knife and carefully cut the steak into thin slices. If you wish to use your new karate skills, feel free to roundhouse kick and/or karate chop your steak into thin slices. This will not only make the meat even more tender than it already is, but it creates more meat to dish out to your guests. Keep in mind, the more you dish out to your guests, the more they will likely be so grateful for the delicious meal that they will forever be indebted to you and will sometime in the future owe you a life-debt.

If you wish, you may eat the entire steak by yourself while enjoying more delicious beverage in Das Boot on your porch and relaxing in an adirondack chair.

Now that your inner beast has been satiated, you can use your new skills to take on Hulk or just to grill more effectively, the choice is yours.

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    7 years ago on Introduction

    Well done... your 'able, not the meat of course. There's a lot of meat cooking 'ables on here recently. I picked up an "easy" tip from a costco employee cooking these all day long. ~20 minutes on a George Forman style grill, cooking both sides at the same time gets one of these done to perfection in record time. Meat thermometer 100% necessary though as 2 minutes either way is the difference between raw and well done. Foil line your grill top and bottom and there's not even a mess to clean up. You lose the open flame, outdoors and or charcoal effect though.

    My last tri-tip was slow cooked in a charcoal smoker using indirect heat and a couple chunks of walnut wood. Took about an hour, came out so perfect it was amazing. I foil wrapped it and let it rest for 10 minutes, then cut into it. Each cut revealed more perfect pink meat with a solid 1/4" smoke ring everyone loves so much. Once I was done cutting though it and placing it back in the foil to rest in it's own juices, nearly all the cut meat had changed from pink to brown. I'm still not sure how that happened, but each piece was still just as soft as pink meat usually is... no knife required.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I'd guess cutting and re-wrapping the meat gave it a second cook from the trapped heat and tint from the juice. Nothing wrong with that, and the re-claimed juice adds flavor.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Looks awesome and I've been using a similar method to grill tri-tip for years. I've recently been experimenting with Santa Maria style grilling of the tri-tip and had very good results. The grill is made hot around 500F and the tri-tip is mopped on top, grilled 4 minutes, then flip and repeat process till an internal temp of 135-140F. It's a lot of work for about 25 minutes, but you'll have dinner fairly fast with well done meat at the ends and medium cuts from the middle to satisfy nearly everyone at the table. The mop mixture is red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, crushed garlic, and cooking oil. The tri-tip will char, which is the style and adds to the taste. I keep a plant mister handy for flair ups on the gas grill due to the oil in the mop mixture (spray the base of the flame, not the meat). I don't think the exact spice/marinade ingredients are as important as the grilling and mopping process. When done, let the tri-tip sit 10-20 minutes so the juices will redistribute and not run as much when cut. Anyway, I really enjoyed your Instructable and thought I'd throw this out there for ya.