Timothy Woods
Published by Timothy Woods
Last Updated On: August 17, 2022

Tri-tip steak, named after its triangular shape coming from the tip of sirloin, is deliciously rich in meatiness and lower than most cuts in fat.

It’s essential to maintain its juices and meaty character for optimal flavor.

We have taken tips from grilling experts like Aaron Franklin to give you the best methods of grilling tri-tip steak strips.

Summary of the Key Findings

  • You can grill the tri-tip steak piece and then cut it into strips or grill pre-cut strips.
  • Seasoning and marinating your tri-tip steak before grilling will help enhance the flavor and tenderize the meat.
  • Place the steak on direct heat on the grill and cook it for 5-10 minutes per side (less for thin strips). Leave your tri-tip to rest before slicing.  

The article will guide you on the steps of grilling tri-tip steak and the best way to marinate it, how long to grill it, where to place the steak on the grill, and more.

Is Tri-Tip Steak Strips Good For Grilling?

Raw Tri tip steak strips on white background

Tri-tip steak is undoubtedly one of the best cuts for grilling. That is because it is the ultimate juicy steak.

You can pan-fry or roast it too, but It is easy to grill to perfection! If cooked properly, you can easily cut it with the side of your fork.

It doesn’t require any special skills to prepare and cook, even though it requires an extra step that many other cuts don’t need.

The only additional step is cooking it a little extra on indirect or lowered heat after searing. Anyone can do that without struggle.

The versatility of tri-tip also adds to its rating of top steaks to grill because you can grill it in whole pieces, chunks, and thin strips. Season it well, drop it on the grill, and your meal is ¾ way done!

Marinate Your Tri-Tip Steak Strips Before Grilling

Marinating is an essential step leading to a perfectly grilled tri-tip steak.

The best method of marinating tri-tip is using a binding oil, acidity, sweetness, spiciness, herbs, and basic salt and pepper. You can use any alternatives and additional seasonings of your choice [1].

The marinade helps to tenderize the steak. The meat absorbs the flavors and results in enhanced taste.

The longer you marinate your tri-tip, the better your steak will turn out. Allow a marination time of a minimum of 4 hours to overnight (best).

Heat the Grill/Oven Before Grilling Tri-Tip Steaks Strips

Oven door slightly opened

You don’t want your steak to stand out at room temperature for a long time before grilling.

It will release too much liquid, and you want it to retain juices. It would be best if you preheat your oven or grill before cooking your tri-tip steak strips.

If some juices are already released from the marinade or the marination process, you can separate the steak and keep it aside. Use the liquid for basting during the grilling process.

If your grill is not heated enough, it will not sear or seal the outer layer when placing the meat on the heat.

That will lead to your steak releasing liquid quickly, losing flavorful meat juices, resulting in dry and bland bites.

Don’t worry if it messes up a few times, though, as Aaron Franklin said, “You only learn how to make good BBQ by making bad BBQ.” [2]

Place Tri Strip Steak Strips Over Direct Heat On The Grill

Place your tri-tip strips over direct heat after ensuring your grill is hot enough. That seals the meat, withholding its flavorful juices and giving it a nice sear.

Grill it for around 8-10 minutes on each side for thicker steak, and thinner steaks for only 4-5 minutes. Remove it after searing and sealing, and then follow the next step.

Transfer Tri Trip Steak Strips To Indirect Heat

Tri tip steak on a grill

Now you can transfer your tri-tip steak strips onto indirect heat or lower the heat of your grill or oven before placing the meat back for further cooking.

You can start basting the steak during this process if you choose to.

Basting does help keep your meat from drying out quickly and adds extra flavor, but it is optional.

The indirect heat grilling step is essential for allowing your tri-tip to cook through to the middle without burning the outside and drying the meat.

It is also a fantastic way to keep the steak tender. Your steaks need around 8-10 minutes on indirect heat.

Tri-tip strips that are thinner and already sliced only need about 3-4 minutes on each side, and you don’t necessarily need to do the indirect heat step.

How Long to Grill Tri-Tip Steak Strips

Sliced tri tip grill steak

The timing of grilling is crucial. It can make or break your meal. Not giving sufficient time will not get it to your desired doneness and texture.

Excess time might overcook it or dry the meat making it tough and chewy. Your steak should be at a 130°F internal temperature.

Here is a guide on how long to grill tri-tip steak strips:  

  • For medium-rare – 3-5 minutes
  • For medium – 5-7 minutes
  • For medium-well – 8-10 minutes

The internal temperature of tri-tip steak strips should reach a general 130-135°F and for well-done 150-155°F.

Let Your Tri-Tip Steak Strips Rest Before Slicing

Top view close up image of a tri tip steak

Letting your tri-trip steaks rest before slicing makes all the difference in the kind of texture you get in your bite. It also leads to flavor adjustment.

When grilling, the meat contracts, pulling the juices to the sides so it can release, and if you let your meat rest after grilling it, the juices redistribute to all parts of the meat.

The cooking process from the heat also continues, getting your steak to perfection.

You can cover it in foil and leave it for 15 minutes. After that, slice the tri-tip, serve, and enjoy!

Conclusion

Grilling tri-tip steak strips are pretty straightforward and usually turns out delicious as long as you follow the steps we have mentioned. Marination is key.

Searing is non-negotiable, and ensuring you use the recommended timings will cook your meat to maximum satisfaction!

You can use a Weber Spirit E-330 outdoor grill that includes a sear station for searing.

Remember to let it rest before you dig in!


References: 

  1. https://www.sciencelearn.org.nz/resources/1945-fruit-enzymes-tenderise-meat
  2. https://franklinbbq.com/about

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