Simple Grilled Tri-Tip Steak

simple grilled tri-tip steak

The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Marinate Time: 2 hrs
Total: 2 hrs 25 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
658 Calories
43g Fat
2g Carbs
61g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 658
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 43g 56%
Saturated Fat 1g 7%
Cholesterol 188mg 63%
Sodium 1310mg 57%
Total Carbohydrate 2g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 61g
Vitamin C 1mg 3%
Calcium 57mg 4%
Iron 4mg 23%
Potassium 839mg 18%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This easy tri-tip steak recipe uses a simple but flavorful marinade, followed by a hot-and-fast trip over the grill to seal in the flavors and keep the meat moist and tender. Serve this steak as the main attraction with favorite sides like Santa Maria-style pinquito beans, or in salads, sandwiches, and wraps. If you can't find a tri-tip that weighs 3 pounds, use two or more pieces that will total 3 pounds in weight.

"This cut of beef may be a bit hard to find in certain regions, so I recommend calling your local butcher and ordering it in advance. The marinade, the steak, and the grill are a match made in heaven. The meat is so rich and flavorful. The perfect choice to impress friends." —Diana Andrews

Simple Grilled Tri-Tip Steak/Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 1/2 cup white vinegar

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 3 pounds beef tri-tip steak

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    ingredients to make simple grilled trip-stip steak

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

  2. In a small bowl, combine the white vinegar, vegetable oil, soy sauce, garlic, black pepper, and salt to make the marinade.

    tri tip steak marinade in a bowl

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

  3. Make sure the marinade is mixed well and pour it into a resealable plastic bag. Add tri-tip steak and make sure it is well coated. Using tongs, carefully turn steak over a few times in marinade. Seal bag, and let the steak marinate for 2 to 6 hours, or up to overnight.

    tri-tip steak marinating in a plastic zip bag

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

  4. Prepare a medium (500 F to 600 F) gas or charcoal grill fire. Remove tri-tip steak from marinade and discard the marinade. Place steak on the preheated hot grill.

    Tri-tip steak cooking on a charcoal grill

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

  5. Cook for 12 to 15 minutes, turning once or twice during the cooking process to get an even sear, including holding the sides against the grill for a few minutes to make sure all surfaces are seared. Remove steak once it has reached the desired temperature.

    tri-tip steak cooking on a charcoal grill

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

  6. Rest steak for 5 to 10 minutes. Make sure to tent with aluminum foil if the rest time is longer than 5 minutes or if you are waiting for other items to come off the grill so the meat does not become cold.

    grilled tri-tip steak resting on a sheet pan

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

  7. Slice tri-tip against the grain in thin pieces and serve with your favorite sides.

    sliced grilled tri-tip steak on a wood cutting board

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck


  • Even though tri-tip that is marinated simply is excellent on its own, the meat lends itself well to other flavors and is popular in most cuisines worldwide. For an Asian spin, try sesame-ginger tri-tip or, for a taste of the islands, Jamaican jerk tri-tip fits the bill. Head south of the border for grilled tri-tip steak tacos or try grilled tri-tip in a sandwich with caramelized onion. The uses for tri-tip steak are limited only by your imagination.

More About Tri-Tip Steak

Tri-tip, also known as triangle steak, comes from the bottom sirloin cut of beef. It is often ground up for hamburger meat, but in the 1950s, the tradition of grilling it began in Santa Maria, California.

It is a lower-cost cut of beef that is full of flavor because it has excellent marbling, but it can become tough if you overcook it. You really shouldn't cook it past medium or 150 F, and 145 F is preferred.