What Is a Tri-Tip Steak?
Tri-Tip steak gets its name from its triangular shape and the fact that it is located at the tip of the sirloin. It is a relatively new cut of beef, having only been popularized in the 1950s by Santa Maria barbecue restaurants in California. Today, Tri-Tip steak is enjoyed all over the United States and is becoming increasingly popular in other countries as well.
This steak is a triangular cut of beef from the bottom sirloin subprimal cut, consisting of the tensor fasciae latae muscle. It is a boneless cut, about ¾- to 1-inch thick. It has a good amount of marbling, which helps to keep it juicy and flavorful while cooking.
It is a quality cut of meat because of its rich beef flavor and tender texture that is popular for grilling, roasting, and smoking. Tri-Tip steak is also known as triangle steak, bottom sirloin steak, Santa Maria steak, and Newport steak. Tri-Tip steak is also a good source of protein and iron. Its lower price tag than similar steak cuts adds to its appeal. It is often referred to as a "poor man's brisket" because it has a similar flavor and texture to brisket, but it is less expensive adding to its appeal.
How to Cook Tri-Tip Steak?
This steak is a delicious and versatile cut of beef that can be cooked in a variety of ways. It is best cooked using fast-cooking methods, such as grilling, broiling, or pan-searing. It can also be roasted, but it is important to not overcook it, or it will become tough. Tri-Tip is typically cooked to medium-rare or medium doneness.
Here is a general guide to cook Tri-Tip steak:
- Season the steak. Season the steak on both sides with salt and pepper, or your favorite steak seasoning.
- Choose your cooking method. Tri-Tip steak can be cooked using a variety of methods, but the most popular methods are grilling, broiling, and pan-searing.
- Cook the steak. If grilling or broiling, preheat your grill or broiler to medium-high heat. Cook the steak for 3-4 minutes per side, or until it reaches the desired doneness. If pan-searing, heat a cast iron skillet or other heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat. Add a small amount of oil to the pan, and then sear the steak for 2-3 minutes per side, or until it reaches the desired doneness.
- Rest the steak. Once the steak is cooked to the desired doneness, remove it from the heat and let it rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving. This will allow the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a more tender and juicy steak.
Tri-Tip steak is a delicious and versatile main course that can be served with a variety of sides. Some popular side dishes include:
- Roasted potatoes
- Grilled vegetables
- Garlic bread
- Mashed potatoes
Tri-Tip steak can also be used to make sandwiches, tacos, or burritos.
What Does Tri-Tip Steak Taste Like?
Tri-Tip steak has a rich, beefy flavor with a slightly buttery taste. It is also known for its tender texture, even though it is a lean cut of meat. Tri-Tip steak is often compared to brisket, but it has a slightly different flavor profile.
The taste of Tri-Tip steak can be affected by a number of factors, including the way it is cooked and the seasonings used. However, in general, Tri-Tip steak is a flavorful and versatile cut of meat that can be enjoyed in a variety of ways.
Where to Buy Tri-Tip Steak?
Tri-tip steak is a relatively new cut of meat, so it may not be available at all grocery stores. However, you can find tri-tip steak at the following places:
- Butcher shops: Butcher shops are the best place to find tri-tip steak, as they typically have a wider selection of cuts of meat than grocery stores. Look for a butcher shop that specializes in beef, as they will be more likely to have tri-tip steak in stock.
- Online retailers: You can also purchase tri-tip steak from online retailers such as Snake River Farms, Crowd Cow, and ButcherBox. These retailers typically offer a wider selection of cuts of meat than grocery stores, and they can ship tri-tip steak to your door.
- High-end grocery stores: Some high-end grocery stores, such as Whole Foods Market and Trader Joe's, may carry tri-tip steak. However, it is important to call ahead to check availability, as tri-tip steak is not always in stock.
When choosing a tri-tip steak, look for a steak that is well-marbled with a bright red color. Avoid steaks that are brown or gray in color, as these steaks may be tough.
Storing Tri-Tip Steak
To store tri-tip steak, follow these steps:
- Wrap the steak tightly in plastic wrap or butcher paper. This will help to prevent the steak from drying out.
- Place the wrapped steak in a refrigerator or freezer.
- If storing in the refrigerator, tri-tip steak will last for up to 5 days.
- If storing in the freezer, tri-tip steak will last for up to 6 months.
- To thaw tri-tip steak, place the wrapped steak in the refrigerator overnight. You can also thaw tri-tip steak in a cold water bath. To do this, place the wrapped steak in a bowl of cold water and change the water every 30 minutes. Tri-tip steak should be thawed completely before cooking.