Scott’s Slow Oven-Roasted Tri-Tip

The most popular recipe on ScottsKitchen.com has been my 2005 recipe for oven roasted tri-tip roast. I’ve made tri-tips with that recipe dozens of times (or so it seems!).

More recently, I’ve re-discovered the tenderness benefits of slow roasting beef. There’s another recipe here (2009 Recession-Era Slow-Roasted Roast Beef) that demonstrates that technique. Turns out that technique is used by deli’s to make their roast beef for slicing and sandwiches. It both minimizes the weight loss from cooking the beef plus it allowed cheaper cuts of beef to be used as well.

Turns out that slow roasting can be useful with tri-tip roasts as well. My version using this process follows below. Give it a try and let me know how it works for you!

Ingredients

  • 2.5 to 3 lb tri-tip roast
  • 2 Tbs olive oil or other cooking oil
  • Plenty of salt and fresh ground pepper

Directions

  1. About 30 minutes ahead of time, bring the tri-tip out of the oven to allow it to begin warming.
  2. About 15 minutes ahead of time, pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil or other cooking oil to a large, heavy ovenproof pan. Heat pan on high.
  4. When the pan is very hot, add the tri-tip, fat side down. Turn heat to medium-high and sear roast for about 4 minutes. Turn the roast and put the pan with the tri-tip into the oven.
  5. Immediately turn the oven down to 225 degrees. Cook roast for about 15 minutes a pound, checking with an instant-read thermometer after 30 minutes. When it reaches 130 degrees it’s medium-rare and time to take the pan out of the oven.
  6. Remove tri-tip to cutting board. Wrap tri-tip in aluminum foil and leave for 10-15 minutes to allow the juices to settle.
  7. Remove tri-tip from the foil and thinly slice it against the grain (in other words, across the grain). Serve on a platter – BBQ sauce or steak sauce totally optional.

(Added: December 17, 2019)

A Perfect July 4th Tri-Tip BBQ

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Are you planning a July 4th BBQ get together with family and friends this year? If so, the perfect BBQ treat is a tasty, well seasoned tri-tip roast – and you’ll find the preparation and cooking to be super easy:

Either way, you’ll end up with a perfect BBQ treat that your friends and family will really enjoy. Be sure to season the tri-tip well an hour or so in advance. I prefer just kosher salt, coarse ground pepper and a bit of Montreal steak seasoning.

Mix in a few burgers, sausages and hot dogs on the grill for the kids and you’ve got everybody covered!

Have a wonderful 4th of July!

How to Cook: Easy Tri-Tip Roast on the Gas Grill

Here’s last night’s Tri-Tip finishing grilling on the gas grill. So simple to do!

This was a 2 lb tri-tip roast (smallish as they go) that we cooked on a gas grill last night.

Seasoned ahead of time with lots of kosher salt, lots of ground pepper, and a touch of Montreal steak seasoning

Fired up the grill to preheat for 15 minutes, then 7 minutes per side over the direct burners followed by 20 minutes with the fatty side up.

Let rest for 5-10 minutes wrapped in foil before slicing against the grain Turned out perfect!

This would be perfect for your 4th of July BBQ!

Easy Oven Roasted Tri-Tips for Super Bowl Sunday

Scott’s Lazy-S Oven Roasted Tri-Tip

Looking for a super easy but delicious treat for your Super Bowl Sunday get together? One of my all-time favorites is my ‘Lazy-S’ Easy Oven-Roasted Tri-Tips recipe first posted here back in 2005.

Whenever we’re having a group get together, this is one of my favorite meats to serve. It’s easy to prepare and cook – less than an hour – and tastes great warm and cool. It’s perfect to put out on a buffet table where guests can come back for me – and they will!

The recipe includes a seasoning step the day before – but that’s optional. If you don’t have that much advance time, just season the tri-tip when you bring it home from the store on Super Bowl Sunday and you’ll be good to go.

Enjoy your Super Bowl – and I hope you share a great tri-tip this year to go along with it!

Summertime Tri-Tip on the Weber BBQ

My son and family stopped by this afternoon following today’s Sunset Celebration Weekend and we did just what we did last year – grilled a couple of tri-tips on our Weber charcoal BBQ. Turns out, we did just about the same thing last year! With the unusually wet and cool spring we’ve had in northern California this year, today was literally the first time we pulled the cover off the Weber to grill something!

I picked up two plain tri-tips earlier today from Bianchini’s Market in Portola Valley. The first we seasoned with Tom Douglas’ All Purpose Smoky Barbeque Rub – picked up this morning from Tom’s booth at the Sunset event. The second we seasoned with rock salt – with a healthy dose of fresh ground Penzey’s Special Extra Bold™ Black Peppercorns on both. We seasoned the tri-tips about 5 hours before we started grilling and put them back in the ‘frig.

Like last year, I used Lazzari Mesquite Charcoal – which burns hotter than briquets, cooks to tri-tips faster and adds a very nice charcoal cooked flavor to the meat. Once lit in the chimney lighter, spread the coals all to one side of the Weber – that’s going to be the direct heat side.

I seared the roasts over direct heat 5-7 mins per side (to a bit of nice char) and then cooked them on the indirect heat side for another 20-25 minutes until they reached an internal temperature of 130 degrees. Once they’re at that temp, wrap them in foil and let them sit for at least 15 minutes to let the juices re-enter the meat. Then slice thinly across the grain and serve – preferably with an nice accompanying BBQ sauce. I had also picked up a jar of Tom Douglas’ Ancho & Molasses Barbecue Sauce this morning at Sunset – and it was a perfect accompaniment to the tri-tip!

We also grilled some veggies to accompany the roasts – including corn on the cob, onions, baby bok choy, zucchini and bell pepper. We cooked the veggies mostly over direct heat – taking care not to let them burn – while the tri-tips were cooking on the other side of the grill.

A great meal and first time BBQ of the season!

A Whole New Approach to Tri-Tip!

A few weeks ago, I noted Mark Bittman’s alternative approach to cooking a great tri-tip steak. Tonight, we made Mark’s recipe – with (naturally) our own tweaks. The result – steak and a modified Remesco sauce – was outstanding!

I followed Mark’s recipe with respect to the tri-tip itself – cooking it 5 minutes over very high heat in a cast iron skillet – followed by putting the cast iron skillet into a very hot (450+ degrees) oven for (in our case) about 15 minutes (our oven peaks at 450 – not 500 degrees). The key is watching the tri-tip to reach 125 degrees internal temperature.

While grilling the tri-tip in the skillet, I also cooked the small plum tomatoes in the other half of the skillet. The tomatoes got nicely soft and a bit roasted. I took the tomatoes out of the skillet just before flipping the tri-tip as I was putting the tri-tip in the skillet into the high-heat oven.

The tomatoes went into another pan – along with some slivered almonds, some minced garlic, a healthy amount of olive oil and – a few minutes later – a few tablespoons of sherry wine vinegar. While the tri-tip finished cooking and resting for 5 minutes, the sauce simmered – developing an amazing flavor.

As usual, I sliced the tri-tip against the grain and smothered the slices on the serving plates with the sauce. Wow – what a great combination of flavors! With this technique, I avoided using a food processor and was able to use simpler ingredients (sliced almonds, minced garlic) to produce an amazing result! Thanks to Mark Bittman and his recipe for his suggestions on this Romesco sauce – the flavors are superb – and a great accompaniment to tri-tip!

Another Approach to Tri-Tip – with Romesco Sauce

Our ‘Lazy-S’ Easy Oven-Roasted Tri-Tip recipe is among the most viewed recipes here in Scott’s Kitchen. Tri-tip makes a great meal (and wonderful leftovers for use over salad, on sandwiches, etc.) Depending on the time of year, you can easily oven-roast them or, when it’s BBQ season, cook them on the Weber. Either way, they turn out great!

Here’s a different approach to tri-tip (with a romesco sauce addition) by Mark Bittman who writes The Minimalist column for the New York Times. Bittman’s technique involves pan searing the tri-tip (along with the ingredients for the romesco sauce) in a cast-iron skillet followed by finishing the tri-tip in a 500 degree oven. Here’s his column about tri-tips, his recipe, and a 5-minute video showing him preparing it.

Bittman says that it can be hard to find tri-tips in New York – a problem we certainly don’t have out here in California – where the tri-tip is a very popular cut of beef!

Scott’s ‘Lazy-S’ Easy Oven-Roasted Tri-Tips

Scott’s Lazy-S Oven Roasted Tri-Tip

Update (12/18/19): I’ve added a slow-roasted version of this recipe which makes especially delicious and tender tri-tip! If you’re making tri-tip for the holidays, try this new slow-roasted version for a special treat!

For our large Christmas Eve family get togethers, we like to serve main course meat entrees that are really easy to eat in a buffet style setting – without formal sit down dinner place settings for every guest. Most of our guests will be eating with their plate in their lap, so something lovely like a slow-roasted prime rib just won’t do.

We’ve settled on serving a combination of honey baked ham, just heated to room temperature in a 450 degree oven for little more than 5 minutes, and beef tri-tip roasts. The ham is super easy to prepare, comes basically pre-sliced (spiral cut) and preparation literally requires unwrapping it, putting it briefly in the oven to warm and then choosing which serving platter to use to present it! A couple of choices in gourmet mustards to accompany the ham and that half of the main course is ready to go!

For the tri-tips, we usually get three of them and try different rubs/marinades. My Dad particularly likes his beef plain – so one of the tri-tips will always just be salt and pepper rubbed. The others get a bit more exotic! But the rub’s not the point – the easy preparation in the oven is what these tri-tips are all about.

Doing the tri-tips in the oven sacrifices a bit of the smoky flavor from the Weber BBQ version — but the super-easy preparation and not having guests following me out onto the patio!) makes the oven version perfect for winter-time cooking and entertaining. But you’ll want to do the rubs (or marinades) enough in advance to ensure the beef ends up being very flavorful.

I call these my “Lazy-S” tri-tips – Lazy-S for Lazy Scott! Note: As I’m writing this, it strikes me that beef short ribs might just be another great holiday buffet dish. I mean the kind that have already fallen off the bone after hours of braising! I’ll have to experiment with that sometime – although on a day when I’ve got the energy and dedication required to tend short ribs much of the day!

[June 2008 Update: Looking to BBQ your tri-tip instead of roasting it in the over? See my latest, field-tested (!) recipe for grilling tri-tip on a Weber charcoal BBQ!]

[Christmas 2008 Update: We’ll be making our easy oven-roasted tri-tips again this year for our family Christmas Eve dinner!]

Directions

  1. After breakfast on the day you’re entertaining, prepare the tri-tip using whatever rub or marinade you prefer. I like to use coarse sea salt (applied heavily) along with whatever rub I’ve chose. For the plain version my Dad prefers, it’s just the coarse seal salt and some fresh ground pepper. After rubbing/marinading, put each tri-tip into a large Ziplock-style plastic bag, remove as much air as possible, seal it, and put it back in the refrigerator. Have a nice day!
  2. When you’re ready to cook, here’s the drill. Allow an hour from this point to serving.
  3. Take the tri-tips out of the refrigerator and their Ziplock bags and begin letting them warm to room temperature. Place the tri-tips into a suitable oven roasting pan (I prefer to use Pyrex baking dishes because they clean up so readily!) Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  4. When the oven’s warmed up to 450 degrees, put the roasts into the oven and roast for 10 minutes at 450 degrees.
  5. Open the oven and cover the tri-tips with aluminum foil. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees and roast for 15 minutes.
  6. Open the oven and remove the foil. Continue roasting at 350 degrees for a final 15 minutes.
  7. At this point, the meat has roasted for a total of 40 minutes and should be just right for medium-rare — but you can’t serve it yet. Remove the tri-tips from the oven and re-cover with foil. Let them sit for 15 minutes outside the oven.
  8. Now they’re ready! At 55 minutes from when you started, remove the foil, place a tri-tip on a cutting board and slice 1/4 inch slices diagonally across the grain. Each slice will end up being 1-4 inches in length. Serve on a platter with accompanying sauces – BBQ sauce, steak sauce are good to have along side.That’s it. Enjoy! Serve with a side of Perfect Roasted Potatoes for a special treat! (Note that a second oven may be required for their combined preparation because of the temperature gymnastics used in both recipes!)

(Added: December 26, 2005)