Slice and Dice: How to Cut Tri-Tip Perfectly Every Time

How to cut tri tip? Are you ready to take your tri-tip game to the next level? If so, then you need to learn how to cut it right. Whether you’re a novice cook or an experienced chef, knowing how to properly slice the perfect tri tip can really elevate your dish and make it special.

With this essential technique in your back pocket, there’s no reason not even a piece of beef should stand between you and success in the kitchen! In this blog post, we’ll explain exactly why good tri tip slicing is key for a great plate every time – get ready for drool-worthy dishes that will impress family and friends alike!

What Is a Tri-Tip?

Before we dive into the art of cutting tri-tip, let’s quickly review what it is. Tri-tip is a triangular cut of beef from the bottom sirloin primal cut and is usually around 1-2 pounds in size.

It has a thick layer of fat running along one side, giving the meat its distinctive flavor when cooked properly. It’s often used in barbacoa, and other slow-cooked recipes, as well as grilling and roasting.

how to cut tri-tip

Why is it important to cut tri-tip properly?

Learning how to cut a tri-tip just right can really make the difference between an average dish and an amazing one. When you’re slicing your meat correctly, you’re ensuring that the fat and connective tissue stays in place – which will help to keep it juicy.

You also want to make sure that your slices are of equal thickness so they cook evenly.


Finally, slicing the tri-tip properly makes it easier to portion out your meal, whether you’re cooking for one or a crowd.

Why Is Cutting Tri-Tip a Challenge?

Tri-tip steak is something of a culinary mystery – the distinct pattern only reveals itself when you get up close and personal with this piece of beef. And it is this investigation that makes cutting a tri tip challenging.

Upon observation in their raw or cooked form, one will notice half have vertical fibers and another with long muscle fibers coming at an angle intersecting each other.

If you want to wow your guests at dinner time, take some extra care in separating them for two unique slicing experiences. A little detective work goes a long way here.

Once it’s been dissected, cut into perpendicularly against each grain direction for an impressive show.

Another challenge with cutting a tri-tip is that it’s easy to get the slices too thin or too thick, which can affect your dish’s flavor and texture. The fat layer also makes it a bit trickier to slice evenly since you need to be careful not to cut through it.

What Exactly Is Meat Grain?

Before you get started, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the concept of ‘meat grain’. The meat grain is the direction in which the muscles run, and it looks like long lines running down your tri-tip. Knowing how to identify these lines is important for getting even slices of meat. It’s also important to remember that you want to slice against the grain – meaning in the opposite direction of where the muscles run.

How to Cut Tri-Tip Like a Pro

Tools needed to cut tri tip

Before you start slicing, it’s important to make sure that you have the right tools. You’ll need:

  • A sharp knife
  • A cutting board

Depending on the size of your tri-tip, you may also want to use a pair of kitchen shears to help cut through thicker sections of fat.

Step-by-step guide

Now that you know why it’s important to get your slicing technique just right, let’s talk about the steps. Here’s how you can cut tri-tip with precision and finesse:

  1. Start by trimming the fat. Use a sharp knife to trim away any excess fat from the edges of the tri-tip.
  2. Find the point where the two grains overlap, then cut vertically, roughly dividing the roast in half. It should be longer on one side than the other.
  3. Examine the grain of each fragment of the cut tri-tip.;
  4. Next, use your sharpened blade to slice against the grain of the meat itself. Slice each half by making a perpendicular cut to the grain. This will help keep it tender and juicy after cooking!
  5. Slice into equal thickness pieces. Make sure that each piece of tri-tip you cut is the same thickness – this will ensure that all pieces cook evenly.

For detail, check out this video:

How to Slice Meat in General

If you’re looking for a more general guide to slicing meat, here are some tips that will help you achieve perfect results every time.

  1. Start by freezer-proofing your meat. This means placing it in the freezer for 15 minutes before cutting. This will make it much easier to slice through!
  2. Make sure your knife is sharp. A dull blade will make cutting any type of meat much more difficult, so make sure your knife is sharp before you start cutting.
  3. Cut against the grain. This will help keep the slices tender and juicy – it’s especially important for tougher cuts of meat like tri tip.
  4. Slice the meat into equal thickness pieces. This is key to making sure that each piece cooks evenly and tastes great!
  5. Finally, make sure you store the meat properly. Transfer it to a container or wrap it in parchment paper before storing in your refrigerator or freezer.

Read More: How Much Tri-Tip per Person Should You Serve

Some Common Mistakes when Cutting a Tri-Tip

It’s easy to make some common mistakes when cutting a tri-tip, so here are a few tips to remember:

cut tri-tip on cutting board

  1. Don’t cut too thin. If you slice your tri-tip too thinly, it will dry out and become tough in the cooking process.
  2. Don’t cut through the fat layer. This can cause the tri-tip to lose some of its juiciness and flavor.
  3. Don’t forget to slice against the grain! This is key for achieving tender slices that won’t be chewy or tough when cooked.
  4. Don’t forget to freezer-proof your meat if you plan to cut it raw. This will help make it easier to slice and also ensure that you get even-thickness pieces.

Frequent Asked Questions

How do I trim a tri tip?

Trimming a tri-tip is easy! Start by cutting away any excess fat from the edges of the roast. You can also use kitchen shears to help trim away thicker sections of fat.

How can you determine a tri-tip’s grain?

To determine the grain of a tri-tip, look for the lines running along its surface. These lines indicate where the two muscles connect and will help you identify which direction to slice against.

What is the difference between a tri tip and a brisket?

The main difference between a tri-tip and brisket is that the tri-tip is usually smaller and more tender. It also has less fat content than the brisket, which makes it easier to cook quickly without drying out. The flavor of the two cuts also differs, with the brisket having a beefier flavor while the tri-tip has a more mild flavor. Additionally, the grain of the two cuts runs in opposite directions, so make sure to cut against the grain for maximum tenderness when slicing either one.

Should you let tri-tip rest before cutting?

Yes, it is always a good idea to let the meat rest before cutting it. This allows the juices to re-distribute evenly throughout the cut and gives you more control over how much juice is released when slicing. It’s best to let tri-tip rest for at least 10 minutes (or longer if needed) after cooking to reach the perfect temperature and texture. Once rested, you can then slice against the grain to achieve maximum tenderness.

How do I cut the Costco tri-tip?

Costco tri-tip is a great cut of meat to have on hand and can be used in a variety of recipes. Before cutting, make sure to pat the tri-tip dry with paper towels and let it rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing.

Once rested, you can then slice against the grain for maximum tenderness. When slicing, be sure to cut the tri-tip into thin slices. This will help ensure that the meat cooks evenly and won’t dry out when cooking.

How do I keep tri-tip juicy?

Keeping tri-tip juicy starts with using the right cooking method. We recommend grilling or oven roasting to cook your tri-tip. For maximum tenderness and flavor, sear quickly over high heat until an internal temperature of 130°F is reached then finish by slowly cooking at a lower temperature until you reach your desired doneness.

Adding a marinade or rub to your tri-tip is also a great way to add flavor and keep it juicy. A good marinade should include an acidic ingredient, like vinegar or citrus juice, along with some herbs and spices for extra flavor.

Cutting a tri-tip correctly can be tricky, but with the right tips and tricks, you can easily make perfect slices of this delicious cut of beef. Make sure to trim away any excess fat from the edges before slicing, determine the grain by looking for lines running along its surface, and slice against the grain for maximum tenderness.

Further Reading: