Welcome to your ultimate guide on how to grill tri-tip steak on a gas grill! We’ll cover everything from selecting the perfect cut to mastering grilling techniques, so you can impress your family and friends with mouth-watering, tender steak. Fire up your gas grill and let’s get started!
- What is Tri-Tip Steak?
- Choosing the Right Cut of Tri-Tip Steak
- Preparing Your Gas Grill
- Cleaning and Maintaining Your Grill
- Preheating the Grill
- Seasoning the Tri Tip Steak
- Preparation Basics
- Recipe: Simple & Savory Tri Tip Seasoning Rub
- Grilling the Tri Tip Steak
- Grilling Technique: Direct vs. Indirect Heat
- Managing Time and Temperature for Perfect Grilling
- Checking Steak Doneness
- Rest and Serve
- Why Resting the Steak is Important
- Serving Suggestions and Side Dishes
What is Tri-Tip Steak?
You might be wondering what exactly is a tri-tip steak. Well, it’s a tender and flavorful cut of beef that comes from the bottom sirloin of the cow. The term “tri-tip” refers to the triangular shape of this particular cut. It’s also known as the “Santa Maria steak” because it originated in the Santa Maria Valley of California, where it became popular for its delicious taste and relatively low cost compared to other beef cuts.
Tri-tip steaks are typically between 1.5 to 2.5 pounds, making them ideal for grilling as they are not too thick, ensuring even cooking. The tri-tip is known for its rich beef flavor and moderately tender texture, which makes it perfect for grilling as it can withstand higher temperatures without becoming too tough or dry.
The unique thing about the tri-tip is that it has two different grain directions within the same cut. This is because it’s made up of two separate muscles connected by a layer of fat. This feature can make it a bit tricky to achieve perfect medium-rare doneness throughout the steak but, with the right technique, it can be done.
In summary, tri-tip steak is a delicious, versatile, and affordable cut of beef that’s perfect for grilling on your gas grill. Now that you know what tri-tip steak is, it’s time to dive into choosing the right cut and getting your gas grill set up for the perfect grilling experience.
Choosing the Right Cut of Tri-Tip Steak
When choosing the right cut of tri-tip steak, look for a well-marbled piece to ensure tenderness and flavor. The marbling consists of thin veins of fat running through the meat, which melt and baste the steak as it grills, keeping it juicy and flavorful. The ideal tri-tip will have a rich, deep red color with white marbling throughout. It’s also important to select a steak with an even thickness, as this will ensure even cooking. For best results, opt for a tri-tip weighing between 1.5 to 2.5 pounds, which will serve four to six people.
Preparing Your Gas Grill
Start by cleaning your grill grates to ensure even cooking and prevent sticking. Then, set up your gas grill for indirect cooking by turning on only half of the burners. This will create separate zones for searing and slow-cooking the tri-tip steak to perfection.
Cleaning and Maintaining Your Grill
A clean and well-maintained grill is essential for optimal cooking results. Start by using a wire brush to scrub the grates, removing any burnt-on debris. It’s easier to clean the grates while they are still warm from preheating or after use. Check and clean the grease trap regularly to avoid flare-ups during grilling. For a deeper clean, detach the grates and other removable parts, and rinse with warm, soapy water. Don’t forget to inspect the burner tubes, ensuring there is no build-up that could cause uneven heating or reduced gas flow. By keeping your grill clean, you’ll enjoy flavorful, evenly-cooked tri-tip steaks.
Preheating the Grill
Before you start grilling, you need to preheat the gas grill. First, make sure the lid is open and all control knobs are turned off. Turn on the gas at the propane tank, then ignite the burners by either pushing the ignition button or using a long-reach lighter. Close the lid and let the grill preheat for about 10-15 minutes. Preheating the grill not only helps you achieve those perfect grill marks on your tri-tip steak but also improves overall grilling performance by speeding up cooking time and ensuring even heat distribution across the grill grates.
Seasoning the Tri Tip Steak
Before you place your tri-tip steak on the grill, ensure it’s seasoned to perfection. Pat the steak dry with a paper towel and generously apply your choice of seasoning or rub, making sure to cover all sides. This will help enhance the natural flavors of the steak and create a delicious crust.
Before grilling, let the seasoned steak sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour. This ensures even cooking and helps the steak reach its desired doneness quicker. Meanwhile, gather necessary tools such as tongs, a meat thermometer, and a plate or tray with aluminum foil for resting the steak.
Recipe: Simple & Savory Tri Tip Seasoning Rub
Now that you’ve got your tri-tip steak seasoned and your gas grill prepared, it’s time for a simple and savory tri-tip seasoning rub that will take your steak to the next level. This recipe is easy to make, using ingredients that you likely already have in your pantry. The rub will add a delicious layer of flavor to your meat, creating an irresistible crust as it cooks.
– 2 tablespoons kosher salt
– 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
– 1 tablespoon garlic powder
– 1 tablespoon onion powder
– 1 teaspoon paprika
– 1 teaspoon ground cumin
– 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, for extra heat)
1. In a small mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients together.
2. Blend the mixture until fully combined and evenly distributed.
3. Store the rub in an airtight container to keep it fresh and ready for your next cookout.
To use the rub, generously apply it all over your seasoned tri-tip steak, making sure to cover both sides evenly. Don’t be shy- the more rub you use, the more flavorful the crust will be. Massage the rub into the meat with your fingers, ensuring that it adheres well.
Once your steak is coated with the savory rub, you’re ready to move on to the next step: grilling the tri-tip. Follow the recommended grilling techniques in the subsequent section and you’ll be on your way to enjoying a delicious, perfectly cooked tri-tip steak.
Grilling the Tri Tip Steak
Once your grill is preheated, and your tri-tip steak is seasoned, it’s time to get grilling. Place the steak directly over high heat for about five minutes per side, searing it until nicely browned. Then, move the steak to indirect heat, cover the grill, and cook to the desired doneness, flipping occasionally.
Grilling Technique: Direct vs. Indirect Heat
Now that you’ve got your perfectly seasoned tri-tip steak on the grill, it’s important to understand the difference between direct and indirect heat when grilling. Direct heat refers to cooking the steak directly over the flames, while indirect heat means cooking the steak off to the side of the flames. For the best results, we recommend a combination of the two techniques. Start by searing the steak on high, direct heat for about two to three minutes per side to create a nice crust. Then, move the steak to indirect heat, cover the grill, and let it cook until desired doneness (use a meat thermometer to keep track of the internal temperature). This method ensures a tender, juicy, and flavorful tri-tip steak.
Managing Time and Temperature for Perfect Grilling
Managing time and temperature when grilling tri-tip steak on a gas grill is essential to achieving the perfect tenderness and flavor. As a rule of thumb, for a 2-pound tri-tip steak, you should sear it over direct heat for about four to five minutes per side. Then, move the steak to indirect heat and continue cooking for another 10-15 minutes, or until your desired doneness is reached. Use a meat thermometer to check internal temperatures – 130°F for medium-rare, 140°F for medium, and 150°F for medium-well. Remember to keep the grill lid closed while cooking to maintain consistent temperatures and even cooking.
Checking Steak Doneness
To check your tri-tip steak’s doneness, use a meat thermometer and insert it into the thickest part of the steak. Aim for an internal temperature of 135°F for medium-rare. Keep in mind, the steak’s temperature will rise a few degrees while resting after cooking.
Rest and Serve
Once your tri-tip steak has reached the desired doneness, remove it from the grill and let it rest for about 10 minutes. This allows the juices inside the steak to redistribute and gives you a flavorful, tender, slice. After resting, slice the steak against the grain and serve with your favorite side dishes.
Why Resting the Steak is Important
Resting the steak after grilling is crucial, as it allows the juices to redistribute evenly within the meat. Skipping this step can result in a dry and less flavorful steak. Let your tri-tip steak rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing and serving for maximum tenderness and taste.
Serving Suggestions and Side Dishes
To really elevate your tri-tip steak experience, consider pairing it with some mouth-watering side dishes that complement its smoky, juicy flavors. Grilled vegetables like asparagus, zucchini, and bell peppers are always a hit, as they add a great contrast of flavors and textures to the dish. Classic options like baked potatoes, coleslaw, and cornbread can also enhance your meal, rounding out the overall taste while maintaining that backyard barbecue feel. For a lighter alternative, a fresh green salad or vibrant quinoa mixed with herbs and veggies can provide balance to your perfectly grilled tri-tip steak masterpiece.