Are you ready to kick up your steak game? Do you love a good tri tip steak? If both of these sound like you, look no further than the mouth watering technique of reverse searing tri tip steak. When it comes to tri tip, reverse searing works wonders. With its triangular shape and rich marbling, the tri tip is a flavorful and tender cut that benefits from this cooking technique.
Starting with low heat in the oven or grill allows the meat to cook evenly and retain its juiciness. Then, with a quick sear on a hot grill or skillet, you achieve a beautifully caramelized crust that locks in all the delicious flavors. Get ready to learn how to create a perfectly cooked tri tip steak that will impress your taste buds and leave your guests asking for seconds.
What You Should Know About the Reverse-Searing Process
Reverse searing is a cooking method that involves cooking a steak slowly in an oven or on the grill until it is almost done, then searing it quickly over high heat to create a flavorful crust. This method is ideal for cooking tri tip steak, as it results in a tender, juicy steak with a crispy crust. People who advocate for reverse searing typically say that this method helps lock in juices and ensures that the inside of the steak gets cooked to their preferences.
Is it the only way to cook steak? Definitely not. Is reverse searing the best way to cook steak? That remains up for debate, but it certainly can help your steak reach the intended results.
Methods for Reverse Searing
Reverse searing a tri tip steak can start with a grill or oven. The point is to cook the steak until it’s almost done, followed by giving it a quick sear on high heat. Therefore, you can choose whether to use the oven or the grill, depending on your usual preferences for cooking steak.
You could even use a slow cooker or cook the steak in a pan over low heat. These methods aren’t as common as using the grill or oven for the first part of reverse searing, but they’ll also work.
Best Seasonings and Marinades for Reverse Searing Tri Tip
When it comes to enhancing the flavor of tri tip steak, marinades and seasonings can boost the flavor of plain steak. In addition to using the traditional salt and pepper to season your steak with, consider using the following marinades.
Classic Herb Marinade
A combination of fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, and garlic can infuse tri tip steak with aromatic flavors. Create a marinade by mixing these herbs with olive oil, soy sauce, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Let the steak soak in the marinade for a few hours or overnight in the refrigerator to allow the flavors to penetrate the meat. The herbs will add a delightful earthiness, while the garlic and soy sauce offer some extra depth.
Asian-Inspired Teriyaki Glaze
Give your tri tip steak an Asian twist with a tangy and sweet teriyaki glaze. Prepare a marinade using soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, and a splash of rice vinegar. Marinate the steak for at least one hour, allowing the flavors to seep into the meat. Once cooked, brush the tri tip with the reserved marinade to create a glossy glaze.
Southwestern Spice Rub
For a bold and smoky profile, a Southwestern spice rub works well with tri tip steak. Blend together ingredients like chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and a touch of cayenne pepper for some heat. Coat the steak generously with the rub, pressing it into the meat for maximum flavor. Allow the steak to sit for at least 30 minutes before cooking for the best results.
How to Prep and Trim a Tri Tip
Before cooking a tri tip steak, you might want to trim the fat off. Some people prefer to leave this on, especially if cooking low and slow in the oven, as the fat renders down over time and can add some flavor to the meat. However, if leaving it in place doesn’t appeal to you, you can simply ask your butcher to trim it before buying it or do it yourself.
To trim the fat cap, use a sharp knife to carefully and slowly slice through small sections of the fat cap as you lift the fat up. Keep moving the knife across, gently gliding it under the fat cap until the full layer of fat is removed.
After trimming the tri tip steak, you can season it with salt on both sides. Allow the steak to rest for about 45 minutes before adding other spices or a dry rub. If you use a marinade, you can skip the salt and other seasonings.
Reverse-Seared Tri Tip Recipe
Follow along with this simple recipe to try reverse searing tri tip steak.
- 2-3 pounds tri tip steak
- 2 tablespoons black pepper
- Optional: garlic powder, thyme, or your choice of spices and herbs
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Season the steak with salt on both sides. Rest at room temperature for 30-45 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.
- Sprinkle black pepper and your other choice of seasonings on both sides of the meat.
- Place steak on a baking tray and transfer to the oven’s middle rack. Cook for 30-40 minutes, or until the steak’s internal temperature reaches 125 degrees for medium rare.
- Preheat a skillet with olive oil over medium-high heat.
- Sear the steak for 2-3 minutes on each side until a crisp, golden-brown crust forms.
- Allow steak to rest on a plate or cutting board at room temperature for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving.
How to Cut a Tri Tip Properly After Cooking
After resting, slice the tri-tip steak against the grain into thin slices. This means slicing the steak in the opposite direction of the lines that run through the meat. Slicing tri tip this way breaks up long fibers that can make the steak chewier, resulting in a more tender and pleasant bite.
Conclusion: How to Reverse Sear Tri Tip Steak
Whether you prefer a medium-rare or a more well-done steak, the reverse searing technique allows for a reliable cook while still achieving the crisp outer crust that many steak enthusiasts prefer. The reverse searing method is particularly well-suited for tri-tip steak, a flavorful cut known for its marbling and tenderness. The slow roasting in the oven allows the heat to penetrate the meat gradually, resulting in a perfectly cooked steak with consistent doneness from edge to center.
Are you interested in learning more about cooking tri tip steak? Check out our other tri tip cooking guides and recipes at Steak University.
Reverse-Seared Tri Tip Steak
- 2-3 lbs tri tip steak
- salt, to taste
- 2 tbsp black pepper
- optional: garlic powder, thyme, or your choice of spices and herbs
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Season the steak with salt on both sides. Rest at room temperature for 30-45 minutes
- Preheat the oven to 250 degrees
- Sprinkle black pepper and your other choice of seasonings on both sides of the meat
- Place steak on a baking tray and transfer to the oven’s middle rack. Cook for 30-40 minutes, or until the steak’s internal temperature reaches 125 degrees for medium rare
- Preheat a skillet with olive oil over medium-high heat
- Sear the steak for 2-3 minutes on each side until a crisp, golden-brown crust forms
- Allow steak to rest on a plate or cutting board at room temperature for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving