Tri Tip Roast Recipe


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You’ll love this melt-in-your-mouth tender tri tip roast. It’s coated in the best homemade seasoning blend that transforms this affordable cut of meat into a delicious family dinner with minimal effort.

Tri Tip Roast

This tri tip roast, also known as a triangle roast, is coated in the most delicious homemade seasoning blend. It’s made from herbs and spices like rosemary, thyme, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Before it’s baked to perfection, it’s seared to give it the most incredible crust.

The crust really is what elevates this beef tri tip roast from good to great. It’s a gorgeous golden-brown crust that’s packed with flavor, and it really enhances the delicious, tender, perfectly cooked roast.

Despite its fancy appearance, this tri tip roast is surprisingly quick and easy to make. It’s a foolproof recipe that’s perfect for dinner with the family, a BBQ cookout, or even a holiday meal. Plus, the leftovers make for amazing sandwiches the next day.

This relatively affordable cut of beef transforms into a decadent, juicy, and tender roast after it’s finished roasting in the oven. You can enjoy it with baked Velveeta mac and cheese or some twice baked mashed potatoes, and some Crockpot green beans or simple buttered peas.


Tri Tip Roast: This is a small, triangular cut of beef that’s cut from the bottom of the sirloin. Since it normally weighs 1.5-2.5 pounds, it’s perfect for family dinners or smaller gatherings. Tri-tip is a very flavorful cut, but luckily it’s much more affordable than other flavorful cuts of beef, like ribeye. As long as you don’t overcook it, it turns out nice and tender.

Garlic Powder and Onion Powder: Garlic and onion are a classic flavor power duo that adds so much flavor to this dish. The garlic powder adds a savory layer of flavor, while the onion powder adds a light sweetness.

Smoked Paprika: This adds a smoky flavor and gives the rub a beautiful color.

Thyme and Rosemary: These dried herbs add a fresh, savory, herbaceous flavor that complement the richness of the beef really well.

Salt and Pepper: Salt complements and highlights the other flavors in this dish, and the spice in pepper balances out the richness of the beef.

Olive Oil: Oil helps the homemade spice mixture stick to the meat. It also helps promote browning when you sear the roast before baking it in the oven.

The labeled ingredients for tri tip roast.

Alternative Ingredients

If you don’t have smoked paprika on hand, regular paprika works. You can also add a bit of crushed red pepper flakes or cayenne if you like a bit of heat.

How To Cook Tri Tip Roast

Prepare the Oven: Start by preheating your oven. (See the recipe card below for the full printable instructions.)

Mix the Spices: In a small bowl, combine the garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, black pepper, kosher salt, rosemary, and thyme.

A small mixing bowl of dry spices ready to be mixed.

Prepare the Roast: Rub the tri tip roast with olive oil, then coat it evenly with the spice mixture. 

Applying the dry rub, and then massaging the roast until fully coated.

Sear the Roast: Heat up some oil in a cast-iron skillet or oven-proof pan. Once it’s hot, sear the roast on all sides until it’s browned. 

Searing the tri tip in a hot skillet, and then inserting an oven safe thermometer and baking.

Bake the Roast: Insert an oven-safe meat thermometer into the thickest part of the roast then transfer the skillet with the tri tip into the preheated oven. 

Rest and Serve: Once it’s done cooking, take it out of the oven and let it rest for a bit before slicing. This allows the juices to redistribute, making it even more flavorful. Slice against the grain and serve. See the recipe card below for the full written instructions, including ingredient amounts, cooking times, and helpful tips, etc.

Baking the roast until reaching a temperature of 130F, and then tenting with aluminum foil and resting.

Pro Tips

  • Season Generously: When it comes to seasoning, don’t be shy. This cut of meat can handle a good amount of spices.
  • Don’t Skip Searing the Meat: Searing it first not only adds flavor, but it helps lock in all the juices so you end up with a tender and flavorful roast.
  • Use a Meat Thermometer: Roasts are best cooked according to temperature, not time. Ovens vary, and using a meat thermometer is the only way to guarantee perfect results every time and take the guesswork out of cooking. Keep in mind that there will be a bit of carryover cooking as the roast rests.
  • Rest the Meat: Patience is key when it comes to letting the meat rest after cooking. This step allows the juices to redistribute throughout the roast, making each bite moist and flavorful. So, resist the urge to slice it right away!
  • Slice Against the Grain: Remember to slice against the grain when you’re ready to serve (this means locating the direction of the muscle fibers and cutting slices perpendicular to them). This cuts through the muscle fibers, making the meat easier to chew because the fibers are now shorter.

How Should Tri-Tip Be Cooked?

The trick with tri tip is to not overcook it, otherwise it will end up tough and dry. I recommend following the method in this recipe, searing and then roasting. This method locks in the juices, creates a delicious crust, and yields a deliciously tender roast. 

An overhead image of a fully cooked whole roast resting on a cutting board with fresh herbs to the side.

Is Tri-Tip Roast A Good Cut Of Meat?

Yes! Even though it’s a lean and affordable cut, it’s also very flavorful and yields a very tender roast if it’s cooked correctly. Since it’s lean, it can be easy to overcook it, so I definitely recommend using a meat thermometer to know exactly when to pull it out of the oven.

Also, keep in mind that since it’s a triangular shape, it does cook unevenly. That means you’ll end up with one end being more well-done than the other end. Regardless, it’s a delicious, tender, flavorful, and affordable roast when you cook it correctly.

What’s Another Name For Tri-Tip Roast?

At the grocery store, you might find tri-tip labeled as a triangle roast because of its shape. You can also find it labeled as Santa Maria steak, California cut, Newport steak, or bottom sirloin tip.

Why Is My Tri-Tip Roast Tough?

If your tri-tip roast is tough, it’s likely overcooked. That could also happen if you didn’t rest the steak, which allows it to reabsorb the juices, or if you didn’t cut against the grain.

Tri tip slices staggered on a cutting board showing the seasoned bark on top.

What Is Better Sirloin Or Tri-Tip?

Both are great! These are both tender and flavorful cuts of beef. Sirloin is typically a little more forgiving to cook, but it also tends to cost more. With tri tip you have to pay closer attention to it, but the quality it’s a great value for the price.

Is Tri-Tip A Cheap Cut Of Beef?

Compared to high-end cuts like ribeye or filet mignon, tri-tip is more affordable. It’s still typically more expensive than cuts like chuck roast or round roast. It tends to be a relatively moderately priced cut of beef.

Should I Let Tri-Tip Rest Before Cooking?

Yes, even though it’s not completely necessary, allowing your meat to rest at room temperature for about 15 minutes before cooking can help it cook more evenly.

A close up of the sliced tender roast with a fork to the side.

Is It Better To Marinate Or Dry Rub A Tri-Tip?

Both methods work well with tri-tip. A marinade can help tenderize the meat, while a dry rub can create a delicious crust. It really just comes down to personal preference and what’s most important to you. Since tri tip is naturally tender if it’s cooked well, I prefer using a dry rub so that I get a deliciously flavorful and crispy crust.

How To Cut A Tri Tip Roast?

Always slice your tri-tip against the grain. This means you should cut perpendicular to the direction of the muscle fibers, which makes the meat easier to chew. Thinner slices will also inherently be more tender and easier to chew.

With tri-tip this is especially important to pay attention to, because the grain can sometimes curve, or change directions, with this cut of meat. If the grain of your roast changes directions, it can be helpful to cut your roast in half at the point where it changes directions, then cut each half into slices against the grain.

Storing Leftovers

Store leftovers in an airtight container, sliced or whole, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Alternatively, it can be frozen for up to 2 months. The trick is to reheat it gently so that it doesn’t dry out.

An overhead image of cut up roast showing the glistening inside.

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A Pinterest pin image with a picture of tri tip roast with title text at the top.

Beef Recipes

If you like this recipe, be sure to check out all of our beef recipes! Some reader favorites are:

The best tri tip roast recipe.

BEST Tri Tip Roast Recipe (Oven-Baked)

This melt-in-your-mouth tender tri tip roast is coated in a seasoning blend that transforms it into a delicious, quick, easy family dinner.
5 from 1 vote
Servings: 6
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Resting Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Print Pin Rate


  • 1.5 to 2 pound tri tip roast
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil plus more to coat the roast


  • Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  • In a small bowl, mix together garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, black pepper, kosher salt, rosemary, and thyme.
  • Rub the tri tip with olive oil, then coat evenly with the spice mixture. Let the coated roast rest at room temperature for 15 minutes before cooking.
  • Heat the oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, sear the tri tip on all sides until browned, about 3-4 minutes per side. Insert an oven-safe meat thermometer into the thickest part of the roast.
  • Transfer the skillet with the tri tip into the preheated oven and cook until it has reached an internal temp of 130F-135F for medium-rare, about 27-32 minutes depending on the thickness. Keep in mind that it will rise about 5 degrees as it rests. For medium, allow it to continue cooking until it reaches 140-145F. For other levels of doneness, see notes.* Keep in mind that it is recommended to allow it to reach an internal temperature of 145F, but individual preferences vary.
  • Once it’s finished cooking, remove it from the oven, tent it with aluminum foil and let the roast rest for 10 minutes before slicing. This allows the juices to redistribute and gives time for the carryover cooking to complete.
  • Slice against the grain and serve.


  • The thickness of my roast was 2 1/2 inches. If yours is thicker or thinner, it will affect the cooking time.
  • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Reheat in a preheated oven at 350°F until warmed through, usually about 10 minutes.
*Depending on the level of doneness you want, these are the temperatures you’re looking for:
RARE: Initial internal temperature of 120-125F, rest time of 10 minutes, internal temperature after resting of 125-130F.
MEDIUM RARE: Initial internal temperature of 130-135F, rest time of 10 minutes, internal temperature after resting of 135-140F.
MEDIUM: Initial internal temperature of 140-145F, rest time of 10 minutes, internal temperature after resting of 145-150F.
MEDIUM WELL: Initial internal temperature of 150-155F, rest time of 10 minutes, internal temperature after resting of 155-160F.
WELL DONE: Initial internal temperature of 160-165F, rest time of 10 minutes, internal temperature after resting of 165-170F.


Calories: 303kcal | Carbohydrates: 1.6g | Protein: 35.2g | Fat: 17.4g | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 0.1g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.

I hope you love this tri tip roast recipe as much as I do! It’s a quick and easy roast recipe that’s sure to be a family favorite.

The best tri tip roast recipe.

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