How to Cut Tri Tip Guide

A perfectly prepared Tri Tip tastes great, but did you know how to slice tri trip so that it doesn’t lose its flavor? A lot of people probably don’t realize how crucial this procedure is and what a big impact it has on the food’s flavor.

Not cutting tri tip properly results in losing a large amount of juices, the consequence of which is a significant loss in flavor. Another result of improper cutting is hard and chewy meat, which is something you’d certainly want to avoid.

It is the easiest to notice when comparing two pieces of Tri Tip at the same time, one that was cut properly and the other cut improperly. It makes you understand very well how important it is to properly cut Tri Tip.

In this guide, you will find out not only how to properly cut this piece of beef, but also what it is in the first place and learn few useful tips.

What is Tri Trip?


This piece of meat is known under many different names, Tri Tip is well recognizable among the residents of Santa Maria and all of California. Outside these areas, this meat is mostly known under completely different names, like: Newport Steak (when cut into individual steaks), Santa Maria Steak, maminha (Brazil), punta de Solomo, colita de cuadril or punta de anca (Latin America), aguillote baronne (France).

Tri-Tip is cutting beef that comes from the bottom sirloin. This type of meat is pretty lean, not containing much fat. I encourage you to read this article, in which you will learn much more on this cut.

To some people, an advantage of this beef cut might be its shape. Tri Tip has a shape that makes it possible to prepare a whole piece of this meat in different degrees of being done. By that I mean that the shorter part of Tri-Tip is much leaner than the much longer and thicker part, which might make the end result ( degree of being done ) differ significantly in many places.

Now that you know what Tri Tip is, we can move on to the main question this guide was made for.

How to Cut Tri Tip – The theory?


Contrary to a popular belief, this type of meat can’t be cut any way you please. You have to follow certain rules when cutting due to two different grain directions. If you ignore them and start cutting the meat improperly, you can expect your steak to become hard and chewy.

To let you better understand what I’m talking about, I’ll use a sample picture.

slicing tri tip

Notice how the fibers go, half of the meat is positioned vertically, whereas the other half has its fibers at angle. It can be seen very clearly when you look at raw meat, you can also clearly notice that one part of the meat is definitely shorter and leaner at the end.

How you’re going to cut will largely depend on finding the grain direction in your meat.

When to cut meat?


Many of us ask ourselves at which moment to do it? We start cutting meat after it’s cooked. Remember! Never cut meat right after you’re done smoking, let the meat rest and wait for 10-15 minutes. That way you will keep most of the juices inside the meat, cutting it too early results in losing a large amount of juices, which have a significant impact on the food’s flavor.

Step By Step How To Slice Tri Tip


Is the meat done yet? Get the board ready ( preferably a wooden one with grooves/trough on the sides ) and put the meat on it and give it about 10-15 minutes to rest.

Once the meat is rested, you can start cutting it. I recommend this type of board due to the juices that will ooze out when cutting which, instead of staining the whole kitchen or the table, will stop in the grooves on the board’s sides.

First find the spot where the grains cross from two directions. It will allow you to cut the Tri Tip into two pieces that are easier to cut and have different grain directions.

In the next step, find the grain directions in both smaller pieces. The whole magic of cutting Tri-Tip is about finding the grain directions and cutting against them ( perpendicularly to the grain ).

I suggest cutting much thinner slices, which are more tender and taste much better.

That’s all on the topic, as you can see, it is nothing difficult, so every subsequent time you do this you won’t need a guide like this one.


I figured that nothing could visualize this procedure better than a video so with help of YouTube I found a great video where you can see step by step how to cut tri trip. If, after reading my guide, you still have doubts on how to do it, watch the video that will make everything clear for you.

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