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Tri-Tip Marinade
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4.34 from 3 votes

Tri-Tip Marinade

The tri-tip roast or grilled tri-tip, especially in the summer with some olive oil, garlic powder, ground black pepper, dijon, and lemon juice can really bring a marinated tri-tip to your outdoor grill and turn that pound tri-tip to a perfect meal to accompany with some red wine.

Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Tri-Tip
Servings: 4
Calories: 164kcal


  • 2


    boneless tri-tip beef steaks (might be labeled “bottom sirloin roast” and “triangle roast”)

  • ¼

    Cup White vinegar

  • ¼ 

    Cup Vegetable oil

  • ¼

    Cup Worcestershire sauce

  • 2

    Tbsp Soy sauce

  • 2

    Tbsp Dark brown sugar

  • 2

    Cloves of minced garlic

  • 1

    Tbsp Black pepper

  • 1

    Tbsp Kosher salt


  • A tri-tip cut will usually come with a fat lining the outside of it, so this step will first consist of trimming it.

  • This lining is sometimes referred to as “silver skin.” You want to slice this thick, tough layer of fat since it will not melt off during grilling.

  • You don’t have to be too careful or trim it too neatly.

  • As a general rule, it is best to trim more fat off of the thinner sections than the thicker ones.

  • Keep in mind that the more fat you leave on, the more moist your steak will be.

  • However, by leaving fat on the steak, it will increase the chance of flare-up during cooking, so if you don’t plan on eyeballing it every few minutes, simply trim the fat down until you see the grain.

  • To prep the tri-tip, pat it down dry after you’ve trimmed it and make sure all the excess moisture is absorbed.

  • This ensures that your meat will soak up your delicious marinade while you wait.

  • Simply combine all of the marinade ingredients (white vinegar, vegetable oil, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, dark brown sugar, and minced garlic) into a small bowl, whisking it as well as you can.

  • Once that is done, pour the marinade into a resealable bag and add the meat so that it gets fully coated.

  • Keep in mind that the thicker parts will need to be massaged a bit to absorb more of the marinade.

  • A tip to get more flavor in faster is to do all of this in a bowl and let your children pierce the meat with a fork (which tenderizes it and allows the marinade to seep in!)

  • Seal the meat and marinade mixture and place it in the fridge for 2 to 6 hours or let it sit overnight.

  • Remove the tri-tip from the refrigerator an hour before cooking so that it can warm up to room-temperature before cooking.

  • If you’re using a charcoal grill (and if you do, you should read our article on the most delicious smoke flavors!), light one chimney full of charcoal and wait for it to heat.

  • When all of it is covered with white ash, arrange the coals on one side of the cooker to set up a zone for direct and indirect heat.

  • On the other side of the cooker without any coals, place a foil-lined water pan to collect fat drippings and cooking your meat at a lower temperature.

  • If you have them at this point, you can place your wood chunks directly over the coals.

  • Set the cooking grate in place, shut the lid and preheat for about 5 minutes.

  • While waiting, remove the meat from its marinade and rub some salt and pepper to the outside.

  • Sear your steak fat-side down on the direct heat with the lid of the grill wide open.

  • One side will take about 7 minutes.

  • Make sure to check for flare-ups if you’ve left a decent amount of fat on.

  • In case of flare-ups, temporarily move the steak to the indirect heat zone.

  • Do the same for the other side while keeping an eye on your soon-to-be delicious tri-tip!

  • Once you’ve seared both sides, move the steak to the indirect heat zone above the foil-lined pan. Close the lid and let it cook for 10 minutes.

  • Your tri-tip should continue cooking but it will cool to within 5-10 degrees F of its target pull temperature.

  •  For a medium-rare steak, it will register 120 F in the thickest portion of the meat.

  • The total cook time should be about 25 minutes since the meat will rise in temperature even after you’ve taken it out of the grill.

  • The reason why we’re combining high-heat, direct searing and lower-heat, indirect cooking in this recipe is to achieve a balance between a well-done outside and more rare inside with an evenly-heated roast throughout the steak.

  • You can easily adjust these methods: if you prefer a rare steak, then decrease the time spent for indirect grilling and vice versa.

  • Keep in mind that the narrow tip will usually be well-done and the butt-end will range from medium to rare.

  • Cover your tri-tip with aluminum foil and let it cool down for about 10 minutes before slicing it against the grain with a sharp knife.

  • Slicing against the grain will keep the tri-tip intact and tender.


Serving: 113g | Calories: 164kcal