This Grilled Tri-Tip Steak recipe with Mexican Dry Rub will make you lick your plate clean.
This post may include affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
The best way to cook it is on a gas grill, but I’ll also show you how to make it in the oven.
Next time you’re having a backyard BBQ, try this tasty and juicy steak recipe. It is hands down delicious!
Table of Contents
- 1 Ingredients
- 2 Optional ingredients:
- 3 What does a dry rub do?
- 4 Is tri-tip a California thing?
- 5 What cut of meat is tri-tip?
- 6 Cooking time
- 7 Different Ways of Cooking Tri-Tip:
- 8 What to Serve with Tri-Tip?
- 9 Grilled Tri-Tip with Mexican Dry Rub
- Tri-Tip Cut beef – Look for a 2/12 lbs to 3 lbs steak. You might also see it referred to as “tri-tip roast.”
- Oregano – ground is best, or be sure to really crush whole oregano.
- Cumin – ground is the only way to go with this recipe.
- Paprika – smokey and adds good flavor to the beef.
- Garlic Powder – fresh garlic is better for marinades, not spice rubs.
You will also need a meat thermometer.
Onion powder – Add ½ tablespoon to the dry rub recipe.
Ground cayenne – This is on the spicier side. Only add ½ teaspoon to the rub mixture.
Ground chile de arbol – For my fellow spicy food lovers, add 1 teaspoon to the rub mixture to give it a kick.
- Mix all the ingredients.
- Set aside.
Make a big batch and store in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
What does a dry rub do?
A dry rub (or a spice rub) is a mixture of spices and herbs that are rubbed on a food before cooking.
It adds a layer of flavor and taste. You might see some pre-made dry rubs at the grocery store or online.
Try it on beef, chicken, pork, fish, or sprinkle on potatoes.
- Using a sharp knife, make a few slices all over the tri tip.
- Pour the spice rub over the steak.
For best results, pat dry the steak with paper towels. Spread the rub evenly.
Turn the meat and cover the back of the meat as well. Underneath you’ll see a layer of fat that’s so good. Don’t remove!
This is a lean cut of meat, and it needs some fat to give it flavor and keep it juicy
Is tri-tip a California thing?
For many years, tri-tip was only found in California. It’s now more common to find butchers outside of the state cutting this type of meat.
In the Midwest, you might hear it referred to as bottom sirloin butt. On the East Coast, you might hear it called sirloin tip.
Other names also include Triangle cut, California cut, and Santa Maria cut.
- Cover with plastic wrap.
- Place in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
Overnight is best for the meat to absorb the dry rub flavors.
Any marinated tri tip recipe will also require a long time to wait before cooking. This is so it can develop incredible flavor.
What cut of meat is tri-tip?
Tri-Tip comes from the bottom sirloin tip. It gets the name “tri” because it is a triangle steak that’s rich with flavor but lean in fat.
- Bring the meat up to room temperature.
- Heat the grill to 350 degrees F.
- 15 minutes on each side for medium-rare.
Place on indirect heat, or the cooler side of the grill, until you reach your desired level of doneness.
Insert your meat thermometer horizontally. Remember that there is carry over cooking, and it will continue to rise in temperature even after you remove from heat. Look for the internal beef temperature of your steak.
Rare is 130-135 degrees F
Medium rare is 135-145 degrees F
Please Note: Tri-Tip is not very fatty, and if cooked to medium well or well, it’ll become very chewy and lose some of its flavor.
- Cover with foil paper.
VERY IMPORTANT! Let the meat rest for half the time that it cooked for.
If not, the juices will come out and leave you with a dry piece of meat.
Different Ways of Cooking Tri-Tip:
Oven method: Heat it to 400 degrees F oven. Roast for 25-30 minutes. Adjust for 10-15 minutes per pound, depending on how rare/ done you like it.
What to Serve with Tri-Tip?
Take a sharp knife and cut thin slices meat. The thinner the better.
This Grilled Tri Tip Steak recipe with Mexican Dry Rub is one of the best summer grilling recipes ever! It makes the most tender beef. So so good!
HUNGRY FOR MORE?
Did you make this recipe? Please rate the recipe below!
Grilled Tri-Tip with Mexican Dry Rub
For the Dry Rub:
For the Beef:
- 2 ½ – 3 lbs tri-tip
- Mix all the dry rubs ingredients together.
- Using a sharp knife, cut slits throughout the tri-tip. Front and back.
- Pour the rub all over the tri-tip.
- Spread it evenly on the front and back of the meat.
- Let sit 1 hour. Overnight is best.
- Heat the grill to 350 degrees F.
- Place the tri-tip on the grill for 15 minutes.
- Turn and cook for an additional 15 minutes.
- If you like your beef more cooked, move to indirect heat until you reach desired doneness.
- Remove from the grill and cover with foil paper.
- Let rest before slicing.
- Slice as thin as possible and serve.
Maggie Unzueta is the writer/blogger, photographer, recipe developer, videographer, and creator of In Mama Maggie's Kitchen. She has been developing easy and authentic Mexican food, Mexican-inspired recipes, and traveling tips since 2010. From family recipes to her extensive travels throughout Mexico, she brings traditional Mexican flavors from South of the Border and into your kitchen. Maggie has been featured in notable culinary websites and other media outlets. For more details, check out her About page.