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How to Cut a Tri Tip Steak: A Quick Guide

Tri-tip steak reputation has grown rapidly in recent years, because of its amazing flavor. It’s really cheaper compared to other delicious meat parts such as for example ribeye. It has a lot of fat in the meat, which makes the flavor even better.

The tri-tip is the segment of the lower part of the subprimal cut. Tri-tip steak in some regions is also known as Santa-Maria steak. The name (Santa-Maria) comes from California, which is really popular and one of the most wanted steak parts in the region.

Some time ago, people only used tri-tip for hamburgers and in some rare cases sandwiches. Then they realized it’s one of the tastiest steak cuts in the whole world.

What Do We Call a Tri Tip Steak?

Tri-tip steak is a meat part of the lower part of the subprimal cut, which is full of fat and tender beef. The popularity of tri-tip steak comes from the flavor it has compared to other steaks.

Tri-tip steak is also called triangle steak, because of the triangular tri-tip toast. Tri-tip steak can also be with bones, but boneless tri-tip steaks are better because they are leaner and have more marbling compared to the ones that have bones.

For some time, tri-tip steak was considered to be only good for burgers as it has a lot of marbling and it needs to be roasted. People really didn’t know that you can cook tri-tip steak in a way that it’s not that tough to chew. It’s actually one of the most enjoyable meat parts in the world.

Cutting Tri-Tip in a Unique Way and Why It’s Important

The importance of cutting this type of steak is much more important than cutting regular steaks and I will tell you why.

If you cut incorrectly you may end up with a steady, tough mass really hard to handle and chew, which can totally mess up your appetite.

When cut right, tri-tip steak maintains its tenderness and marbling through the whole cooking process.

Cutting the tri-tip from the roast makes it cheaper as opposed to buying already cut ones. And also cutting cooked tri-tip is better and I will talk about it later in the article.

How to Actually Cut It

Cutting a tri-tip steak totally depends on your knowledge of how and where the grains run. To make the slicing process easy you always need to cut across the grain to make the chewing process easy.

Knowing where the grains run helps you ease the process really much. Visual representation is always better but I will try to explain to you step by step how you do it.

Cut the tri-tip steak from the shorter side of the triangle which has a vertical grain. Now slice it vertically from the shortest side of the triangle which has a grain.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Slicing Tri-Tip Steak

Slicing the tri-tip steak isn’t hard but isn’t easy either. It’s a complex process, which means that a slight difference in cutting a steak can result in a different outcome.

1. Put the roast on a cutting board in a way that the top point is closest to you

2. Cut the steak in half

3. Take the longer half of the sliced roast and point it 30-35 degrees towards yourself

4. Start cutting slices across the grain

5. Continue cutting slices

6. Turn the meat in a way that’s pointing to your strong hand

7. Now cut against the grain

8. Continue cutting thin slices until all parts are complete.

After your steak is done, you can learn a lot about seeing the grains and having ‘access’ to them.

The actual finished product lets you know what did you do wrong or right in the cutting process, so the next time you cut it it’s going to be a cakewalk for you.

Cut It Raw vs Cut It Cooked

There’s always a question of when to cut it. Cut it cooked or cut it raw?

That’s up to your preference. However, cutting it cooked has its advantages. When you cut it cooked, the juiciness and flavor are better, compared to cutting it raw.

When you cut it from the start of the process marbling and juiciness will likely lose its 50% during roasting or grilling or any other cooking process. I recommend you roast your steak on indirect heat.

If you want to use direct heat you should sear your steak and after putting it in direct heat you need to move it to a cooler temperature, so the searing really kicks in and the steak doesn’t get overcooked or burned.

Cooking the Tri-Tip

Cooking a steak will take like 8-9 minutes to get it done medium. But it differentiates depending on your preference as you know. Roasting is always a better option in terms of sharing it.

What I mean by sharing is that when you have guests and a lot of different people coming roasting can unite the different doneness lovers together for the love of tri-tip steak.

When you cut right tri-tip steak, it’s one of the most delicious steak parts, but again we suggest you cut it after cooking to get the maximum flavor.

Final Thoughts

I am glad I have helped you prepare for what’s to come.

Now you know how you cut a tri-tip steak. I know you can be nervous on the first try, but don’t worry. If you don’t try, you won’t succeed.

Trust me after the first try you will realize what you did wrong or what mistakes you made during the cutting process, so the next time you cut it, it will be really easy as you’ll have mastered the cutting process with your own hands.

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