How to Cook Tri-Tip in the Oven, Step-by-step

by tipsy on March 25, 2012


Tri-Tip in the Oven: It can be done - here's how, step-by-step

Tri-tip in the oven.

How to cook tri-tip in the oven is one of the most common requests I get. When I was between houses and had a friend babysitting my grill, I figured it was a perfect time to cook tri-tip in the oven and report back to you. Here's how you do it:

  1. First...get an oven.
  2. Then get yourself about a three pound tri-tip and either marinade it or rub it with your favorite flavoring. If I didn't have a prepared spice, I have just rubbed the meat with olive oil and used salt and pepper to season it. It is absolutely delicious.Just as when cooking a tri-tip on the grill - let it come to room temperature before you start to cook.
  3. Pre-heat the oven to 425° F. (You're going to get the oven nice and hot, then when you put the meat in the oven, you'll reduce the temperature.) When you cook tri-tip in the oven, it helps to use a roasting pan with a rack to keep the meat off the bottom of the pan. The meat will get a burnt spot if it touches the pan. One solution is to place a slice of onion between any point where the tri-tip touches the bottom of the roasting pan. I also like to line the pan with aluminum foil to help make clean-up easier

I do not cover the roast during cooking. I figure the environment inside the oven is pretty close to a grill with the lid closed. The dry heat helps create a nice crust on the roast.

  1. Place the roasting pan on the center rack of the oven - fat side up. The fat will drip nicely down the sides and keep basting the meat. Reduce the oven temperature to 350° F. Set the timer for about 30 minutes.Tri-tip in the oven.

Tri-tip in the oven - the "grilling" rules apply: NO Poking, NO Flipping, No cutting (yet). The juice is all in there, it's not going anywhere.

Check the meat after 30 minutes to see how it's doing. It should barely spring back when you touch the thickest part. It should still be rare in the center, but it should have a nice brown crust on the fat. You can let this go a little longer if you like. But once I get a little char on the fat, I flip the meat ONE TIME.

Cook it on that rack another 10-15 minutes. Then, take it out and tent it with aluminum foil and let it rest about 5-10 minutes. Slice it across the grain for maximum tenderness. It should be delicious.

Since I used the oven, I wrapped a couple of potatoes in foil, with a little butter, and baked them with the tri-tip. By the time the meat was done, the potatoes were too.

Just be kind to your meat. Don't stab it or poke at it. Don't flip it every two minutes - let it cook! What did your meat ever do to you?

Tri-tip in the Oven Recipe

3-4 lb. Beef tri-tip (trimmed or untrimmed)

1 T. vegetable or olive oil

Your favorite rub or salt and pepper

Large onion slices, approximately 1/4 in. thick (optional)


  1. Coat the meat with a light coating of oil, then sprinkle liberally with your chosen spice rub.
    Cover with plastic, and allow tri-tip assume room temperature.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 425° F
  3. Place tri-tip on roasting rack inside heavy roasting pan. - Optional: place onion slices beneath meat to avoid burning on bottom of pan.
  4. Place the tri-tip in the oven and reduce temperature setting to 350° F (let it cook for about 30 minutes as the temperature coasts down)
  5. Check meat for doneness by pressing on the meat with your finger (don't stab it!) if it's very soft and spongy, flip meat one time and continue cooking another 10-15 minutes for medium-rare.
  6. Remove tri-tip from oven, loosely cover with foil, and let it rest for about 10 minutes.
  7. Slice - across the grain - and serve your happy guests.



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