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. If the meat touches the bottom of the pan is will get a burnt spot. 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.
  4. 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. Coupons


{ 90 comments… read them below or add one }

aliyya August 31, 2014 at 2:49 pm

**I heard about tri tip steak but never tried it…or at least I thought I had never tried it!…Once I bought a tri tip roast, I was like “oooohhhh…”..:)..I’ll let you know how it came out after dinner**


aliyya August 31, 2014 at 2:45 pm

great!!!!!thank you thank you


Do August 23, 2014 at 12:15 pm

Want to try to cook a tritip for the first time. Will do it in oven as I am not a grill master and didn’t see whether or not to close the grill lid for those 30-45 min?


aliyya August 31, 2014 at 2:50 pm

..exactly…so I did it on 350 for 1-1/2hr


Terence August 4, 2014 at 5:52 pm

Just wanted to add a variation that my mother used to do. The marinade was plain old yellow mustard and Worcestershire sauce. First slather the mustard all over the tri-tip, then dribble Worcestershire sauce, working it all over until it goes uniformly brown. It’s definitely a hands-on method. Leave it as long as you like — two hours, four hours, overnight. Then she did pretty much everything you said — room temperature, fat side up, a rack, 350 oven for about 45 minutes — but I don’t remember her flipping it. Let it rest a bit, slice across the grain… and the taste was mmmmmmmmm wow!


tipsy August 4, 2014 at 11:26 pm

Thanks Terence! I think I’ll give that a try.


Julie July 25, 2014 at 7:26 am

I tried this recipe for a dinner party and it turned out great. A few days before roasting it in the oven, I butterflied the meat and tenderized it in beer. Then, I stuffed it with cooked bacon, fresh cracked pepper, pepper jack cheese and fresh minced garlic. I pinned it together with turkey lacing pins and followed the instructions on this recipe. It was a hit and it all disappeared. Thanks for the recipe!


Lisa July 17, 2014 at 1:13 pm

I stuff mine with horseradish and onions , very good !!!


NanaT June 19, 2014 at 6:29 pm

Very long week wanted Tri Tip really bad. Binged different ways to cook Tri Tip, this sounded yummy, and easy, here’s hoping it turns out AWSOME!!!!
Thanks for the instructions.


Tammy maxwell June 15, 2014 at 3:34 pm

This is the Best direction on how to cook a tri tip! I buy mine seasoned and could never cook a steak to my liking. This is resturaunt quality instructions! Thank you so much!


Mary June 4, 2014 at 3:55 pm

I’ve never cooked a tri tip before. I don’t like my meat medium rare, but more medium well. I bought a marinated one and am wondering if cooking it to med well on the grill will dry it out. Will oven roasting it do the same?
When I make a roast in the oven, I always put potatoes and carrots in the same pan and cover it with foil. Would foil keep it from drying out with the longer cook time?


tipsy June 5, 2014 at 9:28 am

Hi Mary,
Tri-tip is usually pretty forgiving when it comes to drying out during cooking. If your tri-tip is marbled well (with fat) it will sort of baste itself while it cooks. On the grill, I would still not go past medium though, because the tri-tip is not bullet-proof. It will keep cooking after you take it off the grill and take it from medium up to at least medium-well.
With regard to cooking it in the oven. You can treat it like other roasts and it should come out very good. Adding vegetables around it should make both the meat and the veggies turn out great.


Mary June 5, 2014 at 4:02 pm

Thanks so much!


Pat May 28, 2014 at 7:40 pm

Followed your instructions, came out perfect. Thanks!


Granny May 21, 2014 at 3:09 pm

That is a poopie recipe


tipsy May 21, 2014 at 5:48 pm

Haha! And that – Granny – is a poopie comment.


Max April 18, 2014 at 6:02 pm

Looking forward to trying this out tonight! I love tri tip but have never attempted in the oven.


Mike March 29, 2014 at 1:40 pm

Awesome Recipe! Followed to the T and came out perfect!


JOHN CAMPBELL March 1, 2014 at 6:55 pm

Doing this tonight! I especially like your tip about starting the Tri tip Upside Down! I never thought of that! I usually do my Tri Tip on the grill, but due to bad weather needed a tip for bringing one of our favorite family meals “in doors”
And BTW; If helpful, I’ve had REALLY good luck with seasoned salt,garlic powder,and coarse ground pepper for rub! Thanks again for the tip!


Kara February 23, 2014 at 12:14 pm

I am going to try this recipe tonight. My husband usually brbq’s the tri tip and he has it perfected! We like it medium well, so I’m guessing I just need to cook it a little longer after I flip it? Here’s hoping it works for me!


Jasmin L February 8, 2014 at 2:34 pm


Just want to let you know that I used your recipe twice now and my tri tip came out perfect each time. Your recipe is a keeper. Many thanks. I will post a pic of my tri tip on tumblr and will give you credit for your recipe. I will do it this weekend.
Thanks again!


Daphne February 4, 2014 at 5:34 pm

Absolutely perfect recipe! Easy and came out exactly as you said it would, and I’ve never cooked tri-tip in my life! The only tip I would add is for those of us who don’t have a roasting rack, I used raw sliced potatoes. I lined the bottom of my pan with 1/4-1/2 inch slices. When the meat was done I ended up with juicy soaked delicious potatoe slices. I used them to garnish the side of the plate, but they ended up being a bigger hit than anything else, except the tri-tip of course!
Thanks again!


Barbara Dispenza February 3, 2014 at 8:46 pm

This is the first time I ever cooked or ate Tri Tip Roast. I wasn’t sure what to do with it. I put it into Google to see what would turn up. I’m sincerely grateful that your site came up. That was the easiest and tastiest roast I’ve ever had. It turned out picture (your picture) perfect. I wouldn’t change a thing! Thank you again. This dish will become a mainstay in our house from now on and I will be visiting your site more often.


Katie January 25, 2014 at 9:54 pm

Thank you so much for this amazing recipe! This was the first time I’ve tried making my own tri tip, not the already pre-marinated ones from Trader Joes. It was delicious! I used the few juices in the pan to saté with mushrooms. Everything was amazing. I’m so happy to have a new roast option that doesn’t require I babysit it all day long. Thanks again!


lee ann January 10, 2014 at 9:14 pm

Thank you for the perfect recipe, made for a perfect meal-we demolished our tri-tip, it was wonderful!!! We will be doing this again! :)


Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: