The delicious tri tip steak comes from one of the toughest muscles on the cow, but still, it has some of the best flavor on this animal. It is also, a great candidate for a long bath in a delicious marinade. You can marinade them in some lime, garlic, cilantro and jalapeno and it will turn out to be one of the most tastiest steak you will eat.
But, even though it is one of the most tastiest and one of the most used stakes out there, a lot of people don't know how to serve it. So, I am going to show you how to cut tri tip steaks and serve it to your friends and family, just like you should.
What is a Tri-Tip
A tri-tip is a cut of meat from the cow that is shaped in a triangular fashion. In fact, a quick glance in its direction, and you might think you are looking at a weird boomerang.
Laying it out in front of you, the right side is shorter than the left. The far side of the left turns a little bit, and you’ll notice that this one piece of meat has a grain that runs in three different directions. Basically, It is a bottom sirloin sub primal cut.
If you look at this cut more in depth, you’ll see that there is a seam of fat that runs from the top point to the bottom. It’s from this seam that you will notice the grains running against each other.
Having such a complex steak in front of you will cause a dizzying effect on you and It will shake your confidence when you try to slice it, and you will start asking your friends or search online for the proper way to cut this triangular shaped beef.
To begin the cutting process, you will need a few basic tools.
But first, a lot of people want to know if it is best to cut a tri-tip cooked or uncooked.
Should You Cut a Tri-Tip Cooked or Uncooked
A lot of people are wondering if they first should cut their steak and then cook it or the vice versa.
We recommend you to cut it after you cook it. We suggest broiling or grilling yours with salt, pepper and fresh garlic.
As recommended for most of lean cut steaks, the tri tip is best cooked to medium-rare (130 to 135 F degrees). However, have in mind that the triangular tapered shape means that its tails will be more done and the thicker center, which will be pinkish-red.
After you finish your desired cooking process and this piece of meat is at the recommended temperature, cover it and let it rest for 15 minutes.
You need this rest period to allow the juices to settle and stop flowing. If you skip this step and directly cut your steak, your cut will open the meat, and the juices will race out, and you could end up with a dry steak.
After your steak has rested for about 15 minutes, it is time to cut it. Place it on a cutting board with a gully or trough to catch the juices as you cut it.
Why should you properly cut it? Well, if you don't cut it as it should, it can be chewy and it will not taste good.
What You Will Need
In order to properly cut this type of beef, you will need a few basic tools.
Usually, a tri-tip weights about 1.5 to 2.5 pounds and it will be enough to serve 3 to 4 people or more, if you are making sandwiches.
As for the required tools, all these tools are standard kitchen supplies but they are all necessary, so make sure to find them all.
Quick Cutting Tip: When using a cutting board, a wet towel underneath will keep the cutting board from moving about. This creates a safe environment when you are first learning to cut any kind of cooked meat.
How to Cut Tri Tip
Cutting isn’t that difficult, it is just a little confusing in the beginning, especially if it is your first time cutting this type of steak.
Think back to the raw piece of meat that lay before you about an hour ago, and that seam of fat. From that seam the grains run in two different direction.
Your initial cut will be on that seam, split your tri-tip in half, and examine again how the seams run.
You will start cutting your first half, perpendicular to the grain, on an angle as you go down. This method is referred to as, cutting on the bias or cutting against the grain, and this is type of cut maximizes the tenderness of the meat.
After you finish the first half, distinguish the grain starting from the seam on the second half.
Repeat the method from the first half, cutting on the bias.
You should be able to identify how the seam changes on this second half of your tri tip. You will work your way about three quarters of the way down before you find the second change in the grain.
Rotate your meat, and finish the cutting, always having in mind to cut against the grain.
That's it! As I said in the upper paragraphs, cutting a tri tip steak isn't that difficult. It is just a bit confusing if you haven't done it before or don't know the steaks anatomy.
You should feel better now, knowing how to cut tri tip. Now, it is time to impress your friends with your tender slices, and amaze them with how easy it is to produce these tasty morsels of beef.