Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >
Feb 6, 2007 12:58 PM

Tri Tip Roasts and Steaks

I have been getting this cut of meat regualrly and I must say, that our American counterparts latched on to something with this cut. It is not so popular in Toronto yet, but is catching on.
I was first turned on to these by Paul at the Royal Beef and I have not looked back since.


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Poorboy, while I have not tried the tri tip from Royal Beef, the couple of times I've had it, I've found it to be on the tough side.

    1 Reply
    1. re: FlavoursGal

      FlavoursGal, how did you prepare the tri-tip, and where did you get it from? I have always purchased from Royal Beef, grilled the steaks to medium rare, then sliced them fairly thinly across the grain. Aside from the occasional bit of gristle, the tri-tips have been tasty and tender.

    2. The reason, apparently, that we've been slow to catch on to tri-tips, is that until the mad cow scare, all our Canadian tri-tips were shipped to the States, and none were left for us.

      Since the mad cow hoohah, I've been making hay, or rather, braised beef in spiced red wine, spaghetti sauce, and some truly amazing chili with tri-tip. It is a fine, fine piece of meat...

      1. Having heard all of the hoopla about tri-tips, and having been persuaded a few years ago by Paul at Royal Beef to try one, I did. It seemed a great bargain, but I found it quite tough and not altogether wonderful. Certainly not a replacement for skirt steak (my favourite), flank steak, or a more marbled and tender roast cut. I tried a second and third, did both steaks and a roast, got similar results, and haven't had another.

        My understanding is that this cut is used widely for a type of BBQ in specific areas of California and is not otherwise all that popular.

        7 Replies
        1. re: embee

          I think that tri-tip is a cut that originated in California. I had it for the first time at an aunt's house in L.A. years and years ago.

          I agree with you about skirt steak, embee, and I also love hanger steak. Both are well-marbled and incredibly flavourful.

          1. re: FlavoursGal

            Despite my user name, I was born and raised in Santa Maria, Califrnia, home of the tri-tip. It was "invented" by a butcher at the Safeway there years ago.

            And it's the featured meat in glorious Santa Maria barbeque.

            1. re: Bostonbob3

              Do you have a favourite way to prepare it?
              I usually set it to one side of the BBQ, turn the heat on the other side, and let it cook slow. Well, that's for the larger cuts.
              I spice with just plain old S&P, and love it. It's not just about how you BBQ it, it's important to cut it the right way IMO, across the grain.

              1. re: Poorboy

                Absolutely; the classic Santa Maria BBQ way:

                Santa Maria Tri-tip

                1 tablespoon salt
                1/2 teaspoon black pepper
                1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
                1 prime top sirloin steak (3" thick), or tri-tip
                Red oak logs, or charcoal and oak chips


                First, oakwood logs are placed in a pit with movable grate and burned until red-hot. Backyard chefs also can use charcoal mixed with oakwood chips and bark available at local markets. Once lit, the fire should be hot but not blazing.
                Season the meat with salt, pepper and garlic salt to your desire.

                Do not trim off the fat before putting the meat on the grill. By placing the fat side over the fire first, the juice will come up through the meat and make it tender.

                Sear the lean part of the meat over the fire for 5 to 10 minutes to seal in the juices, then flip over to the fat side for 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the size of the cut and the desired degree of doneness. When juice appears at the top of the meat, it is time to flip for another 30-45 minutes.

                The fat can easily be trimmed after cooking. It is important to slice tri-tip against the grain the long way, not across the triangle. It won't be a uniform cut but it will be more tender.

                1. re: Bostonbob3

                  Sorry, I am going to have to say we only have a propane BBQ here, but I will try and do this justice somehow.
                  I love tri-tips so I am certain I will love this recipe. :)

                  1. re: Poorboy

                    I use a Smoker Box available at just about any hardware store on my propane bbq. (Propane by circumstance, not choice.) Wrapping chips in a foil bag and poking a small hole into it works as well, but the box is muuuuuuuuch better.

                    You can get oak chips at Sobie's Barbecues near Yonge & Sheppard. I'm sure others here will tell you more places. Chips found at major hardware chains are usually only mesquite and hickory and are inferior to Sobie's.

                    I find that if I soak separate batches of chips for varying lengths of time, the smoke can last up to a half hour (or more with a little luck).

                    1. re: Googs

                      They have a nice selection of wood chips at Bass Pro Shop. Not sure if they have oak but the usual suspects, plus apple, cherry, alder to name a few.


        2. If I wanted to get a tri tip roast at a supermarket, what would I look for? Is there another name for this cut?

          4 Replies
          1. re: Nyleve

            Does your market sell "culotte steaks", there are different ways to spell "culotte".

            In my area, a culotte steak is cut from a tri tip roast.

            1. re: Nyleve

              According to the Hormel website (believe it or not, a decent source for culinary info), tri-tip and culotte are one and the same, but I don't believe I've ever seen it referred to as "culotte" in Toronto

              By the way, the tri-tip looks like a triangular piece of meat, maybe 6"x6"x6".


              1. re: FlavoursGal

                I've never seen anything called culotte. I could, I suppose, ask the butcher at my local IGA if he could cut a tri-tip. I suspect he'd have some idea what I'm talking about.

                1. re: Nyleve

                  As far as I know, these two names identify the same cut. I've never seen it called culotte in Toronto and I've never seen it in a Toronto supermarket.

            2. I love the tri tip. I have never had a tough one. Again, like Full Tummy, I grill it and cut it acorss the grain. I get mine from Whiteveen meats at SLM. They've been nothing short of incredible.

              Supposedly the tri tip was "Invented" by a butcher in a Safeway (Or something like that) in Sante Fe, NM. At least, that was what someone on another thread posted some time ago.


              2 Replies
              1. re: Davwud

                Santa MARIA, Califoria, not Santa Fe. Gotta protect my homies.

                1. re: Bostonbob3

                  I saw your post above.

                  My mistake. A thousand appologies to you and your homies.