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Dec 30, 2009 04:04 PM

Cooking a Tri Tip Roast in the oven

I have a 16 pound tri tip roast that I would like to cook in the oven. I don't know how long to cook it or at what temperature. I have read much information that suggests a higher heat is best (450 degrees) however I'm concerned that may be too high for such a large roast. Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions? Could I cook it at a lower temperature and if so, how long?

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  1. The only time I did one in the oven I braised it. My father-in-law was outraged ("You POT-ROASTED a TRI-TIP???"), but when you consider what kind of meat it is - working muscle, lots of connective tissue - long and slow and moist just makes sense. It was delicious; even Mrs. O, who much prefers rare roast to pot roast, thought it was very good.

    Pa-in-law always did his over high heat in his iron grill pan; I do that or use the gas grill. If I were going to try dry-roasting I'd be tempted to lard it first, just to give it some internal fat. This works for that dry, dry pork loin you get nowadays. I must say I've also roasted eye of round with sheets of suet tied on to cover the outside (this I believe is barding, as opposed to larding), and that worked pretty well.

    1. LOL @ Mr. Owen. I cook Tri Tip in the oven all the time, but I'm with your FIL. I would NEVER braise!!!
      I cook it like a rib roast... heat oven to 450 and cook for about 25 mins to sear then reduce oven to 350 and cook until medium rare.
      I'm surprised at the size of your roast! Sixteen pounds is enourmous. I mostly find tri tip in the 2 1/2 to 3 pound range.

      2 Replies
      1. re: janetms383

        Wow!! What army are you feeding. I'm in agreement with janetms with the high heat start, but I'd cook it longer because I don't think you'd get enough browning on a piece of meat that large in only 25 minutes. Contrary to popular belief, starting your roast at a higher temperature doesn't "sear" the outside, but it does speed up the malliard reaction for browning. I'd also pull the heat down to 300 - 325; it takes a long time to get the interior of something that large up to temperature for even cooking. At least, with a roast that large, you don't need to be as concerned with deep interior temperature where harmful bacteria is unlikely to have penetrated. Even so, food safety rules for minimum safe consumption temperatures still need to be adhered to.
        Be sure to put your tri-tip on a rack so it doesn't boil in its own juices and become the braise that you don't want to occur. How long to cook? The variables (density of the meat, bone in or boneless, amount of fat, thickness of the cut, oven temperature variations, temperature of the roast when it enters the oven) are so great that most modern cookbook authors don't even speak to recommended lengths of time, only to internal temperatures. If it were my roast I'd estimate about 25 - 30 minutes per pound and let my meat thermometer tell me when I reached my goal.

        1. re: todao

          "LOL @ Mr. Owen. I cook Tri Tip in the oven all the time, but I'm with your FIL. I would NEVER braise!!!"

          Welll... some time after this exchange, I was reading an article about the famed Viennese "Boiled" Beef, which is of course not boiled but simmered very slowly. There are three cuts used for this, the most expensive and highly prized being the Tafelspitz, or "Table-corner". This obscure Middle-European cut turns out to be... tri-tip!

          Of course, in spite of being of German descent himself, pa-in-law despised German (including Austrian) food as coarse and inedible, or at least necessarily inferior to French, so this revelation went exactly nowhere with him.

      2. Wow. 16 lbs? What kinda cow did THAT come from?

        I love tritip and make it at least every other week. I have found that in the 3 lb range it is sometimes hard to keep from overcooking it...............I actually freeze mine and cook them from frozen. 325' , uncovered, somewhere around 2 1/2-3 hours. Take out at 130' and let sit for 20 min or so. Comes up to 140' and is uniformly pink, juicy, doesn't lose a lot of juice when cut. Crusty brown on the outside. I prefer this to cooking it fresh. A revelation !!

        1. 16 pound tri tip roast?

          Can I ask what butcher or archaeologist you bought that Tyrannosaurus Rex from?

          1 Reply
          1. I roast a 2.5-3.0 lb tri tip at 450 for 45-60 mins -- rare in center and of course med-well done further out...roast onions and potatoes along side.