How to Cook Tri-Tip on Gas Grill

One of the best steak cuts for grilling is the triangle-shaped tri-tip beef roast, which comes from the bottom sirloin. When cooked on the gas grill and seasoned using the right flavor ingredients, it develops an unbeatable smoky flavor that will get you craving more.

If this is one of such recipes you have never explored and you’re wondering where to start, leave it to us to guide you through the process. Just pay attention to all the tips and guidelines we’ve provided in this article to ensure desirable results.

Tips for Cooking Tri-Tip on Gas Grill

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The following tips and recommendations will make sure the cooking process for tri-tip on a gas grill is an easy one and will also guarantee pleasant-tasting results:

Prepare the roast appropriately – Cut just beneath the skin with a sharp steak knife. To remove the chewy “silver skin,” keep cutting across the meat. Then, on the steak’s exterior, cut away any excess fat.

While tri-tip is typically a lean piece of meat, some fat may be present on the exterior portion, which you will need to trim off.

Seasoning ideas – In a big dish, place your steak. Then, on each side of the tri-tip roast, apply 2 to 3 tablespoons of a dry rub or pour around 2 to 3 tablespoons of marinade.

Combine one tablespoon of kosher salt, one tablespoon of black pepper, two teaspoons of sugar, ¾ teaspoon of garlic powder, ¾ teaspoon of onion powder, and ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper in one bowl if you’d make your dry rub.

Arrange a plastic wrap piece over the top of the seasoned roast dish, then refrigerate it overnight to flavor it fully. Allow for a minimum of 1 to 3 hours of absorption if you wish to cook the roast on that same day.

Allow your meat to reach room temperature – If you want the most delicious results, don’t cook your tri-tip roast right after it comes out of the fridge. Place it on the top of your counter for a minimum of 1 hour, make sure to keep the lid on during this period, then leave the meat to get to room temperature.

The meat becomes juicier and more tender when it can stand at room temperature for a while.

Take the roast off the grill a bit earlier – Your tri-tip roast will typically keep cooking for several minutes after removing it from the grill. As a result, taking the steak out is preferable when it’s around 2 to 5 degrees below your preferred temperature. Lift your steak with tongs and place it on a dish.

Slice across the grain – After leaving your roast to rest for about 10 minutes after being taken off the heat, you can slice it. To do this properly, first determine the direction of the meat grain or the direction in which the muscle fibers are arranged. Then, slice the roast across it using a sharp steak knife instead of cutting parallel to the grain.

Cooking Time for Tri-Tip on Gas Grill

Ideally, you should time your cooking process for tri-tip on a gas grill using the guidelines provided in the table below:

Cooking Procedure

Cooking Time

Cooking a tri-tip roast on a gas grill

20 to 40 minutes

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Santa Maria Style Tri-Tip (5 to 8 Servings)

  • Author: Bobby


  • 1 (2½ to 4 pound) tri-tip

For the Santa Maria Rub (the ingredients below will suffice for a 4-pound roast)

  • One tablespoon of kosher salt
  • One tablespoon of finely ground black pepper
  • One tablespoon of garlic powder
  • One tablespoon of onion powder
  • One teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • One tablespoon of dried oregano
  • One teaspoon of dried rosemary (or fresh, finely minced)
  • ½ teaspoon of dried sage


  1. In a bowl, combine the rub’s ingredients.
  2. Arrange the tri-tip roast within a baking pan or a roasting pan with a tight-fitting lid (this way, the rub will be kept from spilling all over the floor).
  3. Apply the rub all over the meat, massaging it with your hands.
  4. Cover the roast in a plastic wrap or foil and set it aside at room temperature for an hour to remove the chill and enable the rub to work.
  5. On one side of your grill, prepare for direct heat, and on the other, prepare for indirect heat. (If you’re using a wood-fired grill, Santa Maria BBQ recommends red oak.)
  6. For about 3 to 4 minutes per side, sear the tri-tip roast. During this time, keep an eye on the roast since one side is usually quite fatty, and when the fat heats up, it might drip down and trigger flare-ups. If flare-ups develop, keep sliding the tri-tip off the flame.
  7. Move the tri-tip off the direct heat portion and set it with the flat side facing upwards on the grill rack once seared on all sides. If you’re using a gas grill that has a top rack, it is recommended to put the roast on that rack and catch the fat drippings using an aluminum tray on the lower rack.
  8. Make sure to maintain a grill temperature between 250 and 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
  9. Cook until the inner temperature of the tri-tip roast reaches a minimum of 120°F for rare results, 130°F for medium-rare, and 140°F for medium.
  10. Depending on the temperature you set your gas grill to, our preferred degree of doneness, and the size of the tri-tip cut you’re working with, the meat should take between 20 to 40 minutes to cook.
  11. After removing the roast from the fire, the inside temperature will rise by at least 5°F.
  12. Remove the roast from the grill as it reaches temperature and let it rest for 10-15 minutes, loosely tent with foil.
  13. To serve, cut the roast across the grain.

This recipe for tri-tip on a gas grill delivers such satisfying results, especially when cooked according to the recipe’s instructions. Also, ensure to pay attention to the timing guidelines in the recipe.

If you’d like to see more inspiration or ideas for cooking a tri-tip roast on a gas grill, check out this video recipe.