Cooking Tri-Tip Roast- A California Thing

Easy tri-tip recipe

It wasn’t until recently I noticed tri-tip roast at the grocery store. After asking around, I learned it was a “California thing.” I’ve never cooked a tri-tip roast before, but I have a love for any and all roasts. Roasts can easily be put into the crockpot or instapot. The majority of the work is done there, and you have a good meal when you’re ready.

Easy tri-tip recipe

Before cooking my tri-top roast, I researched it a little bit. Tri-tip is not expensive and we got 2 person meal for about $20. Just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean I was ok with messing it up.

Cooking Tri-Tip Roast

So What is Tri-Tip Roast?

Tri-tip is native to California. It’s triangular-shaped meat and is cut from the bottom of the sirloin. It usually has lower fat than many other cuts. You can learn more about Tri-Tip Roast here and why it is most common in California.

Tri-roast became popular in the 1950s. Because tri-tip roast comes from the sirloin’s tip, there is only one cut of tri-tip per side of beef. Before recently, it was seen as a waste use display space to display a steak they could only offer 2 pieces of. Previously it would be used to make hamburgers or stewed, but in the 1950s, butchers realized they could actually do a lot more with tri-tip. 

The most common way to “season” tri-tip is the Santa Maria Style, but you can use whatever you want, and I’ve now seen Cajun seasoning too.

What is Santa Maria Dry Rub?

I learned all about Santa Maria Dry rub here. You can make your own, but this is a fairly easy and standard mix. I actually bought this on Amazon, and it’s been excellent.

Do You NEED to use a dry rub on tri-tip?

Of course not. It just adds flavor.

So before making this tri-trip roast, ask yourself a few things:

  • Do you like a roast?
  • Do you like easy dinners cooked in less than 30 minutes with minimal preparation?
  • Do you want to impress friends or family with a roast they might not have heard of?

Cooking Tri-Tip Roast

If you answered yes to these, you are ready to make a tri-tip roast.

How to Cook a Tri-Tip Roast in the Instapot or Pressure Cooker:

Cooking Tri-Tip Roast

Instapot Tri-Tip Roast Recipe

Easy instapot tri-tip roast recipe
Course Main Course
Cuisine American


  • Instapot or pressure cooker
  • Instapot rack


  • 4 lbs Tri-Tip Roast
  • 1 cup Beef Broth
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup Dry rub
  • Vegetables of your choice. I like carrots, onions, and potatoes


  • 1. Remove layer of fat off of the tri-tip.
  • 2. Rub dry rub all over the tri-tip.
  • 3. Add olive oil to bottom of the instapot.
  • 4. Using "saute mode" on the Instapot, brown both sides of the tri-tip.
  • 5. Remove tri-tip and add vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, or onions at the bottom.
  • 6. Place the rack at the bottom of the instapot.
  • 7. Put the tri-tip on top of the rack. Pour beef broth on top.
  • 8. Select "Meat" button and cook on high-pressure for 25 minutes.
  • 9. Once finished ensure the internal temperature if 145 degrees.
Keyword dinner, roast, tri-tip

A few tips for your Tri-Tip Roast:

  • Searing the meat: Searing the meat beforehand allows the tri-tip roast (or any roast really) to be more juicy and flavorful.
  • Use the Rack: One thing you definitely want to do when cooking your tri-tip roast in the instapot is use a rack. I bought this one and it keeps it from sitting on the bottom of the pot.
  • Adding Liquid: Adding 1 cup of beef broth allows it to be more flavorful.
  • This recipe will make the tri-tip roast medium-rare with some pink. If you prefer less pink, cook for more time. Always make sure the internal temperature is 145 degrees.

Cooking Tri-Tip Roast

Tri-Tip Roast Conclusion:

This has become one of our staple dinner recipes. It’s easy and not too expensive. You might even have leftovers for the next day.

You can see more recipes here.

Questions for you:

Have you tried tri-tip roast before?

What is a staple dinner recipe you have? 

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