This Balsamic Marinated Tri-Tip roast is perfect on the BBQ. It needs at least 12 hours and up to 3 days of marinating time for maximum flavor.
Why You will Love this Recipe
- Flavorful and Tender: Tri-tip is a flavorful and relatively lean cut of beef, and marinating it in balsamic vinegar enhances its taste and tenderness. The acidity in balsamic vinegar helps to break down the fibers in the meat, resulting in a more tender and juicy texture. The marinade also infuses the meat with a rich, slightly sweet, and tangy flavor that elevates the overall taste of the dish.
- Versatile and Customizable: Balsamic marinated tri-tip is incredibly versatile, allowing you to customize the marinade to your preferences. While this recipe is done with Oriental flavors, you can add various herbs, spices, and aromatics to the marinade to create a unique flavor profile. For example, you might include garlic, rosemary, thyme, or red pepper flakes to complement the balsamic vinegar. This versatility allows you to tailor the dish to suit your taste and experiment with different combinations of flavors.
- Simple Cooking Process: Grilling marinated tri-tip is a relatively simple cooking process that yields impressive results. The marinating step should be done ahead of time, allowing the flavors to develop. Once marinated, grilling the tri-tip is a quick process, taking just a few minutes per side depending on your preferred level of doneness. This makes it a great option for weeknight dinners, weekend barbecues, or gatherings with friends and family.
What is Tri-Tip?
Tri-tip is a flavorful and versatile beef cut taken from the bottom sirloin of the cow. It's known for its triangular shape, hence the name "tri-tip." This cut is relatively lean but has some marbling in the meat which contributes to its tenderness and juiciness. Tri-tip is popular for grilling, smoking, or roasting, making it a favorite for barbecues and gatherings.
Its rich, beefy flavor pairs well with a variety of marinades, rubs, and seasonings, allowing for creative customization to suit different taste preferences. When cooked, tri-tip develops a caramelized crust on the outside while staying tender and moist on the inside. It's typically sliced against the grain into thin strips, which enhances its tenderness.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Tri-Tip roast - The recipe is written for using one of about 2 pounds in weight. If you use a larger one, adjust your marinade ingredients and cooking time. If you can't find tri-tip where you live, you could substitute a London broil or flank steak. Due to the thinness of flank steak, do not marinate for more than 12 hours.
- Soy Sauce - I always use low-sodium.
- Olive Oil - or other vegetable oil.
- Fresh garlic
- Ground Ginger - I prefer dried ground ginger in this recipe for Balsamic Marinated Tri-Tip. But you can use fresh if you prefer.
- Coarse Ground Black Pepper
- When cooking the tri-tip, it's best to bring the meat to room temperature before grilling. This means taking it out of the refrigerator at least an hour before cooking ensuring the center and outside cook simultaneously.
- Remove the meat from the marinade and save the marinade for basting.
- While the meat is coming to temperature, press freshly ground coarse pepper into the meat on both sides. Use plenty of pepper for best results.
- Prepare the grill for medium-high and lightly oil. Cook the meat over direct heat, turning it occasionally and basting with the marinade. Try to keep the temperature of the grill between 350ºF and 400ºF.
- Grill until the internal temperature is done to your liking. For Tri-Tip I like around 135ºF for the finished roast, so I take it off the grill at 130ºF as it will continue to cook while it rests.
- Let the meat rest for 7-10 minutes, then slice thinly across the grain.
For best results use a meat probe to check the internal temperature. Remember that the meat will continue to cook off the grill while resting, so give yourself a few degrees of wiggle room. I remove at 130ºF for a finish of 135ºF.
Because of the limited marbling in the meat, it's best to cook to medium-rare. You might be ok with a medium well if you slice it very thinly across the grain. Otherwise, the meat will be tough.
Balsamic vinegar has a slightly sweet taste so you would want to add something to give your marinade a bit of sweetness. Red Wine along with some brown sugar is a good substitute. Or red wine vinegar along with some brown sugar to give it a sweet tang rather than harsh acid.
You can substitute a London Broil without having to modify this recipe. You could also use flank steak. If using flank steak, marinate no more than 12 hours and cook for only about 5 minutes per side.
NO. Do not use a fine, or expensive balsamic. Ensure that the main ingredient is balsamic vinegarand you will be good to go.
On the Side
Pairing wine with soy balsamic tri-tip requires finding a wine that complements the rich, savory, and slightly tangy flavors of the dish. Here are a few wine options that could work well:
- Red Zinfandel: A medium to full-bodied red Zinfandel can be a great choice. Its fruit-forward and slightly peppery notes can complement the sweetness of the balsamic marinade while standing up to the robust flavors of the grilled tri-tip.
- Syrah/Shiraz: Syrah or Shiraz wines offer dark fruit flavors, along with a peppery and sometimes smoky character. These qualities can harmonize with the grilled aspects of the tri-tip and provide a nice contrast to the balsamic marinade.
- Merlot: A well-balanced Merlot with its softer tannins and plum-like flavors can be a versatile pairing. It won't overwhelm the dish and can complement the sweet and tangy balsamic notes.
Balsamic Marinated Tri-Tip Roast
- 1 tri-tip roast about 1 ½ to 2 pounds
- ⅔ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
- ⅓ cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or other oil
- 6 large cloves garlic, skins removed crushed
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger for this dish I like the flavor of dried ginger, if you prefer, you could use fresh, about 1 tablespoon grated
- 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper or to taste
- Combine the soy sauce, balsamic, olive oil, garlic, and ginger in a large zip-top bag. Zip removing as much air as possible. Add the meat and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours, up to 3 days turning the bag occasionally.
- Remove the meat from the marinade, reserving the marinade. Presscoarsely ground pepper into the meat on both sides. Let sit for 60 minutes.
- Prepare the grill to medium-high. Place the meat on the grill rack that has been lightly coated with olive oil; grill, turning frequently and basting with the marinade until cooked to your desired degree of doneness; about 15 to 20 minutes for medium-rare. Remove the meat from the grill and allow it to sit for 5 - 7 minutes; cut into thin slices against the grain.