How to Make Beef Tri Tip Roast With Crispy Potatoes

Roast Beef Tri Tip sliced and ready on a cutting board.

So here it is, my friends: How to Make Beef Tri Tip Roast with Crispy Potatoes. You are going to wonder where in the heck this cut of beef has been all your life, especially when you realize it slices up into heavenly slabs of STEAK….not even kidding.

Beef Tri Tip Roast With Crispy Potatoes RecipeThe Perfect Tailgating Fare

A whole beef tri tip roast with crispy potatoes.

Howdy! Chef Alli Here. Let’s Get You Cookin’…. Shall We?? 🙂

This is one of our favorite tailgate recipes. Both the tri tip beef and the crispy potatoes are fantastically delicious right from the oven, as well as later when reheated (or even at room temperature) upon arrival to your tailgate party.

If you’re making this beef dish for a tailgate or watch party, do make sure you cook it up in a cast iron skillet, if possible. It’s the perfect vessel for reheating the steak and potatoes later when you land at the tailgate party.

Because cast iron is so sturdy and holds heat extremely well, it can go directly onto an in-direct heat area of the grill or smoker with no problem. This makes it easy to reheat the contents of the skillet on site once you arrive.

If you plan to reheat the tri tip at a tailgate party later on, it’s especially important to undercook it a bit, so look for tips on handling that in the recipe below, if that’s the case.

What to love about this beef tri tip recipe

  1. Beef tri tip is technically a roast, but when cooked just to medium rare, it slices into perfect slabs of tender steak!
  2. Since there’s no bone in a beef tri tip, it’s a great value. The entire piece of meat can be sliced and enjoyed.
  3. All you need are a few ingredients and your favorite cast iron skillet (any heavy-duty skillet will do, though)
  4. It goes great with a Boot Hill Distillery Rosemary Mule Cocktail.

So What IS Tri Tip Roast….exactly???

Tri tip is a triangular-shaped beef roast that comes from the lower part of the sirloin muscle on the cow. And like I stated above, because it’s not super well-known here in these parts of NE Kansas (though that is finally changing!) it often gets ground into hamburger or cut into stew meat…..a tragedy, for sure.

But more importantly, tri tip is absolutely mouth-watering…..like a cross between a brisket and a steak….true story. Some have even claimed it be the “poor man’s prime rib” and I would totally agree.

Ingredients you need to make this recipe

  • Beef tri tip toast, we love to get our tri tip roasts from Pacheco Beef (they ship direct to your door!)
  • Olive oil, for rubbing the beef and roasting the potatoes
  • Your favorite steak seasoning
  • Small red and gold potatoes
Slabs of sliced beef tri tip roast on a cutting board ready to eat.

What you’ll learn from this recipe

  • Why BEAUTY REST is the absolute #1 most important technique to apply anytime you are cooking meat of any kind.
  • How to sear off meat for a perfectly golden brown and caramelized exterior every time.
  • Why an instant-read meat thermometer is so important for perfect doneness.
  • How to check the internal temperature of the roast using a meat thermometer.
  • How to roast potatoes – quick and dirty! (it’s all about the baking sheet)

**Print the detailed recipe from the RECIPE CARD at the bottom of this post

Answers to Common Questions Asked About This Recipe 

Which tools are helpful for cooking beef tri tip?

12-Inch Cast Iron Skillet – A traditional cast iron skillet or an enamel-lined cast iron skillet works very well for cooking meat because it can withstand the high temperatures needed to sear the tri tip roast, creating great exterior caramelization. Once the roast is nicely seared, you can place the cast iron skillet directly into the oven – it’s so versatile.

Chef’s knife – a good chef’s knife is such an essential kitchen tool! In this recipe, you’ll need one for slicing the eye of round roast into very thin slices, like deli roast beef. . **If taken care of properly, a good quality chef’s knife will last a lifetimedefinitely make it worth the initial investment.

Large wooden cutting board with a channel – a good (large) wooden cutting board is what supports your chef’s knife, providing a surface that gives to the edge of your blade each time you make a cut. One side of the cutting board will feature the channel around the edge. This is the side that you should slice meats on – the meat juices funnel into the channel so they cannot run off the cutting board to create a mess on the counter. Use the other side of the cutting board for cutting and dicing fruits and vegetables.

Knife straightener – a hand-held knife straightener (often called a knife sharpener) is what keeps your chef’s knife blade straight so that it can make a precise, clean cut. Run your knife (never a serrated knife, though) through the straightener 2-3 times each and every time you prepare to use it to keep the blade in good shape.

Meat thermometer – I prefer an instant-read probe, but a traditional meat thermometer works fine, as well. It’s also handy to use a digital thermometer that has dual probes that can notify you when the meat raises to the temperature you’ve programmed for.

Long-handled tongs – a nice pair of long-handled stainless steel tongs is essential when searing off any type of meat. The longer length keeps you from getting burned from any fats that might splatter during the cooking process.

What cocktail pairs especially well with this beef dish?

Beef Tri Tip Roast is delicious when served with Boot Hill Rosemary Mules, a ready-to-drink cocktail in a can. I found the combination to be quite delicious, and I think you will, too. I love being able to pour this refreshing cocktail directly from the can over ice – it’s so effortless and the flavor pairing is lovely.

Where can I find Boot Hill Rosemary Mule Cocktails?

You can get Vodka Basil Lemonade Cocktails at liquor stores across Kansas or online right here.

Boot Hill Distillery is located in Dodge City, Kansas, right on top of the original Boot Hill Cemetery. Visit their tasting room Wed – Sun (3-11pm) to experience their premium soil-to-sip spirits, or call ahead to arrange a tour of the distillery. It is such a fun experience!

A whole beef tri tip roast with fresh herbs in a cast iron skillet.

Does searing meat really make a difference?

It sure does! For optimal flavor, I think searing the tri tip roast (or any roast or steak for that matter) is super essential. Here’s why: when meat is seared on the exterior, you are caramelizing the natural sugars and browning the proteins. This forms a crusty exterior that is rich and flavorful – a total must for a fantastic eating experience.

Why does meat need beauty rest??

This is so so important! First, you need to give the meat rest BEFORE you cook it. This requires getting the meat out of refrigeration and onto the counter. Unwrap the meat and let it rest where the chill from refrigeration can escape so the fibers of the meat can relax and the juices and fat that coagulate at the center can move to the outer edges.

Beauty rest BEFORE cooking/grilling/roasting makes a HUGE difference in how the meat cooks and receives heat – do not skip this step!!

AFTER meat cooks is also a very opportune time for beauty rest. Remove the meat from the cooking surface and immediately tent it with foil. As the meat rests at this point, it will relax and continue to rise in temperature from residual heat. Also, any juices that may have moved to the outer edges of the meat have an opportunity at this point to move back to the center – this ensure the meat is nice and juicy when you slice and enjoy it.

Does all meat need beauty rest?

Any type of whole muscle meat (like a roast or a steak, etc…but never ground meats) will benefit with before and after beauty rest. I always rest my pork chops and pork tenderloins, venison backstrap, chuck roasts, steaks, whatever. If it’s whole muscle meat, REST, REST, REST. (Did I tell you that already? ha)

Is it important to use an instant-read thermometer when cooking meat? Why?

Great question, and yes! I always recommend that cooks use an instant-read thermometer when cooking meat! The worst thing you can do when cooking meat is to over cook it. Once it’s overcooked, you have no recourse. You can always cook a piece of meat longer, but you can’t go back….aaarrrggghhh.

The best way to know the internal temperature of meat that is cooking is to use an instant-read meat thermometer, never by the ole cut-and-peek method (there went all your juices when you did that, btw) and I’m really not even a fan of the “touch” method for doneness either. Use an instant-read thermometer – it’s so easy and worth it.

What is the correct way to use an instant-read meat thermometer?

As the meat is approaching the mid-way point of cooking, I like to begin taking the internal temperature. Keep in mind that as meat gets closer to being done, it will gain speed in how quickly the temperature rises.

When you’re ready to temp the meat, insert the instant-read thermometer into the thickest area of the meat. Watch the dial, allowing it to raise and come to a halt at the final temperature – this will take a few seconds. Once the dial stops raising in degrees, this is the final internal temperature of the meat; remove the thermometer and continue cooking, if needed. Or, if the meat is 10 degrees below the final finished temperature that you desire, remove it from the cooking source and tent with foil so it can continue to finish cooking from residual heat.

Also keep in mind that the instant-read thermometer should never touch a bone or the bottom of the pan since this will give you a false-read of true internal temperature. And if you are cooking something that is thinner (say a chicken breast or a hamburger patty) insert the instant-read thermometer from the side, not the top.

More Favorite Beef and Boot Hill Distillery Recipes to Enjoy

Printable How to Make Beef Tri Tip Roast and Crispy Potatoes Recipe

Roast Beef Tri Tip sliced and ready on a cutting board.

How to Make Beef Tri Tip Roast With Crispy Potatoes

So here it is, my friends: How to Make Beef Tri Tip Roast with Crispy Potatoes. You are going to wonder where in the heck this cut of beef has been all your life, especially when you realize it slices up into heavenly slabs of STEAK….not even kidding.
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Resting time, before and after cooking: 2 hours 10 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 320kcal

Ingredients

  • 2-3 lb. tri tip roast, we love to get our tri tip roasts from Pacheco Beef in Alma, KS (they ship direct to your door!)
  • Olive oil, for rubbing the tri tip and roasting the potatoes
  • Your favorite steak seasoning, to taste
  • 2 lbs. Small red and gold potatoes, usually called B-size potatoes at the grocer

Instructions

  • Remove the tri tip roast from refrigeration and unpackage it. Rub the tri-tip roast with olive oil, then sprinkle the beef with the steak seasoning, applying it fairly liberally all over the roast, depending on how salty your steak seasoning is. **This step can be done ahead of time, if preferred.
  • Let the seasoned tri tip rest, uncovered, on the counter for a couple of hours to remove a lot of the chill from refrigeration. **Do not skip this step, whatever you do! Resting the roast before cooking allows the protein fibers to relax so the meat can cook more evenly. This resting period is essential for a great beef eating experience.

Roast the Potatoes

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. While you are prepping the potatoes for the oven, place a large rimmed baking sheet on the center rack of the oven to preheat. **This will help your potatoes to get more golden brown and crispy, plus they cook more quickly, too.
    While the roast is resting, prepare the potato halves by placing them into a large bowl; add a good drizzle of olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper, tossing to coat the potatoes well.
  • Remove the hot baking sheet from the oven and carefully spread the potatoes out in a single layer; if the baking sheet is really nicely preheated, there will be some sizzle involved at this point. Sizzle is actually a good thing at this point, but do take care in case there's some splattering involved, too.
  • Roast the potatoes, uncovered, for 10 minutes, then gently toss. Continue to roast the potatoes for an additional 10 minutes or so, just until they are fork-tender. Reserve the potatoes while the tri tip has a turn roasting in the oven.
    **Use a fork to test the potatoes, not a knife. You want them to be fork-tender, not knife tender!

Sear the Tri Tip Roast

  • Increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees F.
    Place a large cast iron skillet (I use my 12-inch) over medium high heat. When the skillet is nicely preheated, add a good swish of olive oil. Using your best long-handled tongs or meat fork, lift the roast over to your skillet, taking care to place the meat top-side down and fat-side up into the hot oil.
    You should hear some great sizzle at this point, the indicator that your roast will be caramelized soon. Let the roast sit (meaning don't fiddle with it or move it at this point) so it can sear off and get some good browning going. After 4-5 minutes, lift the roast a bit to check the bottom; if it's beautifully browned and caramelized at this point, turn it over in the skillet to brown the opposite side, adding a bit more olive oil to the bottom of the pan, if needed.
    I usually brown all sides of my tri tip roast, including the ends, by holding it against the bottom of the skillet with my tongs, as needed. This just takes a few additional minutes.
    **Keep in mind that you are just browning the roast at this point, not fully cooking it. That part comes in the next step when the roast goes into the oven.

Roast the Tri Tip in the Oven

  • Once the roast is browned, it's time to head to the preheated 425 degree F. oven.
    Roast the meat, leaving it right in the cast iron skillet, for 10-12 minutes per pound, uncovered and on the center oven rack, beginning to check the internal temperature of the roast at about the 20 minute mark for a medium-sized (approx. 2 1/2 lbs. or so) tri tip roast. **This is important so that you do not overcook the roast.
    Continue to roast the beef until the internal temperature in the thickest part of the meat reaches 125-130°F for medium-rare doneness or 130-135° for medium doneness when tested with an instant-read meat thermometer. **Keep in mind that after removing the roast from the oven, it is definitely going to raise in internal temperature an additional 10 more degrees as it rests while covered with foil.
    **If you are planning to take the tri tip to a gathering where you'll be reheating later on, you may even want to cook the tri tip to an internal temperature that is more rare (less done) than you would normally eat it. This way, when you reheat the beef later it doesn't become overcooked.
  • When the roast reaches your desired internal temperature, remove it from the oven; loosely cover the skillet with foil, allowing the roast to rest for 10 full minutes. **This resting period is when the protein fibers of the meat can relax and the beef juices can redistribute themselves throughout the roast. During this resting period is also when the roast continues to cook from residual heat, raising to the final internal temperature.

Slice the Tri Tip

  • Now it's time (finally!) to slice the tri tip. Place the cooked roast onto a large cutting board. Because a tri tip roast has two grains that run in opposite directions, find the center point of the roast where the grains meat; this is where you want to slide the tri tip in half. Turn each half on the cutting board so that you can slice it across the grain (not with the grain, mind you) into slabs of steak that are about 1/2-inch thick.
    Place the slices of tri tip back into the cast iron skillet, overlapping them one on top of the other on one side of the pan. Place the reserved potatoes into the skillet on the other side, opposite the sliced beef. Serve at once, or cover the skillet to transport later if you're heading out to the tailgate party.
    **The sliced tri tip and the potatoes are both delicious served warm, or at room temperature.

Notes

Notes

What cocktail pairs best with this beef tri tip dish?

Beef Tri Tip Roast is delicious when served with Boot Hill Rosemary Mules, a ready-to-drink cocktail in a can. I found the combination to be quite delicious, and I think you will, too. I love being able to pour this refreshing cocktail directly from the can over ice – it’s so effortless and the flavor pairing is lovely.

Where can I find Boot Hill Canned Cocktails?

You can find Boot Hill Ready-to-Drink Cocktails (and don’t forget their other spirits – we love their whiskey) at liquor stores all across the state of Kansas or online right here.  If you local liquor store doesn’t carry Boot Hill Spirits, you can request them. 
Boot Hill Distillery is located in Dodge City, Kansas, right on top of the original Boot Hill Cemetery. Visit their tasting room Wed – Sun (3-11pm) to experience their premium soil-to-sip spirits, or call ahead to arrange a tour of the distillery.

Where can I find Pacheco Beef Tri Tip Roast? 

To have a tri tip roast (and many other cuts of beef) shipped directly, visit Pacheco Beef online.  Or, if you’re in the Alma, KS area you can always visit their beef shop in person at 607 Missouri Ave, Alma, KS 66401.  
**Be sure to check the blog post for tips and tricks, specific instructions, recommended tools, and FAQ’s for making this recipe.
 
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Beef roast, How to cook Tri Tip Roast, tri tip roast

Nutrition

Calories: 320kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 40g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 111mg | Sodium: 147mg | Potassium: 1089mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 40IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 5mg

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Let’s Get You Cookin’,
Chef Alli

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Chef Alli

Chef Alli is a home-grown Kansas girl on a mission to strengthen families through enabling kitchen confidence, educating the family cook, and encouraging better food relationships. She believes with her whole heart that time spent with our loved ones and our overall quality of life is greatly enhanced by nutritious food made at home with simple, wholesome ingredients. She loves being able to connect and share this passion with others through her website, her social media presence, and her coveted speaking engagements.

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