Definition: This one steak brings more questions than any other. Originally a California cut, this steak (and roast) has become increasingly popular because of the superior flavor and because it is a steak built for grilling. The tri-tip steak is cut from the tri-tip roast.
In many places, the tri-tip is not available. This is because it is typically cut differently by regional butchers and they may not provide this.
If you live in one of these areas, talk with your butcher. Tell them that the tri-tip roast is a triangular section of the sirloin primal and comes from the point where the sirloin meets the round and flank primal. Some many know it by other names. Ask for a 'California cut' and see if that helps. Any good butcher should be able to cut this for you and if they don't do that kind of cutting, find a different butcher.
The tri-tip is an excellent steak for several reasons. First, it is far less expensive than other equally flavorful steaks (i.e. Rib-Eye). The tri-tip is full of flavor because of excellent marbling and very tender as long as you don't overcook it. If you are going to take this steak beyond medium then you should probably marinate it.
Tri Tip Steak Recipes:
Also Known As: Triangle Steak, Culotte Steak, Bottom Sirloin Tip, California Cut, Santa Maria Cut, Newport Steak