Main dish

Grilled Tri Tip with Homemade BBQ Sauce

This Grilled Tri Tip steak is so juicy and tastes amazing with my homemade bourbon BBQ sauce! Make it this weekend and see it dissapear fast!!

To recipe
Grilled try tip with bbq sauce
Recipe insights & TIPS

Juicy grilled tri tip finished with an easy homemade bourbon BBQ sauce.

Grilled try tip with bbq sauce

I don't know who the star of this post is, should it be the juicy grilled tri tip steak with the crusty charred outer layer, or the slightly sweet and tangy bbq sauce made with bourbon and Coke? I suck at making decisions so I'm just calling this a twofer! Yup, I'm throwing two recipes at you for the price of one (even though every recipe is free for you guys!).You can make the tri tip and the bbq sauce together or cook the tri tip dry rub style and maybe smoke some brisket another day and slather it with this tasty homemade sauce. Skip the store-bought bottle and start customizing your own bbq sauce, it's so easy and I swear you'll taste the difference.

Slicing my grilled try tip

How should I prepare my grilled tri tip

Tri tip is a cut from the base of the sirloin and can be tricky to butcher. Because of this it usually ended up ground or chopped for stews. It's a traditional and iconic Californian cut of meat and can be difficult to find in other states without special ordering. Thankfully I can find it in abundance here in any of my local stores and it's always well priced. Tri tip doesn't need much except a sprinkle with a good quality bbq rub but before you add the rub, make sure to rub it all over with some mustard. The mustard will help the rub stay on the meat.

Cooking my tri tip

Make sure you know your grills hot spot and lay the tri tip directly on it. Leave it for about 5 minutes to let it get a good sear to seal in the juices. Flip it over and grill for another 5 minutes, then move it slightly away from the direct heat and keep cooking for a total of about 25 minutes depending on the size of the steak. This should make your steak somewhere between medium-medium rare. Give it a good prod with your finger or some tongs, It should feel slightly firm and no longer spongy.

grilled tri tip

How do I serve my grilled tri tip?

A really important part of cooking any meat is to let it rest after it's done. This ensures that the fibers have time to relax and keep a lot of the juice in the meat. Let the steak sit on a plate covered loosely with some aluminum foil for about 10 minutes. You'll see after a few minutes juice forming around the steak, keep this for later! You're almost ready to eat this amazing and juicy piece of meat but you still have to slice it. Find yourself a sharp serrated knife and slice across the grain. That means if you look closely at your grilled tri tip, you'll see faint lines all running one way, so you need to cut across these lines and not in the same direction they're running. This will make the fibers shorter in length and easier to butter!

Grilled try tip sliders

Once your whole trip tip is sliced, you can spoon some of the juice from earlier over it and add a brush of the bbq sauce as well. I served my grilled tri tip on small slider buns but you can add it to so many things like salads or just eat it as is with some extra sauce on the side! Let me know if tri tip steak is something you're familiar with and what your favorite cook method is. Tag me @foodnessgracious so I can see what you're cooking! Looking for more easy recipes? Try the dinner idea for buttermilk dressing.

Grilled try tip sandwiches
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Juicy tri tip steak slathered with an easy homemade bbq sauce.

Main dish
20 minutes
Total TIME:
25 minutes
5 minutes


  • 1/4 cup shallot diced
  • 3 tbsp Jim Beam Bourbon
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup coca cola
  • 1 ybsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp bbq rub
  • 2-2 1/2 lbs tri tip
  • 2 tbsp yellow mustard
  • 2 tbsp bbq rub

Ingredient Swaps


  1. In a medium size, pot add the shallots and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
  2. Pour in the bourbon and cook until reduced by almost half.
  3. Add the ketchup, vinegar, sugar, cola and soy sauce and stir.
  4. Simmer on low for about 20 minutes and then transfer to a blender.
  5. Blend on low just to break down any shallot pieces there might still be.
  6. Transfer to a jar.
  7. Preheat your grill to high.
  8. Rub the tri tip with the mustard and then sprinkle with the bbq rub.
  9. Place the tri tip onto the hottest part of the grill and sear for 5 minutes.
  10. Turn the tri tip over and repeat.
  11. move the tri tip slightly away from the direct heat and cook for another 20 minutes turning over periodically.
  12. With about five minutes to go, start brushing the meat with the bbq sauce on both sides. Do this a few times.
  13. Once the meat is ready, transfer to a plate and cover with aluminum foil. let rest for 10 minutes.
  14. Slice the tri tip across the grain into thin slices and serve with extra sauce on the side.

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