However, while its full flavor and tenderness have made it a household favorite, the way it’s cut plays a significant role in the culinary results. The right cut can elevate your tri tip from simply good to truly extraordinary, unlocking a level of tenderness and flavor that might surprise even the most seasoned cooks. This all-important factor, often overlooked, can make or break your dinner.
But don’t worry, we’re here to guide you on how to cut tri tip masterfully, enhancing your culinary prowess!
The Secret to Cutting Tri Tip
Unlike most cuts of meat that have one consistent direction of muscle fibers, the tri tip boasts two. This dual-grain nature might seem daunting at first glance, but in reality, it’s the secret to unlocking the best your tri tip has to offer.
The aim is to always slice against the grain, effectively shortening the muscle fibers and making the meat more tender and easier to chew.
How to Cut Tri Tip Steak (Step by Step)
1. Let the tri tip rest
After cooking, let your tri tip rest for about 10 minutes. This allows juices to redistribute, maintaining its flavor and juiciness.
2. Identify the Grain
Examine the tri tip and find the direction of the two sets of muscle fibers. They typically meet in the middle, forming a roughly V-like shape.
3. Slice the tri tip in half
At the point where the grains intersect, slice the tri tip in half. Now you’ve got two pieces, each with its own grain direction.
4. Cut tri tip against the grain
With each piece, begin slicing thin strips against the grain. You’re shortening those muscle fibers, paving the way for a more tender bite.
It is important to adjust the knife angle for each cut and hold the knife at an angle. This technique is known as cutting “on a bias” or “at a bias.”
What Kind of Knife is Best for Cutting Tri Tip?
A sharp carving knife is your best bet. These knives are designed specifically for slicing through meat with precision. With their long, thin blades, carving knives can easily make smooth, clean cuts, ensuring that your tri tip slices look as good as they taste.
How Thick Should Tri Tip be Cut?
Slice your tri tip into thin slices, ideally about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. This thickness is ideal as it allows the full flavor of the meat to shine through while remaining tender and easy to chew.
Can You Slice Tri Tip Before Cooking?
While it’s tempting to slice the tri tip before cooking, especially for quicker cooking times, it’s generally best to cook the tri tip whole and then slice. Cooking it whole allows the meat to retain its juices, ensuring a more flavorful result. Once cooked to your liking, then it’s time to slice and serve.
Mastering the art of slicing tri tip might take a few tries, but the results are well worth the effort. Remember, a well-sliced tri tip is the difference between a good meal and a fantastic one. So, grab your carving knife and elevate your home cooking game to the next level!