This easy Tri-Tip Steak is one of the tastiest and juiciest you’ll ever make. Cooked stove top in a cast iron skillet, with simple herbs, it’s bursting with the most incredible flavor. And this no-fuss recipe comes together in less than 20 minutes, making it ideal for busy weeknights.
When you cook a tri-tip steak in cast-iron, it gives the steak a beautiful golden-brown crust while keeping the inside tender and juicy. Rosemary and garlic give the steak a warm herby and irresistible flavor. It has become my favorite way to cook steak.
And I bet once you try it, it will become your favorite way also!
I used a similar cooking process with this delicious Oven Baked Sirloin, where it starts off with a good sear in a cast-iron skillet, but it finishes off as oven-roasted. For this recipe, you’ll cook the steak, from start to finish stove top, making it a super quick and easy.
But, if you happen to get a really thick cut, you can certainly stick it in the oven to finish cooking. Just be sure a watch on it, because it cooks quickly.
Why We Love this Recipe
- Flavor: Rosemary and garlic seasons the steaks, giving them the most incredible flavor.
- Ease: Cooking steaks stove top means you can have a delicious steak anytime you want them without having to break out the grill.
- Great for meal prep: Because these steaks only take 20 to prepare to medium doneness, they are an easy way to meal prep for the week. You can have leftovers in a salad one night, in a wrap for lunch or even reheat the steak and serve with eggs for breakfast. You can also make awesome tri-tip tacos with leftovers like these Steak Street Tacos.
- Healthy: Steak is a low carb source of protein. If you are watching what you eat and want to keep the carbs under control, you can’t get much better than steak!
What’s Needed for this Tri-Tip Steak Recipe
- Extra virgin oil
- Kosher salt
- Ground black pepper
- Garlic powder
- Fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
- Tri-tip steak, approximately 1” thick
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How to Cook Cast-Iron Triangle Steak
Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a large cast iron skillet or other heavy-duty skillet over medium-high heat.
Combine the salt, pepper, garlic powder, and rosemary in a small bowl. Blot off the steaks with paper towels. Rub the salt mixture on all sides of the steak and place in the hot skillet. Sear steak on both sides, approximately 2 minutes per side.
Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking the steaks for another 6-8 minutes, turning once to cook evenly on each side. This will yield a medium-rare steak.
Cook for another 2-3 minutes for more well done steaks. (For thinner steaks, reduce cooking time by 3-5 minutes).
Remove steaks from skillet and loosely cover with aluminum foil. Rest for 5-10 minutes before serving. To serve, transfer them to a cutting board and cut steaks with a sharp knife in thin slices against the grain for more tender results.
What is Tri Tip Steak?
Tri-tip steak is also referred to as a California cut, or Santa Maria steak, named after the California town that first made the tri-tip roast popular.
Though a less commonly talked about than ribeye and sirloin, tri-tip cut steaks are becoming more and more popular because it’s a fairly economical cut of meat. If you’re unable to find this cut at your grocery store, you can probably talk your local butcher into cutting one for you.
This cut of beef, is taken from the bottom of a sirloin and gets the tri-tip name from its triangular shape. It is a super flavorful steak that is fantastic cooked in cast iron or on the grill.
What Side Dishes Go with Triangle Tip Steak?
A baked potato, garlic bread and a nice glass of red wine is classic steakhouse meal.
How to Tell When Steak is Done
The time it takes to cook a steak can vary based on the starting temperature of the meat when you start to cook it and the thickness of the steak.
When determining the temp of a steak, check the internal temperature of thickest part of the meat with a digital meat thermometer. Use this guide to help determine the level of doneness:
- Rare – 120F Rare steak will have a cool-to-warm very red center with very soft texture.
- Medium Rare -130F Medium rare steak will have warm but very red center with a nice brown crust.
- Medium – 140F Medium steak will have a hot pink center and slightly firmer texture.
- Medium Well -150F Medium steak will have mostly a brown center with maybe the slightest hint of pink with firm texture
- Well Done – 160+F Well-done steak will have no sign of pink at all and will be very firm and much drier.
Tips and Toppings
Compound butter– Topping a steak off with a slice of compound butter gives steak that 5-star restaurant finishing touch. Just add any of your favorite herbs to a stick of softened butter. Roll up the butter in a sheet of wax paper and stick it in the fridge until the steaks are done.
Chimichurri sauce– Fresh and tangy Chimichurri sauce, like I used in this Pan Seared Flank Recipe, is amazing with this steak.
Allow for residual cooking- When cooking steak, you want to remove it from the heat when it is about 5 degrees less than the desired temp on an instant-read thermometer. The temperature will continue to rise while the meat rests.
Rest them- Steaks to rest for about 10 minutes after they have finished cooking. This allows all those yummy juices to redistribute through the steak.
Want More Healthy Dinner Recipes?
- Maple Balsamic Pork Chops
- Smothered Pork Chops with Gravy
- Pistachio Crusted Salmon
- Thai Coconut Fish Curry
- Pan Seared Grouper
How to Cook Tri-Tip Steak
- 2 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 T kosher salt
- 1 t freshly ground pepper
- 2 t garlic powder
- 1 T Fresh rosemary leaves finely chopped
- 2 lbs Tri-tip steak approximately 1" thick
- Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a large cast iron skillet or other heavy-duty skillet over medium-high heat.
- Combine the salt, pepper, garlic powder, and rosemary in a small bowl. Blot off the steaks with paper towels. Rub the salt mixture on all sides of the steak and place in the hot skillet. Sear steak on both sides, approximately 2 minutes per side.
- Cook for another 2-3 minutes for more well done steaks. (For thinner steaks, reduce cooking time by 3-5 minutes).
- Remove steaks from skillet and loosely cover with aluminum foil. Rest for 5-10 minutes before serving. To serve, transfer them to a cutting board and cut steaks with a sharp knife in thin slices against the grain for more tender results. Enjoy!