Ready for maximum flavor with minimum fuss? Don’t miss this quick and easy recipe for Marinated Tri-Tip, which you can make in the oven or in an air fryer.
File this one under “Surprising Things You Can Cook In an Air Fryer!”
I am a recent convert to the air fryer craze, utilizing the countertop gadget mostly for DIY chicken nuggets and French fries to lend big-time crispiness to the boys’ favorite lunch and dinner foods. But once I expanded my air fryer recipe repertoire, the sky was the limit!
I’ve included every tip and trick you need to master perfectly cooked tri-tip, whether you’re whipping it up in an air fryer or in your oven.
What’s the Best Air Fryer?
I did a good deal of research before settling on the Cosori Air Fryer Pro II. With so many air fryer options, I decided on the below criteria when it came time to purchase:
- Amazon Reviews: Let’s be honest, isn’t this the main driver of any online purchase?
- Basket Size: I’m cooking for a family of five, which means I need a basket that can fit enough servings to feed us all. The Cosori basket is large enough to hold anything from a dozen dino nuggets to a 3-pound tri-tip.
- Ease of Use: I am a throw-away-the-directions type of kitchen gadget user, and I love how intuitive and easy the Cosori is to use.
What Is Tri-Tip?
As its name indicates, the tri-tip is a triangular cut of meat from the bottom of the sirloin. It is an incredibly flavorful cut of beef that is less pricey than similar cuts of steak. It’s also very versatile when it comes to cooking methods and can be cooked in the oven, on the grill or in an air fryer.
How Do You Cook Tri-Tip In the Oven?
The best technique for cooking tri-tip in the oven is to start by searing it on the stovetop to ensure a good crust. It is then finished in a high-heat oven until it is cooked to your desired doneness.
What’s the Best Tri-Tip Marinade?
You know I love my secret ingredients, and this time I’ve upped my classic marinade trifecta of soy sauce, garlic and honey with two flavor-packed additions: Dijon mustard and Worcestershire sauce. The result is the most perfectly balanced blend of salty and sweet flavors that lends intensely rich flavor to any type of beef, chicken or pork.
How Do You Cook Tri-Tip In An Air Fryer?
A few tips on technique will guarantee your air fryer steak is tender, juicy and cooked to your preferred doneness:
- Marinate for Maximum Flavor: Marinading tri-tip adds big flavor to the meat as well as ensuring it is moist and tender. Marinate tri-tip for a minimum of 1 hour, but ideally overnight.
- Room Temp First: After marinating your steak in the refrigerator, remove it and let it set at room temperature for 30 minutes to ensure more even cooking.
- Preheat Like a Pro: It’s important to pre-heat the air fryer before adding the tri-tip, which will guarantee the essential crust and a juicy interior.
- Let It Rest: Just like cooking any other steak, letting the tri-tip rest for 10 minutes (tented with foil) after cooking will allow all of the juices to collect inside the meat, making it more flavorful and more moist.
What Is the Temperature Chart for Tri-Tip?
When cooking steak of any kind, it’s important to remember the concept of carry-over cooking, which means the beef will rise an additional roughly 10 degrees after cooking and while it is resting. Follow the below temperature chart, keeping in mind that you’ll need to remove the steak from the oven or air fryer when it is 10 degrees cooler than your desired doneness:
- Medium-Rare: 130-135°F
- Medium: 135-140°F
- Medium-Well: 140°F and above (Note: Tri-tip is not a particularly fatty meat, so it is best and most tender when cooked medium-rare or medium)
- Air fryer (optional)
- 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 Tablespoons honey
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 (2- to 3-pound) Snake River Farms American Wagyu Black Grade Tri-Tip, fat trimmed
- In a large sealable plastic bag, whisk together the soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, olive oil, honey, garlic powder and pepper.
- Add the tri-tip to the bag, squeeze out any air, then seal the bag shut. Move the tri-tip around in the bag so it’s well-coated then refrigerate it for a minimum of 1 hour and up to overnight.
- When ready to cook, remove the tri-tip from the fridge and let it rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
To Cook Tri-Tip In the Oven:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Place a cast-iron or oven-safe nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the tri-tip (discarding the marinade) and cook, undisturbed, until it naturally releases from the skillet, 3 to 5 minutes. Flip the tri-tip once then transfer the skillet into the oven.
- Cook the tri-tip in the oven for about 8 minutes per pound until it reaches your desired level of doneness. Remove the tri-tip from the oven when it reaches an internal temperature of 130°F for medium-rare, 140°F for medium and 150°F for medium-well. (The tri-tip internal temperature will rise about 10°F while it rests.)
- Transfer the tri-tip onto a cutting board, tent it with foil, and let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
To Cook Tri-Tip In an Air Fryer:
- Preheat the air fryer to 400°F.
- Place the tri-tip in the basket (discarding the marinade) and cook it for 8 minutes per pound until it reaches your desired level of doneness. Remove the tri-tip from the air fryer when it reaches an internal temperature of 130°F for medium-rare, 140°F for medium and 150°F for medium-well. (The tri-tip internal temperature will rise about 10°F while it rests.)
- Transfer the tri-tip onto a cutting board, tent it with foil and let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
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Hi Kelly, Cannot wait to try this recipe but have one question. We love gravy and you said to throw away the sauce. Can I make another batch of sauce and cook it over the stove as gravy?
Do you have to flip it when using the air fryer?
No need to flip it! All air fryers vary in their air-circulating powers, but it should brown evenly all over.
Question- is the cooking temp this same as the pre-heating temp? Thanks!
Hi Stephannie! Yes, they are the same :)
I followed the recipe as you suggested and turned out amazingly delicious!! It was charred , perfectly pink in the middle and very juicy!
Woohoo! I’m so thrilled you enjoyed the recipe, Maria!
Thank you for this recipe! I made it in the air fryer and it turned out perfectly. Medium at the points, medium rare at the thicker part, juicy and flavorful all around. *chef’s kiss*
Woohoo! Love reading this, Vicki. So glad you enjoyed it!
I tried this recipe tonight and got the same result! First time using my air fryer for a Tri tip roast, or any roast. It had a char on the top and sides and looked like it was grilled. Very tasty!
Thank you Kelly
Woohoo! I’m thrilled you enjoyed the recipe, Donald!
Marinating right now. Looking forward to this tri-tip in the air fryer. Will let you know. Thank you.
Just tried for the first time and my tri tip roast was full of flavor and SO juicy/tender using my air fryer setting!
The tip re:preheating made a difference & it browned so well on top it almost & tasted like it came off the grill—A Winner for sure, thank you Kelly!!
YESSSS! I’m so happy that you enjoyed the recipe, Mary!
I am new to air frying. Does the tri-tip need to be seared before being air fried, or is the searing only when using a conventional oven.?
Only when using an oven! :)
I followed your recipe exactly and made this in my air fryer – it was AMAZING!
I’m so thrilled you enjoyed the recipe, Rachel!