How to Cook Tri-Tip in an Iron Skillet

Tri-tip is part of the bottom sirloin, and it is best prepared with cooking methods that include grilling, stir-frying, broiling and pan frying in an iron skillet. Pan-cooked tri-tip steak has a delectable crust and, when cooked properly, a tender bite.

Tri tip is part of the bottom sirloin, and it is best prepared with cooking methods that include grilling, stir-frying, broiling and pan frying in an iron skillet.
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About Tri-Tip Steaks

The tri-tip comes from the bottom sirloin, which is near the hip of the cow. It correlates with the tensor fasciae latae muscle. It has a triangular shape — hence the name "tri" tip. You could use seared tri tip in many great recipes.

Tri-tip steaks do best with fast cooking methods. A cast-iron fried tri-tip is a perfect way to enjoy the cut. You get a delicious crust, and the steak itself will be cooked evenly.

A 4-ounce serving of tri-tip roast, from which the steaks are cut, contains 197 calories, 23 grams of protein and 11 grams of fat. The beef is also an excellent source of the minerals iron and zinc.

The Proceedings of the Nutrition Society published research in August 2016, noting that red meat does provide essential nutrients missing in some segments of the population, including women of childbearing age, older adults and adolescents. Tri-tip is a good, relatively-lean way to add red meat to a healthy diet.

Cast Iron Tri-Tip

A cast iron skillet provides a way to quickly and deliciously cook tri-tip steak, explains the Splendid Table. The skillet cooks evenly, and helps you develop a tasty crust on each steak.

Pat your steaks dry, and season generously with kosher salt. Heat up the cast iron skillet over medium to high heat, for about 5 minutes. It may even smoke a little. No need to add oil or fat; if your skillet is properly seasoned, it creates a naturally non-stick surface.

Place the seasoned steak on the hot pan. You'll know when it's ready to flip — the steak naturally unsticks from the pan. If you try to move it, and the steak continues to stick, it means your meat hasn't yet browned properly. Usually, it takes about 3 minutes to properly sear the first side.

Read more: How to Cook a Tender Steak on the Stove

Flip the steak when it naturally loosens from the pan, and cook for another 2 minutes on the other side for a rare steak, or 3 to 4 more minutes for medium to well-done. If you're unsure your steak is done, check the temperature with a meat thermometer. The USDA recommends your steak reach a temperature of at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

Ultimate Tri-Tip Recipe

Pan cooked tri-tip benefits from added spices and sauces. Only add the spices after the initial searing in the hot skillet. Spices, even pepper, can burn when they initially hit a very hot iron skillet.

Prior to cooking tri-tip, place the steaks in a marinade of rosemary, oregano, garlic, olive oil, onions and red wine. For best results, let the steaks marinade overnight, but even just several hours will work. Just make sure you pat the meat dry before placing it in the pan.

For a Mexican version of tri-tip steak, cook it in the iron skillet seasoned with salt, pepper and chili powder. Once cooked, slice the steak and serve over rice, beans, salsa, avocado and fajita vegetables.

Read more: How to Pan Sear and Oven Bake a Sirloin

While you don't need oil for a cast iron tri-tip, adding a small pat of butter before laying the steak in the skillet adds delicious flavor. Allow the butter to barely melt; if you leave it in for any amount of time before you add the steaks, the butter will burn.

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