When talking tip steaks there’s two big players in the game: tri tip steaks and sirloin tip steaks. As we’ll uncover, these two tip steaks share little more than a name and each in their own right offer a unique beef eating experience that steak lovers are sure to enjoy. Keep reading to learn more about these two tip steaks and find out which one is perfect for you; the answer might be both!
Tri Tip Steak
Tri tip steak, originally called the California cut, then Santa Maria steak and sometimes even poor man’s brisket have a fairly recent history – raising in popularity out of the annual Santa Maria CA bbq festival. Their extensive use of tri tip roasts exposed a hungry public to the amazing flavor and texture that can be had from steak cut from the lower sirloin.
Since hitting the scene, tri tip steaks have become an underground hit with steak enthusiasts. Not widely available and immensely flavorful due to the steak coming from the lower sirloin primal – tri tip steaks are considered by some to be the best kept secret of value shopping steak enthusiasts.
When cooking tri tip steaks temperature and presentation are key. Tri tip steaks can be cooked on the grill, in a pan or in a broiler; it’s not a fussy steak in terms of technique. Temperature, however, is another story. This is not a steak you want to cook above medium. Once it passes this temperature threshold there is little that can be done to recover the beef into something edible. Employing a 2-3 hour marinade can help widen this cooking time, and the tri tip is known for being an excellent sponge for the flavors and fats found in a quick marinade.
When presenting tri tip steaks, it’s best to slice thin against the grain much like you would a brisket. This presentation will provide the best eating experience and allow steak lovers the chance to really experience the deep beefy flavor this cut is known for.
Sirloin Tip Steak
Sirloin tip steaks are a bit of a misnomer, as they are actually cut from the round subprimal. Adjacent to the sirloin; and so, the truth of it is this has nothing to do with the sirloin (this was named long before we entered the game).
In general, the round is leaner and less tender than other subprimals due to it being a working group of muscles. In exchange for all this work however we are rewarded with tremendous beefy flavor as well as a value price (pound for pound this is one of our most affordable steaks).
Sirloin tip steaks are a versatile weeknight option that can take many forms on the dinner table with low effort. Want beef to highlight a veggie filled stir fry? Sirloin tip steaks are perfect! Want a steak you can set and forget in the oven while prepping sides? Sirloin tip is great for that as well! At the end of the day sirloin tip steaks are fantastic, inexpensive, flavorful cuts of beef that offer endless meal possibilities.
To cook a sirloin tip steak whole we recommend low and slow. Almost as you would a roast. Sirloin tip steaks also love a simple marinade and perform excellently in stir fry’s or kababs when sliced thin. To make the most of your tip steak when not served whole: slice thin, marinade for an hour or so then cook in your favorite stir fry or kebab recipe.
There you have it, a tale of two tips! Hopefully this quick guide will inspire you to branch out beyond your regular steak order and try something new! Ribeye’s are fantastic, no question, but bringing tip steaks into the mix are a great way to stretch your grocery dollar while without compromising flavor or quality.