Tri-Tip with Cilantro Chimichurri Sauce

I was first introduced to the tri-tip steak while visiting my parents in Las Vegas years ago. As my parents were talking about this piece of meat, you could see the excitement in their eyes and their mouths beginning to water. Tri-tip is something that we do not see in grocery stores in the Midwest, and it is typically found in the western part of the states. My parents were correct when they were talking about how awesome this steak was, and after they cooked it over a rotisserie, it came out just packed full of great flavor, and could possibly be one of my more favorite cuts of meat.

After I was so fortunate to partner with Branch Ranch Natural, I noticed that the ranch offered tri-tip as part of their product line, and it had my mouth watering when I found out. I knew exactly what I was going to do with it, and at first, I thought of using the rotisserie as my parents did, but instead I decided to roast it over meduim heat on the grill/smoker, and hit it with a bit of cherry smoke at the very end.

Tri-Tip Steak with Cilantro Chimichurri sauce


  • 2 lbs of tri-tip
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp cracked black pepper
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 handful of cherry wood chips, soaked in water

Ingredients for Cilantro Chimichurri:

  • 1 bunch of fresh cilantro
  • 1 head of garlic, rough chop
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2/3 cup of olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of white vinegar
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 4 peppadew peppers
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper

Begin by rubbing your tri-tip with the olive oil. This will help the salt, pepper, garlic, and rosemary stick to the meat. Let this marinate for at least four hours. While the meat marinates, make the chimichurri sauce. Let me stop right here and say if you have never had chimichurri sauce, it is simply a must make. Chimichurri is typically made with parsley with similar ingredients listed above, however I thought I would mix it up a bit and replace parsley with cilantro, and I am glad that I did.

So to make the chimichurri, add everything but the olive oil to a food processor, and pulse it down on the chop dial. You do not want a puree here, but you want it somewhat course. When everything is broken down, remove the blade and whisk in your olive oil. Give a taste, and adjust any salt or pepper as needed. Right off the bat you get a great punch of garlic and cilantro, and some of the sweet and spice of the peppadews. Pour into a bowl and place in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.

Tri-Tip Steak with Cilantro Chimichurri sauce

Take your meat out, and let it come to room temperature as you fire up your grill, or in my case my grill and smoker combination. Get your coals nice and hot. I believe in using charcoal with this type of meat as it gives it that smokey flavor you should be seeking. Your grill should register around 400 degrees before placing your tri-tip.

Once your grill is ready, add the tri-tip, and cover. Cook for about 40-50 minutes, or until the meat registers around 130 to 135 degrees. During the last 5 minutes of cooking, add the handful of soaked cherry wood chips to the coals, covering, and let the tri-tip get a nice hit of the cherry smoke. Just this little bit of smoke adds some really great flavor to the steak.

Remove the steak, and place in a pan to let rest, tenting it with foil. This rest time will allow all of the juices to remain in the steak, while bringing the temperature of the steak up to a medium heat, which I think is the best temperature to eat good meat.  So after letting the tri-tip rest for about 20 minutes, begin to slice the meat, against the grain, into about one inch slices.

Place a few strips of the tri-tip onto a plate and generously drizzle with the cilantro chimichurri sauce. I am not kidding when I say every bite is packed full of phenomenal flavor. You get a bit of the smoked cherry in the tri-tip with the awesome flavors garlic, rosemary, and cilantro. As my wife and I sat there and ate the slices of meat, we were just blow away by the complexity of really simple ingredients, not only that but the steak itself was just so tender and delicious.

So if you cannot locate a tri-tip, give Branch Ranch Natural a shot, or ask your local butcher for a nice two pound cut of the bottom sirloin. You will be thankful that you did. Enjoy.

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Dax Phillips

Thank you for visiting my website. Truly, I do appreciate it. My free time and stress reliever is cooking for my family, friends, and everyone in between. The recipes you find on this site are those that I have either created, been part of, or those that I simply enjoy and have made my own in some shape, form, or other. My focus has always been on comfort food, because at the end of a long work day, you want something comforting. I currently am the father of three children, and married to a wonderful wife of thirteen years. There is nothing fancy with these recipes, just simple, and I will admit, not so simple ingredients, and a simple kitchen corner I can call my own. I learned early on that cooking and bringing family together was very important. After all, this notion of being together at dinner time was instilled early on by my parents. There are many memories of being in the kitchen with my parents, watching them cook, or preparing meals, or those home cooked smells while waiting for dinner. My parents who worked full-time, always had home cooked meals during the week, with the exception of Friday nights where we would enjoy a Wisconsin fish fry, and often on late afternoons on Sunday, where we would order Ann's pizza. I tend to cook by making things up. As a home cook, I think you have to take chances, and add or subtract ingredients that make up a dish, and make them your own. Remember to taste, and taste often. If a dish has potential, try it again, and make it your own. You should also note that I do not count calories, or break down recipes into grams of anything. To me, that's a bit boring. My philosophy is that if the food is good, eat it, and eat it in moderation. Life is just too short not to enjoy good food. Commonly Asked Questions: Can I use your photography/content on my website/blog? Please do not redistribute my photography or recipes without my permission. All of the recipes and photography on this website are my own unless noted, and is subjected to copyright  If you’d like to use a photograph or a recipe, please contact me for permission. Will you review my product/book/site? I am available for recipe development, food photography and/or styling, travel/press events, product reviews, brand promotion/ambassador, and sponsored posts. If you are interested in working with me, or if you have a question/comment regarding a recipe or about my blog, please send me an email.

2 thoughts to “Tri-Tip with Cilantro Chimichurri Sauce”

  1. I’ve never heard of a tri-tip steak, but if your photo is any indication of how awesome it is, I want one now. Looks delicious!

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