This Braised Tri Tip comes with a quick and easy barbecue sauce that is made from the braising liquid and a few key ingredients, all made in one pan. The perfect weeknight meal, or a family Sunday dinner.

Drizzling barbecue sauce over sliced Tri tip with roast potatoes in the background

You need this recipe in your life, because it’s easy to achieve the most tender and flavorful braised beef, if you do it my way.

I love nothing more than cooking my beef on the grill, but if you don’t have access to one, this dish tastes just as good as a good BBQ meal from your local restaurant.

Carving slices of the Tri tip on a board with micro greens

A wonderful depth of flavor in the sauce is achieved from braising the meat in the liquid with aromatics like onion, carrot and garlic along with the spices rubbed on the meat. Add a few of the usual barbecue sauce ingredients and you have a slightly smokey and sweet BBQ sauce.

This recipe yields 2 cups (472 ml) of barbecue sauce.

I love tri-tip for this dish because it has the perfect amount of fat marbling throughout the meat. My personal choice is to cook the meat until it is medium (temperature of 145°F/62°C) when a meat thermometer is inserted into the thickest part of the meat. This temperature is a little pink and the perfect tenderness. 

A closeup of the bbq sauce poured over the perfectly cooked meat

You can cook the meat to your desired temperature: Rare = (cool red in the center )125°F/52°C, medium rare (warm red center) = 135°Ff/57°C, medium (warm pink center) 145°F/63°C, medium well (slightly pink center) 150°F/66°C, well done (little or no pink) 160°F/71°C).

What cut of beef is best for braising?

I love this cut of tri tip. Chuck roast, brisket and rump roast are all delicious options too.

Why do you let beef come to room temperature before cooking?

I do this with poultry too. Any meat cooked straight from cold can tend to tense up when it hits the heat and cause it to toughen. Allowing it to come to room temperature does not give it that much of a ‘shock’ and results in more tender meat.

Side Dish Suggestions:

Yield: 6

Braised Tri Tip with Barbecue Sauce

Sliced Tri tip getting drizzled with barbecue sauce

Tri tip is slow braised in beef stock and aromatics, then the barbecue sauce is made using the liquid, plus key ingredients.

Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • For the tri tip:
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2-3 pound tri tip roast * see note
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup (236 ml) beef stock/broth
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 2 carrots, cleaned and cut into large pieces
  • 2 whole garlic cloves, peeled
  • For the sauce:
  • 1 cup (280 grams) ketchup
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup (50 grams) light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (or to your taste)
  • Small pinch ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon purpose flour (optional)
  • To make it spicy, add cayenne pepper, or hot sauce to your taste.

Instructions

  1. To a small bowl, add the smoked paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Mix well. Rub the spice mix all over the tri tip and leave to come to room temperature for 1 hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 325°F/170°C.
  3. After 1 hour, add the vegetable oil to a heavy pan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot place fat-side down and brown on all both sides. Add the beef stock/broth, onion, carrots and garlic cloves. Bring to a simmer and cover. Place in the oven and braise 10 minutes per pound until a thermometer reads 140°F/°C for medium (it will continue to cook when removed from the oven and 145°F/63°C is medium, see notes for all temperatures). You can also braise on the stove.
  4. When the meat is at your desired temperature, remove from the pan and place on a large plate or cutting board, cover with foil.
  5. Strain the braising liquid and skim off any excess fat. Add 1cup (236 ml) braising liquid back into the same pan along with the apple cider vinegar, ketchup, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper to taste. When simmering, sprinkle in the flour and whisk until smooth. Simmer until thickened.

Notes

Tri tip is the triangle end of the sirloin. If you can’t find this, chuck roast also works well.


Rare = (cool red in the center) 125°F/52°C
Medium rare (warm red center) = 135°Ff/57°C
Medium (warm pink center = 145°F/63°C
Medium well (slightly pink center) = 50°F/66°C
Well done (little or no pink) = 160°F/71°C

The barbecue sauce yields 2 cups (472 ml)

Nutrition Information

Yield

6

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 585Total Fat 33gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 7gCholesterol 191mgSodium 628mgCarbohydrates 7gFiber 1gSugar 3gProtein 62g

This nutrition calculation is provided by Nutronix that is only a guideline and not intended for any particular diet.