Grilled Tri-Tip Steak with Bell Pepper Salsa

Grilled, marinated tri tip steak with a salsa made with green bell peppers, garlic, and scallions. Also called sirloin tip, culotte steak, triangle steak, and Santa Maria-style barbecue.

Grilled Tri Tip Steak with Bell Pepper Salsa
Elise Bauer

Tri-tip roasts are popular here in California; it's a flavorful cut, perfect for barbecuing and grilling. Triangular in shape, it is also called sirloin tip, culotte steak, triangle steak, and Santa Maria-style.

The tri-tip cut is rather lean and can get tough if over-cooked. So, don't trim the fat before cooking (it will be needed to keep the steak tender), and use a meat thermometer and stop the cooking at 130°F.

let tri tip steak rest
A tri tip steak is triangular shaped. Elise Bauer

This cut can be hard to find outside of California, though I understand that both Costco and Sam's Club carry it. You can also use this recipe with a flank steak.

Why the bell pepper salsa?

Grilled Tri-Tip Steak with Bell Pepper Salsa
Elise Bauer

Well, we were out of tomatoes and chiles, but we happened to have bell peppers, green onions, and chile flakes, and you know what? It was great! Perfect with the steak.

Grilled Tri-Tip Steak with Bell Pepper Salsa

Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Servings 6 servings

If you don't have a grill, you can prepare the tri-tip by browning it in a hot cast iron pan on the stove top, then placing it a 325°F oven until the internal temperature of the steak/roast reaches 130°F.



  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or apple cider vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  • 1 (2-pound) tri-tip steak or roast

  • Salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper


  • 1 large bell pepper (any color), stem and seeds removed, finely chopped

  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced, white and green parts

  • 1 cloves garlic, finely chopped (1 teaspoon)

  • 2 tablespoons parsley, basil, or arugula, chopped

  • 1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes

  • 2 tablespoons apple cider or red wine vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Marinate the steak:

    Prepare the marinade in a large bowl, stirring together all of the marinade ingredients. Place steak in the bowl and coat on all sides with the marinade. Marinate for 20 minutes while you are preheating the grill.

    marinate tri tip
    Elise Bauer
  2. Prepare the grill:

    Prepare the grill for direct high heat. If you are using charcoal, use approximately 5 pounds of coals. Bank the coals so that more of them are on one side than the other, so that you have a high heat zone and a lower heat zone.

  3. Pat dry steak, sprinkle with salt and pepper:

    When the grill is ready and hot, remove the meat from the marinade and pat it dry with paper towels. Sprinkle generously all over with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  4. Sear tri-tip on hot side of grill:

    Place the tri-tip on the hot side of the grill. Leave the cover off and watch carefully for flare-ups.

    sear tritip steak on hot grill
    Elise Bauer
    sear santa maria tri tip steak
    Elise Bauer

    As the meat browns, any fat will melt and drip on to the coals causing flare-ups. These are okay, as long as they don't get out of control.

    Keep moving the tri-tip around the grill away from the flames if they get too high. Brown well on both sides.

  5. Move steak to lower heat side of grill:

    When the tri-tip steak is browned all over, move it to the lower heat side of the grill.

    Cover the grill and close the vents enough so that you maintain about 300-325°F temperature in the grill. (If you are using a charcoal grill, you can place a meat thermometer through the vents to measure the heat.)

    If you are using a gas grill, turn off one of the burners and move the meat over that burner for indirect heating.

  6. Check temperature:

    Cook the tri-tip until a meat thermometer reads 130°F when inserted into the thickest part of the meat (15-30 minutes, depending on the thickness of the meat).

    check temperature of tri tip steak
    Elise Bauer
  7. Let rest:

    Remove from grill, cover with foil and let rest for 15 minutes.

    let tri tip steak rest
    A tri tip steak is triangular shaped. Elise Bauer
  8. Make salsa:

    Make the bell pepper salsa by stirring together all of the salsa ingredients in a small bowl.

  9. Slice:

    Cut the tri-tip in 1/4-inch slices across the grain of the meat. Serve with the bell pepper salsa.

    slice tri tip steak across grain
    Elise Bauer


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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
418 Calories
26g Fat
4g Carbs
40g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 418
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 26g 33%
Saturated Fat 1g 6%
Cholesterol 125mg 42%
Sodium 522mg 23%
Total Carbohydrate 4g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 40g
Vitamin C 32mg 158%
Calcium 51mg 4%
Iron 3mg 17%
Potassium 610mg 13%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.