Over the past few years, Costco Warehouse stores have been offering more and more high quality USDA Prime beef. Where I live in Northern California, it’s even becoming common to find a small selection of USDA Prime beef cuts in supermarkets like Safeway.
One Costco cut of beef I like to splurge on occasionally is USDA Prime tri-tip roast. I have grilled the USDA Choice version of this cut for many years and have always enjoyed how easy it is to cook and how juicy and delicious it is. A lot of that flavor and moisture comes from the fat that is marbled throughout the meat. Those qualities are enhanced further when you choose the Prime version of tri-tip.
I had an interesting experience a few months ago when I absentmindedly pulled a tri-tip roast from the freezer and grilled it. It looked like it had a lot of fat striations throughout the meat, but it didn’t quite register in my mind. It wasn’t until I cut into it and ate it that I realized this tri-tip, found at the bottom of the freezer, was a Prime tri-tip. So much more tender, flavorful, and juicy than its Choice counterpart!
Just make sure to not overcook your tri-tip. Sear both sides over MEDIUM-HIGH heat for about 4 minutes per side, turning 90° halfway through to get that nice diamond pattern, then turn down the heat to MEDIUM-LOW or LOW, depending on how hot your grill runs, and cook to an internal temp of about 135-140°F, turning every 4-5 minutes.
A good quality instant-read thermometer is a must—take the temp in several spots in the thickest part of the roast and average the results. After a short 10 minute rest under foil, you’ll have meat with a nice amount of pink inside and plenty of juices to drag the slices through.
Another advantage of Prime tri-tip is that leftovers stay moist and juicy when reheated later because of the extra fat within the meat.
So my advice is to give USDA Prime tri-tip a try if you’ve not done so. It’s readily available, reasonably priced, and worth every penny!