This balsamic peppercorn Tri-Tip marinade is quick and absolutely delicious. Black peppercorns and red pepper flakes give the grilled steak a nice kick while balsamic vinegar and herbs provide a rich medley of flavor.
Grilled Tri-tip is one of our favorite summer dinners. It’s fabulous alongside some grilled shrimp skewers and with a side of grilled vegetables or our artichoke rice salad and, of course, a nice glass of strawberry sangria. We like to buy a nice big tri-tip roast from Costco and toss it in the marinade while we’re playing out in the pool or doing yard work. Since the marinade flavors the meat in as little as 30 minutes, it’s an easy dinner to prepare. This is my go-to tri-tip recipe so I often mix up a large batch of the spice rub ingredients at once and then just take a scoop and add the oil and vinegar.
Since we are using vinegar to marinate the thick tri-tip roast, our primary goal with marination is to add flavor. Acidic marinades, such as this one, do not tenderize the meat and also do not penetrate further than the first 1/2-1 inch of the meat. 30 minutes is sufficient to get some good flavor. Marinate for 1-2 hours for maximum flavor. The marinade won’t penetrate further into the meat after a couple hours, so there’s no reason to marinate for longer and there is the chance that the acidic nature of the marinade could toughen the meat some.
Tri-Tip Marinade Ingredients:
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns (coarsely ground)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon onion flakes
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 pound Tri-Tip roast
How to Make the Marinade:
The tri-tip marinade is super simple to make. I like to use a gallon size Ziploc bag because it seals the juices tightly around the meat, it’s easy to turn, and there are no dishes to clean once the meat gets tossed on the grill. Make the marinade right in the bag! Measure all the dry ingredients into the bag. Then pour in the water, oil, and vinegar. “Smoosh” the bag from the outside to mix the marinade up and then place the tri-tip roast inside. Place the bag into the refrigerator. Let the meat marinate in the bag for at least 30 minutes, but 1-2 hours is best.
Grilling the Tri-tip:
After the meat has sufficiently marinated, it’s time to fire up the grill. The key to delicious grilled meat is to get the barbecue really hot before placing the meat on it. When the meat hits the super hot grill, the seared outside locks the juices in and makes the herbs and spices on the outside cook up to a nice caramelized crust. Mmmmmm. Once the tri-tip is grilling, you can turn the heat down to medium or even a bit lower and let it cook to the desired temperature. Yum!
- 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp. ground black peppercorns
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 tsp. onion flakes
- 1 tsp. garlic salt
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 1/2 tsp. onion powder
- 1/2 tsp. chili powder
- 1/8 c. balsamic or apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 c. water
- 1/4 c. olive oil
- 2 pounds tri tip roast
- Mix dry ingredients together in a small bowl.
- Add vinegar, water, and oil. Whisk well.
- Place marinade and an untrimmed tri-tip roast into a large Ziploc bag.
- Marinate 1-2 hours, turning regularly. In a pinch, marinate for at least 30 minutes.
- Grill until cooked to desired temperature.