One of the essential things you need to look at when choosing the meat of a cow is how it’s cut. Among popular cuts in most supermarkets and butcheries are the Sirloin, brisket, flank steak, shank, tenderloin, short loin, rib, and tri tip steak. Each of these cuts requires unique handling.
This post is specifically about the tri tip steak. It’s a popular cut among most people especially grilling enthusiasts. However, a significant number of people find it daunting while cutting it. Keep reading down here as we address how to do it properly.

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What is a Tri Tip Steak?

A tri tip steak is a cut from the lower/ bottom part of the Sirloin. It’s also called the “California cut” because it was a popular and favorite steak on Californian menus in the 1950s. Another common name in this steak is Santa Maria steak.  Due to its tough flavor, the tri tip steak was often grounded into hamburger meat back in the 19th century.
Below are the characteristics of a tri tip cut:
•    Triangular shaped cut. Its name is associated with its shape.
•    It has two different grain directions of the beef fibers
•    It’s tender with a rich meaty flavor
•    Each cut of a tri tip steak weighs about 1.5 to 2.5 pounds  
•    It’s a lean cut with a decent amount of marbling

What is Unique about the Grain of a Tri Tip Steak?

The secrets to cutting a tri tip steak lie on its grain. What are grains anyways? It’s the direction that muscle fibers lie in a meat cut. To identify the direction of the grain, you should look for parallel lines of the muscle fiber running down the meat. You have probably heard about cutting against meat grain and cutting along the grain.
So, should cut the tri tip steak along the or against the grain? The proper way to cut any steak is against the grain. It means you cut through the fibers of meat to shorten them. Avoid cutting along the fibers of a grain. We have a quick step by step guide on how to go about it down there.
What does it mean to cut along the grain? It means cutting meat to the direction the muscle fibers run with the piece of meat.
It’s clear that cutting a tri tip steak properly depends on the direction of its grain.

How to Cut a Tri Tip Steak against the Grain

Below is a brief step by step guide on how to cut the steak against the grain after grilling it:

a) Gather the right tools

Among the tools, you’ll need before you cut a steak include a sharp knife, a non-slip cutting board, and a serving platter. If you find it oaky, you can also have a fork.

b) Search for the grain on a tri tip steak

Once you have your tools ready, you need to understand how the grain is structured on your tri tip steak. Basically, look for the direction muscle and fats goes through the meat.
First, cut your tri tip steak from top to bottom to divide it into two halves. All you have to do is place your sharp knife on the center of a steak and cut along the parallel line on the steak. You’ll be cutting along the grain.
Then, cut each half into smaller pieces (slice) but this time perpendicular to the steak’s fiber. Basically, you’ll be cutting the steak against the grain. However, your grain's direction might change depending on the shape of the steak; therefore, you’ll have to rotate or adjust it accordingly to continue cutting against the new grain’s direction.
Cutting a tri tip steak against the grain is as simple as the outline above.

What is the purpose of cutting a tri tip steak against the grain?

The primary goal of cutting steak against the grain is to break/ reduce the muscle fibers’ length to make it tenderer. As a result, it is easier to chew the meat and won’t stress your teeth. Generally, you’re reducing the toughness of the steak to enhance a better eating experience of tender meat.

Check out Atgrills indoor electric grills and griddles to cook tri tip steak on a cookware with natural stone coating.

Sources
thegrubzone.com
youtube.com
carnivorestyle.com