Costco Tri-Tip - Price, Slicing Tips + Super Tender Recipe

Costco-Tri-Tip

Kirkland Signature Tri-Tip at Costco

Costco sells USDA Choice Tri-Tip for $7.49 a pound. This price may vary and fluctuate depending on your location as well as the time of the year.

Costco’s tri-tip can be found in their meat and seafood departments near other items such as the frenched rack of lambarrachera skirt steakribeye steaks, and chicken.

Kirkland-Signature-Tri-Tip

Costco sells their tri-tip in approximately 4 pound packages. On my most recent Costco trip, most of the packages of tri-tip went for about $30, but I was able to snag one of the smaller options for $20.

USDA-Choice-Costco-Tri-Tip

What is Tri-Tip?

Tri-Tip is a triangular cut of beef that comes from the bottom sirloin subprimal. It is a very lean and tender piece of beef that includes a decent amount of marbling. 

The cut has many names such as Santa Maria Steak, Triangle Tip, and Triangle Steak.

Costco-Tri-Tip-Kirkland-Signature

Tri-Tip is also known as the California steak as that is where the steak originated and was popularized. Now tri-tip is eaten all over the world!

Blade Tenderized

The only major downside with purchasing steaks from Costco is that they are often mechanically or blade tenderized. 

This means that Costco tri-tip is punctured with sharp metal blades to make the meat more tender.

Kirkland-Signature-Costco-Tri-Tip-Blade-Tenderized

Negatives of Costco's Mechanically Tenderized Tri-tip

This sounds great in concept, but one issue that can happen with mechanically tenderized beef is that bacteria from the surface of the meat can be pushed deep within the interior.

Most people prefer to eat their tri-tip or steaks medium rare, which often means the steak isn’t cooked to a high enough internal temperature that guarantees the killing of all bacteria.

Costco-Tri-Tip-Blade-Tenderized
Blade Tenderized Marks

While extremely rare, it is possible that E. Coli can be pushed from the exterior of the beef, where it would normally be killed in the cooking process, to deep within where it is more likely to survive. 

If not fully cooked, this could lead to illness.

Costco-Tri-Tip-Cooked

Risks are Extremely Small

Costco does sell an exorbitant amount of beef on an annual basis, with the great majority causing no illness or problems. 

The most likely reason is that the threat of illness with mechanically tenderized beef/tri-tip is way overblown or exaggerated. 

Super-Tender-Costco-Tri-Tip

Either way, I do feel it is necessary to bring up, and every person can make their own judgement. I personally have no problem cooking and consuming medium rare beef from Costco.

Costco Cost Comparison

I was lucky to purchase some tri-tip from Costco for $7.49 a pound. Considering the extreme amount of inflation with steaks and all food products, this is a solid pickup.

Costco-Tri-Tip-Price

This is actually the lowest price I’ve seen for tri-tip from Costco in quite a while.

Tri-Tip Taste Test

I cooked one of the Costco tri-tip steaks using the Super Tender Recipe that I have listed below and the steak was unbelievable.

Amazing-Costco-Tri-Tip

The cook did take 24 unsupervised hours in the sous vide, but the tri-tip was well worth it. The Costco tri-tip was packed with beef flavor and incredibly tender.

Tri-Tip-from-Costco

I used a simple salt, pepper, garlic powder seasoning and it went perfectly with the tri-tip. This is an amazing steak and one of the best options in the $7 per pound price range.

How to Cook Costco Tri-Tip

There are so many ways to cook tri-tip, and most of them are with high heat. Costco Tri-Tip does really well on the grill, smoker, broiler, sous vide, and even pan searing. 

My favorite option is to cook the tri-tip in a 24 hour sous vide water bath. The tri-tip comes out super tender and many people liken it to a poor man’s prime rib.

Costco-Tri-Tip-Sous-Vide

I used this cooking method for this review, and I have to say this was by far the best tri-tip I have ever eaten. If you have a sous vide, give this a try!

Super Tender Recipe

This cooking method is too good to not share and full credit goes to Butter N Thyme for this amazing super tender tri-tip. 

The recipe involves a quick salt cure and then 24 hours in a sous vide. Preparation is quick and easy and this Costco tri-tip cook will impress.

USDA-Choice-Tri-Tip

Super Tender Costco Tri-Tip Cooking Directions

  • Cover Tri-Tip with salt
  • Allow beef to cure for 15 minutes
  • Rinse off excess salt
  • Place tri-tip in zip loc or vacuum-sealed bag
  • Add 1 tsbp of Worcestershire sauce to the bag
  • Place in a water bath for 8 hours at 132°F
  • Turn down the temperature to 125°F for the remaining 16 hours. 
  • Sear Tri-Tip on extremely hot cast iron or grill
Tender-Tri-Tip-Costco

The end result is an amazingly tender piece of Costco tri-tip steak that is perfectly medium rare. 

For the record, I only cooked the tri-tip at 132°F for about 6 hours (as it was nearing bed time) and did the remaining 18 hours at 125°F. It was still an absolutely delicious tri-tip.

Costcos-Kirkland-Signature-Tri-TIp

Grill

This recipe for grilled tri-tip comes from Hey Grill, Hey. The Tri-Tip will take approximately 55 minutes to fully cook.

  • Preheat grill to medium heat (350°F) for two zone grilling. 
  • Combine garlic powder, salt, and pepper and apply all over the tri-tip. 
  • Create mopping liquid with 1/4 Cup olive oil, 1/4 cup red wine, 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar, and option 4 cloves of garlic. 
  • Place tri-tip over indirect hit and flip every 6-7 minutes while mopping with liquid. Continue until the internal temperature reaches 120°F. 
  • Once 120°F internal temperature is reached, place Costco tri-tip over direct heat and grill until desired internal temperature. (135°F for medium rare)
Costco-Tri-Tip-with-Mac-and-Cheese

Tri-Tip served with Costco’s Mac and Cheese

Oven Baked

A Food Lovers Kitchen has a great oven baked tri-tip recipe. Give this a shot for a super simple, but delicious tri-tip.

  • Preheat oven to 450°F.
  • Rub Costco Tri-Tip with salt, peper, garlic powder.
  • Place in roasting pan.
  • Roast in oven for 15 minutes.
  • Reduce oven temperature to 350°F and roast for an another 10 minutes until internal temperature reaches 125°F. (Medium Rare).
  • Rest for 10 minutes and slice against the grain.

Properly Slicing Tri-Tip - Slice Against the Grain!

A mistake that is often made with tri-tip, is that many people don’t cut the entire steak against the grain. Tri-Tip Roasts are tricky as the grain shifts directions midway through the steak.

a tri tip steak showing where the grain changes direction.jpg

Photo Courtesy of Savor TheBest

It’s important to understand the tri-tip and make note of the grain before it is cooked. It is much easier to see the grain in a raw tri-tip steak than it is a cooked tri-tip. 

By slicing against the grain, you can ensure that you will have maximized the tenderness of the steak.

Tri-Tip Nutritional Information

One serving of Costco tri-tip is going to be 4 ounces and will contain 200 calories with 11 grams of fat, 0 grams of carbs, and 23 grams of protein. 

This nutritional profile is to be expected for beef.

Costco Tri Tip Review
Tri-Tip-from-Costco

Product Name: Kirkland Signature Beef Loin Tri Tip Roast

Product Description:
Price: ~$20-$30
Quantity: 3-4 Pounds
Location Within Costco: Meat & Seafood
Price Per Pound: $7.49

Summary

Costco’s Tri Tip is amazing! Both the price and beef are great.

I used a super tender recipe that made the best tri-tip I have ever had and what some people call a poor man’s prime rib.

Overall
8/10
8/10
  • Value - 9/10
    9/10
  • Convenience - 8/10
    8/10
  • Taste - 9/10
    9/10
  • Nutrition - 8/10
    8/10
  • CFDB Score - 6/10
    6/10

Pros

  • Great price
  • Many cooking options
  • Beef flavor

Cons

  • N/A

Final Thoughts

At just $7.49 a pound, Costco’s tri-tip is an absolute winner. 

I did a 24 hour sous vide cook that turned out near prime rib level beef. The tri-tip was tender and overloaded with beefy flavor. So Delicious!

This is an affordable cut of beef that can really impress a crowd.

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