Costco Tri-Tip - Price, Slicing Tips + Super Tender Recipe
Kirkland Signature Tri-Tip at Costco
Costco sells its 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.
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 with a decent amount of marbling.
The cut has many names, such as Santa Maria Steak, Triangle Tip, and Triangle Steak.
Tri-Tip originated and was popularized in California, so it’s also known as the California Steak. Now tri-tip is eaten all over the world!
When cooked properly, I think it has an unmatched flavor!
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.
Negatives of Costco's Mechanically Tenderized Tri-tip
Blade tenderizing sounds great in concept, but one issue with mechanically tenderized beef is that bacteria from the surface of the meat can be pushed deep within the interior.
Most people and I 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.
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.
Risks are Extremely Small
Costco sells a colossal amount of beef annually, 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.
Either way, I do feel it is necessary to bring up, and every person can make their own judgment. I personally have no problem cooking and consuming medium-rare beef from Costco.
Costco Cost Comparison
How Much Does Tri Tip Cost at Costco?
I was lucky to purchase some tri-tip from Costco for $7.49 a pound. Considering the extreme inflation with steaks and all food products, this is a solid pickup. In fact, I probably should have even stocked up on more.
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.
The cook did take 24 unsupervised hours in the sous vide, but the tri-tip was well worth it. I’m not the best cook, but this Costco tri-tip was packed with beef flavor and incredibly tender.
I used a simple salt, pepper, and garlic powder seasoning, which went perfectly with the tri-tip. This is a fantastic steak and one of the best options in the $7 per pound price range.
How to Cook Costco Tri-Tip
There are many ways to cook tri-tip, most of which are with high heat. Costco Tri-Tip does really well on the grill, smoker, broiler, sous vide, and even with pan searing.
My favorite option is to cook the tri-tip in a 24-hour sous vide water bath. The tri-tip I made came out super tender, and I thought it was comparable to a prime rib or at least a poor man’s prime rib.
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 not to share and I have to give full credit to Butter N Thyme for this wonderful super tender tri-tip.
The recipe involves a quick salt cure and then 24 hours in a sous vide bath. I found the preparation quick and easy, and this Costco tri-tip cook will surely impress.
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
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 my bedtime) and did the remaining 18 hours at 125°F. It was still an absolutely delicious tri-tip.
This recipe for grilled tri-tip comes from Hey Grill, Hey. The Tri-Tip will take approximately 55 minutes to cook fully.
- 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 optional 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 the tri-tip over direct heat and grill until desired internal temperature. (135°F for medium rare)
Tri-Tip served with Costco’s Macaroni and Cheese
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, pepper, and garlic powder.
- Place in roasting pan.
- Roast in the oven for 15 minutes.
- Reduce oven temperature to 350°F and roast for 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.
Photo Courtesy of Savor TheBest
It’s essential to understand the tri-tip and make a note of the grain before it is cooked. It is much easier to see the grain in a raw tri-tip steak than in a cooked tri-tip.
By slicing against the grain, you can ensure that you will have maximized the steak’s tenderness.
Tri-Tip Nutritional Information
One serving of Costco tri-tip will 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
Product Name: Kirkland Signature Beef Loin Tri Tip Roast
Quantity: 3-4 Pounds
Location Within Costco: Meat & Seafood
Price Per Pound: $7.49
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.
Value - 9/10
Convenience - 8/10
Taste - 9/10
Nutrition - 8/10
CFDB Score - 6/10
- Great price
- Many cooking options
- Beef flavor
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 a beefy flavor. So Delicious!
This is an affordable cut of beef that can impress a crowd.