Zesty Grilled Tri-Tip

I’m a huge fan of barbecue. From the moment I started cooking I wanted to learn to barbecue. So far, this tri-tip is as close as I’ve come. Technically this might be grilled and not barbecued (depending on where you’re from and who you ask), but either way, it’s delicious!

One of the tricky things about barbecue is the seasonings and sauces often used to enhance flavor before and after cooking add extra fats and sugars that aren’t very healthy. That’s where tri-tip and dry rubs come in. Tri-tip is one of the leaner (and more affordable!) cuts of beef roast. And a well-thought-out dry rub can avoid some of the extra fats and sugars as well.

The flavor profile in this recipe is quite versatile and it pairs well with many different flavor profiles. Also, it makes several servings, so share it with family and friends or keep the leftovers for another meal!

Zesty Grilled Tri-Tip

  • Servings: 10
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

A zesty high-protein, low-sodium take on a classic grilled meat. This grilled protein takes a bit of work and time but the results are delicious and leftovers can save time preparing future meals.


  • 2 1/2 lbs (or more) tri-tip
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1 tbsp granulated garlic (Great Value)
  • 1 tbsp smokehouse maple seasoning (Grill Mates)
  • 2 tsp mesquite seasoning (Grill Mates)
  • 1 tsp salt-free southwest chipotle seasoning (Mrs. Dash)


  1. Prior to cooking, set the tri-tip out in a large dish to warm to room temperature.
  2. In a bowl, combine and mix the seasonings until well-mixed.
  3. Rub about half of the lime juice over the tri-tip. Then rub about half the seasoning mixture over the tri-tip.
  4. Turn the tri-tip over, rubbing with remaining lime juice and seasoning mixture. Then cover with aluminum foil and let rest for at least 15-20 minutes (up to 2 hours)  until ready to grill.
  5. Preheat grill to 450-500ºF. Keep one area lower heat for indirect cooking.
  6. Once the grill reaches at least 450º, cook the tri-tip over indirect heat, starting with the fat-side facing upward. With the lid closed, cook for at least 15 minutes for medium-rare, or a few more (3-5?) minutes for medium or medium-well.
  7. Turn the tri-tip over so the fat-side is facing down. With the lid closed, cook for at least another 15 minutes.
  8. When you’re ready to take the tri-tip off the grill, if you like crispier bark, place the tri-tip over high heat (or a searing burner) for about 30 seconds per side with the lid open. Watch carefully, because the fats in the meat catch fire very easily.
  9. Remove from grill, cover with aluminum foil and let rest for 10-15 minutes. Then slice or dice and serve.

Nutrition information

Makes 10 – 4oz servings. Calories: 164, total fat 7g, cholesterol 35mg, sodium 262mg, potassium 8mg, total carbs 1g, protein 23g. (Courtesy MyFitnessPal Recipe Creator.)


  • Here’s my formula for cooking time for this recipe: weight (lbs) * 12 = total minutes. A 2.5 lb tri-tip needs at least 30 minutes over indirect heat at 450-500ºF to come out medium-rare (as pictured). A 3.5 lb tri-tip would need around 40-43 minutes. If you need more than 4 lbs, you might consider getting multiple smaller cuts and cooking them at the same time, adding a couple minutes to each side of cooking.

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