Instant Pot Tri Tip Roast

This article has links to products that we may make commission from.
  • 70
     votes
  • 4 Comments
  • Jump to Recipe

This Instant Pot Tri Tip Roast is tender and flavorful when cooked in the Instant Pot and it’s easy to cook it to the perfect internal temperature with a sear on the outside, even when pressure cooked.

Sliced tri tip
Instant Pot tri tip roast

Treat your taste buds to a perfectly cooked, succulent, and flavorful feast with this Instant Pot Tri Tip Roast recipe. The Instant Pot’s pressure cooking function ensures a tender and juicy result every time, while the simple yet delicious marinade highlights the natural flavors of the tri tip.

In this blog post, we’ll share the ingredients you’ll need, step-by-step instructions, expert tips for the best Instant Pot tri tip, and how to store and reheat your leftovers.

What is Tri Tip?

If you don’t live in California, there’s a pretty big chance you’ve not heard of tri tip before. It’s also known as triangle roast or Santa Maria roast, because that is where it became popular.

It’s a cut of beef that comes from the bottom sirloin section of the cow. It gets its name from its triangular shape. The meat is flavorful and tender when cooked to medium rare. A typical tri tip ranges in weight from 2 to 5 pounds and is well-suited for grilling, oven-roasting, and even pressure cooking.

This cut of beef has become increasingly popular in recent years, particularly in the United States, due to its relatively low cost compared to other cuts of beef and its versatility in different recipes.

» You may also like these Instant Pot Birria Tacos and Instant Pot Mississippi Pot Roast.

Ingredients You Need

Ingredients for Instant Pot tri tip

There aren’t a lot of ingredients needed to cook a tri tip in the Instant Pot. You’ll want to season the roast with salt and pepper, or perhaps additional spices if you want, and pour in the water to create steam.

  • Tri tip roast – The weight of you tri tip will affect the amount of time you should cook it. In this recipe we use a 3-pound roast. If yours is smaller or larger, you will have to adjust the cook time.
  • All-purpose rub – Basic seasoning like salt and pepper is great on a tri tip, but we like to make a homemade all-purpose rub to flavor our tri tip. This is made with paprika, brown sugar, onion and garlic powder, salt, pepper, and chili powder.
  • Water – You need 1 cup of water for a 6-quart pot and 1 1/2 cups of water for an 8-quart pot.

Equipment Needed

  • Instant Pot – I use a 6-quart Instant Pot Plus to make all of my recipes. If you’re using an 8-quart pot, you will need to adjust the amount of liquid accordingly, as it requires more than the 6 quart to build steam.
  • Trivet – You’ll want to use the trivet to keep the tri tip out of the water.
  • Meat Thermometer – You’ll want to use a meat thermometer to make sure the tri tip has reached the proper internal temperature of 135°-140° F.

Expert Tips for the Best Tri Tip

  1. Adjust the cook time: If you prefer a different level of doneness, adjust the cooking time accordingly. For medium-rare, cook for 18 minutes; for medium, cook for 20 minutes; and for medium-well cook for 22 minutes.
  2. Let it rest: Allowing the tri tip to rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing helps to retain its juices and ensures a tender result.
  3. If you want a sear on the outside of the roast, you can heat the pot on sauté mode, add some oil, and sear the roast on all sides for 2-3 minutes. If you do this, you will need to reduce the pressure cooking time to 15-17 minutes or the meat will be overcooked.
Sliced tri tip on a plate

Instant Pot Tri Tip Roast

This Instant Pot Tri Tip Roast is tender and flavorful when cooked in the Instant Pot and it's easy to cook it to the perfect internal temperature with a sear on the outside, even when pressure cooked.

Note: Made in a 6-qt Instant Pot

4.95 from 70 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Pressurize Time 15 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 8 Servings
Calories 231 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
 

  • 2.5 pound (1 kg) tri tip roast
  • 1 cup (237 ml) water 1.5 cups for 8 quart

For the all-purpose spice rub:

  • 1 tablespoon (7 g) paprika
  • 1 tablespoon (12 g) brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons (12 g) salt
  • 1 teaspoon (2 g) ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon (1 g) chili powder mild
  • 1/2 teaspoon (1.5 g) garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon (1 g) onion powder

Instructions
 

  • Trim the tri tip of all but 1/4” of the fat cap, if there is one. Pat dry with a paper towel.
  • Mix together all of the seasoning in a small bowl. Sprinkle it evenly over the tri tip and pat it in with your hands. Let sit for 15 minutes to soak up the flavor.
  • Set the trivet inside the Instant Pot. Pour in the water. Place the tri tip on the trivet.
  • Close and lock the lid. Cook for 20 minutes on high pressure with a 5 minute natural release, then release the remaining pressure. Check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer to make sure your desired internal temp has been reached: 135°-140° F for medium, 145° F for medium-well.
  • Remove the roast to a plate to rest for 15 minutes before slicing.

Notes

  • If the meat hasn’t reached the proper internal temperature, lock the lid back on and let sit on Keep Warm for 5 more minutes.
  • Adjust the cook time: If you prefer a different level of doneness, adjust the cooking time accordingly. For medium-rare, cook for 18 minutes; for medium, cook for 20 minutes; and for medium-well cook for 22 minutes.
  • If you want a sear on the outside of the roast, you can heat the pot on sauté mode, add some oil, and sear the roast on all sides for 2-3 minutes. If you do this, you will need to reduce the pressure cooking time to 15-17 minutes or the meat will be overcooked.
  • Let it rest: Allowing the tri tip to rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing helps to retain its juices and ensures a tender result.

Nutrition

Calories: 231kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 29gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 92mgSodium: 661mgPotassium: 469mgFiber: 0.2gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 75IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 39mgIron: 2mg
Keyword Beef
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Storing Leftovers

  1. Allow the tri tip to cool completely before storing.
  2. Don’t slice the leftover tri tip. It will be easier to reheat later. Store it in an airtight container. Whne you’re ready to use it again, you can reheat the entire piece of roast to keep the internal temperature from getting to high and overcooking the meat.
  3. Refrigerate any leftovers for up to 6 days. It can be used for sandwiches, burritos, or sliders. Slice it up and put it on a salad. Or just eat it as is.

Reheating Instant Pot Tri Tip

  1. Heat a skillet over medium high heat. When hot, place the piece of tri tip that you have left into the skillet. Cook for approximately 2-3 minutes per side, depending on how large of a piece you are cooking.
  2. If you’ve already sliced it, place the slices in the pan and cook for 30 seconds before flipping with tongs. Don’t allow the slices to stay too long on one side, to preserve the juiciness of the slices. They only need to be cooked for up to 1 minute on each side.
Sliced tri tip on a plate

How Many People Does A Tri Tip Serve?

Tri-tip roasts range from 1 1/2 pounds to 4 pounds. A 1 1/2 pound roast will serve around 3 people, depending on appetite. I usually estimate about a half a pound per person. I try to buy a 2 1/2 to 3-pound roast so there’s some left overs. It makes amazing sandwiches.

Side Dishes to Serve

You can serve this Tri Tip with any side dish you like. That’s the best part – it goes with everything.

Try serving it with these sides that you can also make in the Instant Pot:

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

5 from 35 votes
Delicious Instant Pot Brownie Bites
4.9 from 39 votes
Instant Pot Cauliflower (Whole Head)
5 from 31 votes
Instant Pot Turkey Chili
5 from 26 votes
Instant Pot Philly Cheesesteak Pasta

Like this recipe? We’d love for you to share it on your Pinterest boards! Click to follow our Pinterest boards so you can find all our recipes! You can also find us on Facebook!

🥧 If you’re interested in more great recipes, I share all my favorite recipes over at A Food Lover’s Kitchen, and you’ll find air fryer recipes at Air Fry Anytime and cocktails and drinks at Savored Sips. Check it out today!

4 thoughts on “Instant Pot Tri Tip Roast

  1. Diana says:

    I guess I’ll use this Email in the future next time I’m looking for an answer. I cut up a Tri Tip in 3rds. Just got an Instant Pot and wasn’t sure what timing to use for the small piece.
    I know I’ll have more questions in the future.

    • Angela Morris says:

      Hi Diana, it can be hard to know how long to cook a smaller piece of meat. The tri tip that we cooked for the recipe was 2.5 – 3 pounds and cooked for 20 minutes. For a smaller roast try reducing the cooking time by 2 minutes per pound.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating