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How Long Do I Cook Tri Tip In Air Fryer How Long Do I Cook Tri Tip In Air Fryer


How Long Do I Cook Tri Tip In Air Fryer

Written by: James Anderson

Learn how to cook tri tip in an air fryer quickly and easily with this informative article. Discover the perfect cooking time and temperature for delicious results every time.

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Welcome to the world of air frying! If you’re a fan of tender, juicy, and flavorful meats, then you’re in for a treat. In this article, we’ll be discussing one of the most delectable cuts of beef – the tri-tip – and how you can cook it to perfection in an air fryer.

The tri-tip, also known as a triangle roast, is a triangular cut of beef taken from the bottom sirloin. It’s a popular choice for grilling or roasting due to its rich marbling and robust flavor. However, with the innovative capabilities of air fryers, you can achieve equally incredible results in a fraction of the time.

Now, you may be wondering, what exactly is an air fryer? It’s a kitchen appliance that uses hot air circulation and a minimal amount of oil to cook food. Unlike traditional frying methods that require submerging food in oil, air fryers use a powerful fan to circulate hot air around the food, resulting in a crispy exterior and a tender interior.

The benefits of cooking tri-tip in an air fryer are numerous and enticing. For starters, air frying reduces the amount of oil used, making it a healthier alternative to deep frying. It also cuts down on cooking time, making it a more efficient option for those busy weeknight dinners. Additionally, the precise temperature control of air fryers ensures that your tri-tip is cooked evenly and to your desired level of doneness.

So, if you’re ready to elevate your culinary skills and impress your family and friends with a mouthwatering tri-tip cooked to perfection, let’s dive into the details of preparing, seasoning, and cooking this magnificent cut of beef in an air fryer.

Key Takeaways:

  • Elevate your culinary skills with air-fried tri-tip, enjoying healthier, juicier, and more flavorful results in a fraction of the time. Impress family and friends with this game-changing cooking method!
  • Master the art of preparing and cooking tri-tip in an air fryer, from seasoning to checking doneness. Enjoy tender, succulent beef with reduced oil usage and faster cooking times.

What is Tri Tip?

Tri tip is a flavorful and versatile cut of beef that is highly popular across the United States, particularly in California. It is a triangular-shaped muscle taken from the bottom sirloin region of the cow and is known for its marbling, tenderness, and rich beefy flavor.

This cut has gained popularity among grill enthusiasts and home cooks due to its unique texture and taste. While it was once considered a regional specialty primarily found on the West Coast, tri tip has now become more widely available and appreciated by meat lovers all over.

Tri tip is typically a relatively lean meat, which means it’s not as fatty as other cuts like ribeye or prime rib. However, this doesn’t take away from its succulence and flavor. It benefits from a generous marbling of fat and a coarse texture that allows it to absorb flavors effortlessly.

When it comes to cooking tri tip, it’s important to note that it is best served medium-rare to medium. This ensures that it remains tender, juicy, and full of flavor. However, if you prefer your beef more well-done, you can certainly adjust the cooking time or temperature to suit your preferences.

Tri tip works wonderfully in various cooking methods, including grilling, roasting, and smoking. And now, thanks to the air fryer, it has become even easier to achieve incredible results with this delicious cut of beef, all within a shorter cooking time.

Whether you’re a seasoned cook or a beginner in the kitchen, tri tip is a fantastic choice for any occasion. Its versatile flavor profile pairs well with a wide range of seasonings, rubs, and marinades, making it a canvas for your creativity. So, let’s delve into the benefits of cooking tri tip in an air fryer and discover how this cooking method can elevate the flavors and textures of this outstanding cut of beef.

Benefits of Cooking Tri Tip in an Air Fryer

Cooking tri tip in an air fryer offers several fantastic advantages that make it an excellent choice for preparing this delicious cut of beef. Here are some of the benefits:

  1. Healthier Option: Air frying requires significantly less oil compared to traditional deep frying methods. By using hot air circulation and only a small amount of oil, an air fryer can produce crispy and flavorful results with reduced fat content. This makes it a healthier alternative for enjoying tri tip without compromising on taste.
  2. Faster Cooking Time: Air fryers are known for their efficiency, allowing you to cook tri tip in less time compared to other cooking methods. The hot air circulation and precise temperature control in an air fryer evenly cook the meat, resulting in tender and juicy tri tip in a fraction of the time it would take with other cooking methods.
  3. Consistent Results: Air fryers provide consistent and reliable cooking results, ensuring that your tri tip is cooked to perfection every time. The precise temperature control allows you to achieve the desired level of doneness, whether it’s medium-rare, medium, or well-done. This helps avoid overcooking and ensures that the meat remains tender and flavorful.
  4. Returns Juicy and Tender Tri Tip: The hot air circulation in an air fryer seals in the moisture of the tri tip, resulting in a juicy and tender finish. This feature prevents the meat from drying out during the cooking process, ensuring that each bite is packed with flavor and succulence.
  5. Easy Cleanup: Air fryers are known for their convenience, and that extends to the cleanup process. Most air fryer baskets and trays are non-stick, making them easy to clean after use. Simply remove the accessories, wash them with warm soapy water, and you’re done. This makes air fryers a hassle-free option for cooking tri tip without the stress of extensive cleanup.

These benefits make air frying the perfect method for cooking tri tip, allowing you to enjoy a healthier, flavorful, and convenient culinary experience. Now that you know the advantages, let’s move on to exploring how to prepare and season your tri tip for air frying.

Preparing the Tri Tip

Before you start cooking your tri tip in the air fryer, it’s essential to properly prepare the meat. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to prepare your tri tip:

  1. Thawing: If your tri tip is frozen, make sure to thaw it completely before cooking. You can do this by placing it in the refrigerator overnight or using the defrost function on your microwave if you’re in a hurry.
  2. Trimming: Trim any excess fat or silver skin from the tri tip. While some amount of fat is desirable for flavor and juiciness, removing excessive fat helps prevent flare-ups and uneven cooking.
  3. Patting Dry: Before seasoning, pat the tri tip dry with paper towels. This step helps ensure that the seasoning adheres well to the meat and promotes a crispy exterior during cooking.
  4. Optional: Tenderizing: Depending on your preference, you can choose to tenderize the tri tip. While tri tip is already a relatively tender cut, tenderizing can further enhance its texture. You can use a meat mallet or a tenderizing tool to gently pound the meat, allowing the marinade or seasoning to penetrate deeper.

Once your tri tip is prepped and ready, it’s time to move on to the next crucial step – seasoning. The right combination of seasoning can elevate the flavors of your tri tip and create a mouthwatering crust that pairs perfectly with the tender meat.

Let’s explore the various seasoning options and techniques to make your tri tip truly exceptional.

Seasoning the Tri Tip

Seasoning is a crucial step in enhancing the flavor of your tri tip. Whether you prefer a simple and classic approach or want to experiment with bold and unique flavors, the choice of seasonings can make all the difference. Here are some popular seasoning options for tri tip:

  1. Salt and Pepper: A classic combination of salt and freshly ground black pepper is a simple yet effective way to bring out the natural flavors of the tri tip. Generously season both sides of the meat, ensuring even coverage.
  2. Dry Rubs: Dry rubs are a versatile way to add depth and complexity to your tri tip. They typically include a combination of spices, herbs, and other ingredients. Popular dry rub options for tri tip include garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, chili powder, cumin, and brown sugar. Experiment with different proportions and flavors to find your perfect blend.
  3. Marinades: If you have more time to spare, marinating the tri tip can infuse it with incredible flavors. A marinade typically consists of an acidic component like vinegar or citrus juice, oil, herbs, and spices. Let the tri tip marinate for at least a few hours or overnight in the refrigerator to allow the flavors to penetrate the meat.
  4. Basting Sauce: Another option is to baste the tri tip with a flavorful sauce during the cooking process. This adds an extra layer of taste and moisture to the meat. Common basting sauces for tri tip include barbecue sauce, teriyaki sauce, or a combination of melted butter and herbs.

When applying seasonings or marinades, be sure to rub them into the meat, ensuring they adhere well. Allow the seasoned tri tip to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before air frying to ensure even cooking.

Now that your tri tip is seasoned to perfection, let’s move on to the exciting part – cooking the tri tip in the air fryer.

For a medium-rare tri-tip in the air fryer, cook at 400°F for 25-30 minutes, flipping halfway through. Adjust time for desired doneness.

Cooking the Tri Tip in the Air Fryer

Now that your tri tip is seasoned and ready to go, it’s time to fire up your air fryer and cook it to perfection. Follow these steps to ensure a deliciously cooked tri tip:

  1. Preheating: Preheat your air fryer to 400°F (200°C) for a few minutes. This will ensure that the cooking chamber is adequately heated and ready to go.
  2. Air Fryer Basket: Place the seasoned tri tip in the air fryer basket. It’s important to not overcrowd the basket, as you want the hot air to circulate freely around the meat for even cooking.
  3. Cooking Time: The cooking time for tri tip can vary depending on the size and thickness of the cut. As a general rule of thumb, cook the tri tip in the air fryer for 15-20 minutes per pound. For example, if you have a 2-pound tri tip, cook it for approximately 30-40 minutes. Remember to flip the tri tip halfway through the cooking process to ensure even browning.
  4. Doneness: It’s crucial to monitor the internal temperature of the tri tip using a meat thermometer to achieve the desired level of doneness. For a medium-rare tri tip, the internal temperature should be around 130-135°F (55-57°C). For a medium tri tip, aim for 140-145°F (60-63°C). Adjust the cooking time accordingly to achieve your preferred level of doneness.
  5. Resting: Once the tri tip reaches its desired temperature, remove it from the air fryer and let it rest for about 10 minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute within the meat, resulting in a more tender and flavorful tri tip.

Remember that these cooking times are approximate and can vary. It’s always recommended to use a meat thermometer to ensure that your tri tip is cooked to your liking.

Now that your tri tip is perfectly cooked, it’s time to check its doneness before you dig in.

Checking the Doneness of the Tri Tip

Checking the doneness of your tri tip is crucial to ensure that it’s cooked to your desired level. Here are a few methods to determine if your tri tip is cooked to perfection:

  1. Meat Thermometer: The most accurate way to check the doneness of your tri tip is by using a meat thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat, avoiding any bones or fat. For a medium-rare tri tip, aim for an internal temperature of 130-135°F (55-57°C). For medium, the temperature should reach 140-145°F (60-63°C). Let the tri tip rest for a few minutes after removing it from the air fryer, as the temperature will continue to rise slightly during this time.
  2. Touch Test: If you don’t have a meat thermometer, you can also use the touch test to gauge the doneness of your tri tip. Gently press the center of the tri tip with your finger. If it feels soft and springy, it’s likely undercooked and closer to rare. If it has a slight resistance and feels slightly firm, it’s likely cooked to medium-rare. If it feels firmer with less give, it’s closer to medium. Use this method as a general guideline, but keep in mind that it’s not as accurate as using a meat thermometer.
  3. Visual Test: Lastly, you can visually assess the doneness of your tri tip. Look for a pinkish-red color in the center for medium-rare, and a slightly pink center for medium. However, keep in mind that this method may not be as accurate as the other two, as the color can vary depending on factors such as seasoning and cooking time.

By using one or a combination of these methods, you can ensure that your tri tip is cooked to perfection and meets your personal preferences.

Now that your tri tip is cooked and its doneness is confirmed, it’s time to let it rest and then serve it for a mouthwatering experience.

Resting and Serving the Tri Tip

After cooking your tri tip in the air fryer and checking its doneness, it’s crucial to let it rest before serving. Resting allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a more tender and flavorful final product. Here’s how to rest and serve your tri tip:

  1. Resting: Transfer the cooked tri tip to a cutting board and loosely tent it with aluminum foil. Let it rest for about 10 minutes. This resting period allows the meat fibers to relax and the juices to evenly distribute, ensuring a juicy and tender bite.
  2. Slicing: Once the tri tip has rested, it’s time to slice it. Make sure to slice against the grain, which means cutting perpendicular to the muscle fibers. This helps to further enhance the tenderness of the meat. Slice the tri tip into thin slices for a tender and juicy texture.
  3. Serving: Now that your tri tip is beautifully sliced, it’s time to serve and enjoy. You can serve the tri tip as is or alongside your favorite side dishes. Tri tip pairs well with a variety of accompaniments, such as roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, grilled asparagus, or a fresh salad. You can also serve it on a bed of rice or alongside some delicious homemade barbecue sauce.

Remember to present your tri tip in an appealing way that showcases its delicious flavors and textures. Garnish with fresh herbs, such as parsley or cilantro, for an added touch of freshness and color.

Tri tip is a versatile cut of beef, and the leftovers can be used in various ways. You can use sliced tri tip in sandwiches, wraps, tacos, or even in a hearty beef stir-fry. The possibilities are endless!

Now that you’ve mastered the art of cooking and serving tri tip in an air fryer, you can enjoy this flavorful cut of beef with family and friends. So, fire up that air fryer, prepare your tri tip, and savor every delicious bite!



Cooking tri tip in an air fryer is a game-changer when it comes to achieving perfectly cooked, tender, and flavorful beef. The benefits of air frying, such as reduced oil usage, faster cooking times, consistent results, and juicy outcomes, make it an excellent choice for cooking tri tip.

With each step of the cooking process – from thawing and seasoning the tri tip to checking its doneness and letting it rest – you have learned how to master the art of preparing and cooking tri tip in the air fryer. The versatility of this cut allows you to experiment with a variety of seasonings and flavors, making it a culinary canvas for your creativity.

By following the guidelines provided in this article, you can enjoy a healthier and more efficient way of cooking tri tip without sacrificing taste. The air fryer ensures even cooking, tender results, and a delicious crust that will impress your family and friends.

So, the next time you’re craving a mouthwatering tri tip, reach for your air fryer and embark on a culinary adventure. Remember to allow the tri tip to rest before slicing and serving it alongside your favorite side dishes.

Now that you have the knowledge and techniques to cook tri tip in an air fryer, it’s time to put your skills to the test and enjoy the incredible flavors and textures of this delectable beef cut. Happy cooking!

Frequently Asked Questions about How Long Do I Cook Tri Tip In Air Fryer

Can I cook a tri tip in an air fryer?

Yes, you can definitely cook a tri tip in an air fryer! It’s a quick and convenient way to enjoy this delicious cut of meat without having to fire up the grill or oven.
What temperature should I set my air fryer to for cooking tri tip?

For cooking tri tip in an air fryer, it’s best to set the temperature to 400°F. This will ensure that the meat cooks evenly and develops a nice crust on the outside while remaining juicy on the inside.
How long does it take to cook tri tip in an air fryer?

Cooking time can vary depending on the size and thickness of the tri tip, but as a general guideline, it usually takes about 25-30 minutes to cook a tri tip in an air fryer. It’s always a good idea to use a meat thermometer to ensure it reaches your desired level of doneness.
Should I marinate the tri tip before cooking it in an air fryer?

Marinating the tri tip before cooking it in an air fryer is a great way to infuse it with flavor and tenderize the meat. You can use your favorite marinade or simply season it with salt, pepper, and any other spices you prefer.
What is the best way to serve air fryer tri tip?

Once your tri tip is cooked to perfection in the air fryer, let it rest for a few minutes before slicing it against the grain. This will help ensure that the meat stays juicy and tender. Serve it with your favorite sides and enjoy a delicious meal!

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