Not only does the cut of meat you’re cooking impact how tender it is, so does how you cut it.
For example, when cutting beef tri-tip into cubes, it’s all about paying attention to which way the grain of the meat runs. Another way to look at it is the direction at which the muscle fibers run. With this cut of beef the fibers should run vertically from top to bottom.
To cut the beef tri-tip, first position your slicing knife, like Cutco’s 6-3/4" Petite Carver, so that it’s cutting across the grain. Slicing in this direction will shorten the meat fibers for a tender bite. It is important to know that this matters whether you’re cutting raw tri-tip or cooked.
After slicing across the grain of the meat to make strips, rotate the strips and cut crossways into cubes. Try to keep the cubes the same size (i.e., 2" x 2" x 2") for uniform cooking. Once you’ve got the cubes, toss them on the grill with some veggies or skewer them for shish kabob.
How to cut beef tri-tip into cubes sounds easy enough, but cutting in the right direction delivers the best results. Another handy tip is to slice raw meat when it’s still slightly chilled to make it an easier to cut.
Tri-tip is known for being affordable, lean and full of flavor, which makes it ideal for smoking, grilling or broiling. It’s also great for leftovers. Toss it into a pasta salad, slice it to add to grilled cheese sandwiches or dice it up and toss on some nachos.
How to Cut Beef Tri-Tip into Cubes
- Using a 6-3/4" Petite Carver, trim away any unwanted fat and silver skin.
- Cutting across the grain, make slices that are about 2 inches thick (or as thick as you desire).
- Rotate the slices and cut crossways about 2 inches thick – try to make the cubes uniform in size for even cooking.
Quick tip: Cut tri-tip while it’s still chilled and somewhat firm.
How to select tri-tip:
- For best results choose a “choice" or "prime" grade cut of meat over “select” grade.
- Look for tri-tip with good marbling (which means intramuscular fat).
- 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 pounds of tri-tip feeds about 3 to 4 people.
- Tri-tip is best cooked to medium-rare (130 F to 135 F)
- Allow the meat to rest for anywhere between 5 and 20 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute before slicing.
- Remember that its internal temperature will rise about 5 degrees after removing it from the heat.
- Tri-tip is great as leftovers on sandwiches, as a topping for nachos or stirred into a mac ‘n cheese.