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How to Grill Steak Tips: A Beginner’s Guide

Want to make something delicious on your grill this afternoon? Check out this beginner’s guide on how to grill steak tips the right way.

Did you know that the average person eats around 220 pounds of red meat every year? With so many people eating beef, the price of a good steak is starting to skyrocket.

With the price surge, cooks are turning to different, more affordable cuts of the cow to get their steak fills. One of these less pricey types of cuts is steak tips. But what exactly are these leaner cuts of meat, and how do you prepare them?

How to grill steak tips

If you’re wondering how to grill steak tips, then you came to the right place. Just because the cut might not have the same marbling as an expensive sirloin, that doesn’t make it any less delicious.

That is if you know the proper way to prepare them. But, before we get started, let’s learn exactly what a steak tip is (the answer may be more complicated than you think).

What Are Steak Tips?

According to the USDA’s official list of retail beef cuts, there is no technical definition for what constitutes a “steak tip.” Because of this, any sort of beef trimming can fall under this broad category.

However, typically when people think of steak tips, they have two ideas in mind. The first is the more expensive version. This type comes from the middle of the cow and is known as the tenderloin.

While these tips might be the superior cut, you aren’t likely to find them in your average grocery store. Unless you know and trust your butcher, you’re probably instead getting cuts from the sirloin or round part of the cow.

However, the difference can also be regional. For example, in New England, where steak tips are very popular, the tips often come from the chuck part of the cattle.

Regardless of what part of the cow your steak tips originate from, they should look like thin flap meat, with longitudinal grain and distinct beefy flavor.

Consider a Marinade for Lower Quality Cuts

Even if you have the best quality steak tips, a marinade can help make them more tender while infusing some awesome additional flavors into the meat. What makes them more tender? Simple, the acid found in the marinade.

Marinating grilled steak tips is easy, and you can get as complicated or as simple as you like. Choose some acidic flavor that you enjoy (something like a tomato, vinegar, or lemon) and construct a marinade around it. 

We recommend a Korean-based recipe. Try mixing half a cup of soy sauce with a few tablespoons of rice vinegar, honey, and neutral oil. For a little more flavor, add some chopped onions, garlic, and ginger.

Then, dip the steak tips into the marinade and let them soak it in for 1-12 hours. Now that the meat is marinating, we can learn how to make steak tips on the grill.

How to Grill Steak Tips

After your steak tips are marinating, it’s time to fire up your grill. We recommend a pellet grill like a Pit Boss or a Traeger for these cuts of meat (if you’re interested either, then you can learn more in this overview).

First, heat your grill to high — 500 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal, but anything around that range is fine. While it warms up, brush your grates with a neutral oil. This precaution will keep the meat from sticking to the grill.

Then, place your steak tips directly on to the hottest part of the grill. If you want, you can also try placing your meat on skewers before you cook them.

This process makes turning a little easier and results in nice browning on all sides. The official cook time for grilling steak tips depends on how you prefer your meat done.

  • If you prefer medium-rare, then grill them for around four minutes on each side, or until the internal temperature reaches 135 degrees Fahrenheit
  • If you prefer medium, then grill them for around five minutes on each side, or until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit
  • If you prefer medium-well, then grill them for around six minutes on each side, or until the internal temperature reaches 155 degrees Fahrenheit

Once you finish cooking the steak tips, remove them from the grill and let them rest for around 10 minutes before digging in.

How to Braise Steak Tips

Grilling isn’t the only way you can cook steak tips — you can also try braising them. This method allows the meat to simmer in the liquid for a few hours until it is so tender it practically falls apart.

Add some neutral oil to a dutch oven and turn the heat to high. Then, sear it on both sides until a nice brown crust forms. You should notice some brown build-up at the bottom of the dutch oven.

Deglaze this flavorful material by pouring your marinade mixture over it. Then, add the steak tips back, cover the pot, and let them simmer on low for a few hours.

Alternatively, you can also add them to a 350-degree oven instead of a stove. Once you remove them from the heat, then let them rest for 30 minutes before serving. This helps seal in all of the delicious marinade flavors.

How to Sear Steak Tips

If you’re in a hurry and don’t want to fire up the grill, then searing your steak tips is the best way to save some time. Simply heat some neutral oil on a heavy pan.

We prefer to use cast iron equipment for searing because it conducts heat a lot better than other types of cookware.

Turn the temperature to high and wait until you see wisps of smoke rising from the oil (this will let you know that it’s hot enough). Then, sear your steak tips for two minutes on each side — or longer if you prefer them more well done. Let them rest ten minutes before serving.

Start Enjoying Steak Tips Today

We hope this article helped you learn how to grill steak tips. Just because this cut tends to be a little more affordable, doesn’t make it any less tasty.

All it takes is a good grill and a little know-how. So get out there and start grilling today! Also, make sure to keep checking out our site for more recipes and advice.

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