How to Cook a Beef Loin Tri Tip Steak in a Crock Pot

by Kurt Schrader

Beef tri-tip, a cut that's seen a recent surge in popularity, can make a delicious one-pot meal for busy home cooks. While the most popular way to cook tri-tip is on the grill, this cut also fares well with slow-cooking methods like braising and roasting. In fact, a delicious tri-tip can be made with a quick sear on your stovetop and a long, low-heat braise in your crock pot.

Rub the steak on all sides with salt and pepper.

Add enough cooking oil to your frying pan to thoroughly coat the bottom.

Heat the pan on high until the cooking oil just begins to smoke.

Carefully place the steak into the hot oil and sear it on all sides, until the entire exterior is browned. Remove the steak from the pan onto a platter and set aside.

Add the mirepoix to the hot oil and sauté it until it's slightly browned and translucent. Transfer the vegetables to the crock pot. Lay the steak on top of the vegetables and pour in any juices remaining on the platter.

Deglaze the hot pan with beef or veal stock and red wine, if you like, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Reduce heat to medium-high, and whisk the bits into the liquid until the sauce is smooth and partly reduced, about 5 minutes.

Pour all of the pan sauce into the crock pot over the steak and add a bouquet garni -- a bundle of fresh herbs including thyme, bay leaf and other fresh savory herbs. If you do not have fresh herbs available, you can add dried herbs to a tea ball and set this inside the slow cooker.

Set the slow cooker to high -- or 300 degrees Fahrenheit -- and cook for 2 1/2 to 4 hours until the tri-tip can be easily pierced and slightly pulled apart with a fork.

Remove the tri-tip from the crock pot onto a warmed platter and tent it with aluminum foil. Allow it to rest for at least 15 minutes before slicing.

Slice the steak against the grain, and serve it topped with juices from the platter.

Items you will need

  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Large frying pan
  • High heat cooking oil like vegetable or canola oil
  • Platter
  • Sliced mirepoix (mixture of onions, carrots and either celery or leeks)
  • Veal or beef stock or red wine
  • Whisk
  • Bouquet garni
  • Platter
  • Aluminum foil


  • A delicious sauce to serve with the tri-tip can also be made from the remaining braising liquids in the crock pot. To make the sauce, strain out the vegetables and herbs from the braising liquid and pour the liquid into a sauce pan. Boil the liquid rapidly for 3 to 5 minutes and strain off any visible fat. To thicken the sauce, slowly add corn starch mixed with red wine, Madeira or port into a slurry-like consistency, then whisk until the sauce is slightly thickened.
  • Tri-tip is a versatile cut of meat and can adapt to many beef roast, barbecue and large steak recipes.

About the Author

Kurt Schrader has been writing professionally since 2005. He has also worked in the hospitality and travel industries for more than 10 years. Schrader holds a bachelor's degree in management, a master's degree in information studies and a Juris Doctor from Florida State University.

Photo Credits

  • George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images