Slow Cooker Tri-Tip Roast is one of the most delicious recipes you can make in the slow cooker. With just a few ingredients and fresh herbs, you can have this on the table with little to no prep time. With this, you have enough to feed the entire family and it is sure to become one of the easiest yet tastiest recipes you’ve ever made!
Served as a roast or sandwiches, this wonderful recipe is perfect for any meal. Just let it simmer all day in the crock pot and then place the roast on a plate for slicing or shred the beef right in the pot. The rich and meaty flavor is perfect for other kinds of dishes like shredded beef tacos, soup, or stew. And, it goes great with almost any side dishes.
Slow cooker tri-tip
This slow cooker tri-tip roast recipe is perfect for a simple weeknight dinner or a delicious meal anytime. You can serve the whole roast sliced with side dishes or shredded on buns for tri-tip sandwiches. Slow cooking this tri-tip roast makes it so tender it falls apart and the plentiful juices are perfect for dipping.
For this delicious meal, all you need are a few simple ingredients and seasoning. To get the precise measurements and step-by-step instructions, scroll down to the recipe card.
- Tri-tip roast
- Worcestershire sauce
- Beef broth
- Herbs and spices: fresh thyme and rosemary sprigs, smoked paprika, dried oregano, onion powder, dried rosemary, and dried thyme leaves.
- Fresh garlic cloves
- Salt & Pepper
- Buns & sliced Swiss cheese (if making tri-tip sandwiches)
How to make slow cooker tri-tip from scratch:
- Make the rub: First, mix the garlic, oregano, rosemary, thyme, black pepper, and salt in a small bowl. Rub it all over the meat and place it into a slow cooker or crock pot.
- Pour in the juice: Mix the Worcestershire sauce and beef broth together in another bowl and pour it around the sides of the tri-tip beef roast. Do not pour it on top because it will wash away the seasoning.
- Cook the tri-tip roast: Next, cover the slow-cooker and cook on low heat for six to seven hours until the meat is tender and you can pull it apart easily with a fork. A low and slow cooking mehtod is preferred for the most tender, juicy tri-tip.
- Remove and shred: Remove the roast from the slow cooker and shred with two forks.
- Strain the juices: Finally, strain the cooking liquid and save it for au jus.
At this point, the cooked tri-tip can be served shredded alongside your favorite side dish. We love it paired with mashed rutabaga, creamy yuca root or a simple sweet potato mash like these mashed purple sweet potatoes.
However, you can also use the tri-tip in sandwiches for a more casual meal.
To make the tri-tip sandwiches:
- Toast the buns: Lightly butter the buns and toast them in the oven set at 350 degrees F for five minutes. Alternatively, you can heat them in the air fryer at the same temperature for three minutes.
- Make the sandwiches and serve: Put the shredded meat on the bottom bun and place a slice of Swiss cheese on top. Broil on medium-high heat until the cheese is melted and serve with au jus.
Alternate cooking methods
If you don’t want to use the slow cooker, you can also cook a tri-tip roast in the oven using these directions.
How to make tri-tip in the oven:
- Preheat the oven: To begin, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and prepare a roasting pan with olive oil or non-stick cooking spray.
- Rub the meat: Then, combine the seasonings together and rub them onto the meat.
- Pour in the broth: Next, place tri-tip in the prepared roaster. Mix the broth and Worcestershire sauce together in a small bowl and pour it around the meat. Place a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the meat.
- Cook tri-tip: Then, cook the sirloin roast for three hours on 325 degrees F for about one hour.
- Shred the beef: Once the roast reaches the right temperature, it should be tender and easy to pull apart. For rare, it should be 135 degrees F or 145 degrees F for medium.
- Serve: Lastly, use two forks to shred the meat and make sandwiches or slice and serve after it rests for 15 minutes.
- Beef stock: For extra flavor, use beef stock instead of broth.
- Chicken broth: Use vegetable or chicken broth for a slightly different flavor.
- Make it smokier: Add a 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder for a smokier tri-tip.
- Garlic powder: If you don’t have minced garlic or garlic cloves, you can use garlic powder.
- Sear the meat: Before cooking, brown your roast in hot oil on a large skillet after seasoning to keep the flavors and juices inside.
- Dutch oven: Instead of a slow cooker, you can use a Dutch oven.
How to serve
This is one of the most popular recipes in my house, especially when it starts to get chilly outside. It’s incredibly versatile too and can be served as a roast, shredded in sandwiches, or try one of these awesome serving suggestions:
- Use leftover shredded meat in a salad for lunch or baked into a casserole for a repurposed dinner.
- Sprinkle with Italian seasoning for a burst of flavor in every bite and add to your favorite pasta dish.
- This is a great recipe to make with any kind of side dish. If you are making sandwiches, serve them with some purple sweet potato french fries or a vegetable “fry” like asparagus fries or green bean fries. If you are serving the tri-tip as a roast, some dinner rolls or gluten-free vegan cornbread are great sides to pair with your favorite vegetable.
Tender shredded meat like this tri-tip are some of my favorite recipes to make when meal-prepping. They can be used in so many ways so the leftovers never get boring. This corned beef recipe also made in the slow-cooker is another great recipe for this as well.
Frequently asked questions
What is the difference between a slow cooker and a crock pot?
A slow cooker and crock pot both use moisture and low heat to cook food for a long time. But many slow cookers have a metal pot on top of a heating unit. A crock pot has heat on the sides as well as the bottom. Either way, your food cooks low and slow.
Is it better to cook on high heat or low heat for this recipe?
For this tri-tip recipe, it is better to cook it on low and slow. That way, you get the most tender meat for pulling apart easily.
However, if you do not have as much time, you can cook a tri-tip roast on high for three to four hours. Some recipes call for the high setting while other recipes insist on a low setting. If you have the time, opt for the low and slow approach for best results.
What cut is the tri-tip made from?
This triangular-shaped cut is made from the bottom tip of the sirloin. It is super flavorful with a rich, meaty taste.
This cut goes by many different names including Newport steak, Santa Maria steak, bottom sirloin tip, or California cut. It can be trimmed or untrimmed. This just means the fat cap can be removed or left on.
There are many different ways to cook it including grilling, smoking and reverse searing. Reverse seared tri tip is a great approach if you plan to enjoy this cut of beef as a steak.
How to store leftovers
- Store: How you store leftover tri-tip roast depends on how you are serving it. If you are serving it in slices, place it in an airtight container. For shredded meat, I prefer to keep it in a food storage bag. Either way, keep it refrigerated and eat it within four days.
- Freeze: If you cannot eat the entire dish in a few days, freeze it for up to three months.
- Thaw: Remember to put your frozen leftovers in the fridge to thaw overnight before serving.
- Reheat: You can reheat a roast in the oven at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes, covered. For shredded meat, put it in a microwave-safe dish and heat it in the microwave for one to two minutes.
- To sear your meat, place the tri-tip on a hot skillet with a tablespoon of olive oil and cook for several minutes or until the meat is brown.
- Alternatively, cook your tri-tip roast in an instant pot for 25 minutes on high pressure.
- If you are serving this slow cooker tri-tip as a roast, be sure to refer to this post on how to cut tri tip properly (spoiler: it’s about more than just cutting against the grain!).
MORE SLOW COOKER RECIPES TO TRY:
Slow Cooker Tri-Tip
- 3-4 pound tri tip beef roast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 cups beef broth or stock
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
Optional for sandwiches:
- 6 slices Swiss cheese
- 6 sandwich buns
- Make the seasoning by combining salt, pepper, dried thyme, dried rosemary, dried oregano, paprika and garlic. Rub over the entire surface of the roast.
- Transfer the seasoned meat into the slow cooker then pour the broth and Worcestershire sauce into the pot on the sides of slow cooker so you don't wash off the seasonings.
- Add the fresh herbs then cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours or until the roast is tender, and can be easily shredded with a fork.
- Remove the roast from the slow cooker and transfer to a cutting board or large bowl. Shred with two forks.
- Strain the cooking liquid through a fine mesh sieve. If making sandwiches, use it as a dipping sauce. Otherwise, pour the strained liquid into a serving dish and toss with the shredded meat.
- Serve the shredded meat as desired or, make sandwiches by lightly buttering and toasting rolls. Place the meat on top of the bread and cover with slices of Swiss cheese. Broil or toast until the cheese is melted.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.
Gina Matsoukas is the writer, founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients as much as possible. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.