Tri Tip vs Brisket – Which one is best?

Did you know that the best-selling food item in the United States is beef? The USDA confirms that most stores sell common meats, but beef is classified into different cuts and portions.

Having different cuts makes it easier for laymen to choose good meat parts and gives you great taste. Mixed types of meat may not taste good.

However, there are some meat cuts that are hard to even think of without barbecues and cookouts, and that’s a sin for me. I really like the tri tip and brisket among the best cuts. Not only for me?

If you’re stuck with a tri tip vs brisket and have decided to cook one, which one is for you? 

It totally depends on your preference and a few factors like the availability of cuts of meat, size, price, and what flavor you are interested in.

Tri Tip

Tri Tip vs Brisket - Which one is best?

Although the tri-tip is not known everywhere, it is quite popular in the western states of America and is performed as a category in some BBQ competitions. 

Because of its popularity in the West, the tri-tip cut is also known by other famous names, such as “Santa Maria steak” or “California cut”. Learn the most expensive cut of Streak

Where Tri Tip Located

Tri tip is found close to the udder of the cow, you can remove the sirloin by cutting the lower part of the core. The shape of the tri-tip is like a triangle, which is why you may also know it as “triangle roast” and “bottom sirloin butt”.

You only get two out of Animal Tri Tip, which is why they are expensive.

The Size of Tri Tip

Although the taste of brisket is known, the Tri tip tastes similar. The tri-tip is one of the tastiest cuts of beef, the whole uncooked tri-tip weighing about 5 pounds.

If you’re looking for a trimmed tri-tip steak, it can weigh between 1.5 to 2.5 pounds and be 2-3 inches thick. Often easily found at the grocery if you are not in the West.

How to Prepare Tri Tip

Talking about the process of making it, it is cooked quite differently from brisket. You can look for a few different recipes that have a thick layer of fat on top. It’s best to cut off the thick fat layer for more flavor. Because the thick fat layer will give a more fat taste which is not good.

Tri tip meat is a more tender piece that doesn’t require slow cooking like we have to cook brisket; The cooking process makes it edible.

Since it only gets 2 tri-tips in one cow it is not cheap but its weight work is less compared to brisket and the amount of fat is very less.

How to Smoke Tri Tip

You have to follow some guidelines for cooking tri-tip cuts so that they give you the best taste.

  1. Before applying the spice to the tri tip, cut it into thick pieces of your choice and try to dry all the water from it with the help of paper towels. This process helps reduce the amount of steam during grilling and infuses the meat with a great texture and flavor.
  2. Next, if you’re smoking Tri Tip for the first time, consider adding salt and pepper to the rub or spices you already have to help enhance the flavor or choose your favorite rub.
  3. This step is very important to add flavor to the meat. Now you have to decide whether to let the meat sit in the fridge for a few hours or leave it in the oven overnight so that the flavor is completely absorbed.

Now that you set up your grill, let the meat reach room temperature, although this step is optional for you.

  1. This step will depend on the type of smoker you are using and the type of fuel source you are using. For charcoal smoke, you will need charcoal and then chunks of wood. You’ll need wood chips for an electric smoker, and flavor pellets for a pellet smoker. 

But all of these require you to cook at a temperature of around 250° F – 275° F degrees to give you the best tender flavor.

  1. For the best-cooked meat, you’ll need to cook it until its internal temperature reaches 130 to 140 degrees. Which may take an hour or more. After this, bake the tri tip from both sides, for which you will have to give 30-60 seconds.
  2. Now you give rest to the tri tip for 20-30 minutes, this process hurts me but this process is necessary so that all the juice inside is desperate to come out and keep doing its work.
  3. Now you need to do some research. Some believe that the higher heat allows the juices of the tri tip steak to lock in, but this view is incorrect. Many experts agree that you get juicy results after smoking meat, which I personally agree with.
  4. Now your meat is ready to eat but here you need to cut it properly. Tri tip slices should be against the fibers of the meat.


Tri Tip vs Brisket - Which one is best?

Brisket meat is the hardest meat that takes a long time to cook properly as it bears about 60% of the weight of the cow which makes it strong and tough.

Let us tell you that cows do not have collarbones so the brisket develops fibrous connective tissue which makes it more rigid. This is why brisket is slow-cooked over low heat to allow the fat and connective tissues to cook properly.

Where Brisket Located

Brisket is obtained from the breast section of a cow with between three and five ribs, usually, brisket does not contain bones, i.e. it is sold without bones.

Brisket comes in two different cuts; point cut, and flat cut. It may also be sold as “Texas-style” or “packer cut” which uses up the whole brisket.

The Size of the Brisket

Brisket comes with both pointed and flat cuts along with untrimmed cuts. A full-size brisket can weigh between 8-20 pounds and is about 12 to 20 inches in length and 10-12 inches in width.

How to Prepare Brisket

If you have found a good brisket, then you have won half the battle. When looking for the best brisket, you’ll need to closely monitor the marble’s fat, not the outside of the fat.

You still want the fat on the outside, but the fat inside helps keep the brisket moist.

You have to note that usually, the ideal fat is 1/4 inch thick, but getting brisket with a thick cap allows you to trim as you wish. The noted fatty is essential for keeping meat tender during the cooking process.

Although it is good to have fat throughout the meat and on the outer grid, the fat should be white in color and not yellow or gray. Similarly, when it comes to blood, it should be red, not of any other color.

A good brisket weighing between 6-10 pounds is ideal, requiring you to slow-cook the brisket at 225 F for about 1.5 to 2 hours per pound of meat, which will give you an excellent flavor after cooking.

How to Smoke Brisket

When it comes to smoking brisket the steps are easy but care is required at all times. Here are some great features of a great smoker that require minimal attention. Let us know how to smoke a brisket after you can check the best wood for smoking Brisket.

  1. Since you’ve got the entire brisket that will need to be trimmed first for the smoking process, you’ll need the best trim knife. If you don’t trim off the fat from the brisket, it will give your guests an overly fatty taste. Trimming is the key to balancing the fat and flavor of the brisket. But if you cut off too much fat the meat will dry out, so keep in mind you should aim for a 1/4″ fat cap.

You need a boning knife.

Trim the brisket after it has cooled, which will make things easier. Which one is best Prime Ribs or Tomahawk

Carefully remove the decal.

Your focus should be on a uniformity cut that adjusts fat levels according to thermal variance.

  1. Next Step Rub or season the brisket. If you’ve never smoked a brisket before, you should use Texas-style brisket that uses equal parts salt and pepper.

You can experiment with the brisket depending on the taste but avoid rubbing too much and overpowering the flavor of the brisket. You will find many great dry spices that taste great. Try these out and see how many suit your tastes.

Now give the brisket some time to warm up (30 minutes) and then rub the seasoning in evenly. The focus is not to sprinkle, but to rub it thoroughly on the meat.

  1. Now at this step, you have to leave the brisket at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours before smoking and the important thing to note is that it is best to let the outer salt on the brisket dry completely.
  2. Now your brisket is ready to smoke, it’s up to you how you want to smoke the brisket, whether you can use electric, gas, wood, or charcoal fire. 1.5 – 2 hours per pound of meat at 200° F – 225° F for brisket smoking which is a common process.

The only thing you should be worried about is the heat, it is challenging to give the brisket the same heat consistently, for which you will have to choose the best smoker. Second, you also need the best wood that will give your brisket an extraordinary flavor.

  1. Your brisket meat is at room temperature once you put the cap on. To set the thermometer alarm at 190° F you can use the thermometer to monitor the internal temperature of the meat to avoid overcooking.

The best thermometer helps you identify when the brisket is cooked, the meat “stalls” when the internal temperature is 150° F – 160° F which will cause the brisket to begin to evaporate moisture and also give off heat.

It usually takes 1-2 hours for the brisket to adjust for which you will have to wait. You can use a “Texas crutch” wrapped in tin foil or butcher’s paper and then put the meat back in the smoker.

  1. Experts agree that the ideal internal temperature of brisket is 190° F degrees. When the temperature of your brisket reaches this point, you can take it out with your best smoker.
  2. Now let the brisket rest for about an hour as needed and wrap it tightly with aluminum foil or parchment paper. And to avoid loss of heat, wrap it well with a towel or thick cloth.
  3. After the brisket has rested, free it from its wrap and cut. You need to cut against the fiber of the brisket when slicing. This method makes the brisket more tender and tasty.

Tri Tip vs Brisket – Difference

A lot of differences between the two must have been found above, but there are some other things that separate them from each other, about which you should know.


Both give you tremendous taste in comparison to taste. Although tri-tip is a lean cut, the fat content is sufficient to give you a tender, delicious, fleshy, and buttery taste.

You’ll get a strong meaty flavor if you use the right method of cooking brisket, and it takes things to the next level with its incredibly crusty bark and tender, juicy interiors. Within the crunchy bark, you get the juicy flavor.


If we talk about its price, then you will know that Tri-Tip Steak can get only 2 in one animal which weighs around 1.5 lbs to 2.5 lbs which costs you $ 6-8 per pound. It may also make a difference in your area.

If we talk about the same brisket, it can be 8-20 pounds, which can be found at $3-4 per pound. Brisket is available at half the price of Tri-Tip.

There is a significant difference in weight between the two without the cut, but the point to note is that the basic weight of the brisket contains a lot of fat. To make it smoke-worthy, the fat content is trimmed, which reduces its weight by about 30%.

Final Verdicts

Two of the best cuts of beef we discussed (tri-tip steak and brisket steak) give you a subtle and fine flavor after smoking. But both give you a different taste sensation and there are some different factors that make them different from each other.

The basic difference between the two is that the brisket comes from the neck of the animal closer to the chest, while the tri-tip comes from the sirloin between the udder and back.

Both are cut from the opposite location of cattle and are easily recognized by their distinctive taste and texture. Although both are quite popular under different names. Visit Chicago Steak and get Special Santa Gift.

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