How to Make Easy Cast Iron Skillet Tri-Tip Roast

Cozy, delicious Cast Iron Skillet Tri-Tip Roast begins on your stovetop and ends in your oven for a flavorful, tender cut of beef. It’s special enough for guests but also perfect as an easy family dinner.

Cooked tri tip roast in a cast iron skillet with springs of rosemary on top and text overlay "Cast Iron Skillet Tri-Tip Roast Recipe"

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When the temperature drops and I can’t find the energy to unearth my gas grill from the snow, I start pulling out my cast iron pans. There is something about cooking comfort food in the heavy skillet that just feels cozy. Plus the dark brown crust and caramelization that forms as the roast or steak cooks is an added bonus on the flavor front.

Tri-Tip Roast (sometimes called triangle roast, Santa Maria Steak, or California cut) is a relatively inexpensive cut of beef that can be made to feel really special.

This version cooks in a cast iron pan using a combination of searing and baking cooking methods. This method, along with the simple seasoning mix is one of the best ways to enjoy this flavorful cut of meat. (If you love your Instant Pot and are looking for the easiest way to make a whole tri-tip roast, check out this Instant Pot Tri-Tip Roast recipe.)

Cast iron pan containing beef roast and rosemary swigs

What You’ll Need to Make Tri-Tip Roast

  • 2-3 pound tri-tip roast
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter

For the Rub

  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp black ground pepper

How to Make Tri-Tip Roast in Your Cast-Iron Skillet

Step One

The first step is to preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step Two

First, place the rub ingredients in a small bowl and mix until well combined.

Next, season the meat on all sides using the spice rub you prepared.

raw tri tip roast covered in rub & a small bowl containing seasoning rub mix

Step Three

Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Once it’s hot, add the olive oil to the pan.

Next, sear the roast on both long sides (3-4 minutes per side) until it’s nice and brown. Turn heat off when you’re done searing the tri tip roast.

Now, pour the melted butter over the roast. (The butter that flows into the pan is going to sizzle. If it gets too smokey, place a metal lid over the cast iron pan for a few minutes to give it time to settle down.)

Finally, place the roast (still in the cast iron pan) into the preheated oven for approximately 30 minutes or until it’s reached the internal temperature you’d like to eat the roast at.

Once the roast is done cooking, remove it from the pan and place it on a cutting board. For best results, allow it to rest for 5 minutes, and then, using a sharp knife, cut it against the grain.

Sliced tri tip roast on a wooden cutting board

What Temperature Should I Serve Beef At?

While the USDA recommends that beef should be served at a minimum of 145 degrees F, this is often a matter of personal preference.

Here’s a basic guide for the correct temperature to cook beef at, depending upon the level of “doneness” you prefer: You can use an instant-read thermometer, stuck into the center of your roast, to determine the temperature.

  • Rare: 125°F – bright red in the middle
  • Medium-Rare: 135°F – warm red in the middle
  • Medium:145°F – warm pink at the center
  • Medium-Well: 150°F – slightly pink at the center
  • Well-Done: 160°F – little to no pink throughout
seasoned beef and rosemary in a cast iron pan

More Easy Recipes Your Family Will Love

seared tri tip roast in a cast iron pan with prigs of rosemary

Cast Iron Skillet Tri-Tip Roast

Print Recipe
This cozy, delicious Cast Iron Skillet Tri-Tip Roast begins on your stovetop and ends in your oven for a flavorful, tender cut of beef. It's special enough for guests but also perfect as an easy family dinner.
Prep Time:7 mins
Cook Time:38 mins

Ingredients

  • 2-3 pound tri-tip roast
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter

For the Rub

  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp black ground pepper

Instructions

Step One

  • The first step is to preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step Two

  • First, place the rub ingredients in a small bowl and mix until well combined.
  • Next, season the meat on all sides using the spice rub you prepared.

Step Three

  • Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Once it’s hot, add the olive oil to the pan.
  • Next, sear the roast on both long sides (3-4 minutes per side) until it’s nice and brown. Turn heat off when you’re done searing the tri tip roast.
  • Now, pour the melted butter over the roast. (The butter that flows into the pan is going to sizzle. If it gets too smokey, place a metal lid over the cast iron pan for a few minutes to give it time to settle down.)
  • Finally, place the roast (still in the cast iron pan) into the preheated oven for approximately 30 minutes or until it’s reached the internal temperature you’d like to eat the roast at.
  • Once the roast is done cooking, remove it from the pan and place it on a cutting board. For best results, allow it to rest for 5 minutes, and then, using a sharp knife, cut it against the grain.
Course: Main Dish

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