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How to Cook Tri Tip in Air Fryer? A Comprehensive Guide

Are you eager to discover the secrets of cooking tender and flavorful tri-tip without drying out? If you’ve ever wondered how to achieve perfectly cooked tri-tip with that irresistible golden crust using your air fryer, you’re in the right place. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about cooking tri-tip in the air fryer, from choosing the right cut to mastering the cooking process. Whether you're a seasoned home cook or new to the world of air-frying, we’ve got you covered. So, let's explore the delicious possibilities of tri-tip in the air fryer!


What is Tri Tip?

Tri-tip, also known as bottom sirloin roast, is a flavorful and versatile cut of beef sourced from the bottom sirloin primal cut of the cow. It’s a triangular-shaped muscle located near the hindquarters of the animal. Tri-tip is prized for its rich beefy flavor and tenderness when cooked properly. This cut is relatively lean compared to other cuts of beef, making it a healthier option for beef lovers. Tri-tip is often used in grilling, smoking, roasting, or even sliced thinly for sandwiches or salads. It's a popular choice for backyard barbecues, family dinners, and special occasions due to its delicious taste and ease of preparation.

While an air fryer with a tri tip makes it an easier choice than traditional cooking methods, let's move on to the next part about cooking tri tip in the air fryer.

How to Cook Tri Tip in Air Fryer?

With the right ingredients and cooking technique, you can achieve a juicy and tender tri tip with a perfectly seared exterior. Let’s learn about the ingredients you’ll need and how to cook tri tip in the air fryer:


  • 2 pounds of tri tip
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon aleppo pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper


After preparing the ingredients, let’s start cooking tri tip in the air fryer.

1. Let the tri tip reach room temperature. Pat the tri tip dry with paper towels.

2. Season tri tip with garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. Rub the seasoning mixture evenly over the surface of the tri tip, covering all sides for maximum flavor infusion.

3. Preheat your air fryer to the recommended temperature, usually around 400°F.

4. Put the seasoned tri tip into the air fryer basket. Cook the tri tip in the air fryer for 15-20 minutes.

5. Once the tri tip is cooked to your liking, remove it from the air fryer and let it rest for a few minutes before slicing.

6. Slice the tri tip against the grain into thin slices and serve it hot with your favorite side dishes. Enjoy the deliciously tender and flavorful tri tip straight from the air fryer!

Air Fryer Tri Tip Time and Temp

When talking about how long to cook tri tip in air fryer, several factors can influence the cooking time, including the thickness of the cut, the desired level of doneness, and the specific air fryer model. However, as a general guideline, the recommended cooking time for tri-tip in the air fryer ranges from 15 to 20 minutes at 400°F for medium-rare doneness. The following are the recommended temperatures for air fryer tri tip:

Medium rare: 130–135°F

Medium: 140-145°F

Medium well: 150-155°F

Well done: 160°F or higher

What to Serve with Tri Tip Roast?

When planning a meal featuring tri tip roast, consider pairing it with complementary side dishes to enhance the overall dining experience. Here are some popular options to serve alongside a tri tip roast:

  • Roasted Vegetables: Roasted carrots, Brussels sprouts, or asparagus complement the rich flavors of tri tip roast while adding a colorful and nutritious element to the meal.
  • Garlic Mashed Potatoes: Creamy mashed potatoes flavored with garlic make a comforting and indulgent side dish that pairs well with the savory flavors of tri tip roast.
  • Green Salad: A crisp green salad with fresh lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and your favorite dressing provides a refreshing contrast to the hearty roast beef.
  • Grilled Corn on the Cob: Grilled corn on the cob brushed with butter and seasoned with salt and pepper is a classic summer side dish that pairs beautifully with tri tip roast.
  • Crusty Bread: Serve slices of crusty bread or dinner rolls on the side to soak up the flavorful juices from the roast beef.
  • Chimichurri Sauce: A tangy and herbaceous chimichurri sauce adds brightness and depth of flavor to tri tip roast, enhancing its overall taste.
  • Creamy Coleslaw: Creamy coleslaw provides a cool and crunchy accompaniment to the rich and meaty flavors of tri tip roast.
  • Roasted Potatoes: Crispy roasted potatoes seasoned with herbs and spices make a satisfying and comforting side dish that complements the roast beef perfectly.

Tips for Perfect Air Fryer Tri Tip

To achieve the best results when cooking tri tip in the air fryer, consider the following tips:

  • Reach Room Temperature: Leave the tri tip on the counter for 20–30 minutes before cooking. This helps promote faster crisping on the exterior and better rendering of fat.
  • Pat Dry: Pat the surface of the tri tip dry with paper towels before seasoning. This helps to remove excess moisture, allowing for better browning and crisping.
  • Seasoning: Rub the tri tip with your favorite seasoning blend or marinade at least 30 minutes before cooking to allow the flavors to penetrate the meat.
  • Preheating: Preheat the air fryer for a few minutes before adding the tri tip. This ensures that the air fryer is hot and ready to cook, resulting in better searing and browning.
  • Cooking Time and Temperature: Follow the recommended cooking time and temperature guidelines for your specific air fryer model. Aim for an air fryer tri tip medium rare doneness with an internal temperature of 130–135 °F.
  • Flip Halfway: Flip the tri tip halfway through the cooking process to ensure even cooking and browning on all sides.
  • Resting: Allow the tri tip to rest for at least 5 minutes after cooking before slicing. This allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in a juicier and more flavorful end result.


In conclusion, mastering how to cook tri tip in air fryer opens up a world of culinary possibilities. From understanding what tri tip is to learning how to cook it to perfection and discovering the ideal accompaniments to serve alongside, our comprehensive guide equips you with all the knowledge and tips you need. By following our expert advice, you’ll be able to prepare delicious air fryer tri tip roast meals that will impress your family and friends every time. Whether you’re a novice cook or a seasoned chef, our tips for the perfect air fryer tri tip will elevate your cooking game and leave everyone asking for seconds.

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