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Instant Pot Tri Tip

Make this Instant Pot tri tip a part of your weeknight dinners! It’s a go-to for busy families because it’s easy to prepare, versatile, and packed with juicy flavor.

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overhead shot of Instant Pot tri tip

Tri-tip steak is such a flavorful and versatile cut of beef.

While this cut is traditionally cooked on the grill or in the oven, using an Instant Pot can save time and make the meat even more tender and juicy.

It’s a perfect go-to option for weeknight dinners or casual gatherings!

By cooking the tri tip roast in the pressure cooker, you are left with a delicious, fall-apart tender piece of beef.

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You can serve it as a main dish with a side of Dutch oven mac and cheese and crack green beans with bacon!

Or, you can shred the meat and use it in tacos topped with smokey crema or a meaty tri tip sandwich for a quick and fuss-free meal.

I made this recipe using my Instant Pot 6-Quart Duo Nova. It’s the perfect size for my family of four and makes releasing the steam so much easier than the standard Instant Pot.

ingredients needed to make instant pot tri tip

How to Make Tri Tip in the Instant Pot

A full printable version of this recipe with ingredient measurements is available at the bottom of this post.

STEP ONE: Trim any excess fat from your tri tip roast. 

STEP TWO: Prepare your steak rub by combining the ingredients in a bowl. Generously sprinkle it all over the meat, making sure to work it into the surface for a rich flavor.

STEP THREE: Set your Instant Pot to the Sauté setting and add a bit of olive oil. Once hot, brown each side of your tri tip steak, then transfer it to a plate.

adding seasoned tri tip to instant pot
giving tri tip a hard sear

STEP FOUR: In the same pot, sauté some onions until they become soft and translucent. Then, add minced garlic for a fragrant touch. 

saute onions and garlic in hot instant pot

STEP FIVE: Pour in the beef broth, and be sure to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot to prevent any potential burns during pressure cooking.

STEP SIX: Insert the trivet into the IP and gently lower the seared beef tri tip onto it, making sure it’s nicely nestled in the pot.

insert trivet into Instant Pot
adding seared tri tip back into pressure cooker

STEP SEVEN: Seal and set to high pressure for a duration of 25 minutes. Then, perform a quick pressure release.

STEP EIGHT: Slowly remove the trivet from the inside of the Instant Pot. Transfer the steak to a cutting board to rest. Slice and serve!

removing cooked tri tip roast from pressure cooker

Tips for Tri Tip in the Pressure Cooker

  • Let your tri-tip rest for about 5-10 minutes after cooking. This resting time helps lock in all the delicious juices.
  • Season generously. When applying the steak rub, make sure to cover every inch of the meat. Massaging the rub helps to infuse flavor.
  • Add minced garlic once the onions are softened. This prevents the garlic from burning and turning bitter.
  • Scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot when adding beef broth. This step prevents the dreaded burn notice and ensures you get every bit of flavor.
  • Use a sharp knife for slicing. This ensures easy and precise slices without ripping or tearing the meat.

More Tender Steak Recipes 

sliced tri tip on a cutting board

Variations to Instant Pot Tri Tip

  • Bone broth twist: Try using bone broth instead of beef broth for added flavor and nutrition to your meal. 
  • Herb infusion: Elevate your steak with the fragrant charm of dried herbs like rosemary, thyme, or basil.
  • Garlic butter tri tip: Baste the steak with garlic butter after cooking for extra flavor.

What Is the Correct Way to Slice Tri Tip?

To slice this pressure cooker tri tip like a pro, first, let it rest for at least 5-10 minutes after cooking. This locks in those juices for perfectly juicy bites.

Identify the grain direction on the tri tip — it usually switches halfway in this cut of beef. Cut against the grain, meaning across the lines instead of alongside, to shorten the fibers and make it easier to chew.

Opt for thin slices about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick using a sharp knife. Slice only what you’ll serve immediately, keeping the rest covered for warmth. 

sliced tri tip on a white plate with roasted potatoes and asparagus

How Do I Know When My Pressure Cooker Tri Tip is Done?

The general rule when making tri tip in the pressure cooker is to cook for around 10 minutes per pound.  

When cooking a 2 lb tri tip in the Instant Pot, you’ll typically achieve medium-well doneness in the narrower sections and medium doneness in its thickest part. If you prefer it to be less pink in the thickest areas, you can add 5 minutes to the cooking time. 

Frozen Tri TIp

For a frozen 2 lb tri tip, I would recommend cooking for around 45 minutes. For a larger 4 lb tri-tip, you can follow a similar process, but it will also take about 45 minutes to cook through.

Always use a meat thermometer for the best results! Steak is considered medium at 140-145 degrees F internally. 

What to Serve with Beef Tri Tip

The best part about this tri tip pressure cooker recipe is how many delicious sides can be paired with it — all cooked in the air fryer! To keep it classic, you have brussels sprouts, mushrooms, mashed potatoes, or the classic roasted vegetables.

Instant pot tri tip also pairs great with an Air Fryer Blooming Onion, baked potato, and roasted acorn squash.

taking a bite of out meat roast with a fork

More Instant Pot Recipes

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sliced tri tip on a white plate with roasted potatoes and asparagus

Instant Pot Tri Tip

Samantha Erb
Experience the taste of a perfectly cooked Tri Tip with the help of your Instant Pot. This robust, flavorful cut of beef is made tender and juicy under pressure. Quick, easy, and packed with flavor!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Instant Pot
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings
Calories 540 kcal


  • 2 pound tri tip
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 onion

Steak Spice Rub

  • ½ tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper


  • If your tri tip is not trimmed, slice the thick layer of fat off of the bottom. 
  • Combine the ingredients for your steak rub. Sprinkle it on your steak and work it into your meat. 
  • Heat your instant pot to saute. Heat your olive oil and then brown each side of your tri tip. 
  • Remove the tri tip from the instant pot.
  • Saute the onion until it is softened, and then add your garlic.
  • Once the garlic is fragrant you can pour your beef broth into the pot. Stir, making sure to work up any brown bits so you do not get a burn notice once you begin pressure cooking.
  • Place your trivet into the instant pot and lower your steak onto it. 
  • Place your instant pot on high pressure and seal the vent. Set the timer for 25 minutes. 
  • Once it is done cooking, use a towel to release the vent for a quick release of steam. 
  • Allow your steak to rest for 5-10 minutes to seal in all moisture.
  • Slice and serve!


  • This method cooks your steak medium well in the narrower parts of your steak and medium in its thickest. If you would like it to be less pink in the thickest parts, add 5 minutes to your cooking time. 


Serving: 1gCalories: 540kcalCarbohydrates: 6gProtein: 61gFat: 29gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 188mgSodium: 876mgFiber: 1gSugar: 3g
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


About Samantha

I’ve always had a love of cooking and creating new recipes, so it only made sense to create a food blog so I could share those recipes with you. This site is designed to provide easy and flavorful recipes with as little ingredients as possible. That means you still get great flavor combinations without all that extra time and effort. Read more...

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