Coulotte Vs. Tri Tip Steak – Key Differences Explained

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Who doesn’t love finishing the week off with a glorious, tender steak and a glass of your favorite wine?

Coulotte vs. Tri Tip Steak - Key Differences Explained

However, if you find yourself sticking to the same common cuts of steak, you could be missing out on something better. 

T-Bones and New York Strips are still delicious cuts of meat, however, they are also some of the most expensive cuts that you’ll find on the menu or at the store. 

Below you will find out about 2 gorgeous cuts of steak, Coulotte and Tri Tip.

We also explain their key differences and how you should enjoy these delicious cuts of meat. 

What Is Coulotte Steak?

A Coulotte steak or the sirloin strip is the cut of beef from the top sirloin butt.

Once cut you will see plenty of marbling making this cut off beef perfect for grilling. 

A Coulotte steak comes from the muscle that lays on top of the sirloin butt.

The actual cut, which is normally a couple of inches thick, originates specifically from the region between the loin and the round.

This is a cheaper alternative to your typical sirloin that holds a lot of juicy flavor whether it is grilled or roasted. 

What Is Tri Tip Steak?

The Trip Tip or Newport Steak comes from the bottom of the sirloin.

It is frequently referred to as a “Poor Man’s Brisket” because it cooks quickly, much like a steak, but slices more delicately, much like a brisket.

Tri Tip is a highly versatile cut of beef and works well with both wet and dry rubs.

Due to its thickness, it is recommended that you season this cut extremely well to ensure the flavors reach the middle.  

This cut of beef is expertly named due its triangular shape with a tapered ‘tip’. 


Whether you acquire an expensive piece of meat or something a little more budget friendly, it is all in the preparation. 

The spices, marinades, and rubs all have an impact on how your tender slice of beef is going to turn out.

Some steaks such as a sirloin require little preparation whereas short ribs may need a little extra loving. 


Preparing a Coulotte is less tricky than a Tri Tip.

Coulotte comes with a juicy strip layer of fat which is not to be trimmed.

It keeps all of those delicious flavors throughout the steak whilst cooking, and helps prevent the beef from drying out.

When cutting a whole Coulotte into steaks, you should always cut with the grain.

This may be the opposite of other cuts of steak you have worked with but have faith.

Once cooked and rested you will be left with a juicy steak that is at maximum tenderness.  

As it is a boneless cut of meat you are free to create your own rubs and marinades to begin seasoning this tender piece of meat.

However, the way in which you plan to cook your Coulotte should have a slight impact on the way you choose to season your steak. 

Tri Tip 

The preparation for a Tri Tip begins at the butcher. You can purchase Tri Tip either trimmed or untrimmed.

Purchasing your cut of beef untrimmed will save you a few dollars, however, you do need to have a sharp knife at home in order to trim it yourself.

If you are not experienced in trimming meat, you may want to spend the extra cash on getting it trimmed. 

Once home you want to trim off any excess fat, ragged ends, and silver skin.

You want to be left with a lean, boneless, slightly curved cut of beef. 

Tri tip is highly adaptable when it comes to seasoning and responds well to both dry and wet rubs.

You should season it heavily with salt, pepper, and your favorite spices because it is a rather thick cut.

Rub the seasoning with a neutral oil first, then cover it in your choice spice blend to help it stick.


Now that your steaks are prepared and seasoned to perfection, it is time to start cooking.

Coulotte vs. Tri Tip Steak - Key Differences Explained

While you may only be used to searing your steaks on a pan or on the BBQ, there are a few other ways you can cook each cut of meat. 


When it comes to a Coulotte you really have your choice of cooking methods.

Traditional BBQ, grilled, or roasted, this piece of meat will taste delicious.

It is important to bring the meat to room temperature and pat dry with a paper towel.

Then lightly trim off any skin or membrane from the bottom or sides. 

Brazilian Picanha Steak

The picanha is traditionally sliced, skewered, and roasted over a barbecue during churrascos, a traditional Brazilian barbecue.

The picanha is divided into three or four thick pieces, each of which is folded in half and impaled with a long metal skewer.

The seasoned skewers are roasted for around 15-20 minutes on a charcoal grill, or churrasqueira, rotating them twice or three times to ensure even cooking, and then they are carved to order.


Place your seasoned steaks in a large frying pan on a high heat.

Fat side first to render before searing each side.

Once a golden crust has been achieved, lower the heat to medium and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side. 

Whole Roast

This is for those who prefer their meat on the rare side.

Simply sear each side, render the fat then move to an oven and cook for 30 minutes.

Let it rest for 15 minutes before carving to serve. 

Tri Tip 

Tri tip cooks like a tender steak but slices like a brisket, making it the ideal choice for folks who want to make a brisket-like dish but don’t have the time.

Tri tip is rich and meaty in flavor and low in fat.

It can be smoked, grilled, roasted, or barbecued, but it always tastes best when cooked to a beautiful medium rare, then rested and cut into slices.

Place your Tri Tip in a low oven at 275 degrees Fahrenheit or smoke it with indirect heat for roughly 45 minutes.

Make sure the meat is cooked all the way through.

Once you believe your Tri Tip is cooked, use a meat thermometer to ensure it is between 125-130 degrees Fahrenheit. 

When the tri-tip is cooked to your preference, place it straight onto charcoal or a hot pan to finish searing the outside.

Allow the meat to rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving with your favorite sides. 

It is important that when slicing your Tri Tip that you find where both vertical and horizontal grains intersect and slice against the grain. 

Final Thoughts

While both cuts of meat come from different parts of the sirloin, they both offer delicious tender results. 

Your choice on which meat to buy will be dependent on your personal preferences.

Looking for a cheaper alternative to brisket? Try out Tri Tip. 

Looking to replace your weekly roast with a juicy piece of beef?

Roast your Coulotte in the oven and enjoy the mouth watering flavors that dance along your tongue. 

Check out their differences above and discover your new favorite cut of steak.