Difference between tri-tip and Brisket – The Definitive Answer

Tri-tip and Brisket are both types of beef – they’re both typically served at barbecue restaurants. Tri-tip and Brisket are two cuts of beef with different fat profiles, flavor profiles, and cooking methods. They have slightly different flavors and textures if cooked differently. Both types are great for grilling. 

What is Tri Tip?

raw meat

Tri-tip is generally a triangular piece from the bottom sirloin subprimal. Tri-tip is primarily made up of fat and is less lean than brisket. The tri-tip has a more tender and juicy texture because it contains more marbling or streaks of different lean and fatty meats. The flavor of tri-tip is slightly sweet with a hint of smokiness, making it an excellent option for grilling.

When it comes to cooking tri-tip, a few different methods work best. Grilling is a popular option, as the high heat helps to sear the meat’s natural juices and flavors. On the other hand, tri-tip may be cooked in the oven or on the stovetop.

What is Brisket?

raw Brisket

A flat, rectangular piece of meat from the breast is called a brisket. Brisket contains less fat and more connective tissue than tri-tip. The Brisket has a more dense and chewy texture compared to tri-tip because of its higher collagen content. 

Due to its tough texture, Brisket is best cooked using a slow and low cooking method, such as braising or smoking. 

When it comes to flavor, Brisket is slightly sweet with a potent beefy flavor. The Brisket can be cooked on either low or high heat and should not be overcooked as it will become tough and dry. This cut of meat is juicy and rich in flavor, thanks to its high-fat content.

What is the Difference between Tri-Tip and Brisket?

The tri-tip and Brisket both come from the bottom round of beef. Tri-tip refers to a cut with more fat than Brisket, while Brisket refers to a leaner cut. Tri-tip is thinner and more tender than Brisket. It also has a higher fat-to-meat ratio than Brisket.

Another way to tell them apart is by the way they are prepared. Brisket must be cooked low and slow for hours and hours to become tender. Tri-tip can be prepared by pan searing or grilling, which cooks much faster than Brisket.

The tri-tip will cost less than the Brisket because it’s less expensive to produce, so it’s cheaper. Overall, it is both delicious!

How to Prepare Tri Tip


Tri-tip roast is an excellent cut of meat for those who want to get into the beef world but aren’t ready to tackle a full-sized rib roast. Like a rib roast, it is an extended, thin cut of beef that consists of the shank and the loin. It also has a fat cap that is great for grilling or pan-searing.

Slow cooking is the best way to cook brisket. Because it is thick and tissues and mass content are high, but with tri-tip, you have more surface area than you would with a short and thick cut of meat. Cooking meat at high temperatures for a long time can cause it to dry out, so pay close attention to temperature and time when cooking. When cooking tri-tip, you should always start by searing it on all sides in a hot skillet before roasting it in the oven. Allow the meat to rest for at least 15 minutes before serving after cooking.

How to Prepare Brisket


Brisket must be cooked low and slow for hours and hours to become tender. Add salt, pepper, and other spices to season the beef to cook Brisket. Then place the Brisket on a baking sheet covered in aluminum foil and roast at 350 degrees F for 8-12 hours or until it reaches your desired level of doneness (rare is best).

Both tri-tip and Brisket are delicious and have unique properties and cooking methods that make them a hit at barbecue restaurants. So whether you’re in the mood for tri-tip or Brisket, don’t forget to check out our selection of meats and grills! Let the Brisket sit for at least an hour after cooking before slicing and serving.

Which is Better?

Tri-tip and Brisket are delicious and have unique properties that make them a hit at barbecue restaurants. Tri-tip is generally a triangular piece that comes from the bottom sirloin subprimal, while the Brisket is a flat, rectangular cut from the breast section. Aside from those differences in appearance, another critical difference between tri-tip and Brisket is the cooking methods best suited to each type of meat.

Tri-tip or Brisket? That depends on your personal preferences, in our view. If you want leaner meat with a slightly sweet taste, go for tri-tip. However, go for Brisket if you want a more loaded, juicier flavor. Whatever meat you choose, we guarantee you will not be disappointed!

Tri Tip vs Brisket: How They Differ

Starting with the basics, let’s look at the difference between tri-tip and Brisket. In the following ways, the two cuts are the least similar:


Brisket is the most cost-efficient option if you want to reduce your spending. You can usually get tri-tip for around $8-9 per pound, but Brisket is usually available for around $3.

Buying Brisket will typically save you more money than purchasing tri-tip. Tri-tip is often much smaller than a whole brisket . This may be particularly important if you’re feeding a large group or planning to use leftovers in other recipes.

Brisket also has more fat, which means there is less meat to eat after cooking. A 12-pound brisket, for example, will yield only 9 pounds once it’s cooked. You’ll need to discard about 25 percent of the meat before you begin cooking.


The typical weight of a full brisket is 10 to 16 pounds., but you can usually find smaller portions that weigh 4 to 6 pounds. In comparison, the whole tri-tip is significantly smaller. It usually weighs between 1 and 3 pounds. This makes sense, considering Brisket comes from the beef’s lower chest area while tri-tip comes from the cow’s hindquarters.

You’ll likely have to adjust your cooking time based on the size of your Brisket or tri-tip. A bulkier brisket will take longer to cook, while smaller tri-tip will require less time.


Brisket has a more rigid texture than tri-tip. This is because Brisket comes from a well-exercised area of the cow. This region’s muscle fibers are more resistant and take longer to break down. The muscle fibers in this area are shorter and easier to break down.


Brisket has a deeper flavor than tri-tip. Because Brisket is a fattier piece of meat, this is the case. The fat adds richness to the flavor that is absent in tri-tip.

Contrarily, the flavor of tri-tip is a little bit sweet. This is a result of the lower fat content compared to Brisket. The absence of fat makes the meat’s inherent taste more noticeable.

How to Smoke Brisket

Brisket is an extended, flat cut of meat usually taken from the breast area of the cow. It can be cooked in several ways, from slow cooking to barbecuing. Smoking brisket is one of the most popular ways to cook.

The process begins by salting the meat and allowing it to sit for 24 hours. Then the beef is rubbed with a mixture of seasonings and stuffed into a smoker. The meat is smoked until it reaches an internal temperature of 185°F (85°C), which takes between 6 and 12 hours.

Brisket can be eaten as-is or sliced and served on sandwiches, salads, or tacos. It’s also great in stews and other dishes because it has a powerful flavor.

How to Smoke Tri-tip

Tri-tip should be smoked with low heat. “Low and slow” is the right way to go when smoking tri-tip. To achieve this, you need a smoker with a temperature between 200°F and 225°F.

The meat will have time to break down and develop a delicious, rich flavor by keeping the temperature low and steady smoke.

Wrap the meat in foil or parchment before placing it in the smoker. This will keep the meat moist and speed up the cooking time.

When smoking tri-tip, you want a thick cut of meat of about 12-15 pounds so that you get ample time to cook evenly.

Use wood chips for smoking your tri-tip. Wood chips are usually soaked in water before being used to flavor your meat and add flavor and moisture during cooking. Select hardwood chips such as hickory, pecan, or oak; avoid fruit woods like apple or cherry. If using hardwood chips soaked in water, add them to the smoker after the coals are set and the smoker is smoking at a low temperature.


So, what’s the difference between tri-tip and Brisket? Tri-tip and Brisket are excellent cuts of meat, and both have distinctive flavors. However, tri-tip is usually more expensive than Brisket. As you can see, the two cuts have plenty of differences; however, they both offer tender and delicious BBQ dishes when cooked right!

Difference between tri-tip and Brisket


Q: What is the difference between Brisket and tri-tip?

Brisket and Tri-Tip are both types of beef, but they come from different areas of the animal. Tri-Tip originates from the back of the animal, whereas Brisket comes from the front.

Brisket is a significant cut with a deep layer of fat throughout, which makes it perfect for slow-cooking. The fat adds incredible flavor as it melts in the oven or on the grill, keeping the meat incredibly tender. Because Brisket is generally cooked for a long time at low heat, it can be a little dry if not adequately prepared. To ensure soft and juicy Brisket, add plenty of moisture to the cooking liquid, and don’t overcook it!

With its fine grain and high-fat content, Tri-Tip is perfect for grilling. Because it’s a portable cut, it cooks quickly and won’t dry out. It’s also highly flavorful, with a rich berry-like taste that comes from marbling throughout the muscle (something that is highly sought after in other cuts of meat).

Tri-Tip can be cooked exactly like any other steak – on a hot grill or in a cast iron skillet on the stovetop – but you may want to season it with additional spices since its flavor is so distinctive.’

Which is better? Brisket or tri-tip?

Trying both is the best way to determine which one you like. Tri-tip and Brisket are very different cuts of meat, so they will have different flavors and textures.

I would say Brisket is better if you’re just looking for the best one. It has more fat, more flavor, and more protein. Tri-tip is great for grilling and barbecuing, but if you want something tender that melts in your mouth, I would go with the Brisket.

What can I substitute for Brisket?

If you can’t find Brisket, you can substitute another cut of beef. The best substitutes are chuck roast or short ribs. These cuts of meat are also tough and require slow, low cooking to achieve tender, juicy results.

Why is Brisket so expensive?

It’s all about supply and demand. Brisket is often referred to as the ‘beast of a cut,’ and it is not uncommon for butchers to advise their customers that it is unlikely they will be able to find one without some serious butchering work.

This means that brisket is historically difficult to source, and its high demand, likely results in these prices. 

Source:- https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/24/dining/smoked-brisket.html