Tri Tip vs. Brisket | Which is the Best choice for you?

Tri Tip vs Brisket

It’s a prevalent problem or task to decide what to cook for today. Which cut of meat is best must be confusing if you plan to cook some BBQ, grilled, or smoked meat for your family or to host a party.

Both Tri-tip and Brisket significantly impact the grilling and smoking process since they both taste great and can produce a scrumptious, juicy end product. Despite several similarities, many differences are also there in both meat cutouts.

We have reviewed all the features and pointed out their differences here to clarify your confusion about selecting the best according to your needs.

Comparison of Tri Tip vs. Brisket

Here we compile significant differences between both meat parts well known for grilling.

  • Size
  • Cost
  • Appearance
  • Source
  • Accessibility
  • Taste
  • Fat content
  • Safe
  • Method of cooking Easy to cook
  • Time taken for cooking
  • Which one is tender
  • Which one is best for smoking


Brisket is sold as huge pieces of meat from the chest region; it contains large intramuscular fat and two parts of muscles separated by a fat layer. Average weight ranges from 10-16 pounds; in comparison, tri-tip sold in relatively more minor pieces ranges from 4-5 pounds.

So if you are going to feed four people, a tri-tip cut out of meat is best; even if you ordered a tri-tip in a restaurant for a single person, it is more than enough. But if you throw a large party and have to feed a group of many people, you may go for Brisket. It contains the muscular part of the cow that needed to be up straight and a large part of the meat.


If you are looking for a cost-effective part of the meat, then you have to go with the Brisket as it is cheaper than tri-tip. But the tri-tip is a much smaller part than a brisket, so you have to pay more for one Brisket than one tri-tip; one part of the Brisket weighs equal to the three tri-tip cutouts. However, if you get a single brisket, you may have leftovers to use in other dishes as sandwiches at the end of the day.

An important factor you need to consider is the number of people you will feed if you are getting the meat for a large group of people; Brisket must be the best as it is a giant cutout, while tri-tip is a lean, meaty part. Brisket also contains fatty parts a lot, so when you are going to smoke, you will get a meat part lesser than what you weigh at the time of purchase, as after removal of fat content, you may lose 2-3 pounds of actual weight.


The tri-tip appears as a muscular meaty part that is lean and chewy; it is triangular-shaped and seems like a steak cutout. In contrast, a Brisket is a part that comes from just below the chuck and is usually rectangular. Sometimes Brisket is cut out angular at one side, making it difficult to tell whether it is tri-tip and Brisket.


Both the red meat comes from a cow but in different regions as tri-tip comes from the bottom sirloin, whereas Brisket comes from the cow’s chest region.


The tri-tip is a little hard to find, while Brisket can easily be available in many supermarkets. Availability of these cutouts depends upon where you live; in most cities and populated areas, tri-tip is also readily available in supermarkets and even a little piece in stores. You may get the Brisket without effort if you have easy access to town butchers.

But if you are living in rural or less populated areas, finding a trip cutout is a little bit hard; if you are heartedly infatuated with this cutout, you may strive to get it.


Both meat cutouts give tremendously beefy flavor and are best for BBQ, but the difference lies in taste here, as tri-tip tastes like a lean steak. It has a little fat content, providing a beefy taste with butter. At the same time, Brisket offers an excellent beefy taste if appropriately cooked, with crispy outside bark with a juicy, tender inside. But great care and patience are needed for the Brisket to cook for the best taste.

Fat content

Mutual tri-tip and Brisket are part of cow meat, so both are fatty to some extent, and when you cook these cutouts on low flame, the fat melts and gives a crunchy, buttery flavor. Brisket has a more awesome fat content than tri-tip; more care should be taken in its cooking as any negligence may ruin the whole meal.


Tri-tip and Brisket are safe for human health if appropriately cooked, and tri-tip can be cooked rapidly, providing less time at high there are chances you may prepare the food without the establishment of the required internal temperature. To avoid this, you should use an internal meat thermometer and adequately check the internal temperature. If the internal temperature does not reach 145 degrees, you may increase the temperature to get all the bacteria killed for safe and protective meat.

If you are looking at your fat intake and trying to take a low-fat diet, then you should go for a tri-tip because of its low-fat content. However, both meat cutouts are lean and healthier for use.

Method of cooking Easy to cook

The tri-tip can be roasted or smoked and can easily be prepared with normal cooking processes, while we need an oven, stove, or cooker to prepare Brisket.

Cooking time

If you have not tried tri-tip until now, you did not live a life. It’s so fun to have tri-tip as a meal as it’s a buttery, crunchy beef steak cooked in no time, giving marvelous flavor. The tri-tip can be prepared and ready to eat in just 45 minutes to one hour as it’s a lean part of the meat, although the Brisket takes more time to cook than the tri-tip because of excessive connective tissue present in it.

Brisket requires a longer time to give a delicious mouthwatering taste. It takes approximately 6 to 14 hours for Brisket to make a party delightful with its incredible appetizing taste.

Which one is tender

The tri-tip is more tender than the Brisket as it’s a lean part of the meat, but Brisket is cooked for a more extended period, so it could also be more tender after cooking.

Which one is best for smoking

The tri-tip is best known for grilling and smoking, while the Brisket is suitable for cooking in the oven for a long time at a low temperature.

Tri Tip vs. brisket comparison at a glance

SizeSmall cutoutsLarge
CostExpensiveComparatively cheap
AppearanceTriangular shapeRectangular
SourceBottom sirloinChest region
AvailabilityDifficult to findEasily available
Fat contentLessMore
SafeLess fat safeMore fat
TasteLean steak-like tasteBeefy taste with a complex smoky flavor
Time for cookingLess timeMore time
Ease of cookingEasy to cookSlightly difficult
TenderNot become tenderBecome tender if not cooked properly


  • Both are meat
  • Both are lean
  • Both are best for BBQ

What is Tri-tip

The tri-tip is a part of cow’s meat well known for its popularity among meat lovers who love to smoke or grill this specific part to get a delicious flavor according to their personal choice and need. It’s a triangular-shaped meat part, and its cooking process is relatively straightforward.


How to cook

The first step of cooking is preparation, so we should prepare the meat before cooking.


For tri-tip, you should prepare it as a steak or anything you want, trim its fat content, and season it with household spices, garlic, and salt.

Cooking process

  • Once prepared tri-tip is ready for cooking
  • Set the smoker temperature to 250 degrees
  • Place the tri-tip in the smoker and wait for the meat temperature to attain 135 degrees.
  • Then let it cook or smoke for an hour
  • Give every side 30 sec to sear the meat
  • Provide 20 minutes to the meat to redistribute all the juices.
  • You may wrap the prepared food in aluminum foil.
  • Feasible cooking
  • Meaty flavor
  • Delicious in taste
  • Lean and beneficial for health
  • expensive


Brisket is also a part of the meat that is famous for its delicious taste and variety of cooking patterns; it is a fatty muscular part that is very beneficial for health. Its size is good enough to feed a large group of people and is readily available.

How to cook

The cooking process solely depends upon the preparation method; if you prepare it properly, you will get your desired product.


Preparing Brisket is essential to get final results, so when you want to cook a brisket, check if it’s completely defrosted. Once defrosted, Brisket is ready to prepare. Remove its fat content but leave some fat on its fat cap to increase the taste and crunch. Season the meat according to your taste with salt, pepper, and garlic.

Cooking method

  • After preparation, the Brisket is ready for cooking
  • Set the smoker temperature to 225 degrees and place the Brisket in the smoker
  • Check the temperature to reach 150 degrees; it will remain the same for hours
  • Once a temperature of 150 degrees, cook the Brisket for one and a half hours per pound
  • When the Brisket temperature reaches 195 degrees, take it out and wrap it in aluminum foil to settle the juices.
  • Easily available
  • Best for a large group of people
  • Juicy and crispy if cooked appropriately
  • Affordable
  • Become tender if not cooked properly
  • Difficult cooking


Is there any difference between tri-tip and Brisket?

Answer: There are many differences between tri-tip and Brisket, including their size, cost, availability, cooking time, and even flavor. Both have pros and cons you can find the best one that suits you.

Are both the same in taste, tri-tip, and Brisket?

Answer: Tri-tip tastes like a steak and delivers a beefy flavor as it comes from the lean, meaty part of the cow; however, Brisket, if simmered in a medium flame, gives a delicious meaty taste.

Which is the best one, tri-tip or Brisket?

Answer: Both are good meat cutouts that are best for cooking for families and gatherings, but up and down lie at both ends, and you can choose the best according to your needs. Tri-tip is slightly costly and challenging to find but gives a lean, meaty part as a steak, whereas Brisket is large meat cut out readily available at an affordable price.

Is tri-tip more expensive than Brisket?

Answer: It’s actually somewhat that tri-tip is slightly more costly than Brisket. But it weighs 3 times less than a single brisket cutout, so if you are getting 1 brisket, it will equal almost 3 tri-tip cuts so that the cost may lie in the same range. Then it comes to your need if you require a large group or just 3 to 4 people.

Which one is best to throw large parties, tri-tip or Brisket?

Answer: Brisket is best for throwing large parties as it is a more significant part of the meat and best to feed several people, while single tri-tip serves only 3 to 4 persons at a time.


So after reviewing the article, you may know that different factors differentiate both meat parts; it solely depends upon your desire and needs, which part you will get for making your meal delightful.

Significant differences lie between the size cost and availability of meat cutouts. Moreover, cooking time and the process are also of great importance. If you are a first-time smoker, the tri-tip is best as fewer skills are required for its cooking than the Brisket. Both products give a mouthwatering, juicy, delicious taste and are healthier for the consumer.

Consequently, you may get the best as per your need, considering all the points of size, cooking time, and cost and getting the desired product.


  • Troy Miller

    Hi! My name is Troy, and I'm the founder of Grill Taster. I have a lot of experience in grilling because I've been testing out products for over a decade. With almost ten years as a professional griller and help to thousands of aspiring BBQ masters, you can trust me to help you find the best grills and accessories on the market so that you don't have to waste time or money on junk. With my family enjoying some summertime fun just outside Carolina, we're all looking forward to your comments and questions!

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