Carol’s Completely Fabulous Steak Marinade and Grilled Tri-Tip

Carol’s Completely Fabulous Steak Marinade and Grilled Tri-Tip is a recipe I got from my former neighbor many Carol, and it’s one of my favorite recipes for beef on the grill. Use Grilling Recipes for more ideas like this one.

PIN Carol’s Steak Marinade and Grilled Tri-Tip to make it later!

Carols Completely Fabulous Steak Marinade and Grilled Tri-Tip found on

As you can see from the title of the recipe, Carols Completely Fabulous Steak Marinade and Grilled Tri-Tip made quite an impression on me. And the story about how I got the recipe is as fun as the grilled tri-tip is delicious. So who is this Carol and how did I get her completely fabulous recipe for marinated and grilled tri tip?

Once upon a time a great family lived next door to me, and one night the mom (that would be Carol) knocked on my door and offered to bring me steak and grilled asparagus for dinner. I was working on the blog, hadn’t had dinner, and when someone offers to bring you steak and asparagus, you never say no, do you?

The steak was amazing, and when I told Carol how much I loved it, she gave me the recipe to share with my readers. The only slightly bittersweet part of the whole story is that a few days later Carol and Kevin found the house of their dreams, and moved away. I saw them a few times after that and then lost touch with them, but maybe through the magic of the internet they’ll see this and get back in touch! (Carols Completely Fabulous Steak Marinade and Grilled Tri-Tip  was updated with better photos, July 2016.)

Carol's Tri Tip process shots collage

How to Make Carol’s Completely Fabulous Steak Marinade and Grilled Tri-Tip:

(Scroll down for complete printable recipe.)

  1. Tri-Tip steak is a cut of beef that’s now more popular and expensive than it was when Carol gave me this recipe, but I still buy it at Costco when I get that craving for red meat. Trim off the visible fat and cut into serving-size pieces as desired.
  2. Rub the tri-tip pieces on both sides with Montreal Steak Seasoning.
  3. Mix together lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar, garlic, and olive oil; if you’d like you can mix it right in the bag like Carol did.
  4. Then put the tri-tip pieces and marinade into a Ziploc bag (or plastic container with a tight lid) and let the steak marinate all day, or even overnight if you’d like.
  5. When it’s time to eat, take the marinating steak out of the fridge, drain in a colander placed in the sink, and let it come to room temperature while you preheat the grill to high.  
  6. When you’re ready to cook, lay pieces on the diagonal across the grill grates, cook until you see grill marks (about 3 minutes), rotate so the pieces are going diagonally in the opposite direction and cook about 3 minutes more, then turn over and cook to desired doneness.
  7. I recommend using an inexpensive instant-read meat thermometer (affiliate link) to check for the level of doneness you prefer. Serve hot.

Carols Completely Fabulous Steak Marinade and Grilled Tri-Tip found on

Make it a Low-Carb Meal:

We enjoyed Carol’s Completely Fabulous Grilled Tri-Tip with Marinade Zucchini Salad with Olives, Artichokes, and Red Pepper for a low-carb meal.

More Recipes for Tasty Beef:

Slow Cooker or Pressure Cooker Beef Recipes Index ~ Slow Cooker or Pressure Cooker
Marinated Beef Kabobs ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Marinated Tri-Tip Roast with Mushrooms and Garlic ~ Simply Recipes
Grilled Cuban Flank Steak ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen

Weekend Food Prep:

This recipe has been added to a new category called Weekend Food Prep  to help you find recipes you can prep or cook on the weekend and eat during the week!

Carol's Completely Fabulous Steak Marinade and Grilled Tri-Tip

Carol's Completely Fabulous Steak Marinade and Grilled Tri-Tip

Yield 6 servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

I’ve been using Carol’s Completely Fabulous Steak Marinade for many years, and this recipe always results with the tastiest grilled steak ever!



  • 2 lbs. Tri Tip steak
  • 3-4 T Montreal Steak Seasoning (see notes)

Marinade Ingredients

  • 2 T fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 2 T Worcestershire Sauce (see notes)
  • 2 T balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic (can use garlic powder but I used minced garlic)
  • 2 T olive oil


  1. Trim any visible fat on outside of Tri Tip pieces, and cut into serving size pieces if desired.
  2. Rub all sides of steak pieces with Montreal Steak Seasoning.
  3. Mix the add lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar, garlic, and olive oil (or you can mix it right in the container you marinate in like Carol does. Put steak into large Ziploc bag or plastic container with tight-fitting lid and add the marinade. Seal bag or plastic container and turn over a few times to mix marinade ingredients.
  4. Let steak marinate in refrigerator 8 – 24 hours.
  5. When ready to cook, take meat out of refrigerator, drain marinade, and let meat come to room temperature.
  6. Preheat gas or charcoal grill to high (you can only hold your hand there for a few seconds at that heat.)
  7. When steak is room temperature and grill is hot, put steak on grill. For nice grill marks, place steak at a diagonal to grill slats, after about 3 minutes, rotate 45 degrees on same side and cook a few more minutes. Turn steak over and cook until desired doneness.
  8. You can see from the photos that I like my meat fairly rare, and I cooked this tri tip just over 8 minutes, but actual cooking time will depend on grill temperature, thickness of the meat, meat temperature, and even the temperature of the air if cooking outside.
  9. With steak this thick, I recommend using an inexpensive instant-read meat thermometer (affiliate link) to tell when it’s done. Here’s a chart showing recommended temperatures for various levels of doneness.


Carol says she has marinated this as long as two days, and it still turned out great. She’s also frozen the meat in the bag with the marinade and thawed it when she wanted to cook the pre-marinated meat.

You can make this with purchased Montreal Steak Seasoning, or use the recipe for Kalyn’s take on Montreal Steak Seasoning. Be sure to use Gluten-Free Worcestershire Sauce (affiliate link) if needed.

This recipe from my former neighbor Carol.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 408Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 125mgSodium: 3023mgCarbohydrates: 2.6gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 41g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.

I'd love to see your pictures if you make this recipe. Share on social media with the hashtag #kalynskitchen so I can see how it turned out for you!

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Carol’s Completely Fabulous Steak Marinade Recipe and Grilled Tri-Tip would be a great dinner option for low-carb diet plans. The South Beach Diet recommends choosing steak that’s less than 10% fat, and although this is a fairly lean cut, I’m guessing it’s slightly higher than that so if you’re strictly following South Beach this would be an occasional treat.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Grilled Tri Tip Pin image