Brisket vs Tri Tip: A Detailed Comparison – Smoke Gears

Brisket vs Tri Tip – A Detailed Comparison

Looking for a nice juicy ‘meaty’ afternoon this holiday?

Bet you are. Now, you might be like, “what’s the big deal in differentiating between all those meat cooking techniques? Aren’t they just cooked meats at the end of the day?”

Well, my friend, welcome to the chef world. These guys who go to the extreme length in being passionate about food are going to raise their eyebrows at you if they heard you.

Now, let’s get to our today’s topic; Brisket vs Tri Tip. These are basically two techniques of cooking that end up bringing the most delicious dishes ever.


The brisket is a cut that consists of the front side of the animal. On the other hand, the tri tip is about cooking the back side of the cow, the bottom sirloin in particular.

We will tell you everything there is to know about them so that you can be the person delighting people around you with your magical cook hands.

So, let’s dive in.

Brisket vs Tri Tip: Feature-by-Feature Comparison

In this section, we will compare them feature-by-feature;

• Size

When it comes to tri tip, it weighs way less than a brisket. It has a weight of 3 pounds as a whole. And a full-sized brisket weighs 12-20 pounds.

If your lovely family consists of four or five members, you guys are going to enjoy a very decent meal with the tri tip without having any leftover. But, with the brisket, you will be resting assured with not having to cook for about a week.

• Cost

In terms of cost, the tri tip is the one that demands more bucks when you go to the meat shop. In fact, it costs twice than that of brisket. We are talking in general, of course. Not everywhere in the countryside the costs will differ that way.

Then again, this cost thing depends on how you look at it. You need to keep in mind that with the brisket, you won’t be able to enjoy the whole of it. There will be at least 30% of it that gets discarded during the trimming of fat.

With the tri tip, there is no such scenario. You are going to be eating the steak to the bone enjoying its deliciousness.

• Cooking Process

Now, we are getting into the most serious deal. Here’s where the big differences show up.

A trip tip, being as tender as it is, requires cooking according to its tenderness. I would suggest that you grill it at 135-degree F to 140-degree F. Then you should go for the slicing.

A detail temperature and times chart is here.

If you apply high heat indirectly to smoke the tri tip for about an hour or so, a bit of sear will develop in its surface that will make it more yum and tasty altogether.

As for brisket, you are not getting a tender steak that easily. For it is composed of two really tough muscles associated with a whole bunch of connective tissues.

So, what you will have to do is break it down to make the meat tender. We are talking about hours of waiting before you get the desired tenderness. Of course, with certain techniques, the duration will vary.

You can see that a tri tip is much easier to cook. All you need is a digital thermometer and first-hand knowledge of grilling a steak and you will be having an excellent time with the tri tip. But, with the brisket, you are not getting off that easy. You are going to break a sweat if you are a beginner.

Tri tip vs brisket

Tri tip vs Brisket

• Flavors

Though the tri tip is easier to deal with, it comes after the brisket in terms of flavor. They have one flavor in common and that is the flavor of beef, a strong one. Smoked brisket has that extraordinary additional flavor that sensationally melts in the mouth.

But, if you fail to smoke brisket properly, then the whole experience may turn horrible. Then you will be left with nothing more than a bitter tasting dry meat. And you will wish that it was the tri tip you went for in the first place.


If I were to choose between these two cuts, I would go with the tri tip since I love my stuff simple and fast.

Every now and then, inexperienced cooks screw up miserably with the brisket. But, if you can manage to smoke it perfectly, you are going to have a blast with the brisket. Let me know if there’s any query. I will get back to you ASAP.

Sharing is Caring!
Theresa Lori

Hi, I'm Theresa. My passion for grilling delicacy gradually built during the time I was living with my parents. My family members especially my mother was a great fan of grilled dishes to and from the love of food. I started preparing smoked food with my mom. This bonding helped me to know more and more about to smoke, grill what always I share on So, in two words you can call me a BBQ lover.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments