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What Is A Ball Tip Steak? And How Is It Cooked?

What Is A Ball Tip Steak? And How Is It Cooked?

Also known as a sirloin tip steak or petite sirloin, the ball tip steak is an economical cut of beef. But if you want to get the best flavor and texture out of it, you’ll need a great recipe and a little culinary finesse.

Before we get into that, though, let’s take a closer look at just what a ball tip steak is. It’s a part of the sirloin, one of the juiciest and most flavorful cuts for steaks.

But instead of being taken from the top of the sirloin, a ball tip steak is taken from the bottom — right around the hip. This makes it an exceptionally lean, boneless cut that can be tough if it’s not properly prepared.

If the fat is not trimmed from it, you’ll hear this cut referred to as round tip steak. But this fat doesn’t yield much tenderness or flavor, so the ball tip steak is an easier cut to work with.

And with that in mind, lets explore the best ways to cook a ball tip steak!

What Does Ball Tip Steak Taste Like?

Ball tip steak has a similar taste to top sirloin, but with much less fat. The main difference — and why ball tip steak is always cheaper than top sirloin steak — is in the texture of the meat.

Because it comes from a muscular and often-used part of the cow, a ball tip steak will be lean but intensely flavorful. This makes it a prime candidate for marinating, since the added salt and liquids will help to tenderize it.

Additionally, ball tip steak has a noticeable grain to its meat. To avoid getting a big and overly chewy mouthful of steak, it’s best to cut this steak into thin slices.

Overall, ball tip steak shouldn’t be your first choice for grilling and serving with mashed potatoes. But if you’re willing to spend some time marinating it and slicing it thin, it’s an affordable cut that’s great for tacos or roast beef sandwiches.

How to Cook Ball Tip Steak

Two cooking methods will let you get the best out of your ball tip steak: Marinating before grilling, or roasting with plenty of oil and salt. Let’s use each of these methods in a quick and easy recipe that’s great for a weekday meal.

Simple Fajitas

Fajitas might be my favorite “no recipe recipe”. You don’t have to measure ingredients carefully or make intricate cuts to get tons of flavor, and they’re quick to put together for lunch or dinner.

And since they’re designed to be made with tougher cuts of meat, using ball tip steak means that fajitas are an affordable anytime meal, too.

For the Marinade

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons mild chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Combine all ingredients in a resealable plastic bag or bowl. Then, submerge your ball tip steak in the marinade, and refrigerate for 2 to 8 hours.

Avoid going any longer than this, as the acid from the juice will start to change the meat’s texture in an unpleasant way.

To Serve

  • Sliced Onions
  • Sliced bell peppers
  • Tortillas
  • Rice, refried beans, shredded cheese, and/or tomatoes

Remove your steaks from the marinade, and pat them dry with a paper towel. Heat your grill, skillet, or a pan with a splash of olive oil, to a high heat.

Cook the steaks for 3 to 5 minutes per side, depending on how thick your steak is. At the same time, sauté your sliced onions and bell peppers until tender.

After removing your steak from the heat, let it rest for 5 minutes. Then, use your sharpest knife to slice it into thin strips.

To serve your fajitas, simply top tortillas with the grilled steak, onions, peppers, and your choice of Tex-Mex condiments.

Ball Tip Steak Roast

Roast beef is a fine set-it-and-forget-it meal that makes a lot of leftovers. In my mind, that makes it a perfect choice for Monday night dinners. That way, you’ll have roast beef sandwiches ready for lunch the rest of the week!


  • 1 (3 pound) ball tip steak
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion, peeled and cut into rounds
  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1 celery rib, chopped
  • 3 cups beef stock
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

The day before cooking your roast, rub your ball tip steak (or similar sirloin tip) with 2 teaspoons of salt, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate. This starts to tenderize the steak, making for a more tender and delicious roast the next day.


  1. Preheat your oven to 250 degrees F.
  2. In a sauté pan, melt butter over medium high heat.
  3. Add carrots, onion, and celery, and sauté until soft. Transfer to a roasting pan.
  4. Place the ball tip steak on top of the vegetables, pour in beef stock, then cover with aluminum foil.
  5. Roast for 2.5 to 3.5 hours. You’re looking for an internal temperature of 130 degrees F.
  6. After the roast is cooked through, remove it from the oven and let rest for 30 minutes.
  7. Transfer the roast to a cutting board, and cut into 1/2 inch thick slices.
  8. Serve with vegetables and mashed potatoes, or roughly chop and serve as sandwiches.

Where to Buy Ball Tip Steak

If you’re interested in trying your hand at cooking ball tip steak, talk to the butcher at your local grocery. If they don’t have any on hand, they’ll be able to set some aside for you the next time they’re butchering a whole cow.

It’s not a commonly asked for cut of meat (and it may require a boning knife), so if you enjoy it, your butcher will be happy to make it available to you!

We are big fans of Snake River Farms, Crowd Cow, Porter Road, and FarmFoods – all good choices for Ball Tip Steak.

If you are looking to save money on premium sirloin – be sure to check out Nebraska Star’s online steak collection.

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Ball Tip Steak FAQs

What is ball tip steak good for?

Ball tip steak is best for delivering delicious entries at an affordable price. The meat is tender and delicious, but it doesn’t come with the hefty price tag that some other types of steak are known for. Instead, all diners can enjoy a ball tip steak even if they are on a budget.

How do you cook beef loin ball tip steak?

Pre-heat the oven to 250 degrees, melt butter in a pan, place the steak on top of the vegetables in the pan, cook the steak in the oven for approximately 2.5 to 3 hours. Check on the steak on occasion to make sure it is cooking completely. 

How do you use a BBQ ball tip?

You can use it for grilling and serving a large audience at your home. Many people will appreciate the lengths that you go to in order to provide them with a delicious BBQ ball tip steak when you put in this kind of effort.

What’s the best way to cook ball tip steak?

You should throw your ball tip steak on a pan and heat up that pan with a splash of olive oil. At the same time, you need to make sure you saute your sliced onions and bell peppers until they are tender. You need to make sure everything is tender for cooking and you should be good to go.

What is the difference between tri-tip and ball tip?

The two types of steak at similar in size, but the difference is that the ball tip has absolutely no fat on it and it has less marbling. This means that it isn’t going to have quite as juicy of a taste as tri-tip if it is cooked beyond rare.

Is ball tip steak good for grilling?

The ball tip steak is great for grilling. People tend to love how tender it is when it comes off the grill. Since most people are fans of their steaks being cooked in a way that will make them tender and delicious, it is a good idea to go with a ball tip steak for grilling purposes.