These Slow Cooker Tri-Tip Sandwiches are made with fall-apart tender tri-tip on toasty bread and topped with cheese and sweet, tangy BBQ sauce.

Tri-tip is a great cut of meat, and when you make it in the slow cooker, it comes out fabulously tender and perfect for making into sandwiches.

You are watching: How To Cook A Tri Tip Roast In Crock Pot

It’s also incredibly simple to make. In the morning, you just rub your tri-tip with seasoning salt and then let the tri-tip hang out in your crockpot on low for 8 hours.

At the end of the day, your house will smell amazing, and you just shred the meat and pile it onto sandwiches topped with BBQ sauce and cheese. With almost no effort, you get to enjoy homemade BBQ without ever having to step foot outside. And that’s living the BBQ dream if you ask me. 😉

Ingredient Notes

  • Tri-tip: Unlike my Oven-baked Tri-tip, I recommend using a trimmed tri-tip roast in this recipe but if untrimmed is all that’s available, that will work too. Just roughly (it doesn’t need to be beautiful) trim away and discard the fat cap (the thick layer of fat over one side of the meat) before cooking. While fat is usually delicious, in the crockpot it does nothing but make a blobby mess.
  • French rolls: A good-sized soft French roll is my favorite for tri-tip sandwiches, but any soft white bread will do. Hot dog or hamburger buns are great as is sliced French bread or even plain, sliced sandwich bread.
  • Seasoning salt: If you don’t have seasoning salt, not a problem. Mix together 2 teaspoons each of salt, pepper, and garlic powder, and use it in place of the seasoning salt.

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A Note on Tri-tip: Tri-tip is most popular in California and along the west coast. If you are outside of California and having trouble finding tri-tip in the store, you might find it under other names like “The California Cut” or “Bottom Sirloin Tip.”

Tri-tip in a slow cooker, shredded.

How to Make Tri-tip Sandwiches

  1. Sprinkle seasoning salt over the entire tri-tip. Place tri-tip and water or broth in the slow cooker and cook on high for 3 to 4 hours or low for 6 to 8.
  2. Assemble sandwiches with mayonnaise, cheese, and cooked tri-tip.
  3. Bake until bread is toasted and cheese bubbly.
  4. Add BBQ sauce and enjoy!


Can I freeze tri-tip sandwiches?

You don’t want to freeze assembled bbq sandwiches (they will get soggy), but the cooked tri-tip is a great candidate for freezing. Just store portions of cooked meat in freezer-safe plastic bags with some of the juices and freeze for up to 3 months.

How many sandwiches will this make?

A standard 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 pound tri-tip is enough meat to make about 5 to 8 sandwiches. If you’re a small household, and that’s too many for you, freeze the extra tri-tip. You can also use it in salads, burritos, or burrito bowls.

Can I sear the tri-tip before cooking it in the slow cooker?

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Absolutely. If you’d like to brown your meat before slow cooking, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, and brown both sides before transferring to the slow cooker.

This step is optional as it does deepen and improve the beefy flavor, but isn’t super noticeable when being eaten in a sandwich and requires you to wash another dish.

Slow cooker tri-tip sandwich with BBQ sauce.

What to serve with tri-tip sandwiches?

  • Microwave Corn on the Cob
  • Butter and Garlic Green Beans
  • Small Macaroni Salad
  • Smashed Red Potatoes with Garlic Aioli
  • Baked Potato Salad

More Slow Cooker Favorites

  • Slow Cooker Beef Ribs
  • Crispy Slow Cooker Carnitas
  • Easy Barbacoa
  • Crockpot Hot Chocolate

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission if you make a purchase using them. There is absolutely no additional cost to you.

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