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Tri-Tip with Pomegranate BBQ Sauce and Caramelized Onions

Tri tips smothered in BBQ sauce and topped with caramelized onions! You can make the sauce a couple of days in advance.

Course Main Course
Cuisine BBQ
Keyword crowd pleaser, grilling recipe, summer recipe
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Author Linda Spiker


The BBQ Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle chili pepper powder
  • 1/3 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1/2 cup organic ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey (omit if Whole30 or use Whole30 approved sauce linked above)
  • 1 tablespoon

    soy sauce (
if you avoid soy use coconut aminos)

  • 1/8 teaspoon liquid smoke (see link above)

The Caramelized Onions:

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 4 med red onions halved, thinly sliced
  • 2 T Balsamic Glaze
  • 2 pinches sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

The Tri-Tip

  • Garlic powder
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 1 3/4 pound beef loin tri-tip roasts, trimmed of all but 1/4 inch of fat
  • Pomegranate Barbecue Sauce recipe above
  • Caramelized Onions recipe above
  • Chives chopped for garnish


  1. For BBQ Sauce: Have all ingredients prepped and measured out so you are ready to go! Heat olive oil in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic, cumin, and chipotle chile powder; stir 1 minute. Add pom juice and simmer 2 minutes. Gently whisk in ketchup, soy sauce (or coconut aminos), and liquid smoke; simmer 2 minutes longer. Take off heat, stir in honey and apple cider vinegar. Allow to cool and then refrigerate until use.
  2. For onions: Melt butter in large pan over medium heat. Add onions and cook until deep golden brown, stirring occasionally. The caramelizing process should take about 25-30 minutes. When onions are nice a brown, sprinkle with a couple pinches of sea salt and a few turns of fresh pepper. Remove from heat and drizzle with balsamic glaze. Stir. Place atop tri-tip.
  3. For tri-tip: Prepare barbecue and heat to 400 degrees (medium-high heat). Sprinkle tri-tip lightly with garlic-powder, salt and pepper. Grill tri-tips (lid closed) 5 minutes per side (no sauce) on medium high heat so you get those nice grill marks. Reduce heat to medium-low (375 degrees). Brush both sides of tri-tip with sauce and flip every 7-8 minutes till done, about 30 minutes for medium rare (If using grass fed beef take off about 7-9 minutes). Remember, the tri-tips will keep cooking after they are removed from the grill! So always take them off when they are rarer than what you want! Transfer tri-tips to work surface; cover and let stand 8 minutes (allows juices to redistribute). Slice and place on platter. Top with caramelized onions and chives, serve.