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Santa Maria Tri Tip Roast Recipe

If you don’t know about this roast, you are missing out. It is renowned as the best cut of beef in the western part of the country. This is basically a large sirloin roast and is nothing short of fantastic. In California, they serve tri tip Santa Maria-style just like this recipe. It’s beef perfected in many ways.

If you cannot readily find tri tip in your area, go consult with a local butcher. They will often times cut you one fresh if requested.


  • 3-lb tri tip roast (smaller or larger is fine)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp black pepper, freshly cracked
  • 2 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1 ½ tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp granulated onion
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/3 C red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 C vegetable oil
  • 4 cloves crushed garlic
  • ½ tsp Dijon mustard


Take your tri-tip and trim off any silver skin you find. Be sure not to cut too deep. Combine salt, black pepper, granulated garlic, granulated onion, paprika, rosemary, and cayenne.   This will make about 1/3 cup of rub.

Use about half of this mixture to rub into the tri-tip on all sides.  Reserve the other half to reseason a few times during the cooking process.  Place in a dish, cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Whisk the vinegar, vegetable oil, crushed garlic, and Dijon mustard together and set aside.

Preheat your GrillaSilverbac, or Kong for high-temp grilling—300 degrees is fine.

Remove the beef from the refrigerator and go straight to the grill with it.

Please ensure you have a high-quality thermometer handy in order to ensure you don’t overcook this awesome piece of beef.

Place meat on the Grilla Grill and let it cook for about 15min and then brush with your liquid mixture.   Every 15-20min flip and rotate your tri-trip on the grill and baste and reseason.

Repeat this process until the beef firms up and the internal temp is between 130 and 135 degrees.  This will be pretty rare so if you want to take to more of a medium allow the meat to reach about 140 degrees.  Depending on the size of your tri-tip this process may take an hour and a half to two hours.  The thickness of the meat will determine how fast it actually cooks more than its overall weight.

Remove meat from your Grilla and rest for 15 minutes, then slice across the grain and serve. This cut of meat goes fantastic with a balsamic reduction and blue cheese crumbles.

Focus on Your Santa Maria Tri Tip Rub

Aside from starting with a solid cut of meat, the secret to our Santa Maria tri tip recipe may lie in the seasonings. The rub you put on the meat before grilling it helps bring out the flavors.

Many pitmasters rub down their meats to ensure the tastes meld into the meat. The trick to making sure the seasoning tenderizes and infuses the meat is to pat the meat dry before rubbing. Never rub meat that is damp because the BBQ rub can run off.

As you become more accustomed to making this Santa Maria BBQ recipe, consider swapping the seasonings with a pre-made BBQ rub or whip up something totally unique based on your favorite spice blend.

Serve up the Perfect Pairings for Your Santa Maria BBQ Recipe

You could definitely serve your Santa Maria-style tri tip alone, but you probably want to toss some side dishes on the buffet or table too. If you are looking for great pairing suggestions, we recommend choosing a starch or carb, along with at least one veggie. This will balance your meal and help bring out the stunning flavors of the Santa Maria tri tip.

You can always continue the smoky goodness all the way to the end of your meal. Just make a few grilled and smoked desserts to cap off your Santa Maria tri tip.

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Holland, Michigan 49423