Grilled Santa Maria Tri-Tip Recipe

Grilled tri-tip
Annabelle Breakey/Photodisc/Getty Images
  • 4 hrs
  • Prep: 3 hrs 30 mins,
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yield: 6 Servings
Ratings (10)

The town of Santa Maria, California, is famous for its delicious grilled tri-tip. Tri-tip is a great piece of beef for the grill, and this West Coast barbecue favorite makes a nice change of pace from the more common Texas or Southern barbecue recipes.

Serves 6 Portions of Santa Maria Barbecue Tri-Tip

What You'll Need

  • 2 to 2 1/2 lb beef tri-tip roast
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 cloves crushed garlic

How to Make It

Combine the black pepper, salt, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, rosemary, and cayenne in a small bowl. Rub onto all surfaces of the tri-tip. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours. Remove and let sit out for 30 minutes at room temperature.

Add the Dijon, vinegar, vegetable oil, and crushed garlic to a jar with a lid and shake vigorously until emulsified.

Prepare your charcoal or gas barbecue grill.

Place the tri-tip on the grill and brush with the oil and vinegar mixture. Turn every 3-4 minutes, basting generously each time. Grill for 25-30 minutes for medium-rare (internal temp of 135 degrees F.). The outside of the roast will get very dark and develop a charred crust, this is desired and one of the signature characteristics of this barbecue recipe.

Remove the tri-tip from the grill to a large platter. Let rest for 15 minutes before slicing in 1/4" thick pieces across the grain. Serve as you would any barbecued beef, but in California, this is often served with tortillas and salsa.

Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
Calories 522
Total Fat 30 g
Saturated Fat 8 g
Unsaturated Fat 17 g
Cholesterol 152 mg
Sodium 893 mg
Carbohydrates 9 g
Dietary Fiber 1 g
Protein 51 g
(The nutrition information on our recipes is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. Individual results may vary.)