Santa Maria Style Barbecue Grilled Tri-Tip is a delicious sirloin, with a simple rub and cooked to perfection on the Barbecue Grill.
Tri-Tip is a triangular piece of beef from the bottom sirloin. Up until the early 1950’s Tri-Tip was used for ground beef. It often times was tossed aside by butchers and wasn’t cooked whole until the early 1950’s.
It became popular in Santa Maria, California and is traditionally cooked over a wood fire with a cast iron grate that can be lifted up and down by a pulley. The locals used their native coast live oak, which is often referred to as red oak wood. The seasoning is very basic, salt, pepper, garlic.
(If you prefer an Argentine flair, prepare my Argentine Chimichurri Sauce and use instead of the seasonings listed here.) I like to use garlic with parsley, Kosher Salt and fresh ground pepper. If you would like a stronger smoky flavor, try the Rachael Ray Applewood Smoked Sea Salt.
It gives a great smoked taste that many people, including my husband, love. I’m not a fan of smoked meat, so it’s a bit too much for me when we cook on the grill, but I do love it on rice and on meat cooked inside.
Remove some of the fat, but leave some on one side. Mix together seasonings and rub it into both sides of meat.
Some people like to add extra pepper, so if you like pepper, use a bit more. It helps make a nice crust while searing.
Dump the hot coals on top of the cold coals. Since we use a Weber Chimney Starter, rather than lighter fluid, the hot coals will start to spread and heat the cold coals, as opposed to all the coals turning white right away.
Place the Tri-Tip on to the Charcoal Grill, fat side up and give it a good sear, about 4 minutes. Flip over the meat and sear the other side for about 4 minutes.
Move the Tri-Tip over to the other side of the Charcoal Grill (in my case, to the left) and close the lid for ten minutes. Open the lid and flip over the Tri-Tip. Close the lid again. After ten minutes, insert a thermometer into the meat. For rare to medium rare, the Digital Meat Thermometer should read 120-130 degrees.
Cover the meat and allow it to rest for 15 minutes, so that the juices will redistribute and not all leak out when you slice the Tri-Tip.
Slice the meat thin and against the grain.
Garnish with Argentine Chimichurri Sauce or Gremolata, if desired and serve with Mexican Corn on the Cob (Elote), Creamy Mashed Potatoes, Garlic Whipped Potatoes, or Mushroom Risotto and a green vegetable.
- J.A. Henckels Classic 7-inch Hollow Edge Santoku Knife
- Amco Advanced Performance 18/10 Stainless Steel Measuring Spoons
- Alton Brown Salt Box
- John Boos Maple Cutting Board with Groove
- Microplane Stainless Steel Zester
- OXO Stainless Steel Tongs
- Digital Meat Thermometer
- Extra Large Charcoal Grill
- Weber Chimney Starter
- Rachael Ray Applewood Smoked Sea Salt
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Here is the handy printable recipe:
Santa Maria Style Barbecue Grilled Tri-TipPrint Pin Rate
- Mix together seasonings and rub into both sides of meat.
- Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for indirect (one side of grill) heating.
- Add soaked wood chips to fire, if using.
- Place tri-tip over fire, fat side up and brown well, about 4 minutes.
- Turn over and brown the other side.
- Move meat to the other side of the grill, without the fire and close the cover.
- Turn over meat every 10 minutes until thermometer reads 125-130 degrees for medium rare.
- Remove from grill and rest for 15 minutes. Slice across the grain.