Santa Maria Tri-Tip

Tri-tip charcoal grill
Sabrina S. Baksh/Regarding BBQ, Inc.
  • 55 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins,
  • Cook: 45 mins
  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6

Long ago in the days of cattle drives in the Santa Maria Valley, there emerged a traditional cookout known as Santa Maria Barbecue. These days, this tradition consists of grilled beef tri-tip roasts, pinquito beans, and a salad. This is a great style for a cookout and a simple way to prepare the main dish.

What You'll Need

  • 2 to 3 pounds (1 to 1.3 kg) beef tri-tip roast
  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) salt
  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) sugar
  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) black pepper

How to Make It

1. Combine the seasonings and sprinkle over the surface of the beef tri-tip. Set aside for about 30 minutes.

2. Preheat grill to a high temperature. Place tri-tip on the hot grill and sear the surface for about two minutes per side. Move away from the high temperature or reduce to a low fire and continue cooking until done. This is preferably done with the lid up to prevent burning or overcooking but this is up to your discretion based on your equipment.

What you want is a grilling temperature around 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Continue cooking until the meat reaches the desired doneness and remove from grill. Plan on about 45 minutes total cooking time but keep an eye on the meat. Preferably this meat should be served medium rare.

Traditionally this tri-tip is grilled over red oak coals and charcoal grills with adjustable grates. The meat is seared close to the fire then the grate is raised to allow the meat to slow roast until done.