Authentic Santa Maria Tri-Tip Recipe



Santa Maria Style Tri-Tip

Grilled tri-tip seasoned with a traditional dry rub is the centerpiece of Santa Maria Style BBQ meal.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes


  • 2 cups red oak chips soaked in water for 2 hours (don't skip this, it's what gives the tri-tip its authentic flavor)
  • Santa Maria Style Barbecue seasoning
  • 2.5 lb beef tri-tip


  • Rub your prepared Santa Maria Style seasoning into the meat and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before grilling.
  • Prepare your grill for direct and indirect medium-high heat. Add red oak chips to 30 minutes before you begin grilling.
  • Set your tri-tip over the direct heat, fattiest-side up, and sear about 10 minutes, or until browned. Flip the meat over and sear the other side the same way.
  • Move your tri-tip to the indirect-heat. Cover your grill and let the tri-tip cook 20 to 30 minutes, until a thermometer reads 130 degrees F in the thickest area of the meat.
  • Take the tri-tip off the grill and move to a cutting board. Let the meat rest for 15 minutes. Slice the meat against the grain to serve.


Need the recipe for simple, traditional Santa Maria Style Seasoning for your tri-tip rub? Download the official Santa Maria Valley Cookbook.

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