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Santa Maria-style Tri-tip Sirloin

Santa Maria-style Tri-tip Sirloin

Santa Maria-style tri-tip is traditionally barbecued over a California red oak wood fire on an adjustable Santa Maria-style grill.  The sweet smoke gives the meat a distinctive, tasty flavor.  However, you can still prepare a delicious tri-tip at home using Santa Maria-style seasoning and your backyard grill or even in an oven.


  • 2-4 pound tri-tip
  • Santa Maria-style seasoning


  1. Rub the tri-tip liberally with Santa Maria-style seasoning and rest overnight in the refrigerator.  Remove 45 minutes before grilling to allow meat to come to room temperature
  2. Preheat the BBQ for at least 15 minutes to ensure it is very hot.  Make sure grill is clean to prevent sticking
  3. Sear by placing on the hottest part of the BBQ for 3-4 minutes per side.  Don’t be afraid of a little darkness; it gives it good flavor.
  4. Adjust grill height, temperature, or move seared tri-tip to a cooler part of the grill for about 8-10 minutes turning once or twice.  Indirect heat is ideal
  5. BBQ until 120F in the middle for rare or up to 160F for well-done.  Always error on the rarer rather than done side- you can’t uncook it
  6. Remove from BBQ & cover in foil for 10 minutes to allow the meat to rest
  7. Slice thinly perpendicular to the grain.  There are typically two sections of grain in a tri-tip so you will need to adjust the cutting angle while slicing
  8. Serve and enjoy


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