Simple Sundays | Santa Maria Tri-Tip: It's All In the Rub

Simple Sundays | Santa Maria Tri-Tip: It's All In the Rub

I hope you’re enjoying your Memorial Day weekend. In case you haven’t ironed out your menu, I wanted to usher you over to my favorite recipe for a Santa Maria Tri-Tip. With origins from the Central Coast, in the small town of Santa Maria just north of Santa Barbara, this is quintessential California on the grill.

The trick to this classic is all in the rub. And if you’re lucky to find a butcher who can provide you with a tri-tip that has not been fully trimmed of all its fat, then you will hit the jackpot. You may shudder to hear me recommend selecting a cut with some fat left on the meat, but believe me, as you grill this hunk of tastiness, the fat will melt into the fabulous zesty spice rub, and coax the tri-tip into succulence supreme.

My personal favorite recipe for a Santa Maria Style BBQ Oakwood Grilled Tri-Tip was featured on an old episode of BBQ with Bobby Flay, from a gentleman named Frank Ostini. It’s a recipe I turn to time and again, and though I may tweak it here and there, I have come to realize that the recipe, as written, is just about perfect. I like to make a big batch of the rub and keep it on hand; when I’m in a pinch, I can bang out a Tri-Tip in a jiffy.

I hope you like it! Go get your grill on!

Santa Maria Style BBQ Oakwood Grilled Tri-Tip

Comments

    • Liren

      Belinda, it would be so fun to do a cookout, wouldn’t it!?

  1. Katty's Kitchen

    DROOL…can I come over, too? Love tri-tip AND the Central Coast AND so many of the wines from Sideways country. I’ll bring a bottle! :)

    Reply
    • Liren

      One day we will have to have big cookout. I agree there are so many wonderful wines from the Central Coast, too – what a perfect meal that would be !

  2. Kay Ecker

    What a great post, love your beautiful pictures! I love tri-tip and yours looks delicious :o) I love going to the Hitching Post too!

    Reply
  3. Priscilla - She's Cookin'

    Yep, first had Santa Maria tri-tip at the Hitching Post years ago – can’t beat it! Your tri-tip is grilled to perfection. Although I use more of a cajun rub – its is definitely all about the rub :) Hope you’re enjoying a relaxing long weekend, Liren.

    Reply
  4. kristy

    Hmmm..mm… your mixed spices sounded amazing. Must be so flavourful & delicious. Thanks for sharing it. Have a great day ahead.
    Kristy

    Reply
  5. pachecopatty

    Hi Liren, I enjoyed meeting and speaking with you on Sunday. You have a wonderful inspiring blog with so so many delicious recipes. This tri-tip recipe would be the star at any holiday weekend party, thanks for passing on the recipe;-)

    Reply
  6. Liz

    Who could resist that gorgeous slab of rare beef? I’ll definitely try this rub~

    Reply
  7. Candace

    If you head to the central coast you can find a fantastic seasoning called “Susie-Q”. They sell it in grocery stores and there really is no beating it. I grew up in Santa Maria and have to say that nothing beats a fabulous tri-tip.

    Reply
    • Liren

      Hi Candace, the next time I am in the central coast I will absolutely look for the Susie-Q seasoning. In fact, who knows, I might be lucky enough to find it up here in the Bay Area, so I will keep my eyes open. Thanks for the suggestion!

  8. mikey dolonge

    you have to cut it AGAINST the grain!
    split it in half than cut at 90 degrees the cut.
    it makes it much more tender!

    Reply
Kitchen Confidante