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Santa Maria Grilled Tri-Tip Beef

In this video, you’ll see how to make grilled Santa Maria-style tri-tip beef. It’s a California classic—charred almost black on the outside, beautifully pink on the inside. It starts with a basic dry rub. You’ll also make a simple basting sauce with garlic, mustard, vegetable oil, and red wine vinegar. The key to grilling the tri tip is to get the signature very dark, caramelized crust. Chef John will show you the tricks to getting it done just right. It’s a great cut of beef for this type of high-heat barbequing. Very flavorful and extremely juicy. Watch the video, then get the recipe for Chef John’s Santa Maria Grilled Tri-Tip Beef. If you like, serve it with Santa Maria Beans, tortillas, and salsa.

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  • Lee Travis

Any one cooked it indirect over a pan of beer with tri tip on heating rack and heat is on opposite side. Cook on low after you have seared it with rub. Cooking time about 3 to 4 hours.

  • rib busting

Wow, familiar recipe, from those long ago days at the Cal-Poly Campus on the Central Coast of California at San Luis Obispo. I cooked tons, really tons of Tri Tip BBQ for those Poly BBQ's at Poly Grove on the Campus, for so many special catered events including one gig at the Hearst Property, La Cuesta Encantada aka Hearst Castle for a meeting of the Board of Trustees of the State University System. I still like the taste, the product, those Santa Maria small beans, all that salsa and grilled garlic bread. I didn't much care for the smoke, the heat, the grease which came from the charcoal glowing in those deep pit BBQ's that were a signature of Poly Grove outings. Santa Maria style BBQ--that historic grilling method of beef and poultry cooked over a fire pit, those huge racks raised and lowered over the heat source by chains. Better memories now years after all that heat, smoke and grease...if I remember we'd do 175 pounds to 225 pounds of tri-tip for each outing.

  • Gary Rogers

Chef John BIG BIG mistake by not showing how to cut on the diagonal. As previous writer noted, it will be very tough if you do not cut across the meat. There is a huge difference in texture. Gary Rogers