Grilled Santa Maria Tri-Tip

Mark Boughton/styling: Teresa Blackburn
  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Prep: 210 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins


1tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
2teaspoons salt
1/2tablespoon paprika
1teaspoon garlic powder
1teaspoon onion powder
1teaspoon dried rosemary
1/4teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 to 2 1/2pounds beef tri-tip roast
1/2teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/3cup red wine vinegar
1/3cup vegetable oil
4 garlic cloves, crushed


  1. Combine black pepper, salt, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, rosemary, and cayenne in a small bowl. Rub on to all surfaces of the tri-tip. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours. Remove and let sit out for 30 minutes at room temperature. Combine mustard, vinegar, vegetable oil and crushed garlic in a jar with a lid and shake vigorously until emulsified. Prepare charcoal or gas grill.
  2. Place meat on grill and brush with oil and vinegar mixture. Turn every 3 to 4 minutes, basting generously each time. Grill 25 to 30 minutes for medium-rare (internal temp of 135F.). The outside of the roast will get very dark and develop a charred crust—this is desired and one of the signature characteristics of this barbecue recipe. Remove meat from grill to a large platter. Let rest 15 minutes before slicing in 1/4-inch thick pieces across the grain. Serve as you would any barbecued beef, but in California this is often served with tortillas and salsa.

Nutritional Info *per serving

  • Calories 334
  • Fat 21g
  • Cholesterol 65mg
  • Sodium 869mg
  • Carbohydrate 2g
  • Fiber 1g
  • Protein 33g