Santa Maria Tri-Tip


tri-tip-bbq.jpgThis is a west coast favorite (my east coast friends will not be able to find easily):

A Little History (from Wikipedia):

The tri-tip is a cut of beef from the bottom sirloin primal cut.[1] It is a small triangular muscle, usually 1.5 to 2.5 lbs. per side of beef.

In the United States, this cut was typically used for ground beef or sliced into steaks until the late 1950s, when it became a local specialty in Santa Maria, California, rubbed with salt, pepper, garlic salt, and other seasonings, cooked over red oak wood and roasted whole on a rotisserie, smoked in a pit, baked in an oven, grilled, or braised by putting a pot on top of a grill, browning the meat directly on the grill surface before and after the braising. (The tri-tip is still often labeled the "Santa Maria steak".) Most popular in the Central Coast of California and Central Valley regions of California,[1] it has begun to enjoy increasing popularity elsewhere for its full flavor, lower fat content, and comparatively lower cost.

President Reagan often had Tri-Tips flown into Washington for special gatherings. An even better history of tri-tip can be found on Susie Q's Santa Maria Style BBQ.

Here's a great way to prepare it ...

On the BBQ:


Make a mental note of the grain direction of the roast.
Have a good meat thermometer on hand to check for desired doneness.


One (or more) Tri-Tip Roasts about 2 - 2 1/2 pounds, prefer untrimmed
Olive oil
Susie Q's Santa Maria Seasoning (or any good garlic based seasoning)
Montreal Steak Seasoning (widely available in the spice section of your favorite store)
Mesquite (or red oak) wood chips


Best to let the roast attain room temperature before grilling
Rub roast with olive oil
Sprinkle generously with Susie Q's
Sprinkle generously with Montreal Steak Seasoning


Soak wood chips in water for 30 minutes
Bring grill to HOT!
Add wood chips to charcoal (or smoker box, charcoal or gas grill)
When grill is smoking, place roast fat side down and sear (about 5 minutes)
Turn, continue grilling for about 15 minutes
Turn again and grill until desired doneness (temperature should be 130 degs for medium)
Alternative for untrimmed Tri-Tip: Follow instructiona above, then ...
Place the roast fat side down on hot grill and for about 15 minutes.
Turn and continue grilling for about 15 minutes.
Use a meat thermometer in the thickest portion to obtain the desired doneness. I do medium rare so 125 degs works for us.


Let roast rest for about 10 minutes before slicing (it will continue to cook a bit)
Slice as thin as posssible AGAINST THE GRAIN (important for tenderness)
Leave the slices in the juices to keep it moist and to soak up flavor.
Serve with your favorite accompaniments
A great Cabernet goes well!




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