Santa Maria Style BBQ Tri-Tip

Contributed by: Chef Debbi Dubbs

Santa Maria Style BBQ Tri-Tip

Recipe type: Yield: Prep time: Cook time: Total time:

From Chef Debbie Dubs: Santa Maria style bbq tri tip is traditionally made with a simple rub and grilled over hard wood, sliced thin and served with salsa, pinquinto beans and tortillas. You can find bbq’s on most street corners in Santa Maria but if you can’t get there, grill up your own. I prefer a wet marinade for a little extra flavor and sometimes I’d rather cook it in the oven so I’ve offered a recipe for both. Be sure to let it rest after grilling and slice it thin against the grain. Make extra for sandwiches or tacos or heating leftovers up to serve with some nice fried eggs. You’ll want to make sure you have enough so plan on 1/2 # per person.


1/2 cup red wine
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons Worcestershire
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 lemon, juiced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1 tri tip, about 2 1/2 – 3 pounds


  1. -Combine red wine, oil, Worcestershire, soy, lemon juice, garlic and mustard.
  2. -Marinate meat in sauce in refrigerator for up to 2 hours, turning several times.
  3. Grilling Method
  4. -Remove from refrigerator 2 hours before grilling. Grill over medium heat about 15 to 20 minutes on each side, brushing frequently with marinade. For a more accurate temperature use a probe style thermometer that has been designed to be used with a grill. Use the temperature guides below for cooking.
  5. Oven Method
  6. -Preheat the oven to 450°. Remove the meat from the marinade and pat it dry. Discard the marinade.
  7. -Place the tri-tip, fat side up, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Use a probe style thermometer inserted into the center of the meat. Set temperature for 115° – 120° for rare, 120° – 125° for medium-rare or 130° for medium, it is not recommended to cook tri tip higher than 130°, the meat will be tough and dry.
  8. -Transfer the meat to a carving board or platter, cover loosely with foil, and let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes before carving to allow the residual heat to complete the cooking and the juices to stabilize.
  9. -Slice the meat into thin slices across the grain.

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