Santa Maria Tri-Tip

Santa Maria Tri-Tip from Against All Grain #paleo


The weather is seriously warming up around here (90 degrees today!), so we have officially dusted off the grill and our patio furniture and are spending as much time as possible soaking up the vitamin D. I know, you who are on the East Coast and Midwest are rolling your eyes or shaking your fists at me right now. Hopefully this weather will make up it’s mind and you will all see the beauty that is the sun and green hills that we are enjoying right now.

A gorgeous tri-tip from US Wellness Meats was our inaugural meat for the barbecue season. It had been waiting for me in the freezer for the last few months and I was dying to season it and grill it to perfection. My mom always used to grill up tri-tip for large crowds when we were growing up, but they always came pre-seasoned and definitely were not grass-fed, so I came up with a rub that closely resembled what I remembered from childhood. We are from California, so the Santa Maria style Tri-tip is what we most often ate. The flavors hail from the small city in Southern California and yield a mouthful of flavor with each bite. The traditional rub is just fresh cracked pepper, garlic, and sea salt, and anything added past there is kind of at your discretion. I added a little fresh rosemary and a few other things from my cupboard and we all enjoyed it thoroughly!


Santa-Maria Tri-Tip Roast from Against All Grain #Paleo




Santa Maria Tri-Tip

AUTHOR: Danielle Walker - AgainstAllGrain.com


PREP TIME: 10 mins

COOK TIME: 30 mins TOTAL TIME: 40 mins


  • 1½ pound tri-tip roast
  • 1 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped


  1. Rinse the roast and pat it dry with paper towels.
  2. Combine the rub ingredients in a bowl and rub it all over the roast. Let the meat sit at room temperature for 45 minutes.
  3. Preheat one side of an electric grill to medium-high heat or arrange and light the coals to one side of a charcoal grill.
  4. Sear the meat on all sides for 8 minutes, then move it to the opposite side of the grill off of the direct heat. Close the lid and cook for 10 minutes. Flip and continue cooking for 10 minutes or until a thermometer reads 135-140 degrees for medium-rare, 140-145 for medium, or 145-150 for medium-well.
  5. Slice thinly against the grain for maximum tenderness.
  • http://www.dragonmooncreations.com Apryl

    We are also originally from Cali, and totally love our TriTip! Hubby had just asked if this could be on our list for the week, since we are just starting to see warmth (upstate NY). Hopefully it’s warm enough to put it out on the grill like this, if not I’ll just have to improvise inside, seeing this means we HAVE to have it this week lol

  • http://www.tasty-yummies.com Beth @ Tasty Yummies

    this looks amazing. We just moved to California on March 1 and I am just in love with this weather. I cannot believe it. I didn’t know you were in California, where abouts are you? We are in Long Beach! We haven’t gotten a grill yet since ours didnt make the move and we have had so many new things to buy, but this recipe is making me move the grill to the top of our list. I cannot wait to try this.

    • Against All Grain

      Thank you! We’re up in Northern California, so glad you’re loving it here!

  • http://www.theluckypennyblog.com Michelle

    Tri Tip is seriously my favorite food! This looks so good!

  • Danelle

    I am from Santa Maria, and we eat A LOT of tri-tip. It’s best when cooked on a fire pit over red oak. It takes a little longer than a gas or electric grill, but the smokey taste from the oak is worth the extra time!

  • Audrey V

    I grew up in California and learned about the Santa Maria tri tip while I was going to college in San Luis Obispo on the central coast, near Santa Maria , I think Santa Maria is considered central coast, not southern California ;). I brought the tri tip to my little Colorado town, where our local butcher started cutting it. My husband has become famous (in our family, lol) for cooking a tri tip on the grill. He uses oil and Canadian steak seasoning. The secret is to cook it rare, no more than 135 degrees. The best meat ever!