Grilled Santa Maria Tri-Tip

  • Yield 6 servings
  • Prep 210 mins
  • Cook 30 mins

Unbeatable on Independence Day, this tri-tip beef roast is coated with a savory blend of spices then grilled to perfection.

Mark Boughton/styling: Teresa Blackburn


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