This is a print preview of "Santa Maria Tri-Tip BBQ" recipe.

Santa Maria Tri-Tip BBQ Recipe
by Steve Knowles

Santa Maria Tri-Tip BBQ

Based on Weber's Art of the Grill Tri-Tip Sandwich, but modified to my tastes and who needs the bread, anyway???

Rating: 4.5/5
Avg. 4.5/5 1 vote
Prep time: Southwestern
Cook time: Servings: 8

Wine and Drink Pairings: California Cabernet, Big peppery Californai Zinfandel - well aged, Syrah


  • Sauce:
  • 1T olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion finely diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 C chicken broth
  • 1/4 C ketchup
  • 1/4 C steak sauce (usually A1; doesn't matter as much as you'd expect... )
  • 3T+ finely chopped fresh parsley (matters more than you'd expect)
  • 1/2 C very strong espresso
  • 1/4 t freshly ground black pepper
  • Dry Rub
  • 1 T cracked black pepper
  • 2 t garlic salt
  • 1 t dry mustard
  • 1 t paprika
  • 1/4 t cayenne pepper
  • 2 Tri-tips, 1 1/2 to 2 lbs each, fat trimmed.


  1. Dry Rub
  2. Mix ingredients in small bowl
  3. Press into all surfaces of meat
  4. Wrap in plastic wrap (or big zip-lock) and let sit in fridge for 3-24 hours
  5. Sauce:
  6. Sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil over med-high heat until transparent – about 5 minutes. (I usually do the onion alone for 3-4 minutes, then add the garlic for another 2.)
  7. Add the chicken broth, ketchup, steak sauce, parsley, espresso and black pepper.
  8. Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium and let simmer until reduced to about 1 1/2 cup (about 45 minutes), stirring occasionally.
  9. Chop/grind in food processor to thick sauce consistency - not lumpy, but not smooth, either.
  10. Let cool in fridge; serve at room temperature.
  11. Grill
  12. If using gas grill, add wood chips. Soak wood chips at least 1 hour; add per grill instructions.
  13. Sear both sides of tri-tip (about two minutes/side/direction – rotate 90 degrees for cross-hatch markings)
  14. Cook over indirect medium heat to medium rare – 140 degrees on meat thermometer - about 10 minutes / side. Do not overcook. (Indirect heat means turn one side of grill off, and cook on that side with top closed most of the way.)
  15. Remove from grill – let rest 5-10 minutes – slice thinly against the grain
  16. Serve with sauce on the side
  17. Serve with big, peppery Zinfandel with c.8 years in bottle; Cab or Syrah work well, too, and are more traditional