Santa Maria Tri Trip Recipe

Guest post from Chris....

Santa Maria Tri Tip - Poor man's filet mignon!

I first got excited about Tri Tip on the Big Green Egg after listening to my colleague Matt expound on their delicious virtues.  Easy to prep, quick cook times, satisfied family.  Sounds great right? 

The exact origin of the cut is disputed, but everyone agrees it came from Santa Maria, CA in the 1950s. After several really successful cooks it seemed a no-brainer for an awesome July 4th feast.

Here are the details:


1 Tri Tip steak

Garlic salt

Montreal Steak seasoning - coarsely ground black and red peppers salt and garlic

Olive oil

Rinse the steak and dry with paper towels.  Rub with oil to help the spices stick.  Sprinkle on the spices- garlic first followed by the steak seasoning.  Apply liberally, no need to measure as after thinly slicing each slice will only have a small amount.

Let the steak sit for 30-60 minutes while you prep and light your Egg… this has a dry brining effect as the salt dissolves and is absorbed.Now that the prep is done, let's talk about the grilling process.  Authentic Santa Maria Tri Tips are cooked over red oak coals.  I only had Lazardi mesquite lump but wasn't going to let that get in the way of the 4th!


I've had great luck with the forward sear approach.  Get the egg to 600-650 degrees, direct.  6 minutes, flip for another 5.  You want to get a nice, dark sear.  Sides too.

At this point the tip is about 95degrees.  Perfect.  It's now time to add the placesetter.  It's a bit of a juggling act but the silicon gloves really help.  The temp should've dropped below 400 degrees… target is 350.  Give it another 10-15 and then test with the Thermapen.

I like to pull it at 130 or 135, cover and let rest for another 20minutes or so.


Slice correctly (a topic for another post :D) and enjoy!  

Served with grilled corn on the cob, cabbage slaw and a Williams Selyem 2013 Pinot. 

first time brisket

At last!  Brisket, the penultimate in BBQ.  I’ve been working up to this for a while. After a sh*t ton of research (thanks eggheadforum!) I wanted to start small with a flat.  Before you purists start yapping, keep in mind that it’s just me and the wifey.  Who isn’t a huge beef fan.  Oh, and choice brisket is running $10/lb at the local butcher. A 10+lb packer could be an expensive first date with the most difficult of smoking meats.

I went with a modified Travis method, subbing in for stuff I had or could get.  That Allegro looks pretty legit, but unable to find it the Stubb’s Beef Marinade/TJ’s cayenne combo stepped up to the plate. Following Travis’s method the onion chunks went into the pan with the beer and Stubb’s.  Add cayenne.  Hey, why not?  After rubbing the brisket with yellow mustard and then Dizzy’s it sat in the frig for about an hour while I got the Egg rolling. 


My eggheadforum travels have taught me that smoke is absorbed better by cold meat, and I’ve pretty much adopted that approach with all cooks.


12 oz TJ’s india pale ale

TJ’s Yellow Mustard

Stubbs Beef Marinade

Dizzy Pig Raising the Steaks Rub

3 lbs Choice flat brisket

Cayenne Pepper

Pit grid temp locked in at 275 thanks to my handy DigiIQ, love this thing. Used in tandem with my Ivation remote unit provides ultimate flexibility in cook monitoring.


It stalled out at 195 after 4 ½ hours at 275.  Fork test and not quite buttah enough.  Ramped the pit temp up to 320 for 45 min and pulled at 205

I consider this cook a success.  If I’d have more time I would’ve let it ride longer, but the moist/flavor combo more than made up for a little toughness.  Lauren went back for seconds, claiming it was a first.  She’s not a beef fan.  Must’ve done something right ;) Thanks Travis!

ribs n rubs - racks on the BGE

I’ve been honing my BGE skills for 6 months, working up towards the ultimate challenge – brisket.  The biggest challenge now isn’t confidence, it’s the cook time… even the turbo methods I’ve been reading about can take 6 hours.  With our friends coming over later that afternoon, I needed a quicker alternative.  Ribs!

Off to see our friendly neighborhood butcher, Phil who hand-picked 3 meaty racks of baby back ribs from the back room.  I had him remove the membrane.  Saves time and hassle, although be sure to double-check as he left some on one of the racks (lazy Phil!).

Patted down and coated each rack with yellow mustard.  The vinegar in the mustard helps break down and tenderize the meat while cooking.  It’s also helpful for keeping the dry rub on the ribs.

Each rack had a different rub – Andy’s Rub (, Oakland Dust Pork Rub ( and Trader Joe’s Coffee & Garlic rub ( 




For cooking, I followed a modified Car Wash Mike’s protocol (, indirect cook at 275 with the ribs in a v-rack.  Low and slow is great but I was short on time and have had good results with my prior Turbo cooks.

It was definitely a tight fit on the large BGE.  My v-rack is the small BGE branded version (, and works great with smaller racks, pork shoulders or chickens.  Time to get a large one!  Mmmmm… BGE gear...

Spritzed every hour with a combo of apple juice and apple cider vinegar.  Apple chunks for some added smokey goodness.

Total cook time was 4½ hours with a 30 min rest, and they were dee-licious.  I was a Pit-Hero!  My wife set a new PR for # of ribs eaten (5), I got props from my boys Mike and Ryan and their 2 year old daughters went to town.  Andy’s Rub was the hands down favorite, and I gotta say it’s a great all around rub that works really well on chicken, pork, and beef.

jamaican jerk chicken on the big green egg

Upon returning from a magical week in Jamaica, we found ourselves missing everything. Crystal clear caribbean waters, friendly people, local rum, hot, sunny days, and (of course) the jerk chicken. So, as we faced a chilly and gray Sunday in the Bay Area, we decided to give our own version of the chicken a go. We had the foresight to grab some Busha Browne's at the airport on the way back and fired up the egg - super simple and delicious.

4 chicken quarters

Busha Browne sauce or dry rub

- Using Lazzari lump charcoal, get the egg up to 300

- Non- raised direct cook

- 60 minutes total cook time, we flipped at 45 minutes

- Pull off the grill when the chicken's internal temp is 160