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.