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Tri-Tip Rub

When we lived in Southern California we experienced real good barbecued tri-tip roast. Tri-tip is a triangle-shaped piece of beef from the bottom sirloin. It’s also called a “Santa Maria steak” because Santa Maria, California is where it first became popular. You can barbecue it, smoke it, or roast it in the oven. What I'm sharing with you today is a good rub to prepare this cut of meat for whatever cooking method you choose. This rub recipe is enough for a two pound roast.

Tri-Tip Rub

  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano 
  • 1/4 teaspoon sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 teaspoon herbs de provence or fines herbs (optional)

Mix all ingredients well and rub onto roast lightly coated with olive oil. Wrap the rubbed roast with saran wrap and let marinate for at least 4 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.

When ready to cook unwrap roast. We let it sit at room temperature for an hour before we cook it.
For the grill we place it in the middle of a 3 burner grill with only the outer burners on and cook it to an internal temperature of approx 145 degrees for a medium roast. We place it fat side down for a few minutes and then turned it over to cook it to completion.
If you cook it in the oven it's good to have the roast elevated slightly and not sitting directly on the bottom of the pan. If you don't have an appropriate accessory to elevate it off the pan you can use thick cut slices of onion. In the oven cook it fat side up at 350 degrees until it reaches the internal temp for the doneness your family prefers. We enjoy it at approx 140-145 for medium. Slice the meat across the grain and serve.

This is my favorite way to eat Santa Maria Tri-Tip.


  1. That roast looks like a corned beef. Is that the same cut of meat? Your method sounds delicious, thank you!

    1. Sam I Am, no the roast is a tri-tip but I took the photo of the meat when it was cold not right off the grill. Tri-tip is a nicely marbled piece of meat.

  2. That looks delicious Ellen and your rub recipe sounds fabulous! I will be sure to give this a try!

  3. I just used herbs de provence for the first time and I am in love. Looking forward to trying this.

  4. This looks irresistible and so healthy! I wanna taste this too!

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