Santa Maria Smoked Tri-Tip


  • 2 1/2 pounds beef tri-tip with fat cap

Santa Maria Rub

  • 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon finely ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dry rosemary (or fresh, finely minced)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry sage


  1. Mix ingredients in bowl.
  2. Place tri-tip in baking pan.
  3. Cover all sides with dense layer of rub.
  4. Leave at room temp for 1-1.5hours.
  5. Start charcoal on one side of grill for direct & indirect heat.
  6. Bring grill/smoker to 250/300 degrees - add preferred chips (oak or hickory are recommended).
  7. Sear tri-tip on all sides over direct heat (for grill only).
  8. Place tri-tip on indirect heat with fat cap up.
  9. Cook indirectly for 45 minutes - 1.5hours.
  10. Pull meat when internal temp is 135 degrees.
  11. Rest for 10 minutes covered.
  12. Slice against the grain.
  13. Serve with horseradish sauce, or a spicy mustard with a spicy pickle relish.
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