Recipe from The Sunset Cookbook
Santa Maria-style Grilled Tri-tip
Grilling over red oak, the local wood in Santa Maria, gives this tri-tip beef a wonderful rustic flavor.

Serves: 8
TIme: 1½ hours

  • 2 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1½ tbsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1 beef tri-tip (2 to 2½ lbs.), preferably with some fat on one side
  • 2 cups red oak chips (optional; see Quick Tip below), soaked in water for at least 20 minutes

1. In a small bowl, mix garlic powder, salt, pepper, and parsley together; rub all over and into meat. Let stand 30 minutes at room temperature.

2. Meanwhile, prepare a charcoal or gas grill for indirect medium-high heat and add chips, if using, to grill. Set tri-tip over direct heat, fat side up, and sear until nicely browned (close lid on gas grill), 3 to 5 minutes; turn over and sear other side.

3. Move tri-tip over indirect-heat area and grill, turning every 10 minutes or so, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part registers 125° to 130°, 25 to 35 minutes.

4. Transfer tri-tip to a cutting board and let rest at least 15 minutes (keep grill going if you are making garlic bread; see recipe on opposite page). Slice meat across the grain as thin or as thick as you like.

Quick tip: Find red oak chips online from Susy Q’s Brand (

Per serving: 290 cal., 50% (146 cal.) from fat; 32 g protein; 16 g fat (6.1 g sat.); 1.8 g carbo (0.3 g fiber); 1,158 mg sodium; 72 mg chol. 

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