Santa-Maria Style BBQ Oakwood Grilled Tri-tip


  • 2 (3-pound) tri-tip roasts
  • For Seasoning Salt Mixture:
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons white pepper
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 4 tablespoons granulated garlic
  • 6 tablespoons salt
  • For Basting Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup garlic-infused vegetable oil


Makes 6 servings
  1. Mix together all seasoning salt ingredients in a small bowl.
  2. Whisk together vinegar and oil in a small bowl.
  3. Coat both sides of the tri-tips with half of the seasoning mixture, rubbing it in as you would a dry rub. 
  4. Let rest for 30 minutes at room temperature.
  5. Heat a grill to low. 
  6. Place the tri-tips over a low temperature fire, 1 with fat side up, and the other with fat side down. 
  7. Turn as the first side gets crispy, approximately 6 to 8 minutes. 
  8. Be careful of flare-ups, as the dripping fat will fuel the fire. 
  9. Turn the tri-tips before the heat pushes juices out the top, and continue to turn using this timing method throughout the cooking process. 
  10. After turning, baste with sauce and season lightly, 4 times per side. 
  11. Continue turning until the tri-tips are cooked to your liking. 
  12. Remove from fire and let rest for 10 minutes before cutting into 1/2-inch slices against the grain.