Santa Maria Beef Tri-tip


Tri-tip – what a cut!

I’ve had Tri-tip a few times, and what a fantastic cut it is. It’s not that readily available, so unlikely you will find it in your local supermarket, although your local butcher may do it. I got this one from the Pitmaster BBQ Range from The Dorset Meat Company. I’ve been ordering meat from them online for around 2 years now and everything is always spot on.

A Little About Tri-tip

Tri-tip is a triangular cut of beef cut from the bottom of the sirloin, named after its triangular shape.

It’s called Santa Maria because Santa Maria, California is where beef tri-tips first became popular. The history of Santa Maria barbecue dates back to the early 1800s when ranching was the mainstay of the economy was cattle and America’s first cowboys, the colourful vaqueros held large beef barbecues following every cattle roundup.

Preparation and Cook

This Santa Maria Tri-tip came pre-marinated so there was very little (if any) prep to do. I took it out of the fridge about an hour before I wanted to cook it to bring it up to room temperature.

I was cooking this one on the SNS Kettle, which I set up with an indirect and direct zone. The plan was to cook this using a reverse sear. This is where for the majority of the cook the Tri-tip is cooked on the indirect area of the BBQ. Towards the end of the cook, you then move it to the direct area for some direct grilling.

Once done I removed it and wrapped it for 30 minutes whilst I cooked the carrots and broccoli.

The Verdict

I really like this cut. If you haven’t tried it I would really encourage you to give it a go. It’s a real shame that it’s not more widely available, as I am sure if it were it would be incredibly popular.

It is also really easy to cook. I am all about simple, low-effort cooking that delivers great-tasting food and this does that.

An added bonus with this particular cook was that the Tri-tip came pre-seasoned from The Dorset Meat Company so even less effort.


Santa Maria Tri-tip

Tri-tip is a less mainstream cut. This pre-seasoned Tri-tip from The Dorset Meat Company packs loads of flavour and really hits the mark.
Servings 2 people
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


  • 1 400g Tri-tip


  • If your Tri-tip doesn't come pre-seasoned, add your favourite rub and place it in the fridge overnight. Take it out about an out before you want to start cooking.
  • Set your BBQ up with 2 zones, aiming for a temperature of 180-200°C on the indirect side.
  • Place the Tri-tip on the indirect side of the BBQ and cook for around 20 minutes, then turn over the Tri-tip.
    Cooking the Tri-tip Indirectly
  • Keep monitoring the internal temperature of the meat, and when it gets to around 45°C move the direct side of the BBQ, and cook for 2-3 minutes each side.
  • Check the temperature, and when it hits around 50°C removed from the BBQ. If it hadn't hit 50°C, move it back over to the indirect side of the BBQ until the desired temperature is reached.
    Cooked Tr-Tip
  • Remove from the BBQ and wrap for at least 20 minutes. The meat will continue to cook whilst wrapped.
  • Finally, unwrap the Tri-tip and slice across the grain. This is important to ensure you reduce the length of the muscle fibers making the meat as tender as possible.
Course: Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: American, European
Keyword: Alternate cuts, Beef, Tri-tip

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