This is a specific regional BBQ rub which originates from the Santa Maria Valley in Santa Barbara County, which is on the Central Coast of California. This Santa Maria tradition started around the mid-19th century and beef sirloin tri-tip is classically used and grilled over California oak. This rub is very simple, but very direct with flavors of: black pepper, garlic, hickory smoked sea salt and onion.
NOTE: If you would like to learn more about different types of foods to barbecue, grill or oven roast, please read the “Recommendations for selecting your Beef, Pork, Chicken, Turkey and Seafood” PDF, located in the RECIPE heading at the top of the Home Page.
1) To use the Grate Grind Santa Maria BBQ rub, evenly spray or rub, a little oil on all sides of your Sirloin Tri-Tip. Then grind the rub evenly on all sides of your beef, gently pressing it onto the surface. The amount of rub you grind on is up to your flavor preference. The more you grind on the more of a flavor impact the rub will have. Fig. 1 below is an example of how much rub to grind onto your meat, as a general rule.
NOTE: One word of caution, these rubs are self-contained, meaning that they already have salt in them in the proper ratio to the spices and herbs, so don’t overdo it with grinding the rubs and DON”T add any additional salt.
2) After you have rubbed your sirloin tri-tip, refrigerate it and allow the rub to rest on the meat for at least 20 minutes or up to twenty-four hours. The longer the resting period, the more the rub can penetrate the meat.
Fig. 1 Beef sirloin tri-tip with Santa Maria BBQ Rub ready for the grill!
NOTE: Always buy your meats from a quality reputable stores. Keep all meat under refrigeration as much as possible during preparation. Don’t leave any meats out at room temperature for more than 30 minutes, except when you are ready to cook it. Then let it just reach room temperature prior to cooking, but don’t let time exceed an hour. Food safe guidelines recommend that any proteins (meats in this case) are not exposed to the “Temperature Danger Zone” (40 F. to 140 F) for more than 4 hours for its entire journey to you cooking it. We are informing you of these food safety guidelines, because we want you to have a wonderful flavorful safe food experience, every time.
3) Preheat your grill or oven to 375 to 400ºF. to get a good sear on the outside of the meat. Place your meat on the preheated oiled clean grill (or in the oven in a roasting pan). If you like a more smoked flavor of your food, you can place some moist smoking chips in a small roasting pan directly in the hottest part of your grill. When grilling, please try not to flip-flop the meat back and forth. Place it on the grill and let it cook without being disturbed for as long as possible on each side to get that good searing crust to form. Avoid flare ups with a spray bottle of water. Brown all sides of the sirloin and then lower temperature to 250 to 275ºF. Close the lid of your grill. and allow the sirloin to slowly cook. The lower the cooking temperature and the more slowly it cooks, the more evenly your beef will cook and the moister it will be.
4) If you are looking for a specific temperature of doneness according to your taste and personal preference use this general temperature guide: 125 F. for rare, 130 F. for medium rare, 135 F. for medium, 140 F. for medium well and over 150 F. for well done. The average cooking times for a sirloin tri-tip depend on the size of the sirloin, the temperature you like of your meat and your grill or oven temperature.
5) Once you feel your beef has reached the proper temperature, remove your sirloin from the grill or oven and let it “rest” under a foil tent. There is an activity that takes place now called “carryover cooking”. Once your food is removed from the heat source, it will continue to cook for 5 to 10 minutes for smaller cuts, 15 to 20 minutes for larger cuts of meat. The retained heat in the meat continues the cooking process for a few more minutes, as the meat cools down. Part of the resting period is to allow the internal liquids in the meat, which are forced to the center by the intense cooking heat, and it will take a few minutes for the liquids to redistribute themselves throughout the meat.
Figure 2. Grilled Beef Sirloin Tri-Tip with Santa Maria BBQ Rub.
This is a great rub on an awesome flavorful tender cut of beef, but this rub is also very versatile and can be used on chicken, turkey, pork and seafood!