clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Santa Maria Style Tri-Tip (5 to 8 Servings)


  • 1 (2½ to 4 pound) tri-tip

For the Santa Maria Rub (the ingredients below will suffice for a 4-pound roast)

  • One tablespoon of kosher salt
  • One tablespoon of finely ground black pepper
  • One tablespoon of garlic powder
  • One tablespoon of onion powder
  • One teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • One tablespoon of dried oregano
  • One teaspoon of dried rosemary (or fresh, finely minced)
  • ½ teaspoon of dried sage


  1. In a bowl, combine the rub’s ingredients.
  2. Arrange the tri-tip roast within a baking pan or a roasting pan with a tight-fitting lid (this way, the rub will be kept from spilling all over the floor).
  3. Apply the rub all over the meat, massaging it with your hands.
  4. Cover the roast in a plastic wrap or foil and set it aside at room temperature for an hour to remove the chill and enable the rub to work.
  5. On one side of your grill, prepare for direct heat, and on the other, prepare for indirect heat. (If you’re using a wood-fired grill, Santa Maria BBQ recommends red oak.)
  6. For about 3 to 4 minutes per side, sear the tri-tip roast. During this time, keep an eye on the roast since one side is usually quite fatty, and when the fat heats up, it might drip down and trigger flare-ups. If flare-ups develop, keep sliding the tri-tip off the flame.
  7. Move the tri-tip off the direct heat portion and set it with the flat side facing upwards on the grill rack once seared on all sides. If you’re using a gas grill that has a top rack, it is recommended to put the roast on that rack and catch the fat drippings using an aluminum tray on the lower rack.
  8. Make sure to maintain a grill temperature between 250 and 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
  9. Cook until the inner temperature of the tri-tip roast reaches a minimum of 120°F for rare results, 130°F for medium-rare, and 140°F for medium.
  10. Depending on the temperature you set your gas grill to, our preferred degree of doneness, and the size of the tri-tip cut you’re working with, the meat should take between 20 to 40 minutes to cook.
  11. After removing the roast from the fire, the inside temperature will rise by at least 5°F.
  12. Remove the roast from the grill as it reaches temperature and let it rest for 10-15 minutes, loosely tent with foil.
  13. To serve, cut the roast across the grain.

This recipe for tri-tip on a gas grill delivers such satisfying results, especially when cooked according to the recipe’s instructions. Also, ensure to pay attention to the timing guidelines in the recipe.

If you’d like to see more inspiration or ideas for cooking a tri-tip roast on a gas grill, check out this video recipe.

  • Author: Bobby