Let’s talk tri-tip! Grilling tri-tip is one of my hubby’s specialties. He’s made it a million different ways. He’s always trying new marinade recipes and barbecue sauces. I found this marinade in a food magazine interview with Zac Efron about the food he grew up eating (I know it’s strange to get recipes from the High School Musical kid, but the recipe is really yummy). J He said this Santa Maria-Style Tri-Tip was his dad’s specialty. We tried it last week, and it was delicious. This marinade gave the meat a sweet spiciness and it was very tender. We seasoned the tri-tip with my very own barbecue seasoning recipe. I’m going to share these recipes with you now!
We buy our tri-tips when they go on sale and freeze them. We’ve never had an issue with it and have always had tender meat. Sometimes, we even prep it and marinade it before we freeze it so it’s all ready for us when we’re ready to grill.
We always buy the cheaper untrimmed roast and trim ourselves. It’s comes with a heavy layer of fat on one side, and I have found it’s easiest to trim while still a bit frozen.
Santa Maria-Style Marinade:
¾ cup salsa
¼ cup barbecue sauce
¼ cup pickling liquid from jarred jalapenos
2 tsp dry mustard (I didn’t have dry mustard so I used mustard seed which added a great crust to the meat)
½ tsp salt
(I added 4 cloves crushed garlic & rosemary)
2-1/2 lb tri-tip
(I use this for just about anything and everything we grill…beef, chicken, corn on the cob butter, shrimp… I make a huge batch and just store it in mason jars.)
¼ C chili powder (This can be mild, medium, hot, smoked…whatever you prefer)
2 T paprika
2 T brown sugar
2 t garlic powder
2 t onion powder
1 t cumin
1/2 T salt
Combine the marinade in a large plastic bag and place in a dish just in case there’s any leakage.
Add the trimmed roast to the bag and seal. It should marinade for at least 6 hours and up to overnight to allow the flavors to really penetrate. After it’s marinated, take it out of the bag and wipe off excess marinade. Allow it to sit at room temperature for about 2 hours before grilling.
When it’s ready for grilling, season both sides with barbecue seasoning. Grill tri-tip for about 30 minutes for medium-rare, longer if you prefer more well done meat. Let it rest for about 10 minutes before slicing. Slice thinly and enjoy!