Tuesday, September 10, 2019

20 All Time Favorite Tri-Tip Rub Recipes

So many have heard about this delicious, succulent and almost delicately flavorful tri tip roast or steaks.  For those who have not heard about tri tip we can help with a somewhat short explanation. Tri-Tip for the most part is a triangular section primarily located in the front quarters of a steer or cow.  The section resides primarily between the breast and the legs of the animal.  The tri-tip is sometimes known as the "Newport Steak" or "Santa Maria Steak".  The cut of meat is extremely popular in the Central California Coast region where Santa Maria Style barbecue has become synonymous.  We know that there are as many claims regarding how Santa Maria tri-tip came into being as there are recipes for making the desired cut of meat.  Most of the stories start with a butcher and an unwanted cut of meat sometime in the mid to late 1950s. In addition we've heard stories over the years about the cut of meat and it origins in foreign locations such as Germany, France and Spain.

While we believe that the initial idea for the cut of meat will always be in question we also believe that the results of grilling or roasting the cut will not be in question.  This is an amazing cut of meat that when properly grilled or roasted produces phenomenal results.  How often can a cut of meat produce the characteristics of a roast, a steak, a loin cut and more?  Tri-tip is that cut of meat that is so extremely versatile and yet the way in which it is cooked is among the most basic almost "caveman" styles of cooking.

For those who know tri-tip this may be merely a rehearsal of facts and information.  You've already had the pleasure of direct introductions and most likely have produced a few if not many tri-tip meals.  And as for cooking, whether it be grilling, roasting or barbecue there is not 100% correct format.  The format depends on your needs and the results you wish to capture.  If your limited by the confines of your space such as an apartment or shared living quarters then the outside grilling process may never enter into your discussions.  If your in cold or rainy confines then the same may be said of your location. However, if you have access to some method of cooking external to your kitchen stove then the results you produce will be just as good if not better than what everyone else can produce.  I myself have tried oven roasting, direct grilling, barbecue, and smoking.  The primary difference in the cooking methods is "time and heat source".

Oven roasting will produce wonderful results but searing of the meat may not be as easily done unless a secondary grill plate is introduced.  Smoking is a wonderful format that produces incredible results however, one must have time and the correct amount of heat to produce those cherished results.  The beauty of smoking is the introduction of woods and the richness that each type of wood produces.  Keep in mind that the smoke is not cooking the meat, rather the smoke is flavoring the meat for the end result which of course is eating the results.


Our purpose here in this post is to provide a new listing of tri-tip rub recipes that one can use to produce exceptional results.  We've tried every recipe we list here and can easily tell if the results were decent or epic.  The recipes for tri-tip rubs are not listed in degrees of preference one over another.  The tri-tip rub recipes are listed similar by form.

A word about the true nature of a decent tri-tip rub.  Tri-Tip Rub Recipes are meant to enhance the final taste of the meat.  All that means is that when you bite into the cut portion you are able to taste the beef and the flavoring that you've added.  Now, since tri-tip is a fairly thick cut of meat it can be hard to introduce flavor directly in the center portion.  We know this because over the years we've tried many different ways to achieve internal flavoring.

The most basic method we used to enhance the internal flavor was by direct injection.  We took our tri-tip rub recipe and mixed that in with some liquid ingredients like Apple or Guava juice concentrate then directly injected the mixture into the meat.  In addition the external part of the meat was coated with a basic yellow mustard to assist in the microscopic level of tissue breakdown while also acting as a carrier for the seasoning.  But first we allowed the injected and coated tri-tip to marinate in the refrigerator for about an hour.  Afterward we applied our tri-tip rub generously then put the meat in a container and continued resting the meat for an additional two hours.  After a total of 4 hours of marinating the meat was brought out at least 1/2 hour in advance and allowed to rest in the container on the kitchen counter to achieve room temperature.  Following that marinating and resting effort we prepared our grill and began the process of producing an exceptional tri-tip.

For those of you who don't know we prefer the sear first then roast method.  This method is easy to do and produces exceptional results.  Just sear your marinate tri-tip on each side for about 4 to 6 minutes then move the seared meat to receive indirect heat.  More simply said, move the seared meat away from the primary heat source either to a cooler section of the grill or a section in which one of your burners is turned off if barbecuing outside.   For those who are roasting their tri-tip after searing simply moderate your temperature to around 225 degrees.

There are two schools of thought regarding searing of Tri-tip.  The first says one should sear the meat prior to grilling, barbecue.  The second school of thought says that one should sear the meat after the roasting process.  Searing is the direct effect of the Maillard process and is intended to create a texture differential between the outer surface of the meat and the inner softer material.  Direct searing will produce a brown or brownish crust sometimes known as caramelization and will as many call it "lock in" or "seal in the juices" of the meat.  Reverse or the second form of searing is intended to all the roasting of the meat first so that the internal meat is balanced in cooking.  Afterward the reverse searing method is applied and the is cooked at a high temperature to achieve caramelization.  We opt for the first method because as a practical matter the charcoals may have burned down to such a level that little if any charcoal is left to produce the high heat required.  In fact to get the level of heat necessary you may have to add additional segments of charcoals which after the sear process will be wasted and unused.  Your choice of searing method is dependent on how evenly you want to achieve the doneness of the inner roast.

How to know if you're using the right amount of wood for smoke.  The use of wood and the amount of wood related to smoking tri-tip is critical. Over the years we've used all kinds of wood and wood types.  We've used red oak, and hickory, along with pecan, and alder and peach, apple and various other wood types.  The one thing we've come to know is just how much wood to use and when to introduce wood into the barbecue process.  The average person may get their charcoal source going then immediately add wood into the process.  There are a couple of reasons that you may not want to do that.  First, wood smoke is a coating, it does not cook the meat.  Only heat from the burning of wood or charcoal or other product will cook the meat.  So, when it comes to wood one must first determine what they want the end result meat to taste like.  You must also realize that all woods are not the same, especially in the rate of their burning and also the amount of wood smoke they can impart.

The simplest way to manage wood smoke is just by using a very small amount until your personal confidence rises.  Meaning, after two or three barbecues you will begin to learn just what it takes to properly use wood smoke.  We've found that using too much wood can produce an extremely strong almost acidic taste in the meat, so strong that it almost cannot be eaten.  And over time we learned that a very light use of wood produced the best results.  To help with smoke management and for those that are smoking at home the soaking of woods is a very good way to slow down the burning process and thus truly manage wood smoke.  If this was a commercial operation then by no means would it be possible to soak the wood beforehand.  But for those working out of their homes it may be possible to soak the wood in a container or kitchen sink.

As for the amount of wood we've found that 5 - 6 Ounces and no more is the right amount of wood.  If you should use 1 lb or more then you will most certainly over smoke the meat.  As for placement we've found that smoking will depend on the length of cooking time prescribed for the meat.  If you intend to cook the meat for 5 hours as in a set of baby back ribs then within the first three hours of the 3-2-1 cooking process is the best time for smoking.  We will arrange our soaked 5 Ounces of wood such that as the charcoal burns somewhere just after the first half hour our wood will begin to smoke.  The wood source will continue to smoke when soaked for about 40 minutes to an hour.  We've found that the application of smoke over that period will deliver the best natural wood smoke flavor to the meat. 

So, let's get to the tri-tip rub recipes we believe will produce some awesome results for you.

Brown Sugar Tri Tip Rub Recipe
  • teaspoons Kosher Salt
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoons cumin

Herb Grilled Flattened Rolled Tri Tip
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups herb seasoned croutons
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons hot vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 Tablespoons Jake's Tri-Tip, Steak and Rib Dry Rub
  • Olive Oil

Mustard Glaze
  • 3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Honey
  • 2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/4 Cup Red Wine
  • 3 Tablespoons Yellow Mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon Rosemary chopped
  • 2 Teaspoons Kosher Salt
  • 2 Garlic Cloves diced
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1/4 Cup Orange Juice
  • 3 Tablespoons Jake's Tri Tip, Steak and Rib Rub

Citrus Style Tri Tip, Dry Rub Recipe
  • 4 teaspoons Garlic Powder
  • 2 teaspoons Paprika
  • 2 teaspoons Dried Orange Peel
  • 1 teaspoon Chili Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt

 Santa Maria Tri Tip Rub Recipe
  • 3 Tablespoons Granulated Garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Coarse Ground Black Pepper

Spicy Sweet Tri-Tip Rub Recipe
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon dark or light brown sugar
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon Kosher salt
Homemade Cajun Tri Tip Dry Rub Recipe
  • 8 Tablespoons paprika
  • 3 Tablespoons cayenne
  • 6 Tablespoons ground black pepper
  • 4 Tablespoons garlic ground
  • 3 Tablespoons onion ground
  • 6 Tablespoons sea salt
  • 2 Tablespoons ground cumin
  • 4 Tablespoons dried oregano
  • 4 Tablespoons dried thyme

Chili Cumin Tri Tip Recipe
  • 3 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 Tablespoons black pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons salt
  • 3 Tablespoons garlic
  • 3 Tablespoons chili pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons onion salt
  • 3 Tablespoons ground cumin
  • 3 Tablespoons ground cilantro

Red Wine Vinegar Tri Tip Recipe
  • 2 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 2 teaspoon Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/3 Cup Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1/3 Cup Vegetable Oil

Spicy Grilled Tri Tip Recipe
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne powder
  • 1 whole tri-tip roast, about 2 pounds
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

Rosemary Garlic Tri-tip Rub Recipe
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic salt
  • 1 Tablespoon onion salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Smoked Paprika Garlic Tri-Tip Rub Recipe
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1 Tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp smoked salt

Chipotle Tri-Tip Rub Recipe
  • 1 Tablespoon coarse salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons chipotle chili powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Coffee and Clove Tri-Tip Rub Recipe
  • 2 Tablespoon finely ground coffee
  • 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Spicy Coffee Tri-tip Rub Recipe
  • 2 Tablespoon finely ground coffee
  • 1 ½ Tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 ½ tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoonn brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Lime Citrus Tri-Tip Rub Recipe
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 Tablespoon fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon liquid smoke flavoring
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Splash apple juice

Rosemary Sage Tri-Tip Rub Recipe
  • 1/4 cup Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup finely ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup onion powder
  • 1/4 cup baker's sugar
  • 1/4 cup dried oregano
  • 1 Tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon dry rosemary
  • 1 1/2 tsp dry sage

Brown Sugar Lemon Pepper Tri-Tip Rub Recipe
  1. 1/4 cup brown sugar
  2. 1/4 cup paprika
  3. 3 Tablespoons cracked black pepper
  4. 3 Tablespoons sea salt
  5. 2 Tablespoons lemon pepper
  6. 2 teaspoons chili powder
  7. 2 Tablespoons garlic powder
  8. 2 Tablespoons onion powder
  9. 2 teaspoons celery seeds
  10. 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Simple Tri-Tip Rub Recipe
  • 2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  •  2 tsp. white pepper
  •  2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  •  1 tsp. onion powder
  •  4 Tablespoon. granulated garlic
  •  5 Tablespoon. salt
  •  1 Tablespoon Smoked Paprika

Rosemary Dill Tri-Tip Rub Recipe
  • 1 Tablespoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Celery salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon Onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon Dill
  • 1/4 teaspoon Sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon Rosemary

Fantastic Santa Maria Tri Tip Rub Recipe cooking video

Our Tri Tip Rub Recipes for sale

Tri Tip Steak and Rib Rub
Santa Barbara Rub
San Ysidro Rub Natural Sugar Free
Santa Maria Dry Rub
Memphis Dry Rub Full Flavored and Sugar Free

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