Tri-Tip and how to season it, cook it, and slice it.

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Smoking Fanatic
Original poster
May 31, 2015
I posted a picture of my new Santa Maria attachment this morning. A few people have sent me questions on making tri-tip. First and foremost let me tell you that I am from Santa Maria. I am now 40 years old. The old ranches I used to work at when I was a kid are now all gone and are now vinyards with wineries. However this whole thing started out pretty much in the 60's. My grandfather was an Elks member then. He said they would put these different cuts of meat on these long skewered poles and would cook them like that. Now Santa Maria BBQ is not tri-tip only. It's chuck roast, rib roast, tri-tip, top round roast etc...In the 60's you also had a butcher in town selling the cut tri-tip which was popular around some of the old school Mexican cowboys who also just dug pit in the dirt and threw skewered meat over the pits. It was not always tri-tip either just whatever was available. The butcher in town made it popular amoung outsiders from Fresno and Bakersfield. Anyway the parks and rec in the late 60's decided to build BBQ's for a few of its parks and went with the Argentine style since it was cheap and easy to maintain. Funny part about this is the idea was borrowed from the Fresno area. SO how to season it.....what ever you want. Some people swear by Pappy's and it strikes my gag reflex. Some like nothing....some use just tradition salt and pepper like I do and at times garlic salt. In many tri-tip competitions, most judges look for only salt and pepper. What is the method? me personally I like smoked, wood fired, and even in the oven. Again it doesn't matter on the method. Including the type of wood or charcoal. Personally over fire I like basic oak or red oak. Love apple and Pecan in there too and even for smoking. So again this is your own preference. And how you finish it is entirely up to you. Sear it, rest it, broil make your own flavor. Now if there is one thing that can make a tri-tip to go from tender to chewy is the way it is cut. Always cut across the grain. OK all done....secret is as you can see there is no secret. Make it how you want and don't let any California moron tell you otherwise. I can claim that because my family had a part in it. Nothing nastolgic about it either like idiots on food network like to attempt you to believe. I have lived in Napa too. It's not a Tuscan charm like Food network and HGTV want you to think. Bunch of BS!!!! The stupid place got into the heads of the locals of Santa Maria 20 years ago to say "lets be the Napa of the south". And the traditional industries are now ruined!! Napa folks are now claiming they were the originators to cook tri-tip. doesn't matter. Cook it....crap it out and go and get another one to cook!!!
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Reactions: emuleman
Ha Ha! Great post!

I never new the origin of the tri tip.

I just know I really like them!

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