GRILL THIS: Santa Maria Tri Tip Roast (Grill/Big Green Egg)


The Central Coast of California is where I’m headed next in life; the Santa Ynez Valley, to be more precise. We’ve been going up there for 15 years, whenever we can swing it. It’s beautiful and the closest I’ve come to feeling like I’m where I belong. We are currently remodeling what will be my dream kitchen in a house in the SY Valley, and I couldn’t be more excited for the impending change of moving to the country.

The BBQ/smoked meat specialty in #SYV is the Santa Maria Tri Tip roast. It’s flipping amazing. I love it so much, I made my own version of it, and the recipe is here for y’all to enjoy this summer. This recipe would be best if you had a Big Green Egg or combo grill/smoker, but a regular grill works fine too (and in the comments below, I give slow cooker instructions). This roast is summer grilling at it’s finest, and it makes me wanna do a Grill Happy pdf of recipes. Once I move into the new house, I will be grilling up a storm.

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Santa Maria Tri Tip Roast (Grill or Big Green Egg/Smoker)

Santa Maria Tri Tip Roast (Grill or Big Green Egg/Smoker)

Course Main Dishes
Cuisine Carnivore, Keto, Low Carb, NSNG, Paleo
Servings 6


  • 2-3 pound tri tip roast
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne


  • Lay tri tip roast on a large baking sheet. Whisk together remaining ingredients into a dry rub. Rub all over roast and refrigerate 3-4 hours or overnight. Remove from fridge and bring to room temperature before grilling.
  • Prepare grill or Big Green Egg to 250 degrees. Place tri tip on grill, with a digital meat thermometer inserted into the larger end of the roast (I used the MEATER+, which is a fantastic device), close the lid and let cook 20-25 minutes until internal temperature reaches 115-117 degrees, preferably on indirect heat. Remove from heat and place on baking sheet.
  • Turn grill or Big Green Egg up to 500 degrees, and sear roast on direct heat, 2-3 minutes per side, until internal temp is 145 degrees (medium) or 150 (medium well). Remove from heat and let stand 5-10 minutes. Slice, then serve, reserving excess juices for pouring over meat.


The Tri Tip cut of sirloin roast is also called a Triangle cut. If you are unable to find this cut of roast (I'm talking to you, East Coasters), then you can make this recipe with a Chuck Roast, a Rump Roast, or a Sirloin Roast.
Keyword celiac
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!





  • Can this be cooked in an oven at 250° F? If so, for how long? (I don’t own a grill or “green egg”).

    • Hi Donna-
      If you can’t grill it, then I suggest searing it on all sides on the stove top and then roasting it in the slow cooker on low for 4-6 hours.
      If you have a meat thermometer, you could try the oven approach too!

      • Richard / Reply

        If you don’t have a grill then I have a suggestion for you. Buy yourself a sous vide and sous vide it. I would suggest a 4 to 6 hour soak. Then dry, re-season and reverse sear in a hot cast iron pan or smoking hot oven. Let rest for ten minutes then slice. You will thank me later.

  • Very nice recipe. I love this Santa Maria Tri Tip Grilled Roast. Thank you for share.

  • Kathleen Armstrong / Reply

    My favorite roast is an eye round roast. Would that work in this recipe.

    • It absolutely would, and if you couldn’t grill it, you could do all the spices with the eye of round roast in the slow cooker, and it would turn out delicious!

  • Shevin Okronglis / Reply

    I was so happy I heard the pod cast on Monday, when you and Vinnie discussed this tri tip recipe. My family loved it! My kids said, Anna comes through again! They know that’s for sure as I am always making wonderful dishes from Eat Happy. Thank you!

    • Shevin, you just made my day! And yes this Santa Maria Tri Tip recipe might be in my personal hall of fame, I love it too.

  • Are u cooking the tri tip (direct) heat or with indirect??? On the big green egg?? Thanks

    • you can do the first part of the recipe (the slower cooking part) on indirect heat and the second part (the searing) on direct heat. It cooks rather quickly and the temp is quite low, so if you accidentally get some direct heat flare up, it’s actually a pretty forgiving cut of meat (which is why I didn’t specify in the original printing of this recipe). Thanks for your question, I appreciate it!

  • How would this rub taste on a smoked brisket?

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