Mouth-watering Santa Maria tri-tip sandwich recipe

With its tender and juicy meat, tangy sauce, and delightful combination of flavors, the Santa Maria Tri-Tip Sandwich is a true gem in the world of barbecue cuisine. Trust me, when you take a bite of this mouth-watering sandwich, your taste buds will thank you.

If you’re looking for a recipe that’s perfect for any occasion – whether it’s a weekend cookout or weeknight dinner with family and friends – then look no further! This recipe is sure to be a hit among foodies and BBQ enthusiasts alike.

Now, I know what you’re thinking – cooking tri-tip might sound intimidating. But don’t worry! The marinade and rub ingredients are easy to find and the recipe is simple to follow. Plus, once you’ve mastered it, you’ll be able to impress your guests with your new-found culinary skills!

So let’s get started on this delicious adventure!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Santa Maria Tri-Tip Sandwich
Santa Maria Tri-Tip Sandwich

Are you in the mood for a delicious and juicy sandwich that will make your taste buds dance with joy? Look no further than the Santa Maria Tri-Tip Sandwich recipe! This dish is a perfect combination of savory and flavorful spices that blend perfectly with the tender cut of beef tri-tip.

When it comes to grilling, this recipe is a game changer. The rub ingredients are a perfect blend of cayenne pepper, paprika, dried mustard, salt, garlic powder, cracked black pepper, black pepper, coffee beans, Worcestershire sauce, parsley and olive oil. The magic kicks in when you grill the beef tri-tip. The result is a perfectly seasoned and juicy tri-tip that delivers a heavenly taste in every bite.

What sets this recipe apart from others is its history. Legend has it that this recipe originated from Santa Maria Valley in California as part of the Santa Maria style barbecue. This area has a long history of slow cooking and wood-grilled meats that have now become popular around North America.

This recipe also offers versatility – whether you prefer to grill or slow-cook the beef tri-tip, it adapts to different cooking methods easily. It’s easy to prepare and with minimum fuss you can create an absolutely lip-smacking sandwich! You can pack it up for lunch or enjoy it during outdoor gatherings with friends and family.

Finally, this recipe provides ample opportunity for personalization. Add your favorite toppings like pickled onions or your favorite barbeque sauce – the possibilities are endless!

In conclusion, there’s just so much to love about this recipe. With its rich flavors, flexibility and cooking simplicity – you cannot go wrong with the Santa Maria Tri-Tip Sandwich Recipe.

Ingredient List

 Sink your teeth into the savory Santa Maria Tri-Tip Sandwich!
Sink your teeth into the savory Santa Maria Tri-Tip Sandwich!

One of the keys to a wonderful Santa Maria Tri-Tip Sandwich is to use fresh and quality ingredients. Below you will find a list of everything you need to whip up this mouthwatering treat.


  • 1 tri-tip roast (approximately 2-3 pounds)

Rub Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

  • 2 tablespoons paprika

  • 1 tablespoon dried mustard

  • 2 tablespoons salt

  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder

  • 1 tablespoon cracked black pepper

Coffee Rub Ingredients (Optional)

  • 2 tablespoons coffee beans (ground)

  • ½ cup Worcestershire sauce

Sauce Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup chopped parsley

  • ¼ cup ketchup

  • 2 cups chicken broth

  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

Sandwich Toppings:

  • Red onion, thinly sliced

  • Pickled onion (optional)


  • French rolls or sourdough bread.

Olive Oil

Using quality extra virgin olive oil in this recipe is highly recommended. Its freshness and fruity aroma will enhance the overall taste of the sandwich.

The Recipe How-To

 This sandwich is loaded with juicy, tender meat and zesty toppings.
This sandwich is loaded with juicy, tender meat and zesty toppings.

Now that we have all our ingredients ready, let’s get started on creating this mouth-watering Santa Maria Tri-Tip Sandwich.

Preparing the Meat
Step 1: Marinating the Tri-Tip

Firstly, we’ll prepare the meat for the grill. Take a 2-3 pound tri-tip roast and place it in a large ziplock bag.

Step 2: Making the Santa Maria Rub

Next, it’s time to create our Santa Maria rub. Mix together 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper, 2 tablespoons paprika, 2 tablespoons dried mustard, 1 tablespoon salt, 1 tablespoon garlic powder, 1 tablespoon cracked black pepper and 1 tablespoon ground coffee beans. This creates the perfect blend of spicy, smoky and savory flavors that complements the tri-tip roast so well.

Step 3: Rubbing the Meat

Once combined, rub two-thirds of the mixture over both sides of the tri-tip roast in the bag, pressing it into the meat firmly. Reserve one-third of the rub for later use.

Step 4: Adding Worcestershire Sauce

Add two tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce to the bag and massage it into the meat, ensuring it is evenly distributed.

Step 5: Let it Rest

Remove any excess air from the ziplock bag and seal it tightly. Place it in a bowl or dish in case there are any leaks, and marinate overnight in the refrigerator. This allows for maximum flavor absorption by making sure all those exciting spices penetrate deep into our prime cut of beef.

Grilling and Slicing
Step 6: Preheat your Grill

Preheat your grill to medium-high heat around 375°F – 400°F. You can use either charcoal or gas grill depending on your preference but remember that a wood-grilled smoky flavor from oak or cherry adds extra texture to your beef which is unusual than any other grilling style.

Step 7: Sear Both Sides

Once heated, remove tri-tip from ziplock and discard remaining marinade seasoning. Grill both sides of our tri-tip for about four minutes each side or until nicely seared which will give you those perfect charred flavor notes making every bite better than the last.

Step 8: Lower The Heat

Lower heat or move to indirect heat (stick away from any direct heat source) if possible and continue cooking until internal temperature inserted with a thin probe thermometer reaches between 130°F -140°F. Cooking time varies according to size and thickness, so gauge doneness for optimal results.

Step 9: Let It Rest Again!

Once cooked to desired doneness, remove from grill surface and allow to rest in a cutting board loosely covered with aluminum foil for roughly ten minutes before slicing. This step is crucial when cooking meat so that all its juices get redistributed throughout before slicing because you don’t want them running out which would

Substitutions and Variations

 A perfect BBQ meal, this sandwich screams summer with every bite.
A perfect BBQ meal, this sandwich screams summer with every bite.

If you’re looking to put your own spin on this Santa Maria Tri-Tip Sandwich Recipe, there are a number of substitutions and variations that you can try.

First of all, when it comes to the rub ingredients, you can experiment with different combinations and adjust the amounts to suit your taste. For example, if you prefer a spicier sandwich, you can increase the cayenne pepper or paprika. On the other hand, if you don’t like heat all that much, you may want to reduce these spices or leave them out entirely.

In addition, while the recipe calls for coffee beans to be included in the rub, you can also try using espresso powder or even black tea leaves. Both of these alternatives will impart a unique flavor to the meat.

When it comes to the sauce for the sandwich, ketchup and chicken broth form the base of the recipe. However, you can experiment with different sauces and condiments to create unique flavor combinations. For example, try adding BBQ sauce or hot sauce for a spicy kick.

Finally, while this recipe is designed for tri-tip roast specifically, you can also use other cuts of beef (such as skirt steak or flank steak) as a substitution if tri-tip is not available. Just keep in mind that if you use a leaner cut of meat, you’ll need to take care not to overcook it so that it remains tender and juicy.

No matter how you choose to customize this Santa Maria Tri-Tip Sandwich Recipe, be sure to take note of any adjustments and substitutions so that you can recreate your perfect easy-to-make grilled steak sandwich time and time again.

Serving and Pairing

 You won't be able to resist the smoky, char-grilled flavor on this tri-tip masterpiece.
You won’t be able to resist the smoky, char-grilled flavor on this tri-tip masterpiece.

Now that you’ve grilled the perfect easy and juicy tri-tip, it’s time to serve and pair it with delicious sides and beverages.

For an authentic Santa Maria-style barbecue experience, keep it simple yet mouthwatering by serving the tri-tip sandwiches with some traditional Santa Maria sides like pinquito beans (small pink beans), salsa, and garlic bread.

Alternatively, you can offer a mixed green salad with fresh ingredients like cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and red onion, dressed in a vinaigrette made from olive oil and red wine vinegar. The light and refreshing salad will nicely balance the richness of the tri-tip sandwich.

As for the drinks, you can choose between various options depending on your preference. A cold beer or a glass of full-bodied red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah will complement the hearty flavors of the meat. Alternatively, if you prefer non-alcoholic beverages, you can go for iced tea or lemonade.

If you’re hosting a larger gathering or a restaurant, consider adding some other smoked tri-tip meat options on the menu along with this beef tri-tip sandwich recipe. You can also serve them with different types of BBQ sauce for added flavor options.

Whatever way you serve it, this Santa Maria Tri-Tip Sandwich Recipe is sure to impress your guests and satisfy their hunger cravings. So get ready to rock their taste buds at your next cookout or get-together!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Pair with a cold beer for the ultimate casual dining experience.
Pair with a cold beer for the ultimate casual dining experience.

As much as we all love the experience of grilling and eating a juicy tri-tip sandwich fresh off the grill, sometimes it just isn’t possible to consume it all at once. Lucky for us, this Santa Maria Tri-Tip Sandwich recipe is perfect for both make-ahead meals and storing leftovers.

If you want to plan ahead, you can marinate and season the tri-tip roast in advance, so when it’s time to grill, all you need to do is throw it on the barbecue. Additionally, you can slice up the meat in advance and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.

If you have leftover tri-tip meat after your meal, there is no need to worry! This tender cut of beef stays juicy and delicious even when reheated. You can reheat your leftovers in a variety of ways depending on your preference. For maximum flavor, I recommend heating up the sliced tri-tip on the grill or in a pan with a little bit of olive oil until heated through.

However, if you’re short on time or looking for an easy solution, using a microwave is also an option. Just place the desired amount of tri-tip meat in a microwave-safe bowl and heat up for one minute intervals until heated through.

If you want to keep things interesting and mix things up in your sandwiches, try pickling some onions or adding a dollop of BBQ sauce to your reheated meat before placing it onto your sandwich. These simple additions will add even more flavor to this already delicious Santa Maria Tri-Tip Sandwich recipe.

No matter how you choose to enjoy your Santa Maria Tri-Tip Sandwiches or how you choose to store and reheat the leftovers, this recipe guarantees that each bite will be flavorful and juicy from start to finish.

Tips for Perfect Results

 This sandwich is sure to be hit, perfect for your next family cookout or game day gathering.
This sandwich is sure to be hit, perfect for your next family cookout or game day gathering.

As someone who has grilled many tri-tip roasts in their lifetime, I’ve come to learn a few tips and tricks for achieving the perfect Santa Maria Tri-Tip Sandwich. Here are some key things to keep in mind:

Firstly, a great rub is essential for giving your beef tri-tip that signature Santa Maria flavor. Don’t skimp on the rub ingredients – use plenty of paprika, cayenne pepper, dried mustard, garlic powder, salt, and cracked black pepper for a mouth-watering spice blend.

When grilling your tri-tip, be sure to sear both sides over high heat before moving the roast to a cooler section of the grill to finish cooking. This will give you a nicely charred exterior while keeping the inside juicy and tender.

Another important tip is to let your tri-tip rest for at least 5-10 minutes after removing it from the grill. This allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in a more evenly flavored and juicy piece of beef.

For those who don’t have access to an outdoor grill or smoker, using a slow cooker or oven can also produce delicious results. Simply sear your tri-tip on the stovetop first before transferring it to the slow cooker or oven with some added liquid (such as chicken broth or beer) for added flavor.

Lastly, toppings are key when it comes to putting together a great Santa Maria Tri-Tip Sandwich. I recommend trying out pickled onions or sliced red onion, along with some fresh parsley and a dollop of tangy BBQ sauce or ketchup.

Follow these tips and you’ll be well on your way to making perfect, easy Santa Maria-style barbecue right at home!


Now that you’re familiar with the recipe and have a better understanding of how to prepare it, you may still have some questions on your mind. I’ve answered some commonly asked questions below to ensure you stay confident and successful in the kitchen while making Santa Maria Tri-Tip Sandwich. So, let’s dive in!

What goes with a Santa Maria tri-tip?

In this article, we’ll be exploring a delicious menu consisting of juicy tri-tip, zesty fresh salsa, perfectly grilled French bread, a refreshing tossed green salad, and hearty slow-cooked pinquito beans. Join me as we dive into the details of each dish and discover how to prepare a satisfying and satisfyingly flavorful meal.

How do you thin a tri-tip for sandwiches?

To maximize the tenderness of the tri tip beef cut, it’s best to slice it into thin pieces perpendicular to the grain. In order to do so, first cut the tri tip in half vertically at the point where the grain intersects. Then, proceed to slice each half against the grain, taking care to ensure that each cut is perpendicular to the grain. By following this technique, you’ll be able to see the texture of the steak in every slice and enjoy the full robust flavor of this delicious beef cut.

Why is it called Santa Maria tri-tip?

The tri-tip, a triangular cut from the bottom sirloin, rose to prominence as a staple of Santa Maria-style barbecue in the 1950s thanks to a skilled local butcher named Bob Schutz. Even President Ronald Reagan was known to enjoy this flavorful dish.

How do you cook Costco Santa Maria tri-tip?

For a perfectly cooked tri tip, start by searing the bottom until it gets a desirable brown color. Then, grab a pair of tongs and sear the edges of the tri tip by pressing them against the pan for 20 seconds on each side until they turn brown. Once the searing is done, switch off the burner and bring out your oven. Preheat it to 425°F and let it achieve the desired temperature before putting the tri tip inside. Bake for approximately 12 minutes for each pound of meat to achieve a juicy, cooked tri tip.

Bottom Line


If you are looking for a barbecue-inspired dish that can give you a taste of the Santa Maria Valley, then this Santa Maria Tri-Tip Sandwich recipe is definitely worth trying. The tender cut of beef, juicy and seasoned with a delicious rub of spices, coffee beans, and Worcestershire sauce, is cooked to perfection over wood grill or smoked to infuse flavor intensities.

The result is nothing less than amazing. This sandwich is more flavorful and satisfying than your average burger or sandwich. It’s no wonder why it has become a staple in Santa Maria style barbecue dishes.

Whether you’re an experienced cook or a beginner in the kitchen, this recipe is perfect and easy to prepare at home. Plus, you have plenty of room to be creative with your choice of toppings and sides.

So don’t miss the opportunity to try this exquisite Santa Maria Tri-Tip Sandwich recipe. Impress your family and friends with an excellent restaurant-style meal right at your own home. It’s the perfect way to enjoy a delightful meal while indulging in the love of cooking and tasting incredible flavors you won’t forget anytime soon!

Santa Maria Tri-Tip Sandwich

Santa Maria Tri-Tip Sandwich Recipe

BBQ tri tip.
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: < 60 Mins, Meat, Roast Beef
Cook Time: 1 hour
Calories: 24.6kcal


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup red onion, finely slices
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup steak sauce, A1
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coffee beans, ground
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


  • 1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried mustard
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/3 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 lbs tri-tip roast
  • 12 slices French rolls


  • To make the barbecue sauce:
  • In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil.
  • Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the chicken broth, ketchup, steak sauce, parsley, Worcestershire sauce, ground coffee, and black pepper.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil; reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 10 minutes.
  • Purée the sauce in a food processor or blender.
  • Allow to cool, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  • Bring to room temperature before serving.
  • To make the dry rub:
  • In a small bowl, mix together the black pepper, garlic powder, salt, dried mustard, paprika, and cayenne.
  • Press the mixture into the surface of the tri-tip, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.
  • Follow the grill’s instructions for using wood chips.
  • Sear the tri-tip directly over medium heat, turning once, until both sides are seared, about 5 minutes total.
  • Then grill the tri-tip indirectly over medium heat, turning once, until the internal temperature is about 140 degrees Fahrenheit for medium-rare, 20 to 30 minutes more.
  • Allow to rest for 5 minutes before slicing thinly on the diagonal against the grain.
  • Build each roll with slices of meat and a dollop of sauce.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature.

Your own notes


Serving: 60g | Calories: 24.6kcal | Carbohydrates: 3.1g | Protein: 0.6g | Fat: 1.3g | Saturated Fat: 0.2g | Sodium: 295.4mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 1.6g

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