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Santa Maria Roast Beef

A simple dry rub is enough to turn roast beef into a real crowd-pleaser. The slightly spicy meat is scrumptious the first and second time around, piled on top of fresh crusty bread. —Allison Ector, Ardmore, Pennsylvania
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. + marinating Grill: 1 hour + standing
  • Makes
    6 servings


  • 4 tablespoons paprika
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon celery salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon pepper
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1 beef tri-tip roast or beef sirloin tip roast (2 to 3 pounds)
  • 2 cups soaked hickory wood chips or chunks
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil


  • Combine the first 11 ingredients; rub desired amount over roast. Wrap and refrigerate overnight. Store leftover dry rub in an airtight container for up to 6 months.
  • Remove roast from the refrigerator 1 hour before grilling. Prepare grill for indirect heat, using a drip pan. Add wood chips according to manufacturer’s directions.
  • Unwrap roast and brush with oil; place over drip pan. Grill, covered, over medium-low indirect heat for 1 to 1-1/2 hours or until meat reaches desired doneness (for medium-rare, a thermometer should read 135°; medium, 140°; medium-well, 145°). Let stand for 10-15 minutes before slicing.
Nutrition Facts
4 ounces cooked beef: 294 calories, 16g fat (4g saturated fat), 91mg cholesterol, 324mg sodium, 5g carbohydrate (3g sugars, 1g fiber), 32g protein. Diabetic exchanges: 4 lean meat, 1 fat.


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Average Rating:
  • lshaw
    Jun 13, 2019

    Husband had twice his allowance for meat as per his diet and also said this was more flavorful than a steak he had eaten recently at Ruth's Chris Steak House! I was only able to let the meat sit with the rub on it for 4 hours before grilling time instead of overnight and it still was oh-so good. We brought the meat to 130 degrees internal temperature and let it rest for 15 minutes before carving. Do not overcook to any temperature higher or it might be tough. I used a tri-tip steak, which I had never heard of until this recipe. Had to get it at a meat

  • joyfl5
    May 21, 2019

    To get an excellent tasting outer coat

  • Naomie
    Jul 29, 2018

    Amazing recipe! A California favorite. Can't go wrong with this recipe. Try it as written even if you think you may not care for an individual ingredient. Then add or subtract to your specific palate. My group adores garlic and we always add lots more.

  • Remenec
    Jun 16, 2018

    This recipe has such a unique blend of spices! I wasn't sure if the kids would something so spicy, but they loved it! I will definitely make this recipe again!

  • Lady Fingers
    Jun 2, 2018

    Great recipe. I wasn't familiar with tri-tip roasts until I moved to Northern California, but trust me! They are the perfect piece of beef to cook on the grill, lean and flavorful. It's a triangular cut, so if the point end is thin, you might want to fold that end under, to keep it from overcooking.

  • homemadewithlove
    Jun 1, 2018

    This is Santa maria grilled sirloin in the magazine. I omitted the cumin and used Ribeye steaks. Served with baked potato, beans, and the Spiked Lemonade featured on same pg in magazine (which is fantastic)

  • Jayleen
    Apr 21, 2018

    Wasn't sure I would like this rub because I don't like cumin. It was delish! Used it on a Tri-tip and bbq-ed without wood chips.

  • LPHJKitchen
    Jun 21, 2017

    Whew - this was delish! I kept the ingredients the same but decided to throw this in the slow cooker - without the wood chips of course. It was very flavorful! We shredded it and made tacos out of it. So good! Great on sandwich bread the next day too!

  • daysoff
    Dec 22, 2011

    Every year we buy 2 rib eye roasts for a family get together. I have tried many rubs over many years. Finally; this this is the best. I followed the directions for prime rib cooking. If you like a slightly Southwest flavor then this is without a doubt the recipe to use, it will become a doover in my recipe box.Daysoff

  • DeeDeeDi
    May 30, 2011

    This was a delicious Tri-tip recipe. My family loved the this recipe and we will BBQ our Tri-tip this way from now on.