Thursday, January 27, 2011

Texas Doesn't Know Squat About Tri-Tip


Texans needs to bone up on their barbecue. Because it isn't a true barbecue unless you are cooking tri-tip. And you can't find tri-tip on most menus in the restaurants around San Antonio. Heck, most people here don't even know what it is, let alone how to cook it. Man, they are so missing out on some of the most tender, tasty meat available.

Well, I'm from California and I KNOW my tri-tip. In fact, I make some of the most tender, tasty trip east of California. First thing when we came to Texas we explored all the barbecue joints in and around San Antonio. I love barbecue. But, to my surprise, there was no tri-tip to be found. What they push here is brisket. I'm sorry, but brisket is a poor step-brother to tri-tip.

The only way I get my tri-tip fix is to make it myself. I smoke it low and slow. It's the only way to grill it. My biggest challenge is finding it in the local grocery stores. It's technically called the bottom sirloin and that's the way I mostly have to request it. Although, Texas butchers are starting to get used to people asking for tri-tip as more ex-Californians move into the state.


You can season tri-tip just as you would any other barbecue meat, but before we left California I bought a big jar of Santa Maria Style Seasoning. It's the perfect mixture of spices that compliment the tender meat.


You see, there is a golden triangle in California for those in the know about this secret meat. It starts in the Central Californian Coast in Santa Maria. It flows from there to Bakersfield and then to Fresno. In this triangle, flavorful meat is cooked and eaten.

I carry that special knowledge with me. I have my personal routine with tri-tip. I put a dry rub on it, cook it low and slow for a couple of hours, then I bring it into the house, smother it with sauce and wrap it up with tinfoil. I then put it in the oven for about 30 to 40 minutes. Oh, my--so tender, and so delicious.

Try it for yourself and tell me if you don't think it's the best barbecue you've ever had.


  1. That's awful. Please teach Texas what they need to know about this essential food!

  2. The bottles of Santa Maria Style Seasoning shown with the red caps can not be located, where and who mfg them? We Live in Florida but spent many years back and forth from Calif to Fla. used this seasoning and loved it on any meat. Please help if you can.