Santa Maria Seasoning paired with beef - especially tri tip - is a match made in heaven. While I can take zero credit for this magical pairing,I can share my recipe to make your Santa Maria Seasoning. Santa Maria Seasoning is smoky, savory, and slightly spicy. Basically, it's amazing on everything.
Our Santa Maria Seasoning recipe shouldn't be limited to beef. In fact, we highly recommend trying it with veggies, turkey, and as a base for marinades.
Dry brine your beef
Why dry brine your beef? Dry brining is a technique to enhance the flavor and texture of your proteins. Through osmosis, dry brining brings moisture out of the meat and allows the salt and other seasonings to penetrate the meat, drastically enhancing the flavor. It tenderizes the meat by breaking down muscle fibers which results in a more tender finished product.
What should you take away from this? Use our Santa Maria Seasoning to marinade your tri tip overnight for best results. Or if you're short on time, apply the Santa Maria Seasoning in advance of smoking, grilling, or oven-roasting your tri tip. The longer the seasoning sits on the beef, the better the results will be.
Our recommendation is to season the tri tip two days prior to cooking. Season the meat with the Santa Maria Seasoning heavily, coating the surface of the beef before wrapping tightly in plastic wrap.
What is the best way to cook tri-tip?
We are going to share a variety of our favorite methods for cooking tri-tip. Those posts are coming soon along with videos that walk through the process in detail. What are the methods? Smoking, reverse-sear, grilling, and sous vide. Each method brings out the best flavor in the protein, each in a unique way.
My Santa Maria Tri Tip enthusiasts will say there is no better way to cook tri tip than live fire on a Santa Maria Grill. And I agree, the best tri tip I have ever had in my life was grilled directly over red hot coals from red oak splits. Red oak is hard to come by in my area, so we substitute with white oak or post oak.
But if you don’t have a wood burning, charcoal, or gas grill, you can cook tri tip in your oven just fine.