Grilled Tri-Tip with Red Chimichurri Recipe


The Central Coast of California has a history rich in cattle ranching.  This area was originally settled by Mexican cowboys called vaquero in the mid-1800s.  The vaqueros excelled at grilling the less desirable cuts of beef, transforming them into tender delicacies.  Although tri-tip came much later (in the mid-1900s) it is what people think of when Santa Maria BBQ comes up in conversation.

The below recipe is a fool proof way to cook perfect tri-tip every time.  We’re going to spice it up a little for you with an amazing red chimichurri recipe!


  • 1 Whole Tri Tip Roast
  • Kosher Salt
  • Ground Black Pepper

Top Secret Red Chimichurri

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1-2 small hot red chiles, minced
  • 1 cup roasted red bell pepper, chopped
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley, lightly packed
  • 1 cup olive oil (add until desired consistency)
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Thoroughly mix the vinegar with the minced garlic, shallot, hot pepper and roasted red pepper in a food processor.  Mix all of the remaining ingredients (except the olive oil) until thoroughly blended, then slowly add the olive oil, until desired consistency is reached.  Allow sauce to rest at least two hours before serving.


Remove all the silverskin and large sections of fat from your tri tip roast. Removing the tough silver skin will help the meat absorb the seasoning and make for a very tender bite.  Place your roast on a rack (such as the Drip ‘N Griddle Pan-Deluxe) and season all sides of the meat with coarse kosher salt.  Keep the meat on the rack and place in the refrigerator overnight.

Remove the roast from the fridge about one hour prior to your cook and keep at room temperature.  15-30 minutes before starting the cook.

Prepare the kettle by scraping off the cooking grate with your preferred grill brush or scraper, and then fully light 25 charcoal briquettes in a chimney starter. Place the lit briquettes in the Slow ’N Sear® (no water needed), and open the vents fully until the cooker reaches 225° - 250°F. Then close the vents enough to stabilize temps. If using the SnS Kettle, close the bottom grate and utilize the “Smoke Hole” to fine tune your temperature.


Cook the steak at 250° over the indirect side of the grill. If you want some added smoke, add a chunk of hickory. Once the meat hits 90°F, flip it over to ensure even cooking.

When the internal temperature hits 90°F, begin lighting a full chimney of charcoal to prepare for the sear while the steak continues to cook indirect. Once the steak reaches an internal temp of 115°F, pull the tri tip and the grate off the kettle. This will allow the grate to cool completely. Add the chimney of now fully lit briquettes to the Slow 'N Sear®. Even out the briquettes and open the lower vent completely. (leave the lid and grate off at this time.) 

Prep the tri-tip for searing by blotting any moisture off the steak’s exterior with paper towels. Coat the exterior with olive oil and black pepper to taste. For searing, place the cold grate back on the grill with the tri tip on the cold side of the grate. Then spin the grate so the cold grate and the tri tip are on the hot side for 45-60 seconds. After 45-60 seconds, flip the steak to the cool side of the grate and spin the grate to the other side of the cooker for 45-60 seconds. Repeat the process until each side of the tri tip has been seared for 1.5-2 minutes total.  Then, sear the sides of the tri tip for 20-30 seconds, or the exterior has reached the color you desire. 


Grilled Tri-Tip with Red Chimichurri Recipe | SnS Grills