Grilled Beef Tri-Tip with a Smoky Rub and Tangy Barbecue Sauce

4 stars
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Grilled Beef Tri-Tip with a Smoky Rub and Tangy Barbecue Sauce
Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
60 mins
Total Time:
Recipe by Administrator
Published on November 24, 2023

This recipe for the best beef tri-tip will leave you with juicy and flavorful meat that is perfect for grilling. The tri-tip is seasoned with a smoky rub, giving it a wonderful depth of flavor. It is then grilled to perfection and served with a tangy homemade barbecue sauce. This dish is sure to impress friends and family at your next cookout or barbecue.


  • 2 pounds beef tri-tip
  • For the rub:
  • - 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • - 1 tablespoon paprika
  • - 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • - 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • - 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • - 1 tablespoon salt
  • - 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • - 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • For the barbecue sauce:
  • - 1 cup ketchup
  • - 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • - 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • - 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • - 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • - 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • - 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • - Salt and black pepper to taste


  1. In a small bowl, mix together all the ingredients for the rub. Rub the mixture all over the beef tri-tip, covering it evenly. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to penetrate the meat.
  2. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Place the tri-tip on the grill and cook for about 5-6 minutes per side, or until it reaches your desired level of doneness (135°F for medium-rare, 145°F for medium).
  3. While the tri-tip is grilling, prepare the barbecue sauce. In a saucepan, combine the ketchup, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and black pepper. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat and let it cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Once the tri-tip is done, remove it from the grill and let it rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing. This allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in a tender and juicy piece of meat.
  5. Slice the tri-tip against the grain into thin strips. Serve it with the homemade barbecue sauce on the side for dipping or drizzle it over the meat.
  6. Enjoy your delicious grilled beef tri-tip with the smoky rub and tangy barbecue sauce!

Interesting Facts

  • Beef tri-tip is a popular cut of meat in California and is often referred to as the 'Santa Maria steak' due to its origins in the Santa Maria Valley.
  • Grilling the tri-tip over direct heat helps to develop a flavorful crust on the outside while keeping the inside tender and juicy.
  • The homemade barbecue sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, making it a great condiment to have on hand for other dishes.