Bold Tri Tip

I’ve been having a lot of fun with tri tip lately. Tri tip has become more popular in the mid-west and access to the delicious triangular roast is easier to come by. As a result, creative recipes are being developed by chefs and food bloggers as fast as I’m typing this post.

In the last few years, the popular way to grill a tri tip was to cook it Santa Maria style. This style is simple, yet salivating. I have found that more bold flavors can be incorporated into this tender cut of meat. I think bold flavors impart more savory and subtlety spicy elements, which I prefer very much.

Generally, I like to use recipes that are easy to prepare. However, this is an exception that may be a challenge for some folks, but I think it is worth it.


  • 1 Tri tip roast
  • Beef paste (recipe below)
  • Plowboys Bovine Bold rub
  • Honey garlic glaze (recipe below)

This beef paste recipe is where the “bold” flavors kick in. It starts out by using, of course, beef paste. I tend to use “Better than Bouillon” beef paste, it’s the only kind I know of and it smells amazing.

Beef paste

  • 1 tbsp Beef base paste
  • 1tbsp Chile paste (recipe below)
  • ½ tsp Soy sauce
  • ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
  1. Mix all ingredients thoroughly.
  2. Refrigerate for 30 min.

Your cooking skills will be put to test right here. I hope I made it clear enough to understand. This technique is basically how I make my sauce for chili, salsa, tamales and Puerco pibil too. I recommend making this a day or two in advance because it’s even better when all the flavors are infused the next day. Keep the sauce refrigerated.

There are different varieties of dried peppers to choose from. Some of my favorites are pasilla’s, ancho, New Mexico and guajillo. If you want a spicier pepper, try chipotle or chile de arbol.

Chile paste

  • 12 Dried peppers (8 pasilla, 4 ancho)
  • ½ Medium onion
  • 1 Bulb garlic
  • 1 tbsp Chopped cilantro
  • 1 Vegetable bouillon cube
  • Salt & pepper
  1. Roast the dried peppers, do not burn. Soak them in water until soft.
  2. Roast onion and garlic.
  3. Reserve 1 cup of water the chile’s were soaking in.
  4. Combine chile water, peppers, onion and garlic in a food processor and puree until smooth.
  5. Add cilantro, bouillon cube and S&P to chile sauce, puree again until it is salsa consistency (add more water if necessary).
  6. With a fine mesh strainer, separate the liquids from the solids.
  7. The chile paste is the solids left in the strainer, use the paste for this recipe. (The chile liquid can be used as a red sauce for anything such as burritos, enchilada, huevos rancheros, etc.)

Once you got this far, it’s a breeze from here. The honey garlic glaze is like icing on the cake. I even use it as a dipping sauce for the steak. If you happen to have a sauce pan for the grill like I do, heat the sauce on the cool side so it can absorb all that smoky goodness. That just adds to more layers of flavor for this recipe.

Honey garlic glaze

  • ¼ cup Honey
  • ½ cup Apple cider
  • 2 tbsp Cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp Red pepper flakes
  • ½ tsp Minced garlic
  • ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ Stick unsalted butter

  1. Heat all ingredients in a small sauce pan.
  2. Bring to simmer, stir occasionally.

Put a heavy coat of paste and rub on the tri tip. Most of that will come off once it hits the grill and more will come off when it sticks to the grill. It is alright if you lose most of your paste and rub on the grill, there is still plenty of flavor cooked on the surface of the beef.

Before you slap that roast on the grill, keep in mind that you don’t want to flip the tri tip like a burger. In fact, a burger isn’t supposed to be flipped more than one time. I don’t flip my burgers at all. With that said, only flip the tri tip when it is cooked on one side (tilt it up with your spatula to check). You can check it like that often to make sure you don’t burn the meat.


  1. Spread the beef paste one side of the meat followed by a dusting of the rub. Turnover and repeat.
  2. Prepare the grill for a 2-zone setup.
  3. Place the roast directly on the grate, over the charcoal. Do not cover with the grill lid.
  4. Flip the tri tip once the meat begins to char.
  5. Move the meat to the cool side of the grill when the surface of the roast develops a flavorful crust.
  6. Apply honey glaze to both sides.
  7. Cook on indirect heat until internal temp reaches 125 degrees.
  8. Remove from grill, let the tri tip rest for 10 minutes at room temperature.
  9. Apply more honey glaze and serve.

The bold recipe is a completely different flavor profile than theSanta Mariastyle. Furthermore, I added a chunk of pecan wood for a light smoky scent during the direct grilling process.

Essentially, I serve tri tip like a steak. Slice against the grain and served with a baked potato, gilled vegetables and a dry red Malbec wine. If one wanted to make a sandwich out of this or make a wrap with leftovers….it’s a win/win situation because this recipe is that good.

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