Santa Maria Style Tri-Tip

042/18: WSM Santa Maria Style Tri-Tip

042/18 – WSM Santa Maria Style Tri-Tip:

When I bought my Kamado Joe the plan was to use that for low and slow cooking rather than my Weber Smokey Mountain but I was wondering what to use the WSM for. Keeping it just for cold smoking seemed a bit of a waste. Then one day on Twitter I saw @onlyslaggin retweet a post by @babybackmaniac for WSM Santa Maria Style Tri-Tip – cooking over logs in the WSM? Yes please!

The Fire:

Oak logs from a local supplier over lit kindling. 

Santa Maria Style Tri-Tip

The flames were pretty fierce and close to the wall of my BBQ Hut so I put the rest of the WSM frame on to protect the hut!

Santa Maria Style Tri-Tip

You can’t beat a proper wood fire, the sound of the fire burning, the smell of the wood and the heat of the fire especially as it was snowing when I did this!

The Meat:

400g of Tri-Tip from Turner & George – £9.60

Tri-Tip is a rare cut to see in the UK and is more popular in the US. It’s a cut from the bottom sirloin and ideal for the BBQ! The UK Tri-Tips I have had to date have all been this size and shape, the US ones you see on YouTube are massive in comparison, I will speak to a butcher and find out why there is such a size difference. Guessing it’s been cut shorter rather than a major difference in the size of the animals!

Santa Maria Style Tri-Tip

The Prep:

Liberal amounts of Maldon Sea Salt and Kadode Kampot Black Pepper all over!

Santa Maria Style Tri-Tip

The Cook:

Once the fire had settled down a bit I placed the Tri-Tip fat side down on the lower grate. You can see the Meater probe in the centre, App set to Medium Rare.

Santa Maria Style Tri-Tip

After around 10 minutes things were progressing nicely.

Santa Maria Style Tri-Tip

After 15 minutes it was time to flip the meat over.

Santa Maria Style Tri-Tip

The fat had rendered quite nicely and the meat was starting to take on a great colour.

Santa Maria Style Tri-Tip

After another 15 minutes I moved it up to the top grate, the colour was awesome now!

Santa Maria Style Tri-Tip

Time to Rest:

Once the meat hit 57c internal temperature the Meater App alerted me and told me to rest the meat.

Santa Maria Style Tri-Tip

Time to Slice:

The moment of truth, was it pink in there? Oh yes!

Santa Maria Style Tri-Tip


This was a fantastic cook, awesome cooking directly over logs with the smell of oak burning and great to breathe some new life into my WSM as well. It was absolutely freezing when I cooked this so it was nice to be stood next to a roaring wood fire drinking a whisky to keep warm!

The colour and taste of the meat surpassed anything I have cooked so far, I have been thinking about it ever since I ate the first slice. I will be doing this again for sure! 

Cook Difficulty: 3/5 
Cook Duration: Medium: 3/5
Cook Equipment: Weber Smokey Mountain
Cook Method: Santa Maria Style
Charcoal: Oak Logs
Smoking Wood: N/A
Cook temperature: Unknown
Cook time: 45 minutes
Internal temperature: 57c
Notes: No major changes.



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