Santa Maria Tri Tip (Grilling & Sous Vide) | Easy Japanese Recipes at

Santa Maria Tri Tip

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: beef steak, sous vide
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 5
Author: Nami
Learn how to make juicy and flavorful Santa Maria Tri-Tip in this recipe. You'll need just a few hours in a sous vide machine for an amazing result!


  • Tbsp garlic salt with dried parsley (See Notes)
  • 1 Tbsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2.5 lb tri-tip (2.5 lb = about 1 kg)
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (I used grapeseed oil today)
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke


  1. Gather all the ingredients.

    Santa Maria Tri Tip Ingredients

Prepare Sous Vide Method:

  1. Preheat water to your desired temperature. For medium rare, set to 135°F/ 57°C.

Prepare Grilling Method:

  1. Stab the tri-tip with fork multiple times all over so the seasoning will be absorbed, you can skip this step for Sous Vide method.

Seasoning For Both Grilling & Sous Vide Method:

  1. Freshly grind black pepper. Combine the garlic salt and black pepper (and parsley) in a small bowl.
    Santa Maria Tri Tip 1
  2. Generously sprinkle the seasonings all over the tri-tip on both sides.
    Santa Maria Tri Tip 2

For Grilling Method:

  1. Put the meat in a plastic bag and keep it in the refrigerator at least 10-12 hours. Preheat the grill to medium high (400 F/205C).
  2. Remove the steak from the refrigerator until it’s room temperature. Grill each side over direct heat for 2 min to sear the steak, then move to indirect heat and grill for 10-15 min for each side depending on how thick the steak is. I recommend keeping the lid of the grill on during grilling to maintain consistent temperature.
  3. When grilling is done, rest the steak for 5 min before slicing.

For Sous Vide Method:

  1. This is the best part of sous vide cooking, no need to marinate the meat and wait. Create a bag with a vacuum sealer if you have one, otherwise you can use a temperature tolerant zip lock bag.
    Santa Maria Tri Tip 3
  2. Put the seasoned meat in the bag, add the oil and the liquid smoke (for sous vide and gas grill). If you are using charcoal grill you can skip the liquid smoke.
    Santa Maria Tri Tip 4
  3. Seal the top of the bag. Make sure you select “moisture” option if available for the vacuum sealer as we have the oil inside. Place the bag into the preheated water. A one-inch-thick steak will be ready to eat in 1 hour, the general rule is 1 inch per hour of cooking for steak.
    Santa Maria Tri Tip 5
  4. The best part about sous vide is that it should never overcook, so it can be in the water for up to 6 hours without degrading quality as long as the water stays at the same temperature. After 6 hours the protein slowly breaks apart and the texture is not optimal.
  5. When the tri-tip is almost done with sous vide cooking (2 hours for 2 inch steak), start heating up the grill to 400F/205C. When the grill is ready, pick up the bag and cut open the vacuum package.
    Santa Maria Tri Tip 6
  6. If you are not planning to eat the meat immediately after sous vide cooking. Soak in iced water (½ ice and ½ water) for 30 minutes to chill, and then transfer to the refrigerator to store and enjoy later.
  7. Sear the meat on both sides for 1 minute. For Sous Vide Method, you do not need to wait for the meat to sit, immediately slice the meat and enjoy.
    Santa Maria Tri Tip 7

Recipe Notes

Garlic Salt with Dried Parsley: Lowry's garlic salt already has dried parsley included. If your garlic salt does not include dried parsley, add 2 tsp. dried parsley.

Tri-Tip: Tri-tip ranges from 2 1/2 to 4 lb. You'll need 1/2 lb. per person. You can substitute tri-tip with a thick sirloin steak or London broil.

Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe in your own words and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.