Tom’s BBQ Tri Tip


Tri Tip

This is Tom’s simple northern Santa Maria style tri trip recipe (the southern style is spicy and slightly sweet).  It takes time, but it’s worth it!  Make sure you stick close to the grill when this is cooking because once it’s ready to eat, it’s gone!


One untrimmed trip tip

Coarse sea or kosher salt

Olive Oil

Cracked Black Pepper

Garlic Powder


Tom’s Instructions:

Start by lightly trimming off the hard fat flap.  Be careful to not strip off all the fat (that’s flavor), but don’t throw away the fat trimmings. We’ll get to that later.

Now drench the meat with olive oil.  DRENCH IT!  Don’t be afraid.  There is a reason for everything.

Next, go tip to tail with the salt. Do the same, or go a little lighter, with the pepper.  Depending on your preference.  Then, go heavy on the garlic powder.

Here’s where the magic takes place.  Use your fingertips to press and poke the dry spices on the meat.  (No rubbing the spices!  Lots of people rub and that’s fine if you don’t mind all your future “crust of flavor” balling up and rolling off the meat.)  Carefully flip that slap and repeat.

Crack open a beer and pour a little brew in the plate so it can mix with oil and dry ingredients.  Cover up the trip tip and let it sit on the counter.

Go outside and get the coals going (yes it’s bbq, not outdoor grilling).  I use Kingsford Original.  NEVER use Matchlight coals ever.  This is bbq, not a race to the finish.  Now, crack a beverage and relax.

Now, for the smoke.  For true Santa Maria style, use red oak.  Although, any oak will work.  Sometimes, I use mesquite and oak mix.  I like to soak it overnight or longer so it smokes, not burns, when I’m feeling really fancy.  Bring those coals up to heat and stack them in a corner of the grill.  Put the cutoff fat slab, that you saved, next to the coals.  Let it smoke.

Take your wood out of the water and stack it near, not on, the coals.  Throw the meat on the grill, fat side up, directly over the coals (the hottest part of the grill).  Keep an eye on it.  As soon as it looks “sealed,” flip it so the fat side is down.

Cover the grill to avoid flare-ups.  When the fat side has a nice “bark” on it, it’s done.  Well, at least the hot stuff is done.  Next comes the smoke.  Take the meat and turn it fat side up, off the heat, on the other side of the grill.

By now, the wood should be smoking pretty good.  Cover it, grab your beverage, have a seat, and talk story with your buddies.

This is where you decide how you like your trip tip.  It’s usually served medium-well.  That’s the most tender and flavorful way, but everyone has their own way.  When you’ve decided that it’s done, take that bad boy off the grill and let it relax for 10 to 15 minutes.

Make sure you have a good sharp knife (I’ve seen people destroy a good cut of meat by sawing at it with a dull knife) and cut it CROSS GRAIN.

Let it sit in its juice, like you do in a hot tub after a killer day of snowboarding.


Mexican Hot Dogs

Barbequeing hot dogs and serving them up in delicious and different variations is always awesome and Mexican Hot Dogs are no exception!  An easy way to convert a simple hot dog into a meal, they are also especially good with a side of Grilled Corn Salad.


Hot dogs

Hot dog buns

Bacon (optional – you can wrap the dogs in bacon and bbq until bacon is crispy and completely cooked; or you can fry the bacon until completely cooked, then chop it and put it on top of the dogs)

1 cup Best Foods Mayo

Canned chipotles in adobo sauce

Queso fresco

Red onion, chopped

Avocado, sliced

Using a food processor, whirl the mayo with one or two chipotles and a few tablespoons of adobo sauce until completely blended.  Grill the hot dogs until completely cooked.  Generously spread the chipotle mayo onto the buns.  Add the cooked hot dogs.  Top with queso fresco, red onion, avocado, and optional bacon.  Enjoy!

Bacon Wrapped Cream Cheese Stuffed Peppers

I love this recipe because it incorporates my two favorite ingredients, bacon and cream cheese!  My friend, Tenaiya, made this for our 4th of July block party.  In this recipe, you grill the peppers on the bbq, but you can also cook them in the oven at 400 degrees until the bacon is very, very crisp and the peppers are soft.


Mini Bell Peppers

Cream Cheese


Cut the tops off the bell peppers, rinse well, and remove the seeds.  Stuff the peppers with cream cheese.  Wrap each pepper in 1/2 strip of bacon and place a toothpick through the center.

Grill the peppers on the bbq until the bacon is thoroughly cooked, very crisp, and blackened on every side.  The fat from the bacon absorbs into the peppers and cream cheese making these absolutely scrumptious!

Portobello Burgers

These are a great replacement for burgers if you are vegetarian or if you just want a healthy, but satisfying, option.


Portobello Mushrooms with stalk removed and rinsed well

Olive Oil

Balsamic Vinegar

Garlic Powder

Burger Buns



Drizzle portobellos generously with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Then, sprinkle with garlic powder.

Grill mushrooms on both sides until they are soft and cooked all the way through.  Top with your favorite cheese and melt right at the end.

Put on a really good bun with your favorite condiments and toppings (I, personally, prefer avocado and sriracha mayo!).  Then eat and enjoy!

Grilled Corn Salad

Grilled Corn Salad

Inspired by mexican corn, with a few revisions, this recipe is my own creation.  It is very simple, everything is done to taste, and it is amazing!

It is definitely a favorite at our BBQ’s and it is a highly shared recipe.  I recommend making this salad outside by the BBQ as it is very messy to make, but it is absolutely worth it!


Several ears of white corn ((approx. 1 or 2 per person and depending on the size of the corn).


Fresh Lime Juice


Shuck the white corn and grill on the BBQ until blackened but not burnt on all sides.  (We always use coals when we grill.  So, if you use a gas grill, please let us know how it turns out!)

Let the corn cool slightly.

Cut the corn from the cob and place in a large bowl.

Add mayo, lime juice, and cayenne to taste.

Serve right away or put it in the fridge for later.  It’s delicious served cold or room temperature!  It keeps well for a few days.