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Santa Maria Tri-Tip BBQ at Flying Flags RV Resort - Buellton, CA

Serves: 1/4-1/3 pound per person     Difficulty: Easy     Meal: Main Dish     Great for potlucks!

From my RV kitchen

In this episode - Taste of Flying Flags - we hosted a live event featuring a can't miss menu and two wonderful personalities, fed a great group of guests, and raised a bunch of money for the Santa Barbara County Food Bank.

Known as California's BBQ, Santa Maria Tri-Tip turns out to be easy and long as you know a few basics about cooking this iconic cut of beef. Watch as Flying Flags RV Resort* BBQ master Richard Boucher makes quick work out of this highly prized main dish.

And for dessert we were treated to amazing cupcakes direct from the Enjoy Cupcake's 1964 Vintage Shasta Travel Trailer. They've got a few tricks to share, too. Tempting, huh?

The area has attracted some well known names including President Reagan - learn about his Western White House here - and Michael Jackson who created his Neverland Ranch nearby. Check out this 'inside the ranch' slideshow here.

And what about the 2004 movie Sideways? Yep, quite a bit of it was filmed right here in the valley and actually influenced the country's preference for red wine varietals! Go figure!


Tri-Tip (runs from 1 1/2 - 3 1/2 pounds) - trimmed or untrimmed

Note: RVCS Facebook fan Rose suggests flank steak if you can not find tri-tip - thanks Rose!

Canola Oil

SusieQ Tri-Tip seasoning (make at home recipe below)



Remove the tri-tip from the refrigerator approximately 15 to 30 minutes prior to cooking.

Pre-heat grill to medium high. You should be able to hold your hand six inches above the grill grate for five-ish seconds.

Rub the entire cut with canola oil, generously sprinkle seasoning on both sides and rub into meat.

Place on the grill meat-side down. Cook for approximately one hour. Flip, putting fat-side down (if untrimmed) and watch carefully. Fat will melt and cause flare-ups - stand by with a water-filled spray bottle to tame the flame just in case.

When an instant read meat thermometer reaches 100-120 degrees remove from the grill, cover with foil and allow to rest for 10-ish minutes.

Trim meat of fat if necessary and cut against the grain to enjoy a tender, tasty tri-tip.


Traditionally Santa Maria Tri-Tip seasoning consists of an equal part mixture of salt, pepper, garlic powder and parsley. Some Tri-Tippers have been known to add an equal part of sugar as well.

Create a wet rub by combining equal parts salt, pepper, parsley, five to six medium cloves of fresh garlic and 1/4 cup olive or canola oil in a blender. Perhaps you marinate the tri-tip in the wet rub for a few hours prior to cooking.

No matter which way you go, it's all good!

Additional Tips

Tri-tip is traditionally served with pinquitos beans (but you can sub pintos), corn on the cob and a roll. It's also popular as a sandwich. Yummy!

Any time is the perfect time to give to your local food bank. Did you know that $1 will furnish 7 meals to a hungry soul? We were able to give 3,150 meals to the Santa Barbara County Food Bank thanks to generous valley merchants, Flying Flags guests and the terrific Flying Flags staff.

California's Central Coast is a magical place attracting celebrities, foodies, tourists and outdoor lovers alike. Nestled in the beautiful Santa Ynez/Santa Barbara Wine Country is a perfect stop for we RVers - Flying Flags RV Resort in Buellton. They asked the RV Cooking Show to come out and produce a series highlighting the area. At first we thought wine but when we arrived we found so much more and look forward to sharing these discoveries with you in the seven sensational episodes in the Food, Fun & Friends at Flying Flags series.

*Flying Flags RV Resort is a paying sponsor of this RV TV series - Food, Fun & Friends at Flying Flags. And if I did not stand behind them - or any RV Cooking Show sponsor - 110% you simply would not see them here. So rest assured, I mean what I say and I say what I mean.

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Direct from my RV kitchen - part cooking class on wheels, part RV travel guide - these RV videos cook! Discover more RV destinations and camping recipes on the RV Cooking Show website.

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