From Butcher's Scrap to Grilling Favorite: The History of the Tri-Tip

Tri-tip steak, also known as Santa Maria steak, has a rich history that dates back to the mid-20th century. This cut of meat, which comes from the bottom sirloin of a cow, was once considered a butcher's discard, but today it is a popular choice for grilling and barbecuing. In this blog post, we'll explore the history of tri-tip steak and how it became a staple of California cuisine.

The Origins of Tri-Tip Steak

Tri-tip steak originated in the Central Coast of California, specifically in the Santa Maria Valley. It was originally used for ground beef or stew meat, as butchers considered it too tough for steaks. However, in the 1950s, a local butcher named Bob Schutz changed this perception by slow-roasting the tri-tip and serving it with a delicious dry rub.

The Rise of Santa Maria-style Barbecue

As word of the flavorful and tender tri-tip steak spread, the Santa Maria-style barbecue began to gain popularity. This style of barbecue emphasizes the use of tri-tip steak, which is grilled over red oak wood for a smoky flavor, and served with a simple dry rub consisting of salt, pepper, and garlic. This unique flavor profile and cooking method quickly became a staple of California cuisine.

The Tri-Tip Steak Goes National

The popularity of tri-tip steak and Santa Maria-style barbecue soon spread beyond California. In the late 1990s, the tri-tip steak became a hit in the Midwest and East Coast, and it has since become a favorite across the country. Today, tri-tip steak can be found in grocery stores and butcher shops nationwide and is a popular choice for outdoor grilling and barbecue.

The Legacy of Tri-Tip Steak

The tri-tip steak is now a staple of American cuisine, and its popularity continues to grow. This cut of meat is often considered a budget-friendly option, and its versatility and delicious flavor make it a favorite for families and food lovers alike. Whether you're grilling for a family dinner or hosting a backyard barbecue, tri-tip steak is a delicious and satisfying choice.

Time to Taste What All the Commotion is About

The tri-tip's simple preparation and delicious flavor make it a popular choice for outdoor cooking and a staple of California's Santa Maria-style barbecue.

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