Quick and Easy Tri Tip Dry Rub

photoA dry rub is a simple mix of salt, spices and herbs that are used to season the outside of the tri tip, whether you are getting ready to grill it up or smoke it slowly As you season, you literally rub (or work in) the mixture.  This will not only tenderize the tri tip – it will enhance the flavor as it mixes with the juices during your cook.

There are some great beef rubs available at your local supermarkets, but you can also make your own with great ease.  Here is one that I created (including a PDF for easy printing and downloading):


1 1/2 tablespoons garlic powder

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon ground black pepper

Optional: 1/2 tablespoon chili powder (to kick it up a notch)

1 two pound tri tip, trimmed

Quick Note:  You can double the ingredients to keep a shaker full of this rub in your pantry for later use.


1)  Mix the garlic powder, salt, black pepper and chili powder in a bowl until ingredients are distributed evenly.

  • Quick note:  You can either put the rub into an empty salt shaker or leave it in the bowl to apply by hand.  With the mixture proportions above, you will not have a lot left over.

2)  Apply the dry rub evenly to all sides of the tri tip.  After you coat the tri tip, rub in the mixture with your hands.  The dry rub does not need to be piled on thick – a simple coat will do the trick.

3)  Place the tri tip on the grill and prepare to enjoy a delicious meal.


One of the great things about grilling is experimentation.  Get creative!  We will list great tri tip dry rub recipes as we create them or gather them from other sources.



Click to download and/or print up this tri tip rub recipe!


This article has 16 Comments

  1. It was my daughters 1st birthday today and decided to tackle 2 3+ Pound tri tips for the first time on the bbq. Used your simple rub recipe and followed your video step by step and killed it! Wished I could have taken pics, but it was gone b4 I had the chance. A tri tip guy for life! Thanks for the help

  2. Live on the east coast and found tri-tip at Trader Joes. Made often when I lived in CA. Very difficult to get anywhere else. Unfortunately they have already added seasoning to it. Package says salt, dehydrated garlic, garlic powder, spices, onion powder, lemon juice powder, and some other ingredients that like sodium citrate, dextrose citric acid , xanthan gum. It’s in water as well. I would prefer a dry rub. Any suggestions or should I just leave it alone?
    Claire recently posted…The Summer of Tri Tip Continues!

    1. Just leave it alone. A friend bought one that pre-seasoned like this and attempted to wash it off before adding his favorite seasoning. The seasoning had already affected the roast, and his seasoning was not a good match with the pre-made seasoning. They ate it, but flavoring was off.

  3. I don’t really like meat, but I used this rub and followed your recipe expecting to give most of my food to the dog. I ate seconds and my poor dog only got a few bites! Thanks for a quick and tasty recipe.

  4. Live in central PA and enjoyed tri tip for the first time on a family visit to southern California a couple of years ago. Finally decided to try for ourselves. Asked our local butcher for the cut and received a beautiful 2.5 lb tip. Used your dry rub recipe and followed the grilling instructions from your video and it turned out PERFECTLY!! Will definitely try it again.

    1. Totally – in fact, I have found that it is better to reverse sear the tri tip (searing at the end of the cook) after a good smoke.

  5. What about pressure cooker. I got the new power cooker will this work. If not what do you suggest. It does require seasoning and browning prior to you know closing the lid.

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