Succulent BBQ tri-tip

Recipe: Santa Maria Style Grilled Tri-Tip Steak
By Executive Chef Adam Timney

This recipe is a great go-to for home cooks, since all the ingredients can be found at almost any supermarket.

Begin first by prepping the dry rub. This spice mix recipe can marinate two (2) one and a half (1 ½) pound tri-tips. At the store, select tri-tips with good color and marbling.


  • 1 T and 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 T and 1 tsp chipotle powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1 T chopped fresh rosemary


Mix all ingredients together. Coat the tri-tips generously with the dry rub and let stand at room temp for 1-2 hours, or up to 12 hours in the refrigerator.

Grill the tri-tips over a very hot grill, preferably wood, but any grill will work. Continue turning every few minutes, until a dark crust is achieved and the internal temperature reads 120-130 degrees Fahrenheit in the thickest part of the meat. The great thing about tri-tips is they have a "skinny end" and a "thicker end", so you will have a range of finished temperatures, providing something to satisfy a range of preferences!

Let the steaks rest in a pan to collect the juices for 10 to 15 minutes. Slice the tips thin against the grain, and serve with a portion of the collected jus.

About Adam Timney, Executive Chef
Fluent in a broad range of culinary styles and food cultures, Long Beach, Calif. native and Starbelly executive chef Adam Timney knew from an early age that the one thing that kept him feeling grounded was the passion he should pursue: cooking.

Following his inclination, he traveled north and enrolled in San Francisco's California Culinary Academy to learn the techniques of his chosen trade.

Upon graduation, Timney landed his first job at San Francisco's Asian fusion restaurant and wine salon, Eos, and quickly moved up the ranks. After Eos, Timney joined the opening team of Chez Papa, a French Bistro in San Francisco's Potrero Hill, where the tight quarters taught him the art of successfully working in a small kitchen. After Chez Papa, he changed tacks and worked at the Hilton Hotel, perfecting his skills in banquet preparation, and large volume inventory. His next move took him to San Francisco's high-profile Bacar restaurant, as the chef de cuisine. It was at Bacar where he came into his own, developing a distinct point of view, and discovering the art of curing meat.

Timney chose to further explore this new-found passion at Boccalone Salumeria, where he developed the knowledge he puts to work in creating house-cured meats for his Starbelly salumi plate. On board as Starbelly's executive chef since its August 2009 opening, Timney offers unfussy yet thoughtful California comfort food that appeals to tastebuds of all types, served in a comfortable, relaxed neighborhood environment.

Starbelly 'Patio Picnic' Tuesdays
Now through August 31, enjoy a family-style urban picnic dinner on the patio at Castro neighborhood eatery Starbelly every Tuesday evening. Recently freshened with heat lamps, plant life, and a retractable, striped canopy, the patio is a comfortable setting to enjoy chef Adam Timney's weekly-rotating menu of summer favorites like fried chicken, grilled brats, ribs, sloppy Joes, sides and salads, pies and cobbler.


  • Every Tuesday on Starbelly's back patio, 5-8 p.m. (July 6 through August 31)
  • Arrive anytime during the three-hour picnic dinner service and load up your plate (no seating times)
  • $25/person, and guests are welcome to second helpings!
  • Beverages available for purchase (not included in the picnic dinner price): wine, sangria, lemonade, Micheladas, and pitchers of beer
  • Reservations accepted, but not required, and walk-in parties are welcome
  • Find Starbelly at 3583 16th Street (at Market), and for more info, visit
  • To reserve a patio picnic seat, phone Starbelly: 415.252.7500

On July 6, Starbelly will be serving the tri-tip along with Rancho Gordo potted white beans, hand made tortillas, fire roasted salsa and stewed nopales (cactus paddles).

3583 16th Street (at Market)
San Francisco
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