Grilled Bison Tri-Tip, Santa Maria Style

Prep time:
Cook time:


Time for another one of our favorite Sunday Dinner recipes: Grilled Santa Maria Bison Tri-Tip. So easy to make and if you’re lucky enough to live in Southern California, it’s the kind of meal you can throw on the grill while you throw back a few cold ones in the warm, late afternoon sun. (Sorry, not sorry,  East Coast!)

Have your own favorite bison tri-tip recipe? Share it with us on Instagram by tagging at @thehonestbison and we’ll give it a try! We’re always looking to spice things up in the kitchen.


1 bison tri-tip (about 2 lbs)

For the “California” Rub:

2 tbsp finely ground coffee

1 1⁄2 tbsp kosher salt

1 1⁄2 tbsp granulated garlic

1 heaping tsp black pepper

1 tbsp brown sugar

1⁄4 tsp cayenne pepper

1⁄4 tsp ground cloves

1⁄4 tsp cinnamon


1. Sprinkle meat with rub and massage tenderly. Cover and refrigerate at least an hour or longer. Remove from refrigerator an hour before cooking.

2. Preheat oven to 300 and prepare a hot charcoal grill or heat a gas grill to high. Place roast on grill and cook for 6-8

mins per side or until an even char develops on all sides. Grill for no more than 20 mins total.

3. Remove tri-tip to a baking sheet or oven-safe dish. Cover with tinfoil. Place in 300-degree oven for 10-20 mins, or until internal temperature reaches 120F (rare). DO NOT OVERCOOK.

4. Rest roast on a cutting board for 8-10 mins, during which time the internal temperature should increase to 125 (medium rare). Slice against the grain. The center should still be distinctly red. THIS IS PERFECT. Bison is supposed to be cooked less than beef and is ideally always served medium-rare.

5. Serve with grilled veggies of your choice and enjoy!