Mexican Spice-Rubbed Tri-Tip

It wouldn’t be Father’s Day in our house without grilling a huge slab of meat (apologies to the vegetarians out there). My husband is a carnivore and I was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. Basically, right when you come out of the womb, you are taught how to throw a football and eat meat, lots of meat. Doesn’t matter if you are a girl or boy. Texas is un-sexist like that. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love a vegetarian dish and actually don’t eat a lot of meat. . but I love me a good, juicy steak every now and then.


I think Ruth Chris is doing something right. Their steaks are delicious. I think they cook and bathe them in butter. They certainly top them with fresh butter so they sizzle all the way to your table. Again, I don’t encourage eating too much red meat- everything in moderation right? . . OK, my husband threw that out the window yesterday- hey, it was Father’s Day- and ate a huge steak- ate the entire thing. I seriously think I turned my head for a few minutes and the entire thing was gone.


If you’re looking for a nice, semi-spicy rub, you must try this one. It will not disappoint! Enjoy!


Mexican Spice-Rubbed Tri-Tip


  • 1 teaspoon olive oil (enough to rub over both sides of your steaks)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chipotle powder (I didn’t have this so used crushed red pepper flakes)
  • Kosher salt
  • Tri tip steaks
  • Vegetable oil, for the grill (optional); not sure if my husband did this

For the lime butter (optional)

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

** If you have time, prepare the rub ahead of time and let it sit on your steak/s in the fridge for a couple hours. This is what we did.**



  1. Light a grill or preheat a grill pan.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the butter, garlic, lime zest, lime juice and a pinch of salt. (This is the topping at the end which we did not do b/c the steak was great without topping it with the lime butter; but will definitely try next time)
  3. In another bowl, combine the paprika, cumin and chipotle powder or crushed red pepper flakes with 1 1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt.
  4. Rub olive oil over both sides of your steak.
  5. Rub the spice mixture all over the steaks; both sides
  6. Oil the grate and grill the steaks over moderately high heat, turning once, until slightly charred and medium-rare, about 12 minutes.
  7. Transfer the steaks to plates and top with the lime butter (if desired). Let the steaks stand for 3 to 4 minutes before serving.

Original recipe calls for boneless rib eye steaks but this rub could go on anything. Recipe here.



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3 Responses to "Mexican Spice-Rubbed Tri-Tip"

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  1. virginiaplantation

    June 18, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    I just ate dinner…. now I’m hungry again! This looks soooo good!

  2. Pingback: Sage, Rosemary & Olive Oil Rub for Steaks | Hip Foodie Mom

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