Santa Maria Style Steak Rub

Oh friends, we need to talk about meat. You see, I enjoy it obviously — it is a staple in our diet — and finding creative ways to prepare it are basically always on my mind. What? Your brain isn’t a hamster wheel of meat prep ideas? Huh. Weird.

As a person with a full schedule, I am somemwhat partial to marinades because they always impart good flavor, can gussy up a tough cut of meat and they do all the seasoning work just sitting there in the fridge while you are out living life and GETTING THINGS DONE! As such, one of the chinks in my clean-eating armor is store bought marinade. Listen, we just can’t all be perfect all the time.

I love a good store bought marinade, alright. CONFESSED. I will take my lashings. But first, to add insult to injury, do you know what my favorite one is? Here is where you will really just let me have it: The pre-marinated Guy Fieri (OMG! I KNOW!) Santa Maria Style Tri-Tip they sell at Costco. I mean we all vote with our dollars when we buy are food, and I am voting (loudly) for irresponsible bleaching, hair gel, and sunglasses worn ON THE BACKS OF HEADS! My dollars shouldn’t even have the right to vote when I make decisions like that. But it is so convenient. So delicious. Oh, Guy I wish I knew how to quit you!

Oh hey wait, now I do.

You see when we started the Whole 30, I knew that this little habit would have to come to an end for at least 30 days (seed oils, preservatives, yada yada — Guy Fieri is not on the approved list. ha.) I was kind of hoping I could find a few good staple preparations that would leave my store bought marinade habit (along with my store bought dressing habit) in the dust, but it’s not like I hadn’t tried before. If you google Santa Maria style seasoning a million recipes pop up, and I promise I’ve tried many. But none really made my heart sing the way Guy Fieri did, until I read this post over on Simply Recipes.

But wait, that’s a recipe for how to cook Pork Shoulder on a gas grill, Holly. Are you crazy?

Nestled in that discussion of pork is a tiny little hint of a Santa Maria style seasoning. And one that I hadn’t tried! So I omitted the sugar and tested it out one night and HOLY HECK I broke up with Guy Fieri that very same night! My life? Instantly bleach-free! Well, until the next episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. I have a soft spot for that show. Ok, ok and a soft spot for Guy Fieri — stupid sunglasses and all. He’s a Nor-Cal celebrity. I can’t help it. Can we still be friends?

Anyway, speaking of Nor-Cal celebrities — Elise and Simply Recipes has changed my life. The rub was amazing, and is now a staple in our house, and full of so many easy ingredients that I insist you mix up your own batch! Heck, it would probably be great on chicken or grilled vegetables too. So darn delicious! And even better — clean as a whistle, and completely Whole 30 compliant.


Santa Maria Style Steak Rub
Author: adapted from Simply Recipes
Makes enough to rub on 4-5 lbs of meat. Prep it in a container and it’ll keep for weeks!
  • 2 Tbsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp finely ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne (or more if you like more heat)
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  1. Mix everything together
  2. Sprinkle liberally on steaks
  3. Massage into meat (ah! meat hands!)
  4. Let sit for 5-10 minutes
  5. Spray steaks with a little olive oil or grease your grill
  6. Grill those suckers!
  7. Enjoy life with out preservatives, weird stuff, or the judging looks of others considering how much money you spend supporting the Guy Fieri empire.


Check it out already, would ya?

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3 Responses to Santa Maria Style Steak Rub

  1. Amelia says:

    Yum! So trying this out. Love all those flavors. I know it’s gonna be GOOD 🙂 I just ordered a ribeye “primal” from US Wellness – my first foray into cutting my own steaks. Eek! But I could not resist that the cost per pound was so much more affordable. I cannot WAIT to get that shipment next week 🙂

    • Holly says:

      Let me know how it goes with US Wellness…I really want to order some stuff but I always get overwhelmed when I go to their site. So many options! 🙂

  2. This is me judging you. Also, Costco cutting board set — represent!