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

Didn’t have time to dress this or pair it with anything on the plate to make it look pretty. . my husband was ready to dig in once it hit the plate. I was lucky to get this shot.


  • 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.

All the lovely spices! (Rosemary was for something else)

Hope this photo isn’t too gross looking. I wanted to show a before and after. Obviously, we did a few different rubs. The Mexican spice rub is the big sucker in the middle.

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


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