Tender and juicy on the inside, with a smoky crust on the outside, this Smoked Tri Tip recipe is easy and delicious.
Get My Easy Grilling Cookbook Bundle for 75% OFF
Tri Tip Steak is one of the easiest cuts of meat to smoke. It comes out with the a crispy texture and tender and juicy center. The smoke flavor makes this cuts of beef a family favorite. After searing the steak it will melt in your mouth for a delicious meal idea.
Table of Contents
What is Tri Tip?
Tri Tip comes from the lower bottom sirloin and it is triangle shaped cut of beef. Most tri tip comes already trimmed by the butcher which removes the excess fat.
Preparing Tri Tip in the smoker is one of my favorite to cook this meat. It is important to follow these step by step instructions for the best smoky flavor.
- Tri-Tip Roast (2-3 pounds)
- Olive Oil
- Kosher Salt
- Black Pepper
- Garlic Powder
Scroll to the bottom of the post to see the full list of ingredients and recipe.
- Seasoning – Smoked Tri Tip can be seasoned many different ways. We used simple seasoning but feel free to add in onion powder, paprika, cayenne pepper or seasoning recipe.
- BBQ Sauce – Add BBQ Sauce for added flavor after removing the Tri Tip from the smoker.
Step by Step Instructions:
Step 1 – Preheat the smoker to 225 degrees Fahrenheit. Trim the tri-tip by removing any fat and silver skin. Pat the tri-tip dry.
Step 2 – Rub both sides of the tri-tip with olive oil and season it with the salt, black pepper and garlic powder on both sides. Gently press the seasoning into the tri-tip.
- Step 3 – Place the tri-tip directly on the grill grates in the smoker. Then cook for 2-2.5 hours until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 130-135 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 4 – Melt the butter in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat.
Step 5 – Sear both sides of the tri-tip for 2-3 minutes. Remove the tri-tip from the pan and let it rest for 10-15 minutes. Slice the tri-tip against the grain and serve!
- Prepare Smoker – Prepare smoker by preheating to 225 degrees before placing the tri tip in. Smoking meat takes time and so we like to set the temperature on low for the best results.
- Prepare Tri Tip – Before smoking tri tip we recommend removing any fat and silver skin. Make sure to pat dry before adding seasoning.
- Adding Seasoning – Make sure to completely cover the tri tip with the seasoning blend. Press the seasoning into the tri tip for the best flavor.
- Smoking Tri Tip – Cooking time will vary depending on your desired temperature. We recommend using a meat thermometer to ensure that the internal temp is cooked to at least 130 degrees.
- Reverse Sear – The key to making the most tender and juicy steak is to reverse sear. We recommend not skipping this step as it gives the steak so much flavor and a nice crust.
- Smoker – We used a wood chip smoker to make this recipe. But you can also use a pellet smoker if you prefer.
- Rest Steak – After searing the tri tip, allow it to rest for about 15 minutes before slicing.
How Long to Smoke Tri Tip:
The directions are to prepare the tri-tip to medium. Below are the internal temperatures needed based on how you like your beef prepared. Use a thermometer to check the temperature of the tri tip before removing from the grill.
- 115 degrees F – Rare Roast
- 125 degrees F – Medium-Rare Roast
- 135 degrees F – Medium Roast
- 145 degrees F – Medium Well Roast
- 150 degrees F – Well Done Roast
Plan on smoking the tri tip for about 2 hours then additional 5 minutes for searing and then about 15 minutes for resting. This time will vary depending on how done you want your tri tip to be.
For the best flavor and juicy center, we do not recommend cooking tri tip past medium.
How to Slice Tri Tip:
Place Cooked Tri Tip on a cutting board. Then notice that the grains run in different directions. You want to slice the tri tip against the grains for the most tender meat.
For best results use a sharp knife to slice the tri tip.
There are many side dishes that can be served with this smoked meat recipe. You can easily prepare your side dishes in the smoker for a complete meal idea.
Frequently Asked Questions:
We like using our cast iron skillet to do the reverse sear on the tri tip. But you can use any type of large skillet.
If you do not have a smoker, you can still enjoy this cut of beef on your grill. Prepare the tri tip as indicated and place tri tip over direct high heat first then move to indirect heat for about 20 minutes. Cooking both sides until internal temperature reaches 130 degrees.
Refrigerate the leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Depending on how much you have left, I like to place in a baking dish and reheat in the oven. Reheat in a 350 degree preheated oven for about 10 minutes.
More Easy Smoker Recipes:
We love hearing from you. If you make this Smoked Tri Tip Recipe, please leave us a comment or a star review.
Smoked Tri Tip
- Preheat the smoker to 225 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Trim the tri-tip by removing any fat and silver skin. Pat the tri-tip dry.
- Rub both sides of the tri-tip with olive oil and season it with the salt, pepper and garlic powder on both sides. Gently press the seasoning into the tri-tip.
- Place the tri-tip directly on the grill grates in the smoker and cook for 2-2.5 hours until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 130-135 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Melt the butter in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Sear both sides of the tri-tip for 2-3 minutes.
- Remove the tri-tip from the pan and let it rest for 10-15 minutes.
- Slice the tri-tip against the grain and serve!
Pin This Now to Remember It LaterPin Recipe