Smoked Tri-Tip

Smoked Tri-Tip

If you are a meat lover and seeking something you can cook easily and quickly, Smoke Tri-tip is the best thing. Tri-tip when smoked gives a very delicious taste and juicy texture. Do you know why we call it tri-tip? Because of its triangle shape, and is an excellent alternative to Smoked brisket.  This cut of meat can be smoked whole and enjoyed at a medium-rare cook. It takes less time than smoking a brisket. You’ll be surprised and impressed with the blast of flavor this smoked tri-tip recipe gives your meat!

Best side dishes with a tri-tip roast

To fully enjoy the juicy and mouth-watering flavor of this fantastic recipe, try pairing it up with Smoked corn on the cob, smoked Sweet potatoes, Smoked baked potatoes, or smoked asparagus.

How to make Smoked Tri-Tip

We have broken down the best recipe to prepare tri-tip steak for the whole family. Let’s get started with it without any further delay. Grab your pellet smoker. Make sure the grill grates are thoroughly cleaned before smoking. You can use any grill like an electric smoker, gas grill, or charcoal smoker, whatever is easily available.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Resting time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2-3 hours
  • Total Time: 2-3 hours and 5 minutes
  • Cook Temperature: 225ºF
  • Finished Temperature: 145ºF
  • Wood Flavor: Oakwood, Hickory wood
  • Servings: 4 people

Required Tools

  • Your preference of smoker (I recommend a pellet smoker)
  • Commercial grade tinfoil
  • Meat thermometer
  • Cutting board
  • Cast iron skillet pan


  • 1 ½ pound of tri-tip roast
  • 1 batch of espresso brisket rub
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • Some butter for searing
  • Rosemary


  1. Start and set your smoker, grab your pellets, and get the temperature stable at 225ºF.
  2. Season the tri-tip roast with the espresso rub.
  3. Place the roast directly on the grill and smoke until the internal temperature is 145ºF.
  4. Sear the smoke meat.
  5. Remove the tri-tip from the grill and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes.

BBQ Hero Tip: Use a marinade injector to infuse your tri-tip with your favorite marinade for even more juic and flavor!

Detailed Cooking Instructions

1) Prepare your smoker at the desired temperature

Light up your smoker and add the selected wood chips to it. Maintain the temperature of the smoker at 225ºF with the lid closed.

2) Season tri-tip with the desired rub

Place tri-tip on a marinating tray and brush it with olive oil. After that, apply the favorite rub and a bit of kosher salt thoroughly over the steak and let it rest for 15 minutes.

3) Smoking the tri-tip

Place tri-tip directly on the grill grate. Let it smoke for 2- 3 hours. Check if the internal temperature of the steak has reached 145ºF. If this is the temperature recorded, remove the tri-tip and get ready for searing it.

4) Searing the meat

Place two sticks of butter in a cast-iron skillet pan and heat it. When the butter is melted, place the tri-tip smoked steak on that pan and let it sear for 2-5 minutes. Change the sides accordingly.

5) Serving the steak

After searing it, it’s time to serve it with the best sidelines, but before that, put the piece of meat on a cutting board and cut it into equal slices with the help of a sharp knife. Place the slices on a serving platter along with the side options, and Voila! You are all set to serve the perfectly cooked tri-tip steak.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to smoke tri-tip at 225?

We recommend cooking the tri-tip for 2-3 hours. It all depends upon the internal temperature of the meat. If the internal temp in the thickest part of the meat is recorded at 145ºF. Consider it done.

Can I smoke tri-tip for 4 hours?

Yes, you can smoke it for 4 hours, as we have said earlier. It depends upon the internal temperature. As soon as you have reached the desired internal temperature, remove it from the smoker. After achieving the said inside temp, if you still keep it smoking, there are chances that you may ruin the juicy texture.

Do you flip tri-tip when smoking?

Yes, after every hour, flip your meat to cook it evenly from all sides. Flipping it will also engrave those grill marks on the meat that makes it tempting.

Should tri-tip be smoked or grilled?

I would say smoking is the best option. It allows the meat to be infused with a tempting smoke flavor and all the other ingredients, doubling up the flavor.

What temperature do you smoke tri-tip at?

Smoke it at 225 degrees Fahrenheit. Because it cooks so rapidly, fruitwood or oak is ideal. The temperature of smoked tri-tip is perfect when the thickest portion of the meat registers 125 degrees F with an instant-read digital thermometer, such as a Thermoworks Thermapen for rare. Medium rare is 135 degrees Fahrenheit.

Should I wrap my tri-tip in foil?

You can, if you want because wrapping it with foil helps to keep the moisture in the meat. Tri-tip is a delicate, boneless roast that is occasionally sliced into steaks. It benefits from extended cooking at a low temperature like a roast, enabling the heat to gently dissolve the connective tissues in the muscle, making it incredibly soft.

What wood is best for smoking tri-tip?

I would recommend using Oakwood, Hickory wood, or any other fruitwood.

Do you smoke tri-tip fat side up or down?

It is suggested that you cook the fat side up. The cooking directions are for rare to medium-rare, providing the best flavor and preventing dry meat. Check the internal temperature using a thermometer and cook until it reaches 140°F.

How to get the best tri-tip meat for smoking?

You can buy tri-tip from the supermarket or the butcher’s shop. I would recommend you to get fresh meat from a butcher’s shop. This meat will be from the bottom sirloin. While purchasing tri-tip, get a trimmed one because the untrimmed meat will have a fat cap and a silver skin layer.