Smoked Tri Tip is easy, delicious, and extra juicy! It is full of flavor and is the perfect dinner addition!
Now I know I’ve shared a few tri tip recipes before, like my oven baked Santa Maria Tri Tip and Tri Tip Marinade, but a smoked tri tip is by far my favorite way to eat this tasty meat!
It’s so simple and makes for the most tender tri tip you will ever have!
Although you can use any rub or marinade, I typically like to throw together a simple brown sugar dry rub for my tri tips.
What you need for the dry rub?
- Brown Sugar
- Garlic Powder
- Chipotle Powder
- Onion Powder
- Salt and Pepper
- Cayenne Powder
- Red Pepper Flakes
Or use what ever rub you have on hand and is your favorite!
How to smoke tri tip:
- Preheat smoker to 225°F. Set smoke level between 7-8 if using a pellet grill.
- Coat tri tip liberally with dry rub on both sides and the sides/edges.
- Place tri tip in smoker and smoke for ~2 hrs and the internal temperature is to your preferred temperature. I recommend an internal temperature of 135°F for medium-rare.
- Once cooked remove from smoker and let stand ~10 minutes then cut and enjoy!
Beef Steak and Roast Temperatures
- Rare: 120-130°F
- Medium Rare: 130-135°
- Medium: 135-145°F
- Medium Well: 145-155°F
- Well: 155°+
When cooking steaks and roasts, the meat will typically continue cooking and raise by a 5-10° degrees once you take it off the grill/smoker/oven. Carry over cooking is more likely to occur when meat is cooked at higher temperatures.
Meat Thermometer- I love using my smoke pro for checking temperatures while cooking the tri tip, and then spot check with my thermapen one or my dash thermometer. (affiliate links)
Smoker- For this recipe I used my camp chef vault, but I also love using my camp chef pellet grill. (affiliate links)
Whether you are making a smoked tri tip traeger or camp chef or using some other smoker- it will be a delicious tri tip!
How to cut tri tip?
The best way to cut tri tip is to cut perpendicular to the grain of the meat. This will provide the juiciest cuts.
What to serve with smoked tri tip?
I love serving up smoked tri tip with some chips and pico, a tasty brie salad, and a refreshing limeade!
What internal temp for smoked tri tip?
Smoked tri tip is done when it reaches 130°F-135°F for medium rare.
Meat- You can use this rub on chicken or turkey.
Dry Rub: You can use any type of marinade or rub on this tri tip that you prefer!
I love using this tasty marinade if I have a few hours, or if I want a classic Santa Maria flavor I will go with this rub!
Other smoked recipes?
I love Smoked Spatchcock Chicken, Smoked Turkey Breast, Smoked Cream Cheese, Smoked Rib Eye. Check out all my smoker recipes here!
How to store tri tip?
Store cooked tri tip in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
You can also freeze cooked tri tip in an air tight container in the freezer for up to a month!
What to do with leftover tri tip?
Any leftover tri tip we typically make into sandwiches or tacos and I highly recommend it!
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 130 °F
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
See more guidelines at USDA.gov.
Watch how to make this recipe!
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Smoked Tri Tip
- 2-3 lb tri tip
Dry Rub Ingredients
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 3 tbs garlic powder
- 3 tbs paprika
- 1 tbs onion powder
- 1 tbs pepper
- ½ tbs chipotle powder
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Preheat smoker to 225°F. If using a pellet grill also set smoke level between 7-10.
- Combine dry rub ingredients.½ cup brown sugar, 3 tbs garlic powder, 3 tbs paprika, 1 tbs onion powder, 1 tbs pepper, ½ tbs chipotle powder, 1 teaspoon oregano, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Cover tri tip with a liberal amount of dry rub.2-3 lb tri tip
- Place tri tip on smoker then smoke until you get to an internal temperature of 135°F for medium rare (my preferred temp for tri tip), or smoke longer until you reach your internal temperature desired.
- Once the tri tip is done smoking, allow it to rest for at least 10 minutes before cutting.
- Cut tri tip perpendicular to the grain of the meat and enjoy!
- *This dry rub makes enough for one large tri tip and then some. If you want to save the leftover to use on some chicken or other meat, make sure not to cross contaminate any of the raw meat into the dry rub.
- *Store any leftover dry rub in an air tight container like a ziploc baggie or mason jar.
- Store leftover cooked meat in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days.
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