Pit Boss Smoked Tri-Tip

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Smoked tri-tip is a great alternative to brisket. It’s juicy, meaty, quicker, and much cheaper! You don’t need to look for a Pit Boss tri-tip recipe anymore, as this recipe will ensure you end up with the juiciest and most flavorful tri-tip.

Tri-tip is usually used in stews or grilled and sliced for steaks. However, it has become popular to smoke low and slow!

It’s perfect for a weeknight or summer cookout, and it will impress all your friends and family. So make sure you follow my steps to produce a pitmaster-level tri-tip!

What You Need For Smoked Tri-Tip

Tri-Tip Roast

Rub (Use your favorite rub or make your simple dry rub using 2 tbsps of garlic powder, 1 tbsp of onion powder, 1 tbsp pink sea salt, and 1.5 tbsps of black pepper)

Oil or Mustard

How To Smoked Tri Tip Roast in a Pit Boss Grill

Step 1: Seasoning the Tri-Tip

Preheat your smoke to 225°F, then wipe the surface of the meat to remove any excess moisture.

Coat with mustard, Worcestershire sauce, or oil to give the dry seasoning something to stick to. Then, evenly coat the entire surface with your dry rub ingredients.

Ideally, allow the tri-tip roast to sit for two hours before smoking. This allows the seasonings time to permeate and the meat to come to room temperature.

Ensure enough wood pellets are in the hopper to feed the entire cook. Nothing is worse than slowing the process by running out of chips!


Step 2: Smoke The Tri-Tip

After preheating your grill, carefully position the tri-tip on the grill. Remember to insert the probe into the thickest part of the meat to monitor its progress effortlessly.

I recommend cooking it to medium-rare for the best result, so the following instructions are for that. Remove the roast when the internal temperature reaches around 130°F. Once it has reached the desired temperature, take it off the grill and transfer it to a dish, covering it with foil for resting.

Step 3: How to Reverse Sear Your Tri Tip on a Smoker

Using the reverse sear method enhances your meat’s color, texture, and flavor. Plus, it leaves your meat with grill marks, leaving your mouth watering.

If you want to reverse-sear your beef roast, remove it at 125-130°F and let the meat rest under a piece of foil tented. While it’s resting, increase the grill temperature to 400°F-425°F, or use a cast iron pan on the stove.

Once the grill or pan is at temperature, remove the aluminum foil and coat it with oil.  Place grates on the grill for 90 seconds, then flip and cook for another 90 seconds. As you can see below, I reversed and seared my tri-tip in a pan.

Once the roast is done, place it back in the dish and cover it with aluminum foil, creating a tent-like shape. Allow it to rest for 10-15 minutes. Alternatively, you can wrap the roast in butcher paper during this resting period.

Step 4: Slicing Your Tri-Tip and Serving It Up

There is one single trick to serving tri-tip that will make or break your dish, and that is the way it is sliced.

The tri-tip’s grain runs in two different directions, changing midway through. If sliced incorrectly, it can end up with very chewy pieces, even though the roast has been cooked to perfection.

For the perfect slice, find which way each part is running. Then, cut the meat against the grain direction for maximum tenderness.

What Is A Tri Tip?

The tri-tip is a flavor-packed cut called the tensor fasciae latae. The trip-tip is a beef cut that comes from the lower section of the sirloin and gets its name from its triangular shape.

It’s also known as the Santa Maria streak, triangle steak, or Newport steak. The latter is named after the region it’s said to originate from, or triangle roast due to its shape.

Why You Love This Smoked Tri Tri Recipe

With some seasoning and the right wood chips, the smoked beef tri-tip roast is a treat. The tri-tip is a heavily marbled cut similar to brisket but cooks in a fraction of the time. 

The low and slow cooking process allows the fat and connective tissue to break into delicious gelatin.

How to Trim Your Tri-Tip Roast

When buying tri-tip, you have two options: trimmed or untrimmed. Most butchers will trim it for you; however, if your roast still has a sizable fat cap, follow these simple steps to trim it perfectly.

Using a sharp knife is crucial to ensure the tender meat remains intact. Slowly and carefully cut with one hand while lifting the fat with the other to remove the large fat cap.

Afterward, inspect your roast and trim any other significant fat or silver skin chunks. Leaving silver skin can result in a tough and difficult-to-cut tri-tip roast!

Doneness Chart for Tri-Tip

When smoking the ideal tri-tip, temperature plays a crucial role. Avoid cooking the tri-tip beyond medium, as it may lead to a tougher and drier roast.

Use the beef doneness chart below to achieve the perfect internal temperature. Monitor the internal temperature closely using a probe or meat thermometer and adjust the cooking time accordingly for best results!

Doneness LevelInternal TemperatureWhen to Pull for Reverse Sear
Rare125°F to 130°FPull around 115°F to 120°F
Medium Rare135°F to 140°FPull around 125°F to 130°F
Medium145°F to 150°FPull around 135°F to 140°F
Medium Well155°F to 160°FPull around 145°F to 150°F
Well Done165°F and aboveNot recommended for reverse sear

Recommendations for Wood Pellets to Use for Smoking a Tri-Tip Roast

Red meat can handle a stronger, bolder flavor profile. I like to use Oak or hickory hardwood pellets, with their rich, bacon-type flavors, or mesquite chips, for a strong, rich flavor.

Try apple, maple, or cherry pellets if you prefer sweeter, more subtle flavors. They will give the smokiness without overpowering the natural flavors. However, you may struggle to get a smoky flavor through the meat.

Should You Marinate Your Tri Tip?

You should try marinating your tri-tip. So people prefer just using a rub or dry brine. However, I think you get a better flavor with a marinade, plus it helps to tenderize the meat.

See the tri tip marinade recipe here.

What Temperature Should I Cook Tri Tip At?

You should smoke your tri-tip at a temperature of 225°F.

How Long to Smoke a Tri-Tip?

It takes 30 minutes per pound to smoke a tri-tip. However, that will depend on the size of the tri-tip and the temperature of the grill. The most effective way to monitor the internal temperature is to use a digital meat thermometer.

How Will I Know When Tri Tip Is Cooked?

If you want the tri-tip to have the same texture as brisket, cook it until it reaches an internal temperature of 203°F.

If you want a more textured steak, cook it to the following: When the internal temperature is 125-145 degrees (135 degrees for rare, 145 for medium-rare), remove it from the grill.

The best way to monitor is with a meat temperature probe rather than a time frame.

Not Sure What To Serve With Your Tri Tip

You have done the hard yard with the meat, but what will you serve with it?

Some of my favorites include;

Wasabi Potato Mash

Truffle Mushrooms

Spice Bag Fries

I have lots of other sides that go well with tri tip here.

Have You Tried Sous Vide Tri Tip?

Smoked tri-tip is delicious, but have you tried the sous vide method?

Using the sous vide leaves the meat tender and succulent.

See the Seared Sous Vide Tri Tip recipe here.

Got Leftover Tri Tip?

Here are some of the favorite ways to use leftover tri-tip.

Smoked Tri-Tip Fajitas

Smoked Tri Tip Sandwich

Leftover Steak Shepherds Pie

Click here to see more leftover tri tip recipes.

When serving up your leftover tri-tip, make sure you reheat the tri-tip properly. Otherwise, it can end up tough and chewy.

📌Did you try this recipe?

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Please also pin the image below to find the recipe for the next time you want to cook.

Pit Boss Smoked Tri-Tip

This smoked tri-tip roast recipe is tender, juicy, and bursting with flavor. Achieving perfection is a breeze with just three simple steps. In a little over two hours, you'll relish a tri-tip that rivals even those slow-cooked for 12+ hours in juiciness. Season it, smoke it, sear it, and watch as everyone fights for seconds. This dish is a surefire crowd-pleaser!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 5 minutes
Course Dinner, main, Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6 serves
Calories 380 kcal


  • Pit Boss Grill


  • 4 whole Tri-tips (about 2lb each)
  • 3 tbsp Meat rub (herbs, garlic powder, onion powder, pink sea salt, and black pepper rub)
  • 1 tbsp Oil
  • 1 tbsp Worchester sauce or mustard
  • 1 tbsp Kosher salt


  • Mix rub ingredients in a bowl until evenly combined.
  • Preheat pellet grill to 250ºF with the smoke setting on medium-high.
  • Coat with a layer of mustard, Worcestershire sauce, or oil to give the dry seasoning something to stick to. Evenly coat the entire surface with your dry rub ingredients.
  • Let your seasoned tri-tip rest at room temperature for about an hour.
  • Place tri-tip on the pellet grill grate and shut the lid.
  • Cook until the center of the tri-tip is 125-145 degrees. This usually takes about 1 hour, give or take.
  • Remove tri tip from grill and let it rest at room temperature for about 20 minutes.
  • While the beef rests, raise the temperature in your pellet grill to 450-500F.
  • Put tri tip back on the grill to sear each side of the roast.
  • After the tri-tip is seared on all sides, check the internal temperature in the center of the beef to see if it has reached desired doneness (135 for rare, 145ºF for medium rare).
  • Once doneness has been reached, place the finished tri-tip on a cutting board.
  • Let it rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving.
  • The tri-tip has a grain that runs in two different directions changing midway through.
    For the perfect slice, simply find which way each part is running. Then cut the meat against the grain direction for maximum tenderness.
Keyword Barbeque, pitboss tri tip, Smoked

The tri-tip roast is such a versatile cut that you can cook low and slow if you have plenty of time, or a little quicker when you need to feed a tribe in a hurry.

Either way, it will still retain its tender, moist qualities. So next time you think of smoking a brisket, why not try tri-tip?

Smoke On!


Hi, I’m Charlie, I have been meat-smoking and grilling for the past 15 years. I have an array of different smokers, thermometers, and have a love for finding the right wood and charcoal combo My favourite recipes are my EXTRA CRISPY smoked pork belly, juicy pulled pork, smoked brisket, duck poppers, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill).

I loves sharing his tips with beginners, helping them navigate the world of smoking. I find it’s not just about cooking; it’s a quest for that perfect smoky flavor.

You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling recipes with you!

You can read more about me on our About Us page.

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