Smoked Tri Tip Recipe (You Will Forget All About Brisket)

Smoked Tri Tip Recipe (You Will Forget All About Brisket)

Just when you thought you knew everything about beef, it throws you a curve ball.

A deliciously flavorsome cut called tensor fasciae latae. Or to us regular folks, the tri-tip. 

The tri-tip gets its name from its triangular shape. It is known to be chewier than tenderloin or strip, however, it is bursting with flavour and doesn't take as long to cook as a brisket. Only around 2 hours!

smoked tri tip

​Like all beef, it is best-served medium rare ​! For those of you who have never cooked tri-tip ​you have to try my smoked tri tip recipe first!

Smoked Tri Tip 101

Smoked Tri Tip Recipe

Deliciously simple smoked tri tip recipe. You can use this as a base and add any ingredients to the rub that you like. I often add in cayenne pepper or a little bit of chilli for a kick.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Resting Time15 mins
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Barbecue
Servings: 6
Author: Charlie


  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried rosemary
  • 1 beef tri-tip around 2-1/2 pounds


  • Preheat your smoker to 225°F as per your smokers manufacturers instructions.
  • Trim your tri-tip of any silverskin or membrane. This is not a must, however, you will be left with a more tender result. Silverskin and membrane do not render down during the cook so it leaves a nasty texture in your mouth. 
  • Combine your rub ingredients in a bowl. Mix thoroughly with your hands. Place the tri-tip inside a baking dish and cover with the rub. Be sure to give it a good rub to thoroughly coat. If you have a digital thermometer place it inside the tri-tip so the end of the probe in at the centre. 
  • Place the tray in your smoker or grill and cover. You are wanting to smoke until the thermometer reads 130°F for medium rare at the centre. This should take around 60 - 70 minutes.
  • Once the tri-tip has reached temperature move onto a wire rack (with a foil pan below for drippings), cover with foil and rest for 20 minutes.
  • Once well rested, cut 1/4 inch slices against the grain and serve. My personal favourite is to make sandwiches with freshly baked bread and lots of crisp salad. Delicious! 

Charlies Hot Tip

​Tri tip can be a little hard to get right without the right gear! (I've learnt this the hard way!)​I always use traeger tailgater grill, I discovered that is top notch at maintaining the heat and smoke I needed for tri-tip! 

Tri Tip Temperature Guide

Doneness Level

Temperature °F

Temperature °C

Rest Time

Extra-rare / Bleu

80 - 100

26 - 38

10 Minutes


120 - 125

49 - 51

10 Minutes

Medium Rare

130 - 135

55 - 57

10 Minutes


140 - 145

60 - 63

10 Minutes

Medium Well

150 - 155

65 - 69

10 Minutes

Well Done

160 - 175

71 - 79

10 Minutes

Final Thoughts

There it is, my famous smoked tri tip! Its as simple as that. If your cooking it for a crowd, I would recommend using a faux cambro. This way your guaranteed it will be cooked perfectly, if your guest aren't ready to go!

I also love making this on the weekend so that through the week, me and the kids can have smoked tr tip sandwiches. The meat is even more flavorsome the next day (or the next next if you can wait that long).

Are you a fan of the tri tip? Let me know your favorite way to cook it, even if its not via the smoker!

Happy Smoking


​How to Cook Tri Tip in An Electric Smoker?

​I get a lot of questions from folks about regarding to how to cook their tri tip in an electric smoker. I would recommend using a pellet smoker as it gives you move control over a longer cook. 

​If you are really keen to use an electric smoker check out the video below from ​Donna at ​Armadillo Pepper

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