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Smoked Tri-Tip


1 Beef Tri-Tip (2 pounds)

Olive Oil

2 T. Brown Sugar

2 T. Kosher Salt

2 T. Garlic Powder

2 T. Onion Powder

2 T. freshly ground Black Pepper

1 T. Smoked Paprika

1 T. Chili Powder

1 T. Cayenne Pepper

2 tsp. Dry Mustard

2 tsp. Cumin

Cooking Instructions:

  • Preheat Smoker: Preheat smoker to 225 degrees using a fruit wood like apple or consider oak.
  • Trimming Tri-Tip-  There may be some silver skin that needs to be removed with a sharp filet or boning knife. That will help with texture when it is done.
  • Season: Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside. Cover the tri-tip in olive oil. Generously coat with dry rub mixture. Don’t be afraid to get a nice crust on there with a liberal coating of the rub.
  • Smoke: Place tri-tip on smoker unwrapped for 60-90 minutes. Cook until internal temperature reaches 125 – 130 degrees F for rare and remove.
  • Wrap tri-tip in foil and let rest for 15 minutes.
  • Cut:  When slicing any cut of beef, it’s important to slice against or perpendicular to the grains. This helps keep the structure of the beef intact for good texture. Look at the lines of the cut. Start with the thin end and cut. As you get to the thicker side, rotate roughly 45 degrees and finish slicing. You will have thin small slices from the thinner and and longer slices for the thicker side. That is normal.
  • Internal Temperature of Beef-  Cook to your desired internal temperature, we like rare at 125, but adjust the time of the smoking process if you want to go higher. If you do hold in the cooler if it’s done early or to wait for people coming over, know that it will continue to cook, so take into consideration the additional 5 degrees the roast will cook as it rests.
  • Chef’s Tip- If the roast is done earlier than you want to slice and serve, take the wrapped tri tip and put into a small cooler with no ice. It will stay warm for up to two hours if you don’t open the cooler. Then slice and serve when ready.
  • Cooking time will vary depending how you like your meat. The average 2 pound roast should take no more than 60 minutes for rare, or 90 minutes for medium rare. If you like your meat rare, the internal temperature should be 135 degrees, for medium rare 140 and 145 for medium.

Recipe Notes

Serves 6 people. Smoked Tri-tip is easy, quick and sure to please!

Optional: Place in a cooler (with NO ice) to keep warm for anywhere from 30-60 minutes. This will continue the cooking process another 5 degrees.  We have found that it makes the cut extremely tender as the juices slowly redistribute into the meat.

Suggested Wine Pairing

One of our favorite things about Tri-Tip is its versatility with wine! A full-bodied Bogle Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon will work with a fatty cut. It also takes on some great savory characteristics from the smoke and rub, which are to die for with the savoriness of Bogle Merlot. Juicy, lean, tender, and delicious!

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