Succulent Smoked Tri Tip Recipe

If you've never tried a smoked tri tip roast, don't you think it's about time? Beef tri tip is a great cut of meat, taken from the bottom sirloin.

This three sided cut of beef has a lot of merits. It's lean, tender and has great flavor. Not usually thought of as a meat for the smoker, tri tip is great as long as it's cooked to medium-rare or medium. Since it's lean, it can become dry and tough when overcooked.


  • One 2 to 3 pound beef tri tip roast
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Season the tri tip with the combined dry ingredients. You probably noticed that no salt is in the dry rub, so be sure to salt the beef to taste before coating with the spices. The tri tip rub recipe makes enough for two 3 pound roasts.

Allow the seasoned beef to rest for up to an hour, giving time for the flavors to penetrate. A tri tip isn't a thick cut, so one hour of rest time is plenty.

Smoked Tri Tip Cooking Instructions

Tri tip is very popular in California, and when cooked over a wood fire, red oak is often used. If you can find some red oak for smoking, all the better. If not, white oak or mesquite would be good choices too.

The smoked tri tip is smoked at 225-250 degrees for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, or to the desired level of doneness. I prefer tri tip when it's just made it to medium rare, taken off the smoker when the internal temperature reaches 130 degrees. If you prefer beef more well done, smoke until the temperature reaches no more than 145 degrees.

At medium, the beef tri tip is still tender and juicy, but once it's past that, you'll be wishing with each dry, chewy bite you'd taken it out of the smoker sooner!