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+ servings
Whole marinated smoked meat on a chopping board

Smoked Tri Tip

Reserve your weekend dinner for the meaty, juicy, and tasty flavors of smoked tri tip cooked low and slow. A tender beefy dish perfectly smoked to let the woody flavors seep in to the meat’s core. You’ll enjoy cooking this dish as much as slicing each tender, fragrant, and flavorful piece.
Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Servings 5
Calories 359kcal
Author Imma


  • 1 1/2 - 2 1/2 pounds tri tip roast
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-2 tablespoons (2.74 to 5.48 g) thyme chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons (4.66 g) onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon (1.15 g) smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon (0.71 g) dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon (0.56 oz) soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon (14.2 ml) olive oil


  • Trim the fat: Trim any excess fat from tri tip , leaving a thin layer of fat.
  • Score the fat layer: Cut through the fat, but not through the meat.
  • Season the meat: Season it with salt and pepper, then set aside.
  • Mix the Marinate: Mix together garlic, thyme, paprika, basil, soy sauce, onion powder, and oil.
  • Apply the marinate to the meat: Marinade Rub all over beef covering every inch of the beef with marinade. Place in a zip lock or seal in a bowl. Refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight.
  • Smoke the Tri tip: When ready to smoke, preheat your smoker to 225 F. this may vary depending on which smoker you're going to use. See the different smokers below.
  • Place the meat: Place the meat firmly in your smoker, check the if the internal temperature of the meat. once it reaches the temperature you desire, take it out of the smoker
  • Rest the meat: Let the meat rest for a around 30 minutes to let all the juices settle back in the meat. Proceed with slicing it to your desired thickness and serve.

Using a Pellet Smoker

  • Turn on the smoker to start heating up the woodchips
  • Place the meats in a rack indirect to the heat source
  • Add a pan with half a cup of water to the smoking chamber to prevent it from drying out. 
  • Close the lid to trap all the heat that you'll need to cook the meat.

Using a Charcoal Grill

  • Place the hot charcoals on one extreme side of the grill.
  • Place the tin catch just below the grill so you can catch any juices that drip off.
  • Place the beef on the other side of the grill farthest from the coals and the water pan beside it.
  • Close the lid to trap all the heat that you'll need to cook the meat.

Using an Electric Smoker

  • Preheat and Pre-smoke the unit with the woodchips of your choice.
  • Once it reaches the desired temperature, place the water pan inside the lowest space inside the unit.
  • Place the tri tip on the racks and close the lid or door.


  • Charcoal Grill smoking takes longer but it helps to make the meat super tender but could also lead to burns. You will have to check your meat every hour or so to avoid uneven cooking.
  • Pellet Smokers also infuses the flavor of the wood chips in the meat. (Hickory is a popular choice for beef cuts but feel free to mix and match.)
  • If you’re a first-time user of this type of smoker, I suggest seasoning your grill with cooking oil. This prevents any residue from the manufacturing to stick to your food.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 359kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 47g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 147mg | Sodium: 137mg | Potassium: 731mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 8IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 56mg | Iron: 3mg