Sliced tri tip on plate

Smoked Tri Tip

Smoked Tri Tip: This is a delicious game-changing smoked tri-tip steak recipe! Often called the Newport steak, triangle tip, triangle roast with different cuts of meat this wins the prize with the perfect fat content and flavor.

With your favorite side dish, this is hands down the best tri-tip recipe! The good smoke flavor will make you a believer if this is your first time, and the good news is, the amount of time it takes is worth it with just a fraction of the time in meat smoking world!

Smoked tri tip

Why you’ll love this recipe

What a great way to have the perfect cut of beef with a smoky flavor and crusty bark to entertain your family and friends! The level of doneness will be medium rare to medium with this temp. 130 degrees f is the perfect pull-out temp.

I love to smoke beef and with the prices today, this is some of the best cuts of beef for the money. A tender cut of meat with my favorite dry rub will make people rave! Whether you are using a pellet grill, gas grill, or electric smoker the principles are the same. Also, check out the smoked elk recipe on my blog.


Below you will find the list of ingredients you will need with a simple dry rub.

seasoning for the tri tip.
  • Kosher Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Garlic Pepper
  • Paprika
  • Rosemary
  • Olive Oil
  • Honey

See tri tip recipe card toward the bottom of this post for quantities.


Choosing the size of the tri tip is important depending on the quality and how many people you are feeding.

With its triangular shape, it’s easy to spot. Always trim the large fat cap off of the tri tip when your smoking slowly or it will make the meat chewy. Score the meat on one side keeping in mind this will help the dry rub absorb.

Scoring the tri tip with a knife.

Combine all spices into a large bowl and mix thoroughly some even call this a dry brine.

Placing honey on the meat.

Rub olive oil all over the meat.

Then take honey and cover the meat lightly.

Sprinkle the seasoning over the meat and then rub it in.

Place the meat on the pre-heated smoker at 225 degrees F. You can also put a water pan in the smoker to keep moisture in.

Pull the tri tip off when the internal temperature reaches 130 degrees F., at the thickest part of the meat.

Wrap in tin foil, butcher paper or plastic wrap and let rest for 15 minutes before slicing.

Next time your family will be knocking the door down for this, so get those side dishes ready! The end result should be absolute bliss!

Check out smoked tri tip video


You can use mustard or light mayo for a binder if you have issues with honey.

Some like to add chili powder, onion powder, and brown sugar this will also achieve some kick with sweetness.

Keep in mind some will use the reverse sear method in a cast iron skillet to give a final finesse. I don’t think this is necessary but worth mentioning. With this cut being the bottom of the sirloin I like the slow cooking process.


I am using a Traeger pellet smoker it gives a nice even cook and smoke in a fraction of time. You can use any type of smoker you want the principles will remain the same. A good meat thermometer that I use, is a weber thermometer.

Applewood pellets


After smoking the meat, you can expect the tri-tip to be good in the fridge for four days. Wrapped and frozen, you can expect 3-4 months.

Pro tip

  • It is absolutely critical to make sure the internal temp when pulled is 125-130 degrees and avoid direct high heat.
  • It is important you slice the meat against the grain. It runs radially in different directions. Cut the tri tip in two from the corner to the crook. This will make the best smoked tri-tip recipe!
  • Pair this smoked tri tip with a big tannic wine for the ultimate pairing for dinner.
Yield: 4

Smoked Tri-Tip

Sliced tri tip on plate

Going to your local butcher or local grocery store combined with having the perfect target temperature makes the best-smoked tri-tip. Thin slices served with a style pinot noir will make anyone want seconds.

Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 1 second
Total Time 2 hours 1 second


  • 1 tablespoon of kosher salt.
  • 1 tablespoon of pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic pepper.
  • 2 tablespoons of paprika.
  • 2 tablespoons of rosemary. 
  • Olive oil to cover.
  • Honey to cover lightly.


  1. Preheat smoker to 225 degrees.
  2. Remove the fat cap from the tri-tip.
  3. Score the top of the meat ¼ deep.
  4. Mix seasonings into a small bowl.
  5. Pour gently olive oil over all sides of the meat.
  6. Pour lightly honey all over the meat.
  7. Pour the small bowl of seasoning all over the meat.
  8. Rub the seasoning into the meat.
  9. Place on the smoker for approx 1 ½ hour or internal temp of 130 degrees.
  10. Pull tri-tip off smoker wrap in foil for 15 minutes.
  11. Slice against the grain of the meat.


  • Cook to a minimum temperature of 125 °F (51.6 °C)
  • Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
  • Wash hands after touching raw meat
  • Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
  • Never leave smoking food unattended
  • Always have good ventilation when using a pellet smoker.
  • Nutrition Information:



    Serving Size:


    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 71Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1591mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gProtein: 1g

    Food safety

    • Cook to a minimum temperature of 125 °F (51.6 °C)
    • Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
    • Wash hands after touching raw meat
    • Don’t leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
    • Never leave smoking food unattended
    • Always have good ventilation when using a pellet smoker.

    See more guidelines at

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    1. This rub sounds delicious! I haven’t tried scoring tri tip like that before to help absorb the seasoning, but it totally makes sense and I have to remember that for next time!

    2. I’m not good at cooking meat, but I carefully followed your recipe, and the meat was delicious. The smoke flavor is a game changer. All the family loved it.

    3. My brother has a smoker so I can’t wait to share this recipe with him. Love the ease of preparation…I just know it’s going to be delicious!

    4. Wow, this is something both my husband and I would love to try. I think we even have a tri tip in the freezer. Weekend project here we come!

    5. Oh I know I would love this! Unfortunately, I don’t have a smoker but my neighbor does so I will be sure to pass it along!

    6. Immediately sent this recipe to. my husband who really needs to expand his horizons with the smoker. This tri tip recipe sounds amazing and the weather has been so warm for November so we can make it asap!!

    7. These tips and tricks for the best-smoked tri-tip are made for a tender and flavorful roast. the meat is great on everything from sandwiches to a stand-alone main dish.

    8. This Tri tip looks so so good. Love the flavors, and it looks perfectly smoked. A great idea to keyed the oil, then honey and then finishing with the dry spices. That forms such a nice crust of flavor that just melts into the meat. Well done!

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