Smoked Tri Tip

by Richard Ward

Tri Tip Is From The Lower Sirloin

Tri Tip Is From The Lower Sirloin

Do you have a recipe for smoked tri tip in a smoker, not a grill?

I have an electric smoker that works great for ribs and chicken. I would like to try smoking a tri-tip. Can you help?


Tri tip is renowned for it's low fat content and great flavor and because it is cut from specific area of the animal it is usually 1.5 to 2.5 lbs. (675 to 1,150g) per side of beef. Basically it's the end of the sirloin and called tri tip because it is triangular in shape.

Because it is low in fat you've got to be careful not to overdo the smoking otherwise it will be dry.

It is also known as the Santa Maria steak as it's been the specialty of Santa Maria county California for many years. Red Oak is the traditional wood to use but if you can't get it then Mesquite works just fine too. There are many recipes for grilling and here's a great one for smoking a whole tri tip.

The ingredients below are for the rub.

Preparation Time:- 15 mins
Marinade (rub) Time:- 60 mins
Cooking Time:- 120 mins

Total Time:- 3 hrs 15 mins


  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt


Mix up all the ingredients and rub onto the meat and then give it about 60 minutes for the rub to permeate the flesh and work its magic.

Set your smoker up for 225ºF or 110ºC and smoke for about 2 hours depending on the size of your beef.

Remember it's a lean cut so you don't want to overcook it (in my opinion), I prefer mine rare.

To be absolutely sure use a BBQ thermometer and look for an internal temperature of about 125-130ºF (52-54ºC) before pulling your smoked tri tip out of the smoker.

When done, just let it sit for 15 minutes and then cut it up into steaks.....delicious!

See Also:-

Barbecue Beef Recipes
Barbecue Beef Brisket Recipes
Barbecue Chuck Roast Recipes

Go From Smoked Tri Tip To More Easy Barbecue Recipes

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The Best Way To Smoke A Sirloin Tip Roast?

by Stephen Gorw
(Endicott, NY)

Sear It Before Indirect Cooking

Sear It Before Indirect Cooking

I have an 11 pound sirloin tip roast beef I would like to smoke for Thanksgiving. Do you have any suggestions on the best way to smoke it so it doesn't come out like shoe leather?


If you don't want it to come out like shoe leather then one essential piece of equipment that you need is a Digital Probe Thermometer so that you can montor the meat throughout the smoking process.

I'm with you in that I don't like my meat too well done so ensuring that you've got a temperature probe and checking for an internal temperature of 145°F will see you right.

Just for reference, internal meat temperature requirements for beef are:-

145°F (62.8°C) - Medium rare
160°F (71.1°C) - Medium
170°F (76.7°C) - Well Done

Sirloin is quite a lean cut of beef and smoking for a long period of time will make it prone to drying out so I would use a water bath to maintain the humidity in your food chamber.

In terms of flavoring I have a nice rub that I served up for a smoked tri tip recipe that you might want to try.

Other Indirect Methods

As an alternative to smoking but still mainly using indirect cooking techniques there is an excellent recipe here that was sent in by one of my site visitors and this recipe demonstrates a great way to cook sirloin on your barbecue.

Basically you sear it on all sides and then cook indirectly. I generally work on 20 minutes per pound for the indirect roasting phase,

If you're looking for additional flavor then try your favorite barbecue rub just before you start to sear the joint.

See Also:-

Grilled Beef Sirloin
Barbecue Rubs
Barbecue Marinades
Homemade Barbeque Sauces

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