If you have a craving for succulent, mouth-watering, melt-in-your-mouth beef, then there’s nothing quite as good as this tri-tip on a pellet grill.
And if you don’t agree with what I just said, then maybe beef isn’t your thing or you just haven’t had good smoked tri-tip yet.
In this guide, you will be shown how to smoke tri-tip on a pellet grill.
Even if you are using a Pit Boss, Z Grill, Traeger, or other brand of pellet smoker, the technique will pretty much be the same.
What is Tri-Tip?
Tri-tip is a West Coast thing; however, fortunately, it is beginning to make its way to other parts of the country.
If you’ve seen one before, a tri-tip is a boomerang-shaped cut of steak that is obtained from the bottom of the sirloin.
Well, it has a similar taste and texture to brisket, but keep in mind that it is from a different part of the cow.
The brisket is obtained from the lower chest area, and the tri-tip is obtained from the hindquarters.
Ensure that you grab one if you ever come across a tri-tip, given that it is delicious, succulent, and perfect for smoking or grilling.
Why Smoke Tri Tip?
To get an excellent smoked flavor, you must smoke your tri-tip before turning the heat up and grilling it like you normally would.
A nice dry BBQ rub of common spices and a hint of smoke will make this smoked tri-tip recipe exceptional.
Tri-tip is an excellent flavored cut of beef. It is also commonly referred to as bottom sirloin butt or Santa Maria steak, which is where it was first made popular.
Keep in mind that tri-tip is not as common as some other steak cuts like Ribeye or NY Strip.
With all that being said, tri-tip is available at your local grocery store or butcher.
There are times when it will come already seasoned, just like pork tenderloin mostly does.
You have the option of smoking up an already seasoned steak, or if you can find one that is not seasoned, go ahead and season it and smoke it up.
Pellet Grill-Smoked Tri-Tip
It is time to make the best-smoked tri-tip on your pellet grill using this easy pellet grill smoked tri-tip recipe.
- Course: Main Course
- Cuisine: American
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 2 hours
- Total Time: 2 hours, 5 minutes
- Servings: 8 servings
- 1 tri-tip roast (3 to 4 pounds)
- 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons of garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons of salt
- 2 tablespoons of ground black pepper
- First, you are to trim any silver skin and fat cap from the tri-tip.
- After that, proceed to pat dry and season with salt, garlic powder, and pepper evenly on all sides of the roast. If needed, you are to use extra seasoning to coat the whole tri-tip, as keep in mind that it will differ based on the size. You have the option of using steak seasoning rather than the seasonings mentioned if that’s what you want.
- That being done, proceed to set your pellet grill to 200 degrees Fahrenheit and smoke for 2 to 3 hours until it reaches an internal temp between 125 and 130 degrees F (rare).
- After that, you are to remove the tri-tip and increase the pellet grill temperature to 500 degrees.
- When that is done, place a cast-iron skillet on the smoker grates. Then, add the butter to an extremely hot cast-iron pan immediately after the grill gets to temp and also transfer the tri-tip back into the pan. Afterward, char for 30 seconds on each side and do not allow the internal temp go beyond 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Now, rest the tri-tip for 10 minutes before you proceed to slice it against the grain and serve it.
Best Side Dishes
When smoking up a steak, I strongly suggest that you stick to the staples as a side dish.
It is nothing too grand, but just excellent flavored side dishes. I go with a potato and a green along with my steak.
Other serving suggestions include:
- Baked beans
- Roasted asparagus
- Smoked corn on the cob
- Smoked baked potato
- Traeger smoked potatoes
- Creamy Greek pasta salad
- Healthy broccoli salad
- Chipotle smoked mac and cheese
To store, first, get a zipper bag or airtight container and place your leftover tri-tip in it, then proceed to refrigerate for up to 3 to 5 days.
In addition, you have the option of freezing the cooked tri-tip. Get heavy-duty airtight containers or freezer bags and store the leftover sliced tri-tip in them. Then, proceed to freeze for up to 2 to 3 months. When you are ready to eat, you can thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.
Now, to reheat the tri-tip, proceed to wrap it tightly in tin foil and heat it in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes at 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Plus, you can microwave the slices for around a minute; however, remember that they might dry out a little.
In addition, I prefer to reheat chopped tri-tip in an air fryer for sandwiches or tacos. All you need to do is cook it at 390 degrees F for 4 to 5 minutes for a crunchy tri-tip.
The Best Wood for Smoking
Feel free to play around with different wood chips and pellets to find the one that is best suited for you.
Plus, you can mix different woods to create a deeper flavor. Below are some excellent options for tri-tip:
This is an extremely flavorful wood that will provide you with the deep, smoky flavor you want.
If what you want is a mild, sweet smoke with a nutty taste, then this is a good choice.
Normally, this is what I use. It is sweet, rich, and meaty; even so, it is not overpowering.
Oak or Red Oak
This is your best bet if you are looking for the traditional wood for tri-tip. It will give you a nice, balanced smoke.
Are Brisket and Tri-tip the Same Cuts of Beef?
Brisket and tri-tip are not from the same parts of a cow’s body. You will find the brisket under a cow’s chest, whereas the tri-tip is obtained from the bottom sirloin, which is located towards the back.
Brisket is extremely lean, which explains why it takes much longer to smoke. On the other hand, tri-tip comes with a decent amount of marbling, which allows for shorter smoking time.
The average weight of a tri-tip is around 3 to 5 lbs, while the average brisket weighs 12 to 15 Lbs.
Should You Season Tri-Tip Overnight?
Well, if it’s possible, just season your tri-tip overnight; if not, you can just give the seasoning at least a few hours to penetrate the roast before you proceed to cook it.
Should I Wrap the Tri-tip in Butcher Paper?
Wrapping the tri-tip in butcher paper or aluminum foil while smoking will not be necessary.
This is so, given that the tri-tip will only be smoked for a few hours, and you want to expose it to as much smoke as possible during that time.
This recipe is here to show you how to use your pellet grill to make mouth-watering smoked tri-tip. Remember that this is a process, and you need to make sure you plan accordingly.
Keep in mind that if you are planning to make a tri-tip, then this steak is made rare compared to a traditional ribeye. And the sweet spot for a tri-tip is around 140 degrees Fahrenheit internal temperature.
With all that being said, this brings us to the end of this guide on tri-tip on a pellet grill.