I discovered this cut of meat shortly after I started experimenting with my new smoker. This is a very easy and delicious cut of meat to smoke or even grill. I have smoked a half dozen of these and they always turn out perfect and never any leftovers!! But then again I have a 17 year old that is eating me out of house and home one bite at a time!!!
The tri tip is not a common cut here in the Heartland. It is more common on the West Coast and goes by other names such as “triangle roast” or “bottom sirloin tip”. A normal grocery store tri tip is going to be around 2.5 to 3 lbs and maybe even larger. Look for good marbling within the meat. I have always heard that not every grocery store carries this cut, especially if they don’t cut their own meat. Wal-mart is not going to have this. Our locally owned grocer carries these, and if you don’t see it at your local grocery store, ask, they may have it.
As far as seasoning, I always believe that you should go with what you like. Everyone has their own tastes, so make it your own when it comes to seasoning. I’ve smoked one with just pepper and some garlic powder and it turned out great. You can always serve it with a side of your favorite BBQ sauce.
Now, my smoker is a Masterbuilt from Cabela’s. Nothing fancy, but has served me well for just starting out. Place the tri tip marble side up on the rack. This way the fat melts as the meat smokes and just adds more flavor!! Smoke your tri tips at 180 to 200ºF for about 2.5 to 3 hours, or until the meat reaches medium rare, or to your desired level of doneness. Because of its leanness, it's best if not cooked more than medium done, 140 to 145F internal temp.
Remove the tri tip and let it set for 15 to 20 min. to allow the juices to flow back into the meat. Slice across the grain and serve. Great for sandwiches!! I’ve had very good luck smoking these and the whole family loves them. Maybe the next one I cook will be on the grill, but I am getting to the point where I love the smoked meat because it’s more of a challenge.
Good luck and let us know how it turns out. We look forward to your comments and suggestions! GBR!!!