Smoking a tri-tip steak is a delicious way to cook this flavourful cut of meat. Tri-tip is a triangular cut of beef from the bottom sirloin that is tender and full of flavour, and like most meats it always tastes better with extra smoky layers.
This cut originated in California, but is now popular the world over.
It is typically cooked over high heat on a grill or in the oven, but smoking adds a unique depth of flavour that can’t be achieved with other cooking methods.
Smoked Tri Tip Steak Method
Here’s our easy step by step guide on how to smoke a tri-tip steak at home:
- Start by preparing your tri-tip steak. Trim any excess fat and season with your desired seasonings. You can use a dry rub or simply season with salt and pepper Texas Style. For a great homemade BBQ rub see the Recipe Notes below. Use Dijon mustard as a binder, slathering the steak with it to help the rub stick to it, if desired.
- Preheat your smoker to 225°F. If you don’t have a smoker, you can use a grill with a smoking box or make it in a slow cooker with liquid smoke.
- Place the tri-tip steak on the smoker grates and smoke for 2-3 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 130-135°F for medium-rare. (for medium it’s 135-145F) You can use a digital meat thermometer to check the temperature.
- Once the tri-tip steak is cooked to your desired level of doneness, remove it from the smoker and let it rest for about 10 minutes. This will allow the juices to redistribute across the muscle fibres and tissues.
- To serve, slice the tri-tip steak against the grain into thin slices. The grain of the meat refers to the direction of the muscle fibres, and slicing against the grain (opposite direction to the muscle fibres) will make the steak more tender. Serve the sliced tri-tip steak with your sides, e.g. roasted vegetables, roast potatoes, fries or mashed potatoes. Or enjoy your smoked tri tip steak as the star of a hearty sandwich.
Recipe Notes for Tri Tip Steak
If you would like to make your own Homemade BBQ rub for tri tip steak this one is worth trying:
- 1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder
- 3 Tablespoons Sweet Smoked Paprika
- 2 Tablespoons Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Onion Powder
- 1 Tablespoon Fine Sea Salt
- 1 Teaspoons Dried Oregano
- 1 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
- 1 Teaspoon Dried Thyme
- 1/2 Teaspoon Chili Powder (or more if you like it hot!)
Combine these spices and seasonings in a bowl and mix to combine. Rub your tri tip steak all over with Dijon mustard first to give the rub something to adhere to.
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