How Do You Smoke Tri-Tip on a Pellet Grill? A Step-By-Step Guide


Smoking tri-tip on a pellet grill is a delicious way to cook this flavorful cut of meat. This blog post will walk you through the step-by-step process of preparing and smoking tri-tip on a pellet grill, including the best seasonings to use and the optimal cooking time and temperature. Whether you’re a seasoned grill master or a beginner, this guide will help you achieve a perfectly smoked tri-tip every time. So grab your pellet grill, and let’s get started!

How do you smoke tri-tip on a pellet grill

Choosing the Right Pellet Grill for Smoking Tri-Tip

If you’re a fan of smoked meats, then you know that a pellet grill is an essential tool for achieving that perfect smoky flavour. And if you’re specifically interested in smoking tri-tip, choosing the right pellet grill is crucial to ensuring your meat turns out juicy and flavorful. Here are some factors to consider when selecting the best pellet grill for smoking tri-tip:

Cooking Area: Tri-tip is a relatively large cut of meat, so you’ll want a pellet grill with ample cooking space to accommodate it. Consider the cooking area’s size and ensure it can comfortably fit your tri-tip without overcrowding the grill.

Pellet Hopper Capacity: Pellet grills are fueled by wood pellets, so you’ll want a large pellet hopper capacity to ensure you don’t run out of fuel mid-cook. Look for a grill with a hopper capacity of at least 15 pounds to keep the fire strong.

Durability: Investing in a high-quality pellet grill is essential for long-term use and consistent results. Look for a grill made from durable materials, such as stainless steel or cast iron, that can withstand high temperatures and frequent use.

Price: Pellet grills vary widely, so consider your budget when choosing the right grill for smoking tri-tip. While a higher price tag often indicates better quality and features, affordable options can still produce excellent results.

Preparing the Tri Tip for Smoking

How Do You Smoke Tri-Tip on a Pellet Grill

Tri-tip is a delicious and versatile cut of meat that is perfect for smoking. If you want to impress your friends and family with a flavorful and tender smoked tri-tip, it is essential to properly prepare the meat before cooking.

Trim the Fat: Before smoking the tri-tip, it is essential to trim any excess fat from the meat. While some fat is necessary for flavour and juiciness, too much fat can prevent the smoke from penetrating the meat and result in a greasy finished product. Use a sharp knife to carefully trim large pieces of fat from the tri-tip, leaving a thin layer for flavour.

Season the Meat: To enhance the flavour of the tri-tip, it is essential to season the meat before smoking. A simple rub of salt, pepper, garlic powder, and other desired spices can work well with tri-tip. Massage the seasoning into the meat and let it sit for at least 30 minutes, or overnight, for maximum flavour penetration.

Let the Meat Rest: Before smoking the tri-tip, let the meat come to room temperature for about 30 minutes. This will help the meat cook more evenly and retain its juices during smoking.

Preheat the Smoker: Preheat your smoker to the desired temperature while the tri-tip is resting. It is best to smoke tri-tip at a temperature between 225 and 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Add your preferred wood chips or chunks to the smoker for additional flavour.

Monitoring and Adjusting Temperature

How Do You Smoke Tri-Tip on a Pellet Grill

It’s essential to monitor the temperature of your smoker throughout the cooking process. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the tri-tip to ensure it reaches the desired level of doneness. If the smoker’s temperature drops, you may need to add more wood chips or adjust the airflow to maintain the desired temperature.

Resting and Slicing the Tri-Tip

Once the tri-tip is done smoking, remove it from the grill and let it rest for 10–15 minutes before slicing. This will produce a more soft and tasty cut of meat by allowing the liquids to redistribute throughout the flesh.

Tips for Flavouring and Seasoning

When smoking tri-tip on a pellet grill, it’s important to first season the meat with your favourite dry rub or marinade. As a result, the meat’s flavour will be enhanced as it smokes.Once the tri-tip is seasoned, preheat your pellet grill to around 225–250 degrees Fahrenheit. This will ensure that the meat cooks slowly and absorbs the smoky flavour from the wood pellets.

Serving and Enjoying the Smoked Tri-Tip

Serving and enjoying smoked tri-tip is a delicious and flavorful experience that will impress your taste buds and guests. Tri-tip is a popular cut of beef that is versatile and can be prepared in many different ways, but smoking it adds a new layer of flavour and tenderness.

Let it Rest: Once your tri-tip has finished smoking, it must rest before slicing. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, ensuring each bite is juicy and flavorful.

Slice Against the Grain: When it comes time to slice your smoked tri-tip, cut against the grain. This helps to break up the muscle fibres, resulting in a more tender and easy-to-eat piece of meat.

Serve with Your Favourite Sides: Smoked tri-tip pairs well with various side dishes. Some popular options include mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, a fresh salad, or baked potatoes. Choose sides that complement the rich and smoky flavour of the meat.

Add a Sauce or Marinade: While the smoked tri-tip is delicious, adding a sauce or marinade can take it to the next level. Consider serving your tri-tip with a homemade barbecue sauce, chimichurri, or a simple garlic butter sauce.

Enjoy with a Good Drink: To savour the flavours of your smoked tri-tip, pair it with a good drink. Whether you prefer a glass of red wine, a cold beer, or a refreshing cocktail, a well-selected beverage can enhance the overall dining experience.


How much time does a pellet grill need to smoke a tri-tip?

It typically takes about 1–1.5 hours to smoke a tri-tip on a pellet grill, but the exact time can vary depending on the meat’s size and thickness and the grill’s temperature. A meat thermometer is essential to ensure the tri-tip reaches an internal temperature of 135–140°F for medium-rare or 145–150°F for medium.

What is the best smoke flavour for tri-tip?

The best smoke flavour for tri-tip is typically hickory or mesquite. These wood flavors complement the rich and beefy flavour of the tri-tip.

Should I trim my tri-tip before smoking?

It is generally recommended to trim excess fat from the tri-tip before smoking it. This will guarantee that the meat cooks evenly and help prevent flare-ups.

What is the final temperature for smoked tri-tip?

The final temperature for smoked tri-tip should be between 130-135 degrees Fahrenheit for medium-rare and 140-145 degrees Fahrenheit for medium. Let the meat rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing to allow the juices to redistribute and the internal temperature to rise a few more degrees.

Final Words

In conclusion, smoking tri-tip on a pellet grill is a delicious and flavorful way to prepare this cut of meat. Following the steps outlined in this article, you can achieve a perfectly smoked tri-tip that will impress your family and friends. Remember to season the meat well, monitor the grill’s temperature, and restart the tri-tip before slicing and serving. With some practice and patience, you can become a pro at smoking tri-tip on a pellet grill.

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