Smoked Tri-Tip

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Smoked Tri-Tip
Submitted by: Erick Hemphill

 Prep Time: 5 minutes
 Cook Time: 1.5-2 hours
 Servings: 3-5 servings


  • 2-3 lb. tri-tip steak
  • Steak seasoning (I like McCormick steak rub in the litle stubby container)
  • 10 lbs. hardwood lump charcoal
  • Pecan or Oak chunks for smoke flavor (not pellets or shavings)
  • Charcoal chimney
  • Meat temperature probe
  • Horseradish


Start with about 5 lbs. of lump coal in the smoker and carve out a crater in the middle to dump hot coals into. Fill the charcoal chimney and light it up. Once the coals in the chimney are glowing almost all the way to the top, dump the chimney into the crater in the smoker's fire box. This should provide good clean heat for about 2-3 hours. It will burn slowly from the inside out. As the smoker levels out at 275 degrees, throw in a couple chunks of wood.

While you're waiting on the smoker to come to temperature, season the tri-tip. Season it just like you like your steak.

With the smoker steady at 275 degrees, put the tri-tip on the grate. Cook until all parts of the meat read at least 135 degrees (medium-rare). This should be around 1.5 hours if you maintained a steady 275 degrees in the smoker. If you don't like medium rare, then let it go until it hits your preferred internal temperature.

Slice the tri-tip against the grain and serve with horseradish. It tastes a lot like prime rib.