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Ultimate Tri Tip
Ultimate Tri Tip, photo by John J. McKellar

Ultimate Tri Tip: How to grill to perfection

One of the truly underrated beef cuts in BBQ is the Tri Tip. Reasonably priced and full of flavor, this cut from the bottom sirloin. It is easy to grill or smoke compared to other cuts of meat.

Arguably, there are quite a few grillmasters that prefer the taste of smoked Tri Tip over Smoked Brisket . I know right?! What are they thinking?

Both of these cuts are high on flavor. It just depends on how much time you want to dedicate to your grill session.

Grillax Pro Staffer John McKellar of Nashville, aka The Smokey Goat, is a fan of the Tri Tip. One of the first smoked grill sessions he had with his new stick burner smoker (his toy — Oklahoma Joes Longhorn Combo) was a Tri Tip. He says it turned out fantastic.

“I had seen the Tri Tip all over social media on smokers all over the world,” McKellar said. “There had to be something to this cut. I was dying to find out and try to smoke one on my own.”

John McKellar, Grillax Pro Staff
John J. McKellar, ProStaff LOGO
Ultimate Tri Tip
Ultimate Tri Tip, John J. McKellar

Tri Tip can reach an internal temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit in just 1.5 to 2 hours. (That’s a medium-well smoke)

To reverse sear, smoke the beef at 225 degrees Fahrenheit until the internal temp reaches 5 to 10 degrees below your desired internal temperature. (See chart below)

Fire up your grill to 500 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. Sear both sides until you reach your desired internal temperature.

120 degrees Fahrenheit = Rare

125 degrees Fahrenheit = Medium Rare

130 degrees Fahrenheit = Medium

140 degrees Fahrenheit = Medium Well

150 degrees Fahrenheit = Well Done

Ultimate Tri Tip

  1. Set up your grill or smoker to 225 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Rub your tri tip with olive oil and generously season on all sides with our Grillax Tri Tip Rub (recipe below).
  3. Set your Tri Tip on the indirect side of your grill, or middle rack if smoking, and grill until the internal temperature reaches 140 degrees Fahrenheit. This could take 1-2 hours, depending on the size of your cut.
  4. Allow the Tri Tip to rest for 10 minutes. Slice against the grain and serve with mashed potatoes and Brussels sprouts.

AuthorGuruCategoryDifficultyBeginner

The key to great tri tip is the rub! Here are 11 spices and seasonings that will render your roast tender, juicy and oh, so tasty.

Ultimate Tri Tip

Prep Time8 hrsCook Time1 hr 30 minsTotal Time9 hrs 30 mins

 2 lbs Tri tip cut
 4 tbsp Olive Oil
Grillax Tri Tip Rub
 2 tsp Sea Salt
 2 tsp Dark Brown Sugar
 2 tsp Coarse Black Pepper
 2 tsp Onion Powder
 2 tsp Garlic Powder
 1 tsp Chili Powder
 2 tsp Smoked Paprika
 1 tsp Cayenne Powder
 ½ tsp Sweet Curry Powder
 ½ tsp Cumin
 ½ tsp Dry Mustard

1

Trim the fat and silver skin from your Tri Tip roast.

2

Coat your roast with Tri Tip Rub and place in large plastic resealable bag. Add olive oil and work into the roast. Seal the bag, removing any excess air.

3

Place roast in refrigerator overnight, or about 8-10 hours, but can go longer.

4

Bring your grill or smoker up to 225 degrees Fahrenheit. Add pecan blocks to your coals.

5

Set your Tri Tip on the indirect side of your grill, or middle rack if smoking, and grill until the internal temperature reaches 130-140 degrees Fahrenheit.

6

Move the Tri Tip over the hot coals and open up all the dampers to sear. Remove from grill and place on butcher block.

7

Allow the Tri Tip to rest for 10 minutes. Slice against the grain and serve with mashed potatoes and Brussels sprouts.

Ingredients

 2 lbs Tri tip cut
 4 tbsp Olive Oil
Grillax Tri Tip Rub
 2 tsp Sea Salt
 2 tsp Dark Brown Sugar
 2 tsp Coarse Black Pepper
 2 tsp Onion Powder
 2 tsp Garlic Powder
 1 tsp Chili Powder
 2 tsp Smoked Paprika
 1 tsp Cayenne Powder
 ½ tsp Sweet Curry Powder
 ½ tsp Cumin
 ½ tsp Dry Mustard

Directions

1

Trim the fat and silver skin from your Tri Tip roast.

2

Coat your roast with Tri Tip Rub and place in large plastic resealable bag. Add olive oil and work into the roast. Seal the bag, removing any excess air.

3

Place roast in refrigerator overnight, or about 8-10 hours, but can go longer.

4

Bring your grill or smoker up to 225 degrees Fahrenheit. Add pecan blocks to your coals.

5

Set your Tri Tip on the indirect side of your grill, or middle rack if smoking, and grill until the internal temperature reaches 130-140 degrees Fahrenheit.

6

Move the Tri Tip over the hot coals and open up all the dampers to sear. Remove from grill and place on butcher block.

7

Allow the Tri Tip to rest for 10 minutes. Slice against the grain and serve with mashed potatoes and Brussels sprouts.

Ultimate Tri Tip

Guru

Fire. Food. Fun ... Get the world grillin' and chillin'. Grillax, y'all!

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