What is a Tri Tip Steak?

Smoked tri tip is one of the easiest and tastiest things you can make on a smoker.

What is a Tri Tip Steak?

Tri-tip steak is a large, tender, triangular muscle cut  from the bottom sirloin of a steer. It is also known as a triangle steak, bottom sirloin steak, or Santa Maria steak. Originally popularized in Santa Maria, California, you can find Tri-tip just about everywhere now.

How to Reverse Seared Tri Tip

Let the tri tip smoke until the internal tempatures hits 110 degrees, and then remove the tri tip from your smoker. Adjust the smoker to get it up to 400 degrees. When the smoker is up to temp place the tri tip back in the smoker, and let it cook for an additional 10-15 minutes. When the internal tempatures of the meat hits 130 pull it from the smoker and, let it rest for about 15 minutes before slicing thin.

How to Slice Tri Tip

Take a look at the picture below to see the best way to slice a smoked tri-tip. start on the narrow end of the steak, and slice it thin against the grain. When you get to the “knuckle” of the tri tip the grain switches directions. Be sure to rotate your slices with the knuckle to ensure every slice is tender.

Reverse Seared Tri Tip Steak Recipe



  • Setup smoker to smoke at 225 degrees using your favorite flavor wood or pellet. (Pecan)
  • Trim excess fat off top of Tri-Tip.
  • Rub surface of tri tip with the oil, and then generously apply Three Little Pig’s Texas Beef rub to both sides of the meat.
  • Place the tri tip in smoker and smoke until the internal temperature  reaches 110 degrees (approximately 45-60 minutes)
  • Remove the tri tip from the smoker and adjust the temperature of your smoker to cook at 400 degrees.
  • Return the tri tip to the smoker and let the meat cook until the internal temperature is 130 degrees
  • Let the tri tip rest for 15 minutes before slicing thin and serving.

Chris Marks CBBQE (Chief BBQ Expert) Three Little Pig’s Rubs & Sauces and Good-One Smoker/Grills

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