This may seem like a simple step, but it may be easier said than done.
If you're unable to locate tri-tip, you may want to ask your butcher to cut one (or two!) for you.
If your butcher is unfamiliar with the term tri-tip, the cut can also be known as a bottom sirloin roast or a triangle roast.
Fat is pretty evenly marbled through the meat, but it doesn't have a really high fat content, which enhances the flavor and leaves it juicy when cooked correctly
The tri-tip can be purchased with or without a fat cap, an additional 1/2 inch layer of fat on one side of the meat, but overall it's known as a fairly lean cut of beef.
Admittedly, tri-tip isn't the most tender cut of beef, but when treated right, it shouldn't fail to please.
Yes, you need a bit of prep time and the total cook time might be longer than you anticipate, but it's definitely worth the wait.
Plan to get started on preparations 10-36 hours before you want to serve smoked trip-tip.
A day or more before you plan to serve it, start preparing the tri-tip for its delectable debut.
Even though it's a roast, carving it up into individual steaks after smoking it makes it seem extra special.
It may seem that there are too many items in this rub (nine, to be exact), but you probably have most of them in your pantry already.
Together, they infuse lots of flavor to the meat.
Mix all spices together in small bowl and set aside.
You want this ready as soon as you've got your meat prepared.
I know it seems like a lot of spice rub, but try to use it all when it's time.
You can also check out another recipe for a spice rub recipe, Texas style!
Although leaving the Tri-Tip fat cap on for searing, roasting or grilling may be a good idea, I don't recommend leaving it on for smoking.
Since our goal is to cook this to medium rare, the Tri-Tip fat cap doesn't have time to sufficiently render into the meat and as a result is entirely unnecessary.
First, work the 2 teaspoons of kosher salt vigorously into the meat.
Then, apply the spice rub in the same way.
Honestly, it may seem like too much but it seems to result in the most perfectly cooked tri-tip we've ever enjoyed.
Then rub the olive oil on as well.
After that, place the seasoned tri-tip in the fridge and let it get happy for 6-36 hours.
Trust me, the longer it's in there, the better it will be.
You'll want to get your smoker to 220 degrees using indirect heat and put in your smoker wood.
Red oak is traditionally used for tri-tip, but I've had success with hickory as well.
It's also a good idea to set out your meat on the counter in order to get it closer to room temperature before it hits the smoker.
If you have a water pan, you should probably use it.
Also, a Bradley rack or something similar can help you get the meat on and off the smoker more easily.
If not, just put the meat directly on the grate and cook it using indirect heat
Our goal is to reach medium rare here, which is typically 130 degrees.
Our overall smoking time should be somewhere in the neighborhood of two hours.
That time can vary a little depending on the thickness of the roast, but definitely check before two hours.
Once you've taken the smoked tri-tip roast off of the grill, let it rest for 10-30 minutes.
You don't want all of the juicy goodness dripping out when you cut into it! It's helpful to wrap tri-tip in foil to help keep the heat in while the juices redistribute.
Slicing up smoked tri-tip roast can be a little tricky because the grain goes two different ways.
You basically have to slice it in two (watch where the grain changes) and carve up each side against the grain.
One quarter to one half inch slices are just about perfect for our preferences.
Great sides would be a salad (you could even place the steak on top), baked potatoes, sweet potatoes, garlic roasted broccoli, cauliflower macaroni and cheese, smoked collard greens and/or classic crusty bread.