How Long To Smoke Tri Tip At 180 Degrees

Are you wondering how long to smoke a tri tip for the perfect barbecue experience? Smoking meat can seem complicated, especially if you’re new to grilling. But don’t worry! In this blog post, we’ll cover everything from what kind of wood should be used for smoking tri tip, how long to smoke it as well as helpful techniques that will take your grilled spreads from satisfactory to sensational. So if you’re looking up tasty ways to spice up your summer barbecues or create an unforgettable meal at home, keep reading!

What is Tri Tip?

Tri-tip (

Tri Tip is a triangular shaped cut of beef that comes from the bottom sirloin of the cow. It is a lean, flavorful cut of beef and has become a popular choice among home cooks and chefs alike. Tri tip can be cooked in a variety of ways and when cooked properly it turns out juicy, full of flavor and extremely tender. It is a great cut of beef for grilling, roasting, smoking or braising. Tri tip is becoming increasingly popular and can be found in most grocery stores around the country.

Tri Tip Nutrition Fact:

-A 3 ounce serving of cooked tri tip contains around 130 calories, 5 grams of fat and 22 grams of protein.

-It is a good source of selenium and phosphorus.

-Tri tip is also an excellent source of B vitamins like niacin and vitamin B6 which help the body produce energy from food.

-It is very low in saturated fat making it a great choice for those looking to limit their intake of unhealthy fats.

So next time you are looking for a flavorful cut of beef that’s both tender and nutritious, consider trying Tri Tip! It’s sure to be a hit with everyone at your table.

What Does Tri-Tip Taste Like?

Tri-tip steak has a delicious, beefy flavor that is slightly sweet and salty. It is juicy when cooked properly but can become tough if overcooked. The texture of the meat varies depending on how it’s cooked, with grilling providing a more tender result than roasting or braising. Many people describe the taste as similar to flank steak or skirt steak, though tri-tip has a unique flavor all its own.

The best way to bring out the full flavor of tri-tip is by marinating it in a flavorful liquid like red wine, beer or Worcestershire sauce before cooking. This helps to tenderize the meat and infuse it with exceptional flavor.

Why Smoke Tri Tip?

Smoking tri tip is a great way to add flavor and tenderness to the meat. Smoking low and slow helps to infuse the beef with smoky, woodsy flavors that compliment it’s already delicious taste. The slow cooking process also helps to break down the tough fibers in the beef, resulting in an incredibly tender cut of meat.

If you want to smoke tri-tip, there are a few tips that will help ensure success:

-Start with a high quality cut of tri-tip steak and be sure it’s at room temperature before smoking.

-Choose your favorite type of wood chips or pellets for flavoring, such as hickory or mesquite.

-Monitor the internal temperature throughout the smoking process and remove the steak when it reaches 135-140°F.

-Let the steak rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing or serving.

Smoking tri tip is a great way to enjoy the flavor of this cut of beef without having to do any complicated cooking techniques. It’s sure to be a hit with everyone who tries it!

What Kind of Wood Should You Use?

The type of wood you choose for your tri tip is just as important as the cooking technique itself. You’ll want to use a mild hardwood like oak or pecan so that the flavor doesn’t overpower the meat. A strong flavored wood such as mesquite would make your tri tip taste bitter, so it’s best to avoid that one if possible. Additionally, you should soak the wood chips for about an hour prior to using them so that the smoke will be released longer and more evenly.

What Is The Best Temperature For Smoking Tri-Tip?

The best temperature for smoking tri-tip is between 225-275°F. This range allows for slow, even cooking that will result in a juicy and tender steak. It’s important to monitor the temperature throughout the process so you don’t overcook the meat. Once your tri-tip reaches an internal temperature of 135-140°F it’s ready to be taken off the smoker and let rest prior to slicing or serving.

How Long Should You Smoke Tri Tip?

The length of time you need to smoke tri tip depends on the size of the steak and the temperature you are cooking at. Generally speaking, it will take 1-2 hours for a 2 lb tri tip steak to reach an internal temperature of 135-140°F when cooked at 225-275°F. However, it’s important to monitor your steak throughout the process so that it doesn’t overcook. You can use a meat thermometer inserted into the center of the steak to track its progress as it cooks. When your tri-tip reaches 135-140°F, remove it from the smoker and let rest before slicing or serving.

How Long To Smoke Tri Tip At 180 Degrees

To achieve a medium-rare consistency, it is recommended to smoke tri tip at 180 degrees for roughly 2 hours. To monitor the internal temperature of the tri tip, use an instant-read thermometer and ensure that it reads 135°F (57°C). If you prefer your tri tip more on the well-done side, then extend the cook time by another hour or until it reaches an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C). Allow the tri tip to rest for about 10 minutes before serving.

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How To Smoke Tri Tip At 180 Degrees

To smoke tri tip at 180 degrees, you will need to set up your grill or smoker first. Fill the bottom of the grill with wood chips or chunks if desired, then light the fire and wait until it burns down to a steady temperature.

(To smoke a delicious Tri Tip at 180 you will need:)

– A Tri Tip roast

– Wood chips or chunks (optional)

– Charcoal or propane grill/smoker

– Instant-read thermometer

– Seasonings of your choice

To smoke a delicious Tri Tip at 180 steps:

1. Preheat your grill or smoker to 180 degrees and insert a digital thermometer into the top of your meat so you can monitor the internal temperature.

2. Place the tri tip onto the grate and smoke for 2 hours, flipping it over mid-way through to ensure even cooking.

3. To check that your tri tip is cooked through, use an instant-read thermometer and make sure it reads 135°F (57°C).

4. If you’d like your tri tip more done, smoke for another hour or until the internal temperature reaches 145°F (63°C).

5. Allow the tri tip to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

How To Smoke Tri Tip On A Grill?

If you don’t have a smoker, you can still enjoy delicious smoked tri-tip. To do this, simply set up your grill for indirect grilling with one side of the burner on high and the other off (or burning lower). Place your tri-tip over the low flame and cover with your lid or foil tent. Cook until it reaches an internal temperature of 135-140°F (2-3 hours depending on size) while monitoring its temperature throughout the process to make sure it doesn’t overcook. When done, remove from heat and let rest before slicing or serving.

(To cook a delicious Smoke Tri Tip you will need:)

-Tri tip steak

-Wood chips for smoking (such as apple, hickory, or mesquite)


-Aluminum foil

-Meat thermometer

-BBQ gloves and tongs.

-Salt, pepper, and other desired seasonings.

-A smoker or grill with a lid.

To smoke your tri tip steak begin by preparing the seasoning. Rub salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and any other desired spices into the meat to create a flavorful crust when cooked. Place pre-soaked wood chips in the smoker or around hot coals on your grill. Place the steak on one side of the smoker/grill away from direct heat and close the lid (or tent with foil). Cook for approximately 2-3 hours until an internal temperature of 135-140°F is reached when tested with a quality meat thermometer. When done, remove from heat and let rest before slicing or serving.

For extra flavor, you can also add marinade to the tri-tip steak before cooking. Let the meat sit in a marinade for up to 24 hours prior to smoking. This will help infuse your steak with even more flavor and juiciness when cooked. Keep in mind that marinating for too long could negatively affect the texture of your finished product. Be sure to monitor it closely if you choose this route!

Credit: Meat Church BBQ

Helpful Techniques for Grilling Tri Tip

To get the most out of your tri tip, there are a few techniques you can use to ensure it comes off the grill tender and juicy. Before cooking, make sure to season your meat with salt and pepper, as well as any other spices you’d like to add. Additionally, it’s important to keep an eye on the temperature inside the smoker. You don’t want it too hot or too cold; otherwise, you won’t get that perfect smoked flavor. When you’re ready to pull off the heat source, let your tri tip rest for a minimum of 10 minutes before slicing into it so that all its delicious juices will remain intact.

Best wood to smoke Tri Tip

wood to smoke Tri Tip

The best type of wood to use for smoking tri tip is a light, sweet wood such as hickory or mesquite. This type of wood will give the steak a mild, smoky flavor that compliments its beefy taste and won’t overpower it. You may also want to experiment with other types of wood such as apple, cherry or oak to see how they affect the flavor of your smoked tri tip.

No matter which type of wood you choose, be sure to soak it in water for at least an hour before using it in order to reduce smoke and ensure even cooking. This will help you get the most out of your smoking session!

How To Choose Tri Tip for smoking

When selecting your tri tip for smoking, you’ll want to find a steak that is approximately 2-3 inches thick and has an even thickness throughout. This will help it cook more evenly when smoked. Additionally, look for a cut of meat with some marbling – this will add flavor and juiciness when cooked! You should also avoid any cuts that are too fatty as these can cause flareups on the grill or smoker. After selecting your tri tip, be sure to give it a good trim of all excess fat before seasoning and cooking to ensure a juicy end result.

How to Reheat Tri Tip

If you have leftovers from a smoked tri-tip, you may want to reheat it. The best way to do this is in oven or on the stovetop. Preheat your oven to 300°F and place the steak on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until heated through. Alternatively, you can reheat it on the stovetop by placing it in an oiled pan over medium heat until warmed through (about 5-7 minutes). Be sure not to overcook or your steak will become tough.

What to Serve with Smoke Tri Tip

Smoked tri-tip is incredibly versatile and can be served with a variety of sides. Some classic accompaniments include roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, cornbread, or even a hearty salad. Additionally, you may want to serve it with your favorite BBQ sauce or other sauces like chimichurri or salsa verde for extra flavor. No matter what you choose to pair it with, smoked tri tip is sure to be a hit at any gathering!

Common Mistakes To Avoid When Smoke Tri Tip

1. Not Trimming the Fat: A good trimming of fat before smoking is essential to avoid excessive flare-ups and greasy finished product.

2. Not Paying Attention to Temperature: For perfect smoked results, it’s important to monitor the temperature inside your smoker throughout the cooking process. Too hot and you’ll end up with a burnt steak; too cold and you won’t get that smoked flavor you’re looking for.

3. Not Letting It Rest: This step is often overlooked but it’s necessary in order to seal in moisture and juices when slicing into your steak after cooking. Letting it rest also allows all its delicious flavors to come together as one!

4. Using Too Much Wood: To keep from overpowering your steak’s flavor, use a minimal amount of wood. Too much and you’ll end up with an overly smoky taste. Stick to light, sweet woods like hickory or mesquite for the best results.

5. Not Reheating Properly: If reheating leftovers from a smoked tri tip, be sure not to overcook it or it will become tough. The best way to do this is in the oven at 300°F for 10-15 minutes or on the stovetop over medium heat for 5-7 minutes until heated through.


Q: What type of wood should I use for smoking tri tip?

A: Hickory, mesquite, apple and cherry woods all work great with this cut of meat. Experiment to find what flavor you like best!

Q: How long does it take to smoke a tri tip?

A: The cooking time will vary depending on the size of your steak, but typically it takes around 1-2 hours at 250°F to reach an internal temperature of 135°F.

Q: Is smoked tri tip still safe to eat if not eaten immediately?

A: Yes, as long as you store it properly and reheat it correctly. Make sure to wrap the cooked steak tightly in plastic wrap or foil, then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. When reheating, use the oven or stovetop over medium heat until heated through.

Q: What are some good sides to serve with smoked tri tip?

A: Roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, cornbread, salads and your favorite BBQ sauce all work great as accompaniments to smoked tri tip. Experiment to find what you like best!

Q: Can I freeze my leftover smoked tri-tip?

A: Yes! Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or foil and place in a freezer safe bag before freezing for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat in the oven or on the stovetop over medium heat.

Q: Is it okay to eat smoked tri-tip rare?

A: It is not advised to consume any type of steak rare, as this can lead to foodborne illness. Cooked smoked tri tip should reach an internal temperature of 135°F for safe consumption.


Smoking tri tip steak is easy to do and yields delicious results every time. All you need is a quality cut of meat, wood chips for smoking, and your favorite spices to get started. Just remember that the key to tender and juicy smoked tri tip is proper seasoning, monitoring of the smoker temperature and allowing the steak to rest after pulling off the heat. With these tips in mind, you’ll be sure to impress family and friends with your delicious creations.


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