This Traeger Smoked Tri Tip is a foolproof way to create a juicy, tender, and delicious meal. Smoked on over hickory pellets, this Traeger Tri Tip recipe gives you that great beef and wood smoke flavor that we associate with delicious BBQ.
No need to completely cover it with sweet rubs or bbq sauce, this recipe takes a simple approach to make this great cut of beef the star of the plate. A creamy peppercorn sauce compliments the smoky flavor to add a little flair to this dish.
You don't need many if you want to really let this dish be beef forward. The Tri Tip is such a flavorful cut of beef.
Tri-Tip Roast - Tri Tip roasts will come in a variety of weights depending on how trimmed it is. If you have any spots of thick fat, go ahead and trim it down a little bit. What little fat it has will render as it smokes.
Salt and Black Pepper - That is all you need for seasoning. If you want to hit it with a little garlic powder, you can. But this cut of meat can stand up by itself with just being well seasoned with salt and pepper.
Easy Peppercorn Cream Sauce (Optional)
Cream - Heavy cream works great here. The cream gives this sauce a nice silky texture that compliments the wood smoky exterior of the beef.
Dry Red Wine - Used to deglaze and lift those flavorful pits of fond off the pan. Only use a wine that you also like to drink, because you must pour yourself a glass as you cook.
Rosemary - I always prefer fresh herbs when they are available. For this sauce, you don't need much. We aren't looking to take over the dish with a rosemary flavor, but I love the hint of rosemary with roasted meats.
Peppercorns - If you have pink or multicolored peppercorns, go for it. They offer a little spice along with a yummy earthiness to the smoked tri tip.
Butter - Butter gives a sauce a level up. It takes sauce to another level. This creaminess combined with the heavy cream makes each bit melt in your mouth.
Salt and Pepper - Just use salt and pepper to tastes as you make your sauce.
How to Smoke Traeger Tri Tip Steak
Step One: Preheat your Pellet Grill or Smoker to 225 degrees F. Season the beef with salt and pepper.
Step Two: Place the tri tip into your pre-heated smoker directly on the grill grate. Place your meat thermometer into the thickest part of the meat. You want to carefully monitor the internal temperature as you cook. Let it cook for approximately 60 to 75 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 120 degrees F.
Step Three: To reverse sear, preheat a cast iron pan in the oven or on a grill at 500 F. When the meat reaches the right temperature, put it in the pan and sear for about 2 minutes on each side. Close the lid to keep the temperature high. Use an instant-read thermometer to check the meat's temperature. When it's done to your liking, take it out of the pan and let it rest under foil for at least five minutes.
Side Note: My Traeger Grill has a super-smoke mode that can be used at any temperature below 225 F. This mode adds more smoke to create a nice smoke ring quickly on shorter smokes. This Tri Tip recipe is a good one to use with the super smoke mode.
Step Three: Once the meat has rested, slice it thinly against the grain. Reserve any of the juices to add to your peppercorn cream sauce.
You need to take into account that the internal temperature increases as you reverse sear. For a cut such as this tri-tip, you want to pull it off the grill and reverse sear it at about 10 to 15 degrees from your desired final internal temp. For example, if you take it off the pellet grill at medium rare and then reverse sear it you end up at medium or medium well.
Step Four: To make the easy peppercorn cream sauce remove the tri tip from the cast iron skillet, and carefully add the peppercorns to slightly toast them.
Next, deglaze the pan with red wine. After that, add the butter to melt along with the rosemary.
Using salt and pepper, season to taste as you slowly simmer over medium heat. Cook until flavorful and it thickens slightly. Pour sauce into a small bowl to serve, or drizzle over the entire platter of slices of Traeger tri tip steak.
Experimenting with food is how you learn. Incorporating different flavor combinations or new preparations can add a lot of fun and adventure to your cooking. Make sure to have fun when you smoke tri tip on the Traeger Grill.
Marinade - Try an overnight marinade to prep your beef.
Mexican - Or use a spicy Mexican rub to use tri tip in fajitas or steak tacos.
Bacon Wrapped - Wrap your try tip in bacon for some added flavor and a crispy texture. If you have some great ideas, please share them with us in the comments.
BBQ Rub - This Tri Tip Rub for Smoking is a great versatile steak seasoning to try.
What is Tri Tip?
Tri tip is a triangular cut of beef that is the lower portion of the bottom sirloin. It is very tender and does not have a tone of fat like a brisket. Smoking the Tri Tip is very similar to smoking a steak. Give it time to gather that magical smoky flavor, and then finish it off with a reverse sear. The flavor is incredible and you don't need to do too much to this under-celebrated cut of beef.
What is a traeger smoker?
A Traeger smoker is a wood pellet grill that allows you to smoke, grill, roast, and bake your favorite foods.
How long does it take to smoke a tri tip on a Traeger?
It typically takes about an hour to an hour and a half to smoke a tri tip steak on a Traeger at 225°F.
Can I sear the smoked tri tip steak after it's done cooking?
Yes, we recommend this. Sear over high heat for added flavor and texture.
How should I slice the smoked tri tip steak?
Slice the steak across the grain into thin slices for maximum tenderness.
What type of wood pellets should I use?
You can experiment with different wood pellet flavors like hickory, mesquite, or applewood to add unique smoky flavors to your tri-tip steak.
Traeger Tri Tip
- Traeger Grill or other smoker
- 24 oz tri tip sirloin roast
- 2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoon black pepper
Creamy Peppercorn Sauce Ingredients
- 2 oz dry red wine
- 2 oz cream
- 2 tablespoon butter
- ½ teaspoon rosemary
- 2 teaspoon whole peppercorns
Smoked Tri Tip Instructions
- Season Tri Tip with salt and pepper and place directly on the grill grate in smoker.
- Preheat smoker or pellet grill to 225°F.
- Smoke until 10 to 15 degrees from the desired internal temperature.
- Sear smoked Tri Tip in preheated cast iron pan in grill or on the stove. Sear on all sides until the internal temperature reaches your desired doneness.
- Once Tri Tip is done, remove from skillet and let rest for at least 5 minutes.
Cream Peppercorn Sauce Instructions
- After removing the tri tip from the cast iron skillet, carefully add the peppercorns to slightly toast them.
- Then deglaze the pan with red wine. Add the butter to melt along with the rosemary. Add the cream.
- Salt and pepper to taste as you slowly simmer over medium heat. Cook until flavorful and it thickens slightly. Pour sauce into a small bowl to serve.
Originally Published on February 23, 2022. Revised and Republished January 25, 2024.