You haven’t smoked meat until you smoke a tri-tip. Smoked tri-tip has a beautiful smoky flavor and a juicy, moist texture.
However, you cannot smoke tri-tip at any temperature. 225°F is the ideal temperature for smoking tri-tip.
It’s not too low that the meat takes forever to cook. However, it is not too high that it overcooks. Smoke your tri-tip for 1-6 hours at 250°F for the best results.
- Do You Flip Tri Tip When Smoking?
- Should I Wrap Tri Tip in Foil When Smoking?
- How Long to Smoke Tri Tip at 225
- Should I Sear My Tri-tip Before or After Smoking
- How To Tell If Tri Tip Is Done?
- Final Thoughts
Do You Flip Tri Tip When Smoking?
Flipping the tri-tip during the smoking process is optional. However, it does help the meat to cook evenly. It also helps a beautiful bark on all sides of the meat.
If you flip the tri-tip, flip it after it’s been in the smoker for 1 hour.
Should I Wrap Tri Tip in Foil When Smoking?
Wrapping is usually reserved for smoking brisket. However, some people wrap tri-tip because they believe it prevents the meat from drying out.
It is not necessary to wrap tri-tip in foil. Foil traps heat in the tri-tip, which creates moisture. Therefore, wrapping the tri-tip with foil will soften the bark. The tri-tip will be smoked for a short time at 225°F, so it will not dry out.
How Long to Smoke Tri Tip at 225
Ultimately, the smoking time of tri-tip will differ based on the meat’s size and your desired doneness.
A 3-pound tri-tip will take longer to cook than a 1-pound tri-tip. A rare tri-tip will cook quicker than a well-done tri-tip.
However, it takes about 1.5-2 hours to smoke tri-tip per pound.
How Long to Smoke a 1 1/2 Pound Tri Tip at 225
A 1.5-pound tri-tip takes 2 to 3 hours to smoke. However, you should smoke test the tri-tip’s internal temperature after 1 hour. Checking the tri-tips temperature will prevent it from overcooking.
How Long to Smoke a 2 Pound Tri Tip at 225
It takes about 1 1/2 to 2 pounds to smoke tri-tip at 225°F. Therefore a 1-pound tri-tip will take 30-45 minutes when cooked to rare.
A 1-pound medium-rare tri-tip will take 1 hour.
In contrast, a 2-pound tri-tip will take 1- 1 hour and 15 minutes when cooked to rare. In contrast, a 2-pound tri-tip will take about 1 1/2 hours when cooked to medium rare.
If you want to cook your tri-tip to medium, medium-well, or well-done, cook the tri-tip for longer. Nevertheless, you should check the tri-tip after 1-1 1/2 hours to prevent it from overcooking.
How Long to Smoke a 3 Pound Tri Tip at 225
A 3-pound tri-tip takes about 90 minutes to cook to rare. In contrast, a medium-rare tri-tip will take about 2 hours to cook.
Cook the tri-tip for longer if you want a medium, medium-well, or well-done tri-tip. Additionally, check the tri-tip after 90 minutes to ensure it does not come out.
How Long To Smoke A 5-Pound Tri Tip At 225
A rare 5-pound trip-tip will take about 90-105 minutes. A 5-pound tri-tip will take 2 to 2 1/2 hours to cook to medium rare.
If you want your tri-tip to be cooked to a higher temperature (medium, medium-well, or well-done), cook it for longer.
Check the tri-tips temperature after 90 minutes. If it does not have your desired level of doneness, check the tri-tip’s temperature every 20-30 minutes to ensure it does not overcook.
Should I Sear My Tri-tip Before or After Smoking
Whether to smoke tri-tip before or after smoking depends on your preference. You could sear the tri-tip before smoking. However, adjust the cooking temperature to ensure the meat does not overcook.
Alternatively, you can also sear the tri-tip after it comes out of the smoker. However, you remove the tri-tip from the smoker when it has a temperature of 115°F-120°F. When you sear the tri-tip, it will have a temperature of 125°F-130°F.
If you used the grill to smoke the trip-tip, you could place the tri-tip onto the hot side of the grill. The hot side of the grill should have a temperature between 450°F-500°F. It will take about 3-5 minutes to sear the tri-tip per side.
However, you can also sear the tri-tip in a cast-iron skillet. You can heat butter or oil in the skillet and sear the tri-tip for 4-5 minutes per side until it is browned.
Lastly, you can sear the tri-tip using the broiler. Place the smoked tri-tip onto a baking sheet and place it under the broiler. Broil the tri-tip for 1-2 minutes per side until browned.
Do not forget to let the tri-tip rest before you slice it. This is the only way the meat will stay juicy.
How To Tell If Tri Tip Is Done?
The internal temperature is the most accurate method for determining if the tri-tip is done cooking. Therefore, you should focus on the tri-tip’s internal temperature as a measure of doneness, not the smoking time.
If you want a rare tri-tip, it should have a temperature of 125°F. Medium-rare tri-tip has a temperature of 135°F, while medium tri-tip has a temperature of 145°F. Medium-well tri-tip has a temperature of 150°F, and well-done tri-tip has a temperature of 165°F.
To test the tri-tip for doneness, insert the smoker thermometer’s probe into the thickest part of the cut. If it is at your desired temperature, remove it from the smoker and let it rest before slicing.
You can also test your tri-tip for doneness by using your fingers. Press your index finger or thumb onto the surface of the tri-tip.
A rare tri-tip will have a soft squishy texture. In contrast, a well-done steak will have a firm texture.
Nevertheless, the thermometer test is the most accurate way to test tri-tip for doneness. Whichever method you choose, do not overcook the tri-tip. Once it reaches your desired level of doneness, remove the tri-tip from the smoker. Let the tri-tip rest for 20 minutes before slicing and serving.
Tri-tip is one of the most underrated cuts of beef. It is the perfect cut for smoking.
Smoking gives the tri-tip a flavor that other cooking methods cannot recreate.
Remember to smoke your tri-tip for the recommended amount of time until it reaches your desired level of doneness. You will have a tri-tip that is perfectly moist and delicious.
I have been smoking and grilling meat from an early age and enjoy sharing my knowledge and expertise through the hundreds of articles I have written about BBQ. I hope to make everyone’s BBQ journey that little bit easier.