Smoky Memories: A Heartwarming Recipe for Smoked Tri-Tip Steak

Mar 25, 2024 | Main Courses




15 minutes
90-120 minutes

As the cool fall breeze begins to settle in, my mind often drifts back to memories of cozy evenings spent gathered around a crackling fire with loved ones, savoring the smoky aroma of grilled meats. One dish that always stands out during these moments is the Smoked Tri-Tip Steak. This recipe holds a special place in my heart as it reminds me of family BBQs on warm summer days and the joy of sharing good food with even better company.

Tri-Tip Steak Image


  • 1 tri-tip steak (about 2-3 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • Your favorite barbecue sauce for serving


  1. Prepare your smoker for cooking, aiming for a temperature of around 225°F to 250°F. Use wood chips such as hickory or mesquite for an extra layer of smokiness.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the smoked paprika, cumin, brown sugar, black pepper, and a pinch of salt. This flavorful rub will be the key to enhancing the natural richness of the tri-tip.
  3. Pat the tri-tip dry with paper towels to help the rub adhere better. Generously coat the tri-tip on all sides with the spice rub, gently pressing it into the meat to ensure a flavorful crust.
  4. Once the smoker reaches the desired temperature, place the tri-tip on the grate and let it smoke low and slow. Depending on the thickness of the steak, this process can take anywhere from 1.5 to 2 hours. Use a meat thermometer to monitor the internal temperature – aim for about 135°F for a perfectly medium-rare steak.
  5. Once the tri-tip reaches the desired temperature, remove it from the smoker and let it rest for 10-15 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute.
  6. Slice the smoked tri-tip against the grain into thin slices to maximize tenderness. Serve the succulent slices with a drizzle of your favorite barbecue sauce on top for a delicious finishing touch.

Smoked Tri-Tip Steak Image

Tips and Variations:

  • For a touch of heat, add a pinch of cayenne pepper or chili powder to the rub.
  • Experiment with different wood chips to impart unique flavors into the meat, such as applewood or cherry wood.
  • If you prefer a sweeter profile, you can add a bit more brown sugar to the rub or brush the steak with a honey glaze during the smoking process.

Enjoy the delightful smokiness and juiciness of the Smoked Tri-Tip Steak, a dish that brings people together through the shared love of good food and great memories.

Family BBQ Image

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