Ready In:

2 hrs + resting


Fairly healthy

Good For:


By: Rick Bakas

For some, Tri Tip can be a challenge both to cook and to cut. It’s not a cut of beef that can be found in all 50 states. Here in California, we can usually find it at almost every grocery store.

I’ve got a killer technique to cook delicious and juicy Tri Tip using a pellet grill and your regular grill. It’s always a crowd pleaser and we never seem to have left overs.

tri tip seasoning



  • USDA Prime tri tip (around 2.5 pounds each)
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt+coarse pepper mix
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder

Costco has awesome meats. Here, on the west coast most Costco’s will have USDA Prime Tri Tip (in the blue styro package) that doesn’t cost much. Usually a 2-pack of Prime Tri Tips is around $30.

I’d highly recommend seeking out Prime for this recipe as it won’t cost much and is significanly juicier from premium marbling.

Step by Step Instructions


Mix salt, pepper and garlic powder and liberally cover both sides of the meat. I like to use an other shaker and sprinkle the seasoning back and forth like a typewriter. Pat the seasoning into the meat.

how to cook a tri tip

Bring your pellet grill up to 225° using mesquite flavored pellets (or hickory). Place the tri tip in the smoker with the thickest part pointed toward your hot spot.

Step – 3

Smoke the Tri Tip for two hours at 225°. Most Tri Tips are within the same size range, so two hours has become my standard time.


As the Tri Tip reaches the two hour cook time on your pellet grill, fire up your regular grill on high for direct heat cooking. After about 10 minutes, and your grill grates are nice and hot transfer the Tri Tip from the smoker to the grill.

Sear the Tri Tip on each side for approximately 3-5 minutes. That’ll give the outside a nice charred look and a deeper color. It’ll also activate the juices and the meat will start to glisten, which will cause your mouth to salivate.

tri tip bbq
Step 5 – REST

After searing the meat on both sides, remove from heat and let rest 10 minutes on a cutting board covered with an aluminum tent. Carve it up and enjoy!

How to cut your Tri Tip

As the name suggests, Tri Tip is triangle shaped. It’s bit counterintuitive to slice it this way but it’ll help maintain the moisture.

tri tip cuts

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