Smoked Tri Tip on a Pellet Grill

If you want to smoke a tri tip on your pellet grill then you are in luck because it is pretty easy!

A tri tip roast isn’t a huge cut of meat so it hits a great balance between cooking quickly but staying on the pit long enough to pick up some smoke flavor.

I go with a basic beef rub, smoke at 250F and do not bother with a Reverse Sear.

Pellet Grill Smoked Tri Tip

Prepare the Tri Tip for the Smoker

The tri tip comes of the sirloin primal with a small fat cap.  The one that I was working with was already trimmed and had the fat cap removed.

If your tri tip still has the fat cap intact then whether you keep it on or not is a personal preference.  Leaving the fat cap on will make the tri tip similar to a picanha if that is your jam.

two pound tri tip roast

I painted the tri tip with a couple tablespoons of yellow mustard to serve as a binder for the dry rub. Using a binder is not essential but it is fun to do and makes me feel like I know what I am doing.

If you don’t want to use mustard then olive oil or Worcestershire sauce are also excellent binder choices.

I used the same dry rub for this tri tip that worked so well when I smoked an eye of round to make roast beef.  The rub gives great color and packs a little heat.

Dry Rub for Smoked Tri Tip

  • 3 tbls salt
  • 2 tbls chili powder
  • 2 tbls smoked paprika
  • 1 tbls turbinado sugar
  • 1 tbls black pepper
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp granulated onion
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle powder

Apply the dry rub liberally to all sides of the beef and let it soak into the meat for about 30 minutes before it goes onto the smoker.

Set Your Pellet Grill to 250F

Turn on your pellet grill and set the temperature to 250F.

I was using hickory pellets for this cook but pecan, cherry or one of the Competition Blends from one of the major brands would work fine.  I think apple pellets would be too mild and I flat out do not like mesquite.

I was cooking on my Z Grills pellet grill and wanted some extra smoke flavor so I lit a six inch smoker tube filled with hickory pellets and put it on the grate beside the meat.  If you are smoking a tri tip on a Traeger then you might want to kick on the SuperSmoke mode.

Seasoned Tri Tip on Pellet Grill

Most of the tri tips you will find are going to be in the 2-3 pound weight range. It will take about an hour to smoke a tri tip at 250F which makes this is a pretty fast meal to fix on your smoker.  

Cook the Tri Tip to 135F

Use a digital thermometer to measure the internal temperature of the tri tip in the thickest part of the meat.  The tri tip is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 135F.  

Let the roast rest for 15 minutes before slicing and make sure you slice against the grain.

I got distracted when I was smoking this one and let it hit 140F which is why it wasn’t a perfect medium rare.  That’s okay, it was still absolutely delicious with some creamy horseradish sauce on a lettuce wrap!

Yeah…lettuce…I am watching my carbs these days!

Smoked Tri Tip Lettuce Wrap

Seasoned Tri Tip on Pellet Grill

Tri Tip Smoked on a Pellet Grill

A tri tip is seasoned with a spicy dry rub and then smoked at 250F with the use of a smoke tube for extra flavor.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Smoked Tri Tip on a Pellet Grill
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Calories 350kcal


  • Pellet Grill
  • Smoke tube


  • 1 Tri Tip Roast About 2.5 pounds
  • 2 tbsp Yellow Mustard
  • Dry Rub Ingredients
  • 3 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp turbinado sugar
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp granulated onion
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle powder


  • Coat the tri tip with a thin layer of yellow mustard to help the dry rub adhere.
  • Season the tri tip on all sides with the dry rub.
  • Let the tri tip rest for about 30 minutes to allow the rub to work into the meat.
  • Turn on your pellet grill and set the temperature to 250F.
  • Fill a six inch smoker tube with hickory pellets, light and place on the cooking grate.
  • Put the tri tip on the pellet grill and smoke for about an hour until an internal temperature of 135F is reached in the thickest part of the meat.
  • Take the tri tip off the smoker, rest for 15 minutes and slice against the grain.

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