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Smoked Santa Maria Tri-Tip Recipe

beef tri tip

By: Laura Reigel | Foodology Geek

Featured Chef Laura Reigel serves up a splendid Tri-Tip smoked to perfection. Indulge in the tantalizing flavors of our Smoked Tri-Tip recipe, a true delight for meat lovers. This culinary masterpiece showcases a perfectly grilled, tender beef cut infused with a savory blend of smoky spices and aromatic herbs. Unlock the secrets to achieving grilling perfection and elevate your BBQ game with this mouthwatering Santa Maria Smoked Tri-Tip recipe that will leave your taste buds craving more. Get ready to impress your guests and savor every juicy, flavorful bite.

Recipe By: Laura Reigel | Foodology Geek

Smoked Tri-Tip Recipe 

Servings: 6

Prep Time: 1 day

Cook Time: 4 hours

Resting Time: 15 minutes


  • ▢ Kamado Joe Smoker
  • ▢ Pellet Grill
  • ▢ Barrel Smoker


Rub for Tri-Tip

  • ▢ ½ cup brown sugar
  • ▢ ⅓ cup kosher salt
  • ▢ ¼ cup smoked paprika
  • ▢ ¼ cup chili powder
  • ▢ 1 tbsp garlic granules
  • ▢ 1 tbsp dry mustard
  • ▢ 2 tsp dried oregano
  • ▢ 2 tsp cumin
  • ▢ ¾ tsp black pepper
  • ▢ ½ tsp cayenne pepper (adjust to your personal preference)

Marinade Recipe for Tri-Tip

  • ▢ 2 teaspoons salt
  • ▢ 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • ▢ 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • ▢ 1 ½ teaspoons paprika
  • ▢ 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ▢ 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • ▢ ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ▢ ⅓ cup red wine vinegar
  • ▢ ⅓ cup MCT oil or other neutral-flavored oil
  • ▢ 4 cloves crushed garlic
  • ▢ ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard


  • Select the perfect tri-tip. Shoot for 2 to 4 lbs. Trim if needed. (2 to 4 lb tri-tip roast)
  • Season: use a dry rub or a flavorful marinade for best results.
  • Bring the Tri-Tip to room temperature a few hours before cooking.
  • Prepare the smoker according to the manufacturer’s directions. Heat to 225℉ (107℃)
  • Place the tri-tip on the grill. Insert a probe thermometer and close the lid.\
  • Smoke or grill the tri-tip to your desired temperature. Recommended 125℉ (54℃)
  • Remove the tri-tip when it is 5 degrees under the desired final temperature.
  • Reverse sear to brown the outside. You can use a torch to sear the outside of the tri-tip in a smoking hot cast iron skillet or under a broiler.
  • Place on a cutting board, cover with aluminum foil, and rest for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing.

Recipe Tips

  1. Medium-rare: Aim for an internal temperature of around 130°F to 135°F (54°C to 57°C). At this temperature, the tri-tip will be pink in the center with some juiciness.
  2. Medium: For medium doneness, target an internal temperature of around 140°F to 145°F (60°C to 63°C). The meat will be slightly more cooked, with a hint of pink in the center.


Serving: 6ounces | Calories: 237kcal | Protein: 31g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 98mg | Sodium: 80mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 2mg

If you’re looking for some great recipes, be sure to check out our Discover Blog. We have a plethora of recipes that we think you’ll love, and we’re always adding more delicious dishes to our collection. So whether you’re an experienced chef or just starting out in the kitchen, our blog is a great resource for finding new and exciting meals to try. Be sure to bookmark the site so you can easily come back and see what’s new! 

Introducing Laura Reigel, our featured chef for November 2024. As a lifelong food enthusiast, Laura pursued her passion for cooking full-time after retiring from her 18-year career solving homicides as a DNA Analyst and Forensic Investigator. Growing up as the daughter of a military father, she has been exposed to various ethnic backgrounds, significantly influencing her culinary style. Laura’s love for cooking is reflected in her dedication to using high-quality ingredients and in the time she spends perfecting her recipes, drawing on her scientific background in the kitchen. As the Head Content Creator at Foodology Geek and the author of Beast Bowl Nutrition, Laura encourages, “Don’t be afraid to eat meat!!” a statement we wholeheartedly agree with. Find Laura on social: Amazon, FB, IG, X, YouTube, Linkedin, TikTok, and Pinterest.