How Long To Smoke Tri Tip At 225? Completed Answer

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If you are a fan of smoking meats, then tri tip is the perfect cut for you. Not only does it have delicious flavor when smoked well, but it’s also relatively affordable compared to other cuts of beef. The challenge lies in knowing exactly how long to smoke tri tip at 225 degrees if you want perfectly tender and juicy meat every time. In this blog post we are going to discuss everything you need to know about cooking a succulent smoked tri tip, from selecting the right cut and wood type to understanding the proper temperature and length of cook time needed for its preparation.

What is Tri-Tip

Tri-tip is a delicious and tender beef cut derived from the cow’s bottom sirloin. It is distinguished by its triangular shape, which lends it its name. Tri-tip is a popular cut of beef in the United States, notably in California’s Central and Southern areas, where it is frequently referred to as “Santa Maria steak.” This cut is well-known for its deep meaty flavor and adaptability to a variety of cooking ways. Before being grilled, roasted, or smoked to perfection, it is frequently seasoned with a dry rub or marinade. When properly cooked, tri-tip is juicy, soft, and has a balanced blend of lean and marbled flesh, making it a popular option among barbecue aficionados and meat lovers both. It’s usually cut against the grain.


Nutrition Of Tri Tip


Amount per 3-Ounce Serving



24 grams

Total Fat

7 grams
Saturated Fat

3 grams


75 milligrams

2 milligrams


50 milligrams

310 milligrams

What is the purpose of smoking tri-tip at 225 degrees Fahrenheit?

What is the purpose of smoking tri-tip at 225 degrees Fahrenheit? We chose 225°F because it will progressively render the fat in the tri-tip, giving it a melty butter-like texture and providing end-to-end doneness. This temperature also allows more smoke to permeate the meat.. Plus, smoking at 225 allows for a longer cooking time, which means even more time for that wood smoke to work its magic.

What factors affect the cooking time of a Tri-Tip at 225 degrees?

Smoking a tri tip at 225 degrees can be a delicate process that requires patience and careful attention. There are various factors that can impact the smoking time of tri tip, such as the thickness of the meat, the temperature of the grill, and the level of smoke exposure. The thickness of the meat influences the cooking time as it determines how long it takes for heat to penetrate the tri tip evenly. However, weight is not the only factor that influences cooking time; other factors such as the thickness and form of the meat, the type of smoker utilized, and even weather conditions can all have an impact. A 3-pound tri tip, for example, normally takes 1.5 to 2 hours to smoke at 225 degrees. Considering these factors and taking your time can result in a perfectly smoked tri tip that’ll leave you licking your fingers.

What factors affect the cooking time of a Tri-Tip at 225 degrees

How Long To Smoke Tri Tip At 225?

One important factor to consider is the duration of cooking time. Smoking a tri-tip roast at 225 degrees Fahrenheit will typically take around 3-4 hours, but it’s important to check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer to ensure it reaches the desired doneness. The key to a perfectly smoked tri-tip lies in finding the right balance between cooking time and temperature, which can yield a tender, juicy, and flavorful result that is sure to impress.

How long to smoke tri tip at 225 on a gas grill?

On a gas grill, the tri-tip should be done in 2-2.5 hours. The length of time depends on the size and thickness of the cut: smaller slices (1 pound or less) should take roughly 2 hours, while bigger cuts may require up to 3 hours of smoking at 225°F. However, if your tri tip is larger or smaller than that, you’ll need to adjust the cooking time accordingly. Along with size, the thickness of your tri tip will also play a role in how long it takes to smoke. 

How long to smoke tri tip at 225 on a charcoal grill?

If you’re planning on smoking your tri tip on a charcoal grill, you’ll want to maintain a temperature of 225 degrees for an optimal smoking experience. How long to smoke tri tip at 225 on a charcoal grill? Well, that largely depends on the size of your cut. A general rule of thumb is to smoke tri tip for around 45 minutes per pound, until the internal temperature reaches around 135 degrees for medium-rare. Of course, monitoring the temperature with a meat thermometer is always a good idea to ensure that you don’t overcook your tri tip.

How long to smoke tri tip at 225 on traeger?

Smoking a tri-tip at 225°F (107°C) on a Traeger will take about 2 to 2.5 hours.

  • Start by removing any excess fat from the tri-tip and applying your preferred dry rub or marinade. Allow the meat to marinade in the refrigerator for at least 1-2 hours or overnight for maximum flavor.
  • Preheat the Traeger: Preheat the Traeger to 225°F (107°C). This process can take anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes, depending on your model and the weather.
  • Smoking Time: Smoke the tri-tip at 225°F for approximately 2 to 2.5 hours. The exact cooking time can vary depending on the thickness of the meat and your desired level of doneness. Aim for an internal temperature of around 130°F (54°C) for medium-rare or adjust for your preferred level of doneness using a meat thermometer.
  • Use Smoke: During the initial stages of smoking, you can use wood pellets or wood chips to add a smoky flavor to the tri-tip. Common choices include oak, hickory, or mesquite, but feel free to experiment with flavors that you enjoy.
  • Monitoring: While smoking, periodically check the internal temperature of the tri-tip using a meat thermometer. Make sure to insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat without touching bone.
  • Resting: Once the tri-tip reaches your desired level of doneness, remove it from the smoker and let it rest for about 10-15 minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in a juicier and more tender roast.
  • Slicing: After resting, slice the tri-tip against the grain into thin slices for serving. This ensures the most tender and flavorful results.

How Long To Smoke A 3 Pound Tri Tip At 225?

A 2-pound tri tip takes an hour for rare and an hour and a half for medium-rare at 225 degrees Fahrenheit. A 3-pound tri tip takes around 90 minutes to cook rare and 2 hours to cook medium-rare.. Once you’ve reached your desired level of doneness, let the meat rest for a few minutes before slicing into it. 

How Long To Smoke A 3 Pound Tri Tip At 225

Check the temperature of the Tri-Tip when smoking it at 225 degrees?

Using a trustworthy meat thermometer, check the temperature every 30 minutes to one hour, depending on the size of the tri-tip and the desired level of doneness. Ultimately, the frequency with which you check the temperature will depend on a variety of factors, including the size of your tri-tip, the type of smoker you’re using, and the external temperature. 

Should You Trim The Fat Off Tri-Tip Before Smoking?

Personal preference dictates whether or not to cut the fat from a tri-tip before smoking it. Here are some things to think about to help you decide:

Getting Rid of the Pounds:

  • Trimming extra fat from the tri-tip’s surface can assist minimize flare-ups and lower the chance of the fire becoming too hot during the smoking process.
  • Removing extra fat can improve smoke penetration and help the meat to absorb more flavors from your rub or marinade.
  • Fat reduction may also make the finished dish more visually appealing.

Leaving Some Fat Behind:

  • As fat melts throughout the cooking process, it can provide taste and moisture to the meat. It can help to produce a juicier and more delicious outcome.
  • Some people prefer to leave a thin layer of fat (known as “fat cap”) on the tri-tip to enhance the taste and texture of the meat.
  • The choice to leave or trim fat should align with your personal taste preferences and dietary considerations.

In summary, whether you choose to trim the fat off a tri-tip before smoking it depends on your desired outcome. If you prefer a leaner result and want to minimize the risk of flare-ups, trimming excess fat is a good option. However, leaving a thin layer of fat can enhance flavor and juiciness. 

How To Know If Tri Tip Is Done?

One of the best ways to tell if your tri tip is cooked to perfection is by using a meat thermometer. The internal temperature should read at least 135°F for medium-rare or 145°F for medium. Another way to check if it’s done is by looking at the color of the meat. The outside should be browned or charred, while the center should still be pink. Don’t rely solely on the color, though, as it can be misleading. 

How To Know If Tri Tip Is Done

What To Serve With Smoke Tri-Tip?

Smoked tri-tip pairs wonderfully with a variety of side dishes. Grilled or roasted vegetables, garlic mashed potatoes, coleslaw, baked beans, and potato salad all complement the rich, smoky flavors. For lighter options, consider a green salad or grilled fruit. Classic choices like cornbread, macaroni and cheese, and warm, grilled bread are also crowd-pleasers. Don’t forget to offer an array of condiments and sauces for customization, and consider pickles, onions, and fresh herbs to add texture and flavor. Ultimately, your choice of side dishes should provide a well-rounded dining experience that enhances the deliciousness of the smoked tri-tip. If you’re feeling adventurous, consider adding a punch of flavor with tangy coleslaw or a refreshing cucumber and tomato salad. Whatever you choose, make sure the sides enhance the smoky deliciousness of the tri-tip, not steal the spotlight.

Should You Wrap Tri-Tip In Foil?

Wrap the tri-tip in foil and set it in a small cooler (without ice) to keep warm for 30-60 minutes. This will prolong the cooking process, resulting in medium doneness. Furthermore, as the liquids gently redistribute into the meat, it makes the cut exceedingly soft.

 However, if you do decide to give the foil wrap method a try, be sure to experiment with different cooking times and temperatures to find the perfect balance of tenderness and flavor.

Should You Wrap Tri-Tip In Foil

How To Preserve Tri Tips

Proper storing and handling practices are required for effective tri-tip preservation. Refrigerate the tri-tip in an airtight container or tightly wrap it in plastic wrap or aluminum foil if you want to use it within a few days. However, freezing is the greatest solution for long-term storage. To avoid air exposure, portion the tri-tip into meal-sized pieces, wrap them tightly, and place them in a resealable freezer bag or vacuum-sealed bag. Label and date each package before placing it in a freezer set to 0°F (-18°C) or below. When you’re ready to use the frozen tri-tip, place it in the refrigerator to defrost evenly and safely. To maintain the quality of the thawed tri-tip, cook it right away and avoid re-freezing it. These steps ensure that your tri-tip remains flavorful and safe for consumption over an extended period.

What kind of wood is best for smoking tri tip?

 Red oak is the traditional wood used for tri tip, although other types of wood will also work. If red oak is unavailable, substitute hickory, apple wood, pecan wood, or cherry wood. Another favored choice is hickory, which imparts a sweet, smoky flavor with a hint of bacon-like undertones that can really elevate the taste of the tri tip. 

The Best Slow-Smoked Tri Tip Recipe


  • 1 tri-tip roast (about 2-3 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (adjust to your spice preference)
  • Olive oil (for coating)


  1. To make the dry rub, combine the kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, dried thyme, dried oregano, and cayenne pepper in a small dish. This will be your tasty dry rub.
  2. Trim the Tri-Tip: Trim the Tri-Tip to your liking if it has excess fat or silver skin. Leaving a little layer of fat on the meat during smoking can improve its flavor and moisture.
  3. Season the tri-tip by uniformly coating it with olive oil to let the dry rub adhere. Rub the dry spice mixture all over the meat, making sure it’s well-coated. Wrap the tri-tip in plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight to allow the flavors to penetrate, but this is optional.
  4. Preheat the Smoker: Preheat your smoker to a temperature of 225-250°F (107-121°C). Use your choice of smoking wood, such as oak, hickory, or fruitwood, to add flavor to the meat.
  5. Smoke the Tri-Tip: Place the seasoned tri-tip directly on the smoker grates. Smoke the tri-tip until it reaches your desired level of doneness, typically around 130-135°F (54-57°C) for medium-rare. This can take approximately 1.5 to 2.5 hours, depending on the thickness of the meat and your smoker’s temperature.
  6. Rest the Tri-Tip: Once the tri-tip reaches the desired temperature, remove it from the smoker and loosely tent it with aluminum foil. Allow it to rest for about 10-15 minutes. This resting period helps redistribute the juices and ensures a juicy and tender result.
  7. Slice and Serve: Slice the rested tri-tip against the grain into thin slices. This step is crucial to maintain tenderness. Serve your smoked tri-tip slices with your favorite side dishes.

Conclusion: How long to smoke tri tip at 225?

After exploring all of the questions surrounding smoking a tri-tip at 225 degrees Fahrenheit, it is important to review the key points. Smoking tri-tip at 225 will take anywhere from 1.5-4 hours depending on size, type of smoker and other factors like wind and temperature. You should check the temperature regularly while smoking and trim any fat off before smoking. To know if the tri-tip is done you can use a digital thermometer or even press your fingers against it—a well done piece will be firm to the touch. Lastly, when serving tri-tip pair it with sides like coleslaw, corn bread or potatoes that complement its flavor profile. Whether smoked in a gas, charcoal or Traeger grill, now you have all of the tips necessary for creating tender, delicious slow smoked tri-tip recipes every time!


1. Can I smoke tri-tip with wood chips or wood pellets at 225°F?

Yes, you can use wood chips or pellets in your smoker to add smoky flavor. Common choices include oak, hickory, or mesquite.

2. Do I need to flip the tri-tip while smoking at 225°F?

Flipping is not necessary when smoking tri-tip. Smoke it with the fat cap up and let it cook without interruption.

3. How often should I check the temperature of the tri-tip while smoking?

You should periodically check the tri-tip’s internal temperature using a meat thermometer. Avoid opening the smoker too frequently to maintain a consistent temperature.

4. Should I rest the tri-tip after smoking it at 225°F?

Yes, after smoking, let the tri-tip rest for about 10-15 minutes. This allows juices to be redistributed for a juicier result.

5. Can I smoke tri-tip at a higher temperature for a shorter time?

Yes, you can smoke tri-tip at a higher temperature, but the lower and slower method at 225°F is often preferred for tender and flavorful results.

6. What should I serve with smoked tri-tip?

Smoked tri-tip pairs well with side dishes like grilled vegetables, garlic mashed potatoes, coleslaw, and green salad. Offer a variety to complement the smoky flavors.

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