Decided to smoke a Tri-Tip for the 4th of July since last weekend I made my wife eat venison! I made a marinade with 1 cup soy sauce, 2 tbsns minced garlic, about 10-15 turns of a pepper mill with a mix of black and white pepper and 1/2 tsp (ok, a little more) of red pepper flakes. While the marinade was resting, I trimmed the Tri-Tip of virtually all fat and tough membrane and marinaded it for about 3 hours, turning every 30 minutes or so in the frig. At 3:30 PM, I pulled it out to let it come to room temp and into a smoker heated to 240* with 50% apple and 50% cherry. I intentionally did not rinse it off but chose to leave the minced garlic, et al, on the steak. I added the leftover marinade to the water in the water pan. I'm not sure if its smart to add marinade that has had raw meat in it to a smoker but it seemed to me that as it boiled off, it would be safe. If this was risky, I hope someone will let me (and everyone who sees this, know!)
After smoking it an hour and a half or so, I pulled it at 120* and double wrapped it to rest for about an hour (it rose to about 130*.
I then seared it on my searing burner for about 2 - 2 1/2 minutes a side then cut in half to slice both sides against the sometimes confusing Tri-Tip grain pattern.
Sliced it across the grain and it came out rare, tender and very moist. Best Tri-Tip I've ever made but I think someone's post about how to carve a Tri-Tip really helped me.