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Tri Tip Question

Joined Jun 3, 2012
Just a quick question. I'm getting ready to smoke my first tri tip steak and was wondering how much of the fat cap I should leave on? Also does it matter if I smoke it with the fat cap facing down or up?

I normally can't find this cut of meat where I live and was suprised when I came across it today at the store. I can't wait to eat some dinner tonight! Thanks for the help!


Meat Mopper
Joined Nov 8, 2011
I like to smoke fat down at 275-300.

I cook on a WSM or FEC-100 and my heat source is under the meat.

Sometimes I will flip halfway, if I think about it.

Pull at 120, foil and rest 30 minutes.

Slice cross grain and chow down.


Epic Pitmaster
OTBS Member
Joined Jul 26, 2009
Been doing TriTip for years and I like to trim them a little and rub with S&P or Java Rub and cook fat cap up to help with moisture retention.

We take them to 125 -130 and wrap in foil and in a towel to rest for 30 min then slice across the grain.   

tom in nc

Smoke Blower
Joined Dec 13, 2009
Trim the fat cap off. If you're grilling - keep it on.  If you're smoking, trim it off.  Smoke gets to the meat and you have a nice edible crust all the way around.  This comes from Jeff's newsletter and I followed his recipe to the T last weekend and it was awesome!
Joined Jun 3, 2012
So the Tri Tip for the most part turned out pretty good. I did remove most of the cap and seasoned with salt and pepper and a little garlic. I was using my dads old char broil H2O smoker (wish I had my WSM here with us on vacation). I was hoping to smoke these at 225 but since this smokers doesn't really have any type of heat control the temp ended up at 260ish. We pulled them off at 140 IT temp and let the rest for about 30 minutes.

The meat turned out in the medium to medium well range, which is a bit more done then we like. A little chewy also but, everyone seemed to really like it though.

I'm defalently going to try it again, but at a lower heat and a lower IT temp. Thanks again for the help and I will get some pictures posted once I get the pictures off the camera.
Joined Jun 3, 2012
Here is a picture of one of the Tri Tips we smoked. The 2nd one was much more tender then the first we ate.



Smoke Blower
Joined Mar 19, 2009
Looks good BlingDog!! Give this a whirl next time if you like a crispy outside on your Tri-Tip. I always rub my Tri-tip with honey then a spicy dry rub. Smoke them at 225 to an internal temp of 120, then put them on a very hot grill for about 45 seconds per side. You will get that nice juicy medium rare beef with a crisp outside. I never wrap my Tri-Tip, I just let them rest on a cutting board for 20 min or so.

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