If you haven’t smoked Tri Tip yet, RUN, don’t walk, to make this recipe. And if you haven’t heard about Tri Tip yet, well you have come to the right place!

This recipe is a continuation of my Better Than Sex Series, named after my hugely popular Better Than Sex Brisket, as this recipe is very similar to the rub in that recipe, but using the preparation I use for my Prime Rib Recipe, and then paired with a horseradish sour cream dipping sauce. This recipe is a great AFFORDABLE replacement for Prime Rib for a special occasion dinner as even buying a Wagyu Tri Tip will be a fraction of the cost of a Prime Rib. 

Now, let’s get back to why I love Tri Tip so much!

smoked tri tip

Watching the smoke coming out of the Big Green Egg has a mesmerizing effect.

About Tri Tip

smoked tri tip

If you look at the cut that Tri Tip comes from, you see why it is called the TRI (3 corners) tip!

Before I continue to wax on about how much I love smoked Tri Tip, and I do, let’s just talk about this cut for a hot second because I do realize that many of you have not experienced Tri Tip yet because it is largely unknown on the East Coast of the US.

The TriTip steak is from the bottom of the sirloin sub-primal cut, just above and in front of the hind legs. It has also been commonly referred to as Newport steak, Santa Maria steak (it is believed to have been first used in Santa Maria, California), triangle tip and triangle steak. The triangle in those names is because the cut itself is shaped like, well, a triangle. 

Why Tri Tip is Awesome and Under Appreciated


I love Tri Tip so much it was my entry when I competed in the Fire Woman Challenge at the World Food Championships.

Tri Tip is like a cross between a roast and steak. Because of its’ shape, when you cook it, the middle part will be the most rare and the “tip” will be the most cooked. Because of this, it is perfect for serving a crowd when, for example, some people want their steak cooked medium well, and some people want their steak cooked medium rare (the very middle of the tri tip). 

smoked tri tip

Smoked Tri Tip is my secret weapon when we invite people over. So easy and so good!

Where to Buy Tri Tip?

Even though it’s hard to find Tri Tip on the East Coast of the US, it is EASY to order a Wagyu Tri Tip online to be shipped straight to your door. It is very hard to find a Wagyu Tri Tip in most grocery stores anyway, so I recommend buying Wagyu Tri Tip at Snake River Farms

The beauty of Tri Tip is also that it is very tender, and yet is an economical cut of meat. I recommended getting Waygu Tri Tip because the marbling in Tri Tip will noticeably make each bite that much more succulent, juicy, and enjoyable. 

In addition, because of the size of Tri Tip, you can smoke it in about an hour or so, unlike larger cuts like Brisket. Speaking of, if you have a hankering for Brisket but don’t have the time to spend 15 hours smoking a brisket, then my Brisket Style Tri Tip Recipe is for you. You get all the feels of brisket, with a fraction of the time! That’s a win win in my book!

Now, back to my Better Than Sex Tritip…

The Beauty of this recipe is that the rub, combined with smoke flavor, make this roast addictively detectable. Each bite is full of peppered rosemary rub, coupled with smoke flavor from the grill. Then, adding the horseradish dipping sauce just takes this over the top. This, in my book, is the perfect replacement for Prime Rib for the holidays and Tri Tip Will not break the bank like a Prime Rib roast will. 

smoked tri tip

Can you smell the herbacious notes of fresh rosemary in this rub?

Okay, now that I’ve given you all the reasons I love this recipe and I love Smoked Tri Tip, let’s get to it, shall we?

smoked tri tip

Who else loves to see a great smoke ring? Well here you go!

smoked tri tip

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Better Than Sex Smoked Tri Tip

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 1 review

  • Author: Robyn
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x


Smoked Tri Tip is your new BFF. Smoked Tri Tip is an economical cut of meat that doesn't taste economical, can be smoked whole in under an hour, and makes amazing French Dip leftovers, if there are any leftovers!




  • 1 tbsp sea salt (I used Bourbon Barrel Smoked Sea Salt which is my fave!!)
  • 2 tbsp cracked black pepper (I used Bourbon Barrel smoked pepper)
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp beef base
  • 2 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves, chopped fine
  • 2 tbsp olive oil


Horseradish Dipping Sauce

  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 4 tbsp prepared horseradish
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 3 pinches sea salt


Prepare your smoker for 250 degrees. If you are using a Big Green Egg, you will use the plate setter.

Throw in cherry, oak or maple wood chips or wood chunks to add additional smoke flavor.

While the Tri Tip is smoking, make your dipping sauce by comping all the ingredients. Keep in the refrigerator until you're ready to serve.

Smoked until the internal temperature has reached 125 degrees in the thickest part of the tritip. This should take an hour but don’t go by time, go by temperature, which is why it is important to use a Thermapen or a Chef Alarm to accurately judge the internal temperature of the meat.

Let the meat rest for 10 minutes before slicing into it. Slice thenly like you would roast beef. The leftovers are great served as a french dip Sandwich. Once you’ve discovered how amazing Tri Tip is, you will want to make it again and again! Check out my other Tri Tip recipes including my Brisket Style Tri Tip and my Tri Tip with Chimmichurri recipe. 


The knife used in these photos is from Dalstrong Knives. I highly recommend their knives (affiliate link, if you decide to buy one I will make a small comission! Thank you for your support!) I have also used affiliate links to Snake River Farms, another brand I highly recommend.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Category: BBQ, Smoked Meat, Tri Tip Recipe, Dinner
  • Method: Smoke, Grill
  • Cuisine: BBQ

Want more grilled beef recipes? Check out these posts!