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Traeger Tri-Tip

Our Traeger smoked tri-tip is tender, juicy, and a great “quick” barbecue meal. This one is done in under two hours, which is lightning-fast in barbecue land.
Traeger Tri-Tip

Traeger Tri-Tip

Lately, I’ve been into barbecue. Like, really into bbq.

I’m using my Traeger for everything; from ribs and pork roast, to beef brisket and beef short ribs. My favorite bacon is Traeger bacon. Chicken wings? You’ll always skip the frier now. We’ve even made easy chicken fajitas on the Traeger.

I love BBQ sauce too.

The only trouble with barbecuing every day is the fact that the time it takes to properly barbecue most things is not available to me, and I’m sure most people can relate to the age-old adage; I wish I had more time.

Well, I think I’ve found the cut of meat that satisfies the BBQ craving and solves the crunch for time at the same time. With a prep time of five minutes and a total cook time of one and a half hours, I present to you the Traeger Tri-Tip.

Is this bbq or just grilling?

Please don’t think I am presenting this as barbecue, although it might qualify as defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary. Most people agree that barbecue means slow and low. With this recipe, you are getting the wood-fired aspect and the great smoke flavor, but this is cooked relatively fast and at a higher temperature.

I’ll settle for barbecue-ish, but in my eyes, it’s barbecue plus.

Why the plus, you might ask?

Well, you get all the smokey goodness of barbecue, along with the tenderness of the meat, but then to top it off, that tender, smokey meat is served medium rare.

Let’s talk about that medium-rare meat for a minute. Not overcooking this cut is crucial to it turning out tender and juicy, as opposed to tough and dry if you let it go too long on the Traeger.

The Tri-Tip is fickle and if you’re averse to medium rare meat, then this might not be the cut for you. If you can handle some pink, then you’ll be in heaven when you try this recipe.

Side note on the Traeger grill. Die-hard Traeger users simply refer to them as the T. I want to use that so bad, but I don’t feel quite worthy yet. Some of the guys and gals that use Traeger grills have been doing so for decades.

Now, depending on what part of the country you’re from, you may or may not have had much exposure to the Tri-Tip. Living in Washington state I just assumed everyone liked them and they were popular in most states. However, after having recently visited Amarillo, Texas, I learned that not all cuts of meat are as popular in other states as they are here.

I learned in Texas that the ribeye is king and the Tri-Tip is generally overlooked. Now the state of Texas is great and the people who live there are truly some of the most gracious, humble, and hardworking Americans you will find anywhere, but they need to realize that they’re missing out on this cut of meat.

What’s really strange about it is that Texans are hooked on brisket. I know if they tried this recipe on a Traeger grill I could convert at least a couple million of them.

If you already love tri-tip, I know you’ll love this on a Traeger grill. If you’re from Texas and you’re a little skeptical of the tri-tip, then this is the recipe to win you over.

What should I serve with my Smoked Tri-Tip?

I highly recommend our Traeger Corn on the Cob and Traeger Baked Potatoes to serve alongside this awesome and easy steak!

Traeger Smoked Tri-Tip

Traeger Tri-Tip

Traeger Tri-Tip

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes

"Quick" and easy barbecue recipe that you can make for dinner on a weeknight. Delicious cut of beef that is tender and juicy and cooked medium-rare.


  • 3 pound tri-tip
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder


  1. Preheat your Traeger to 250.
  2. Cook for 30 minutes, flip, and cook for an additional 30 minutes.
  3. Turn the grill up to 350 and cook an additional 20-30 minutes. Pull at 125° for medium-rare, or 135 for medium, rest for 10 minutes, slice against the grain and serve.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 484 Total Fat: 25g Saturated Fat: 0g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 188mg Sodium: 650mg Carbohydrates: 1g Fiber: 0g Sugar: 0g Protein: 59g
Nutrition data provided here is only an estimate. If you are tracking these things for medical purposes please consult an outside, trusted source. Thanks!
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Tucker Otterson

Sunday 17th of November 2019

1.It does a good job 2. I like the customer service does not like cold weather is easy to clean was extremely expensive 6. I would not buy it again

Nicole Johnson

Sunday 17th of November 2019

Oh yeah? I do think that they are expensive for grills, but also for me - it was worth it. Your mileage may vary! Do you like pellet grills in general still? Just not ones in this price range?

Steven L Carr

Saturday 31st of August 2019

Giving your quick tri tip a go tomorrow. I generally pull tri tips at 130f. While standing, they'll cook another 10 degrees. Perfect for medium rare!


Saturday 29th of June 2019

In the article you mention the importance of cooking it to medium rare, but the recipe calls for pulling it at 140. Isn’t that closer to medium or medium well once it rests?

Nicole Johnson

Saturday 29th of June 2019

Good catch! You are totally right. I'm editing that right now that's for the head's up!


Wednesday 20th of June 2018

Based off your pictures, you cut it wrong. Tri-tip has 3 different grains so you cut it into 3 different parts. Then cut those against the grain. Also, it should take roughly a hour at 300 degrees for medium cooked meat. You can also smoke it for 6 hours around 200 degrees. Good choice of lean meat at 5.99-7.99 per pound in my neck of the world though.


Sunday 3rd of February 2019

Made this tonight. It turned amazing! And yes Mark, you have to use your brain when cutting the meat. Duh. Who knew right? It was delicious. I’m a newbie. My fam wouldn’t let me smoke lobster last week. Ingrates!lol Thank you for your recipe and blog. Your wife was right you know:)

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