How Long To Smoke Tri Tip At 225?

Smoking tri-tip at 225°F is a culinary technique that promises to elevate this already flavorful cut of beef to new heights of tenderness and taste.

The critical question of how long to smoke tri tip at 225, involves not only time but also an understanding of temperature, meat preparation, and the smoker’s performance in this smoking process. 

When done correctly, this process transforms the tri-tip into a masterpiece of barbecue cuisine, making it a popular choice for gatherings and family dinners.

So, keep reading to find out the needed time to smoke tri-tip at 225!

What Is a Smoked Tri Tip?

Before delving into this topic, we must know what a smoked tri-tip is.

Smoked tri-tip, a beloved delicacy in barbecue culture, refers to a specific cut of Its triangular shape that distinguishes it. 

Its triangular shape distinguishes it, making it known as a “tri-tip.”

The magic of smoked tri-tip lies in the cooking method – slow smoking at a low temperature, typically around 225°F, which slowly coaxes the flavors and tenderness out of the meat.

This method imbues the beef with a rich, smoky flavor deeply infused by the choice of wood chips or pellets used during the smoking process.

The result is a juicy, flavorful, and incredibly tender piece of meat equally suited for a casual barbecue or a formal dinner.

How Long To Smoke Tri Tip At 225?

Smoking tri-tip at 225°F is a method that strikes the perfect balance between time and tenderness, typically requiring about 2 hours to reach the ideal internal temperature of 135°F for a medium rare finish.

This relatively low and slow approach allows the connective tissues in the meat to break down without losing the moisture that keeps the roast juicy and flavorful.

The controlled environment of 225°F ensures that the meat cooks evenly, preventing the outside from burning before the inside reaches the desired doneness. 

Furthermore, this temperature range is optimal for producing a consistent smoke that imbues the tri-tip with a deep, complex flavor profile.

By maintaining 225°F, you allow the tri-tip to gradually absorb the smoky aromas, resulting in a richly caramelized yet not charred crust with a pink, tender interior packed with juices.

It’s a technique that champions patience, rewarding you with a cut of supremely succulent and satisfyingly smoky beef.

How To Smoke Tri Tip At 225?

To make sure your tri-tip is perfectly smoked, you need to follow a step-by-step process that includes preparing, smoking, and letting it rest.

Each step is crucial for making the tasty dish you’re aiming for.

Ingredients Needed

The first step is getting the right ingredients, which sets the scene for a tasty and successful smoking session.

1. Tri-tip roast: This roast is chosen for its rich flavor and optimal fat content, which renders it beautiful when smoked. 

2. Steak seasoning includes salt, pepper, garlic powder, and other herbs.

3. Butter: keeps the meat moist and adds a silky.

4. You’ll need tools: smoker, wood chips or pellets, meat thermometer, cutting board and sharp knife, grill or cast-iron skillet, and aluminum foil.

Detailed Instructions

Now that we’ve picked the essential ingredients, we’ll follow the step-by-step instructions.

We’ll guide you carefully through the smoking process to ensure you get a delicious result.

Step 1: Season The Tri-Tip

Begin by generously coating the tri-tip roast with your choice of steak seasoning.

Ensure that all meat surfaces, including the sides, are well covered.

This step is crucial to taste, and it will not only add taste but also help to lock in the meat’s natural juices during the smoking process. 

Allow the seasoned tri-tip to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before smoking, which helps to start the cooking process evenly.

Step 2: Smoke The Tri-Tip

Preheat your smoker to 225°F, ensuring it reaches a stable temperature before placing the meat inside.

Use wood chips or pellets according to your flavor preference; hickory, mesquite, and oak are popular choices for beef. 

Place the tri-tip in the smoker’s fat side up, allowing the fat to drain through the meat as it cooks.

Smoke the tri-tip for approximately 2 hours or until it reaches an internal temperature of 135°F for medium rare. Use a meat thermometer to ensure accuracy.

Step 3: Sear The Tri-Tip

After smoking, remove the tri-tip from the smoker and preheat a grill or cast-iron skillet to high heat.

Searing the meat for about 30 seconds on each side gives it a beautiful crust and locks in the flavors.

This high-heat method creates a Maillard reaction, further enhancing the richness of the beef’s flavor profile.

Step 4: Rest The Tri-Tip

Once seared, it’s essential to rest the tri-tip before slicing.

Place the roast on a cutting board and loosely cover it with aluminum foil.

Allow it to rest for about 15 to 20 minutes. 

This step gives the juices, which are pushed to the center of the meat during cooking, time to redistribute throughout the tri-tip.

Cutting into the meat too early could result in dryness. 

After resting, slice the tri-tip against the grain into thin slices to ensure tenderness in every bite.

Factors That Will Influence The Time Needed To Smoke Tri Tip At 225

Although above we give a general answer to the time needed to have a perfectly smoked tri-tip at 225, there are several factors that will directly influence this period of time.

So, take a look at these important factors to get the best result for this dish. 

1. Thickness of the meat: Thicker cuts require longer cooking times to reach the desired internal temperature.

2. Initial meat temperature: Starting at room temperature rather than cold from the refrigerator can reduce cooking time.

3. Humidity and outdoor temperature: Smoking on a cold or humid day can lengthen the cooking process compared to a warm, dry day.

4. The type of smoker used: Different smokers may maintain heat differently and have varying heat distribution and retention levels.

5. Air flow within the smoker: Efficient airflow can help maintain a consistent temperature, impacting how evenly and quickly the meat cooks.

How To Know If Tri Tip Is Fully Cooked At 225 Degrees?

Once again, we need to be clear that the perfect doneness for slow-cooked tri-tip at 225 degrees demands skill and patience.

Below are some tips that let you know  if the tri-tip is fully cooked at 225 degrees:

1. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature; for tri-tip, the safe minimum is 145°F for medium rare.

2. Observe the juice color; clear juices are a good indicator of well-cooked meat.

3. Allow the meat to rest after cooking; this helps redistribute the juices and ensures a more accurate read of its doneness.

Pro Tips For Smoking Tri Tip At 225

We’ve mentioned almost all the things related to “how long to smoke tri-tip at 225”, it’s time to discover some tips useful for smoking tri-tip at 225.

Consider these expert tips to make your smoked tri-tip the best and take it to the next level. They can change how it turns out.

1. Prioritize Internal Temperature Over Cooking Time

The key to perfecting the smoked tri tip is not adhering strictly to a timer but instead focusing on the internal temperature of the meat. 

Use a reliable meat thermometer to ensure it reaches the desired doneness, typically around 135°F for medium rare.

This method accounts for variables such as smoker efficiency and external temperatures.

2. Maintain a Steady Smoking Temperature

Keep your smoker at a consistent 225°F throughout the cooking process for optimal results.

This temperature is ideal for gently breaking down the tri tip’s connective tissues, ensuring a tender and juicy roast without overcooking or drying out.

3. Select The Right Wood For Smoking

Hickory wood is highly recommended for smoking tri-tip due to its strong, savory, and slightly sweet smoke flavor. 

However, feel free to experiment with other woods like oak, cherry, or mesquite to find the taste profile that best suits your preference.

The choice of wood can significantly impact the flavor of the meat.


In conclusion, the question of “how long to smoke tri-tip at 225” cannot be answered with a one-size-fits-all approach due to the numerous factors affecting cooking times.

In general, this smoking process takes about 2 to 3 hours, but the exact time can vary based on the meat’s size and the desired level of doneness. 

So, monitoring internal temperature is critical; aim for 135°F for medium-rare.

Remember, patience is a virtue when smoking tri-tip, as the extended cooking time infuses the meat with a deep, smoky flavor that’s well worth the wait.

How Long To Smoke Tri Tip At 225?

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Resting time 20 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 25 minutes
Course BBQ
Cuisine American
Servings 6


  • Pizza Peel


  • 3-pound tri-tip roast
  • 2 tbsp of butter
  • 3-4 tbsp of steak seasoning


  • Preheat your smoker to 225°F.
  • Brush the tri-tip with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper on all sides.
  • When the smoker reaches 225°F, add the soaked wood chips to create smoke.
  • Place the tri-tip on the grill grates and close the lid. Let it cook for about 2 hours, or until an internal temperature of 135°F is reached for medium-rare. You can also use a digital meat thermometer to monitor the temperature.
  • Once done, remove the tri-tip from the smoker and sear each side for about 30 seconds to get a beautiful crust.
  • After searing, remember to let it rest for 15 to 20 minutes before slicing and serving. Enjoy your perfectly smoked tri-tip at 225°F!
Keyword how long to smoke tri tip at 225

Chef Chip Roman is one of the most exciting and talented chefs in Philadelphia. He has his own catering business, Charles Roman Catering, as well as Roman Restaurant Group which includes Blackfish, Mica, and Ela. He graduated from Drexel University in 2002 with a degree in business and culinary arts. Chip Roman is a classically trained chef who has worked in some of the most prestigious kitchens and chefs in Philadelphia, including Le Bec Fin’s George Perrier and Marc Vetri’s Vetri.

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