How to Smoke a Tri-Tip Roast + Melted Onions

  • by Omaha Steaks
Raw tri-tips roasts, butter, onions and spices on cutting board
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Tri-tip roast is a non-traditional meat to smoke and is one of our favorites. It’s tender and juicy with rich, beefy flavors. The tri-tip roast is a simple to smoke, making this recipe perfect for any experience cook. We’ll show you step-by-step how to smoke a tri-tip roast on your grill or smoker. Get ready to experience tri-tip in a new and delicious way.

This smoked tri-tip roast with melted onions recipe is full of flavor and perfect for serving a crowd. Serve the flavorful smoked beef as steak sandwiches or as a traditional roast dinner. Simply slice and serve the tri-tip ala carte topped with melted onions and your favorite side dishes.

What is a tri-tip roast?

Tri-tip is a versatile cut of beef that is lean with full, rich beefy flavor. It’s a favorite among BBQ enthusiasts revered for its unique flavors and simplicity of cooking. Cut from the bottom sirloin, the tri-tip roast has been popular in South American steakhouses for decades. Its rich flavors, juiciness, and value make it a favorite for recipes and sandwiches. Our tri-tip roast is aged 21 days for extra-tender texture and is great for serving a crowd or tailgating.

How to Smoke a Tri-Tip Roast + Melted Onions

How to smoke a tri-tip roast

We recommend a simple dry brine 18-24 hours before smoking to lock in moisture and enhance the natural flavors of the roast. Prep your grill or smoker so you have direct and indirect heat sources. Don’t have a smoker? You can turn your grill into a smoker with these instructions from our smoking steak guide.

Once your grill or smoker reaches 400F you will smoke the onions in direct heat and the tri-tip roast in the indirect heat. This cooking method will give your meat that delicious smoked flavor. Use the instructions below to set up your cooking zones on both gas and charcoal grills.

How to Smoke a Tri-Tip Roast + Melted Onions

Smoked tri-tip sandwich

Cut thin slices of tri-tip against the grain for tender texture to craft your gourmet steak sandwich. Simply place smoked sliced tri-tip on your favorite hard rolls, top with melted onions, cheese and your favorite sandwich toppings. Serve and enjoy!

How to Smoke a Tri-Tip Roast + Melted Onions

 

Smoked Tri-Tip Roast with Melted Onion

How to smoke a tri-tip roast on a gas or charcoal grill

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 2 days
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 days 1 hour
Servings 12 servings
Author Omaha Steaks

Ingredients

Instructions

Meat/Dry Brine Prep

  1. Thaw roasts in refrigerator for 24-48 hours. Combine 4 T. Signature Seasoning or rub with 2T. salt. Rub tri-tip roasts with seasoning. Place on a wire rack over a baking sheet uncovered in the refrigerator overnight.

Melted Onion Prep

  1. Place two onion halves on top of two pieces of aluminum foil cut side up. Top one onion with 2T butter, a sprig of thyme and season with salt and pepper. Repeat this process with remaining onion halves.

Indirect Gas Grilling Instructions

  1. Indirect Gas grilling with smoke is a technique for grilling larger, thicker foods that might burn if grilled directly. When using this technique, place food next to, instead of directly over the fire. If using a gas grill with 3 or more burners, turn on one of the side burners and leave the others off. Adjust the burner until the thermometer reads 400 degrees. If using a two-burner grill, turn on one side and leave the other side off. You will need to place a smoking box or a foil pouch if wood chips with holes poked in it over the burner that is ignited.

  2. Place tri-tip roasts on the grate over the burners that are off. The larger side should be toward the heat source.

  3. For a medium rare tri-tip, indirect grill for 30 -35 minutes flipping roasts half way thru cooking time. Verify desired cooking temperature with a kitchen thermometer.

  4. When tri-tip is 10 degrees from desired doneness temperature move roasts over direct heat. Sear all sides of the roast.

  5. Remove from heat and let stand 10 minutes before slicing.

Charcoal Indirect Grilling Instructions

  1. Arrange hot coals evenly on one side of the grate. Add wood chunks to the hot coals. Place a drip pan on the grates opposite the hot coals. Place water in drip pan to keep drippings from burning.

  2. Place cooking grate over the coals and place tri-tip roasts on the cooking grate over the drip pans, large side toward coals. Place lid on grill and adjust heat to 400 degrees.

  3. For a medium rare tri-tip, indirect grill for 30 -35 minutes flipping roasts half way thru cooking time. Verify desired cooking temperature with a kitchen thermometer.

  4. When tri-tip is 10 degrees from desired doneness temperature move roast over direct heat. Sear all sides of the roast.

  5. Remove from heat and let stand 10 minutes before slicing.

Melted Onion

  1. Place foil wrapped onions over direct heat when you put the tri-tip roasts on.

  2. Grill onions for 30 minutes turning frequently.

  3. Remove onions from grill and let stand 5 minutes.

  4. Carefully unwrap onions from aluminum foil. Peel away any layers that may have blackened. Slice onions and place into a serving bowl. Remove thyme leaves from sprig, add to onions. Top with 2 T. sherry vinegar. Season with salt and pepper.

  5. Serve melted onions with sliced tri-tip.

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How to Smoke a Tri-Tip Roast + Melted Onions

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