Smoked Tri-tip Tacos

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seasoned meatTri-Tip is a cut of beef that I highly recommend you to try if you can get your hands on it. It’s a triangular cut of beef from the bottom of the sirloin and full of flavor. I love to reverse sear them just like a thick ribeye, using hickory wood and following it up with a hot sear. Also, this cut of meat typically comes around 2-3 pounds so you can feed a lot of people. The only thing that I see where people mess up is when it comes to slicing it. The grain runs two separate ways and that’s something you need to pay attention to prior to seasoning. Also, I started to put the metric units of what I am using. I realized there are many of those who aren’t from the United States. I apologize if I didn’t get it exactly right. Please leave my feedback on if it helped!

roasted salsa

Tri-Tip tacos

Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs
Total Time 2 hrs 20 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 2


  • 1 3 lb Tri-tip with a fat cap 1.3 Kg
  • White corn tortillas
  • 2 tbsp Kosher Salt 30 ml
  • 2 tbsp Pepper 30 ml
  • 2 tbsp Garlic powder 30 ml
  • 2 tbsp Smoked paprika 30 ml
  • 2 Stocks of sweet corn
  • Cojita cheese crumbled

Roasted Salsa

  • ½ Roasted tomato
  • 1 Roasted poblano pepper
  • ½ cup Chopped cilantro 120 ml
  • ½ Lime freshly juiced
  • ½ Roasted red onion
  • 1 tsp Garlic powder 5 ml
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt 5 ml
  • ½ tsp Cayenne pepper 2.5 ml
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil 30 ml

Chipotle Aoli

  • 1 cup Mayo 236 ml
  • 1/2 Lime Juiced
  • 1-2 Chipotle peppers Add some adobo sauce too for heat
  • ¼ cup Freshly chopped cilantro 60 ml


  • Start by prepping your tri-tip, scoring the fat cap, you can also remove the fat cap. I then pat dry with a paper towel. 
  • Mix your seasoning together and then use duck fat spray or olive oil as a binder on the tri- tip. Season generously on all sides.
  • Start your charcoal and prep your smoker/grill for 250 degrees. Once the temp has hit toss on a few chunks of hickory wood and add your tri-tip on the indirect side or to the smoker.  About 30mins in you can then roast your peppers, onion, corn and tomatoes. I like to use the direct side of my grill but you can also do this inside on a propane stove top.
  • Once all ingredients are roasted it’s time to make your salsa. Add in the roasted veggies (leave the corn out of the salsa, but cut off the cob), cilantro, salt, garlic powder, olive oil into a food processor. Blend your salsa and place it in the fridge to cool. 
  • Wash your food processor and make your Chipotle Aioli. Blend all ingredients together and store them in the fridge.
  • Check the temp on your tri-tip. We are wanting to remove it and sear it when it is an internal temp of 120 degrees. Once your beef is an internal 120 degrees you can remove it and create your sear station. I do this by opening all vents for maximum airflow and then adding about 6 lumps of charcoal for extra fuel. This can take another 8-10 mins, which is okay.
  • Now your searing station is blazing, sear off your steak. 90 seconds per side but keep a close eye and watch for flare-ups. Keep a spray bottle with water close by and spritz the flames if it gets too bad. Sear all sides of your meat and then pull for resting. Make sure it's around 128 internal temperature, this with a 15 min rest should have it at an internal 135ish for serving.
  • During resting toast your tortillas on the grill for 30ish seconds per side. 
  • Slice your tri-tip very thin and make sure you are cutting against the grain.
  • Add 2-3 strips on your tortilla, followed with your roasted salsa, cotija cheese crumbles, roasted corn and then drizzle on the chipotle aioli. 
  • Serve and enjoy!
Keyword salsa, smoked, tacos, tri-tip

Items Used in This Recipe

Napoleon Kettle Pro

Charcoal Chimney


Meater Plus

For more beef recipes, click the link below!

What is a tri-tip?

The tri-tip is a cut of meat from the bottom sirloin. The name comes from its triangular shape. It is a very tasty cut of beef.

Are Tri-tips expensive?

Tri-tips are an economically friendly cut of beef. You will get a great cut of meat that is flavorful, lean and tender for lower prices than other cuts of beef.

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