reverse seared tri tip

Reverse Seared Tri Tip Recipe

Reverse Seared Tri Tip Recipe

Kendal Adair from SmokednSpiced stopped by the HowToBBQRight headquarters this week to show me how he does his Reverse Seared Tri Tip – competition style. We both competed against each other earlier this year at a local SCA contest where Tri Tip was one of the categories. He walked with a top finish in Tri Tip, so needless to say, I was eager to learn his secrets. reverse seared tri tip For this recipe Kendal starts with a 3lb, Prime Grade Tri Tip from Matador Prime Steak. Starting with a good quality piece of beef puts you on the right foot, but you also have to know how to properly cook it. After a quick trim to remove any excess fat and silver skin, Kendal hit the tri tip with a good dose of coarse ground Kosher Salt. He uses the salt as a dry brine and only leaves it on the tri tip for 8-10 minutes. The salt is rinsed off and then he tenderizes it using a jaccard. Next comes the seasonings where he builds the flavor. First a dose of Killer Hogs AP Rub for savory salt, pepper, garlic notes; then a spicy BBQ Rub – my Killer Hogs Hot Rub here, followed lastly with coarse ground black pepper for a little more oomph. reverse seared tri tip The cook was pretty straight forward for a reverse sear. Fire up a smoker to 275⁰, insert a meat probe to monitor temp, and take it off the smoke once it hits 115⁰. We used the Thermoworks DOT to monitor the temps. You can check out the DOT probe here >> reverse seared tri tip Kendal used my Traeger for this stage of the cook and while the tri tip was in the smoke he fired up a PK 360 for the sear. And we used a set of GrillGrates on top of the factory grate to get those amazing grill marks. reverse seared tri tip As soon as the tri tip hit 115⁰ internal, he immediately moved it to the grill grates on the PK 360 and put a hot and fast sear on both sides. The tri tip came off the PK Grills once the internal hit 125⁰ but you can cook it to your desired doneness. To check out final internal temp, we used my trusty Thermoworks Thermapen. reverse seared tri tip For the rest, Kendal gave the tri tip another quick coat of Killer Hogs AP Rub, then wrapped it in butcher paper. reverse seared tri tip After a short 10 minute rest, Kendal sliced it across the grain and we dove in for the kill bite. reverse seared tri tip The thing that most impressed me with this cook was the tenderness of the tri tip. The combination of the salt brine and jaccard tenderizing produced a prime rib-like mouth feel. Tri tip tends to be a little tough if it’s not properly prepared but this version melted in your mouth! And it was perfect served with a big side of Lobster Mac & Cheese >> Print
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Reverse Seared Tri Tip Recipe


  • 3lb Tri Tip Roast
  • 1/4 cup Kosher Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Killer Hogs AP Rub
  • 2 Tablespoons Killer Hogs Hot Rub
  • 1 Tablespoon Coarse Ground Black Pepper


  1. Prepare pellet smoker or any other grill/smoker for indirect heat at 275 degrees.
  2. Trim excess fat from Tri Tip (leave 1/4” fat on bottom side if possible).
  3. Season the Tri Tip with Kosher Salt and rest for 8-10 min.
  4. Rinse salt off under cool water and pat dry with paper towel.
  5. Use a jaccard to tenderize the Tri Tip.
  6. Season with AP, Hot Rub, snd Blsck Pepper.
  7. Place tri tip on smoker and cook until internal temp reaches 115 degrees.
  8. Prepare charcoal grill for direct searing at 600 degrees.
  9. Seat Tri Tip for 3-4 minutes on both sides until internal temperature reaches 125 or your desired doneness.
  10. Once Tri Tip hits doneness, wrap in butcher paper and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes.
  11. Slice across the grain and serve.
Malcom Reed Connect on Facebook Follow me on Twitter Subscribe to my YouTube Channel Find me on Google+ Follow me on Instagram Buy Killer Hogs Products Here

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17 responses to “Reverse Seared Tri Tip Recipe”

  1. William Dobson says:

    I Love to learn about grilling Tri Tip ,Ribs, Brisket and anything else on a grill or smoker. Therefore send me your recipe book.

    Best regards

  2. richard temby says:


    New to the barbeque world and really enjoying your videos/advice. I just knocked out your recipe for pork belly burnt ends and they were as great as you advertised. Just wanted to say “Thanks” for helping the average guy make amazing dishes.


  3. Tried the Tri Tip recipe , Wow , turned out great . The video or the recipe didnt really give a guesstamation on time , so i thought, mmmmmm maybe 2 hrs,. NOPE , 45 to 50 min. . So nothing else was ready and our guest had not even arrived yet. Anyway 2 hrs later i turned up the temp. to 450 on the yoder 640 , and put the grill grates on . 10 mins. later I seared the tri tip and it turned out a great med. rare .

    so , my lesson learned is , even if you have to wait a while , you can still pull off a great meal.

    Thanks for all of your recipes and products, and your videos , they are great !

  4. Mario says:

    What type of wood did you use on the smoker?

  5. Mike S says:

    I’ve been meaning to comment on this recipe. I had made a few tri-tips before trying this recipie. They came out good, but my wife was never a big fan.

    However, I’ve made my last 3 tri-tips following this method and they’ve come out GREAT. Even my wife loves them.

    I always use Red Oak wood, but I think the difference has been 1) the dry brining for 10 minutes with kosher salt, and 2) the Hot BBQ rub.

    Keep up the good work!

  6. mitchell b says:

    for planning purposes…..about how long can i expect the trip tip to come up to 115 degrees, assuming a 3 lb tri tip

  7. Phil Orr says:

    Hi Malcom. I didn’t see your guest score the fat cap on the tri tip. Can you weigh in regarding whether or not this would be a good idea.

    Thank you.

  8. Barbi says:

    Followed this after watching three times! I dry brined fir 2 hours, rinsed then rubbed!
    FIRST PLACE! in our Super Bowl smoke-out
    Credit to Kendal Adair- your the man!

  9. Daniel Osollo says:

    Do you think you could execute this solely with the Traeger? If so how would you recommend getting that reverse sear?

  10. Dan O says:

    This is a great recipe that I have used often. Can the tri tip be smoked on a pellet grill and seared the next day just before serving?

  11. Hawkins says:

    I always love your recipes!!! Honestly when ever I’m smoking meat I search your recipes first and at least use yours as a base. This tri tip recipe was out standing it didn’t even get a chance to cool before it was gone.

  12. Nate says:

    I have done this protocol probably 30 times with great results. I’ve used a number of rubs with equal success and attribute a great outcome with having a good Bluetooth temp sensor so you don’t go over. Temp control is the key. Best steak you can get and it goes from fridge to table in under 2 hours. Making some as I write this. Mmmm gooood.

  13. Sonya Cloyd says:

    First try w tri-tip, it was delicious! I used prime rib seasoning and then added cracked pepper rub.
    Made creamy horsey sauce to dip it in when eating.
    Prob cooked it a tad too long or shouldn’t have wrapped in tin foil when it was done because i didn’t have butcher paper but it was still delicious!

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