Smoked Tri Tip Steak Recipe

Smoked Tri Tip Steak Recipe

Nothing says fall like football and tailgating. We’re bringing our A-game when it comes to grilling for the big game. SCHEELS Grilling Expert Chad grills up some Tri-Tip steak covered in Pit Happens Rub. Flavored a little sweet mixed with a little heat, this recipe will win over any team.

50 mins.
30 mins.
20 mins.

Tailgates call for grilled steak, and not just any steak, but the tender and juicy grilled Tri Tip Steak on the Traeger for a smoky finish! Start by trimming off the fat cap and remembering the trick with tri tip: cutting against the grain. The most important thing to remember is to take notice of the direction of the grain before seasoning to avoid trying to slice against the grain. Grab your Pit Happens Rub and with the help of a little oil, coat the outside of both sides of your meat with the rub. Let the meat sit to let the flavor soak into the meat before going to the smoker. Start your Traeger at 225° and turn on super smoke. Also, throw on some grill grates to get ready to sear the steaks in a little bit. Once the internal temp reads 125° on your meat thermometer, pull the steaks and crank the grill to 500°, get those grill grates as hot as possible, and throw the tri tips back on. Once your meat is seared to perfection it is time to head inside, slice against the grain, serve with your favorite sides, and enjoy!




  1. Start your Traeger on 225° and turn on super smoke if available. 
  2. If your tri tip came with the fat cap on, you will want to take a sharp knife and remove it at this time. Once removed you can coat the steak in olive oil. The olive oil is used to create something for our rub to stick to. 
  3. Apply Pit Happens rub liberally to all sides, this is where you will get a lot of your flavor! 
  4. Once the grill is up to temperature, place your steak on the grill, place the Grill grates on at this time so they have time to heat up. 
  5. Once the internal temp reads 125° on your meat thermometer, pull the steaks and crank the grill to 500°. 
  6. After 20 minutes the grill should have time to reach temp and the grill grates should be ready to sear.
  7. Place your steaks onto the grates pushing down slightly to get a good sear. Rotate 90° after 90 seconds, flip after another 90 seconds, and rotate one more time for the last 90.
  8. Pull your steaks at 130°-135° and let them rest for 10 minutes. 
  9. When slicing tri tip, always make sure it is against the grain.
  10. Slice and enjoy! Happy tailgating!