• sterlingdavis


I have been seeing posts floating around Instagram for a while now highlighting Tri-tip smoked like brisket. I've wanted to try it for a while now and finally got my chance.

Final Product - Brisket Style Tri-tip


One of the most popular ways to prepare tri-tip is to reverse sear, see my method here. When you reverse sear, you start by cooking low and slow and finish it off with high temperature, that can be on the grill or in the cast iron. This creates a delicious crust and packs an incredible amount of flavor thanks to the Maillard Reaction.

Another method of cooking Tri-tip is to simply grill it at high temperature. This is by far the quickest way and one I turn to when time is not in great abundance. Usually, this means weeknights when I have an hour to prep, cook, and serve dinner.

Brisket style. What does that mean? Simply put, low and slow, wrapped, and brought to much higher temperature than I normally serve Tri-tip. I normally serve tri-tip at 140 degrees Fahrenheit, where brisket style I brought the internal temperature to 180 degrees. (Note: you will usually bring brisket much higher than this, 198-210, or until probe tender but I didn't want dry meat!).

Here's how I did it...


It isn't difficult, I promise. Here's how I did it...

  • Preheat smoker to 200F for indirect cooking. Yes, we are going low and slow.

  • Prepare the tri-tip brisket style. For me, this means using mustard as a binder and covering with one of my favorite beef rubs. Select any you like, or feel free to message me and I will make some recommendations!

  • When the smoker is to temp, place the meat on the smoker. To monitor the pit and meat, I used the ThermoWorks Smoke. Check out my Product Review on the Thermapen here!

  • Let meat climb until 148-150F.

  • Double layer wrap the tri-tip in alumnimum foil with some butter and liquid of your choice. I used 3 tablespoons of butter and 1 cup of Pepperoncini juice for the wrap.

  • Let the meat climb until 160-165 degrees internal.

  • Pull meat from smoker and let rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing.


  • I am glad I did not take the internal to 200 degrees. A tri-tip (choice grade like I used) does not have the fat content to remain super moist for this long of a cook. Some folks have reached out and mentioned they did not have good success cooking a tri-tip this way, I think the key is removing it right at 160F so the meat stays moist but still gives the bite, flavor, and texture of brisket.

  • The higher the grade of meat, the longer this could probably cook with similar results.

  • I would highly recommend this recipe to anyone!

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