Smoky Grilled Marinated Tri-Tip

Prep Time
Cook Time
2d 1h
Ready In

"This is a wonderful steak recipe. Great flavor from the marinade, but also a smokey flavor from the wood chips. It takes a bit of planning, in that the steak does need to marinade for at least 24 hours, and up to 2 days; but it is worth it. You get an amazing smokey flavor even though it is not smoked. I cook mine right on my gas grill, but you can also use a charcoal grill. The secret is the wood chips. They are a must and can be found at any local grocery store. The wood chips are usually added to a small "wood chip box," however, if you don't have one - Good old aluminum foil works just fine. This marinade is enough up to a 5 lb roast, so any size roast you buy will be fine. I usually buy one around 4-5 lbs. Also your cooking time will vary according to the weight, the thickness of the cut and how you like it cooked. I prefer mine medium / medium rare. I enjoy serving this with the grilled onion slices on the side, a baked potato and salad. Perfect weekend dinner."

Original recipe yields 16 servings


  • Serving Size: 1 (260.1 g)
  • Calories 535.1
  • Total Fat - 38.2 g
  • Saturated Fat - 13.1 g
  • Cholesterol - 158.2 mg
  • Sodium - 1692.7 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate - 11.5 g
  • Dietary Fiber - 1.7 g
  • Sugars - 5.9 g
  • Protein - 34.3 g
  • Calcium - 50.6 mg
  • Iron - 3.2 mg
  • Vitamin C - 7.8 mg
  • Thiamin - 0.2 mg


Step 1

Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl. Now, depending on the size - if the steak will fit in a ziplock bag, by all means use that; but it will probably be too big so use a baking dish. Make sure the dish is non-reactive (not metal), you want a glass or enameled pan. Add the meat and cover well with the marinate. Seal the bag or cover the pan well with plastic wrap. Marinate at least 24 hrs and up to 48. Make sure to turn it over every 12 hrs.


Step 2

I have a smoker box (it is a small 12" x 4" box that holds the chips - available at any grill shop, or home improvement store. But, if you don't have one, aluminum foil works great. Make sure to soak your wood chips in water for at least 1 hour. If using foil, cut 2-3 pieces around 12", add the chips and fold up making a small package. Poke a few holes in the top.


Step 3

Add the chips to the grill and get the grill good and hot. Sear the steak on each side for 2-3 minutes until you get a nice sear. Then reduce the heat to low (on a gas grill) or with a charcoal grill move to the side with indirect heat. Meaning the coals are moved to the other side. Basically the steak needs to cook slowly rather then on direct HOT heat. Cook anywhere from 1-3 hours until you reach the temperature you want. As I said, I like medium to medium rare which is 130-140. After you remove the steak, cover it and let is rest 5 minutes before cutting. This allows the juices to stay in the steak rather than run all over the cutting board.

Step 4

Onions ... As the steak rests, turn up the temp on the grill and cook the onions. Brush them with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill until tender.

Step 5

Serve ... Slice and enjoy with the grilled onions. ENJOY!

Tips & Variations

  • 4 cups wood chips (I prefer hickory)


Mimi Bobeck

I marinated for 24 hours to get maximum flavor. I used my grill and it was done in about 3 hours the way we like it. I used apple wood chips in an aluminum pan with good results, and the flavor was great!

review by:
(18 Aug 2015)