How Long To Cook Tri Tip On Traeger?


As a grill enthusiast, I’m always looking for new ways to cook my favorite cuts of beef. That’s why I was excited to try cooking tri tip on my Traeger grill.

The Traeger grill is an ideal tool for cooking tri tip, thanks to its ability to cook with indirect heat and infuse the meat with a smoky flavor from wood pellets.

Besides, the tri tip cut of meat is often an underdog and deserves the spotlight. However, to achieve the desired taste, it’s crucial to cook the tri tip to the right temperature.

In this article, I’ll be sharing my personal experience cooking tri tip on a Traeger grill and sharing tips and cooking times for perfectly cooked tri tip every time.

Prepping Tri-Tip

Before I start cooking my tri-tip on the Traeger grill, I prep the meat properly. Trim any visible fat from the tri-tip to ensure even cooking. If you want to marinate your tri-tip, prepare the marinade beforehand, or apply a dry rub before cooking.

If you marinate the tri-tip, allow it to soak for at least four hours, preferably overnight. This gives the meat time to absorb the flavors and tenderize. If you’re using a rub, apply it generously to all sides of the meat and let it sit for at least an hour before cooking.

Remember that the marinade or rub is optional, so you can skip this step if you prefer a more straightforward preparation. The most important thing is to ensure your tri-tip is properly seasoned before throwing it on the Traeger grill.

Traeger Grill Set Up

First, let’s talk about what kind of equipment you’ll need. You’ll need a Traeger grill, wood pellets, an extension cord if you don’t have an outdoor power outlet and an electric charcoal starter.

Additionally, a meat thermometer is essential to ensure you cook your meat to the right temperature.

Once you have everything you need, it’s time to set up the Traeger grill itself. The first thing to do is fill up the hopper with wood pellets – I prefer using hickory or applewood. Still, various pellet flavors are available depending on your preference.

Next, hook up the electric charcoal starter to the Traeger grill according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This step is important to ensure the wood pellets light up properly, providing a steady and reliable heat source.

After lighting the electric charcoal starter, heat it for around five minutes before placing it in the hopper. Then, turn on the Traeger grill and set the temperature to a preheat temperature, usually 375°F.

While the grill preheats, it’s important to ensure the drip pan is adequately placed at the bottom of the grill. The drip pan helps keep the grill clean and collects meat juices and other drippings.

Once the Traeger grill has reached the preheat temperature, it’s time to set up for indirect cooking. Indirect cooking will allow the smoke to completely penetrate your meat, ensuring that it’s cooked to perfection.

Place your meat on the grate opposite the hot rod igniter to set it up for indirect cooking. Additionally, make sure the internal temperature is getting measured so that you can track the temperature of the meat.

The Traeger grill is versatile and can handle different meats and smoking temperatures. Eventually, you will become familiar with the correct time and temperature setting, depending on the meat being cooked.

It’s important to note that the Traeger grill needs to be emptied of ash between sessions. When the ash builds up, it could affect the burning of the wood pellets and the grill’s efficiency.

Being mindful of the Traeger grill’s burning temperature is equally important. It is a common issue of a Traeger grill that could lead to ruins of the meat, so adjusting the temperature is necessary for better cooking results.

Cooking Tri Tip on Traeger

Once I had the tri tip prepped, it was time to start cooking on the Traeger. I set the grill to 375°F – the recommended temperature for cooking tri tip. I also used hickory pellets to give the meat a rich, smoky flavor.

When it comes to cooking tri tip, there are two main methods – the standard method and the reverse sear method. The traditional method involves cooking the meat over direct heat until it reaches the desired internal temperature.

The reverse sear method involves cooking the meat over indirect heat until it’s almost done, then searing it over high heat to finish.

I prefer the reverse sear method because it allows me to cook the meat more evenly and get a nice sear on the outside while keeping the inside juicy and tender. To do this, I started by cooking the tri tip over indirect heat until it reached an internal temperature of 120°F, which took around 45 minutes.

Once the tri tip reached 120°F, it was time to sear it. I turned up the heat to 450°F and seared the meat on both sides for a few minutes until it reached my desired internal temperature of 135°F.

This final step gives the meat a nice char on the outside and helps seal in the juices, making it extra tender and flavorful.

It’s important to note that cooking times may vary depending on the size and thickness of the tri tip, as well as the desired degree of doneness. I recommend using a meat thermometer to ensure the meat is cooked to your liking.

After taking the tri-tip off the grill, I let it rest for around 10 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute throughout the meat. This step is crucial to ensuring that the meat is tender and juicy.

Finally, it was time to slice the tri tip and enjoy! I sliced the meat against the grain, which helps break down the fibers and ensures maximum tenderness. The result was a perfectly cooked, juicy tri tip with a mouthwatering smoky flavor.

Resting and Slicing Tri Tip

After taking the tri-tip off the Traeger grill, I always let it rest for around 10 minutes before slicing. During this time, the internal temperature of the meat will continue to rise a bit, allowing the juices to redistribute throughout the meat for maximum flavor and tenderness.

It’s important to ensure the tri-tip rests in a warm spot but not on a hot surface. I usually place it on a clean plate or cutting board and tent it with foil to help keep it warm.

Next, it’s time to slice the tri-tip. Slicing against the grain is essential to ensuring the meat is as tender as possible. The grain refers to the direction of the muscle fibers in the meat, and slicing against it helps break down those fibers, making the meat easier to chew and enjoy.

To identify the grain, look for the lines of muscle fibers running through the meat. Slice perpendicular to those lines, cutting against the grain as much as possible.

It’s also important to use a sharp knife when slicing the meat, as this will help ensure clean cuts and keep the meat from tearing and falling apart.

Regarding portion sizes, the thickness of the slices will depend on personal preference. Some people prefer thicker slices, while others like them thinner. Keep the slices relatively consistent so everyone gets a similar amount of meat.

Once the meat is sliced, it’s ready to serve. Tri-tip is a versatile cut that can be enjoyed independently or served with various sides and sauces. I like to serve it with grilled vegetables or a simple salad, but you can customize it based on your preferences.

One final tip – if your tri-tip is a bit tougher than you’d like, try slicing it even thinner. This can sometimes help break down the fibers and make the meat tender.


Cooking tri-tip on a Traeger grill can be a delicious and straightforward process. The Traeger grill’s ability to produce a perfect smoky flavor and a well-prepared tri-tip ensures a mouth-watering experience every time.

It’s crucial to take the time to prep the meat, set up the grill correctly, and cook it to the desired internal temperature, adjusting cooking time as necessary.

Remember to let the tri-tip rest after cooking to ensure maximum tenderness, and slice it against the grain for optimal results. With a little practice, anyone can become a pro at cooking tri-tip on a Traeger grill.

Whether you’re hosting a backyard BBQ or just looking for a new and exciting way to cook your favorite cut of beef, the Traeger grill is an excellent option to consider.

Follow the tips and steps this article outlines, and you’ll grill delicious tri-tip in no time. So, grab your Traeger grill, some wood pellets, and tri-tip, and enjoy a fantastic meal!

Bobby Johnson

When he's not writing about barbecue, you can find Bobby smoking meat for friends and family. He's been a backyard pitmaster for roughly half his life, and has worked with nearly every cut of meat. Not everyone has a hands-on guide to teach them BBQ, but that's what Bobby hopes to do with Electric Smoker HQ. He wants to help people create amazing food that they can be proud of.