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Tri-tip, a popular boomerang-shaped cut of beef, is delicious smoked or reverse seared on the Traeger. A little-known fact about this lean steak is that it is comprised of two different grain directions, making slicing it correctly slightly more difficult than other meats. The tenderness of tri-tip is in large part reliant on how it is sliced post-Traegering. Incorrectly slicing meat can make a perfectly Traegered steak tough and chewy.

Within the tri-tip cut, two different grains intersect: approximately half of the steak contains fibers running vertically and the other half contains long muscle fibers coming in at an angle. This can most easily be seen when the meat is raw, before being seasoned. Here's our favorite recipe for Smoked Tri-Tip.

How to Cut a Tri-Tip

How to correctly slice tri-tip after it has been cooked to desired doneness:

  • Remove from the Traeger and allow to rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing.
  • Locate where the two grains intersect and cut vertically, splitting the roast roughly in half. One side should be longer than the other. This is optional.
  • Inspect the grain of each piece of the severed tri-tip; slice perpendicular to the grain of each half.
  • For maximum tenderness, thinly slice tri-tip. Thinner slices > thicker slices.
  • When slicing, angle the knife slightly. This is called cutting “on a bias”.

By following these simple tips to slice tri-tip, every slice of tri-tip will be perfectly tender. Your guests will never want to go out for steak again and you may even be crowned the Pit Boss of steak. Try out all of our tri tip recipes and show us your sliced tri-tip.


Tri-Tip Cut Diagram

Traeger Tri Tip

by Traeger Kitchen

Prep Time

5 Min

Cook Time

1 Hr
30 Min





Reverse-seared like a boss, this juicy smoked tri tip is everything a steak should be: juicy, flavorful, and addicting.

1 (3-5 lb) tri-tip
2 Tablespoonfreshly ground black pepper
2 Tablespoonkosher salt
  • 1

    When ready to cook, set the Traeger temperature to 225℉ and preheat with the lid closed for 15 minutes. For optimal flavor, use Super Smoke, if available.

  • 2

    In a small bowl, combine the salt and pepper. Generously season all sides of the tri tip.

  • 3

    Insert the probe into the thickest part of the tri tip. Place the tri tip directly on the grill grates, close the lid, and cook until the internal temperature reaches 130℉, 60-90 minutes.

  • 4

    Remove the smoked tri tip from the grill and wrap in foil. Increase the Traeger temperature to 450°F (or 500°F, if available) and preheat with the lid closed for 15 minutes.

  • 5

    Unwrap the tri tip. Re-insert the probe and return the tri tip to the grill. Sear on each side for 4 minutes.

  • 6

    Remove the tri tip from the grill and let rest for 10-15 minutes. Slice against the grain, then serve. Enjoy!

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