The last time I cooked tri-tip was a long while ago, at a meet in my place in California. Yes, it was that long. I did it better this time. Smoked at 180F for a few hours, then finished off on the gas grill. Need to go low and slow with tri-tip. The tri-tip was seasoned with salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder and thyme. (Don't let some asshole sell you on their special seasoning mix - there really aren't that many variations of stuff - if I wanted to get fancier, I would use various kinds of mexican peppers or pecan - with tri-tip, we can go all out fancy). I took the tri-tip out of the smoker when it hit 125. I then drizzled a balsamic, oil and molasses mix on the tri-tip for a final 480F sear on the gas grill and let it rest 10 minutes before carving. The temperature ended up at a nice 135 for a medium-rare closer to the rare side. The grain on the tri-tip is like brisket - it goes in different directions depending upon where the meat is. Slice against the grain for best results. Next time I will dry-age the tri-tip and do it perfectly. This was close.