Preheat Smoker: Preheat smoker to 225 degrees using a fruit wood like apple or consider oak.
Season: Cover the tri-tip in olive oil. Combine the salt and pepper and sprinkle over tri tip liberally. Don't be afraid to get a nice crust on there with a liberal coating of the rub.
Smoke: Place tri-tip on smoker unwrapped for 60-90 minutes. Cook until internal temperature reaches 125 - 130 degrees F for rare and remove.
Wrap tri-tip in foil and let rest for 15 minutes. Optional: place in a cooler (with NO ice) to keep warm for anywhere from 30-60 minutes. This will continue the cooking process another 5 degrees. Further I have found that it makes the cut extremely tender as the juices slowly redistribute into the meat.
Cut across the grains in thin strips and serve with favorite sides, like smoked collard greens, or top with chimichurri sauce. See notes for slicing.
Trimming Tri-Tip: There may be some silver skin that needs to be removed with a sharp filet or boning knife. That will help with texture when it is done.Slicing: When slicing any cut of beef, it's important to slice against or perpendicular to the grains. This helps keep the structure of the beef intact for good texture. Look at the lines of the cut. Start with the thin end and cut. As you get to the thicker side, rotate roughly 45 degrees and finish slicing. You will have thin small slices from the thinner and and longer slices for the thicker side. That is normal.Internal Temperature of Beef: Cook to your desired internal temperature, we like rare at 125, but adjust the time of the smoking process if you want to go higher. If you do hold in the cooler if it's done early or to wait for people coming over, know that it will continue to cook, so take into consideration the additional 5 degrees the roast will cook as it rests.