Jacob, Welcome from Nor Cal. I spent 16 years in Bakersfield (including this weekend!) and understand what you probably want from Tri tip. Tri tip was made famous by the Central Valley with its Santa Maria style. Santa Maria style is seasoned with Santa Maria seasoning (mostly salt, pepper, and garlic), then marinated in juices (soy sauce, red wine, water, etc.), and cooked over coals until it is done, with a nice char on the meat. On the smoker, I like to do it a bit differently. After messing up a tri tip, BPS made these recommendations and I haven’t missed one since. I rub with Balsamic GLAZE, then season with a steak rub. I let marinade for a minimum of 2 hours, but prefer over night. I smoke for about an hour (180 F), then raise to 275 F until approximately 142 F on the IT. Let rest the serve. See below. This is what it will look like! Enjoy the ride!