I purchased a bag of four tri-tips (roasts) at the restaurant supply house. I placed a rub on them (Santa Maria style rub) and smoked them with alder and mesquite.
I smoked them on my Brinkmann electric, that usually maintains a temperature of 275.
1. After four hours, it had no smoke ring.
2. After four hours, the highest temp in the roasts was 140 degrees, I pulled two roasts off at that point, and foiled them, and gave them to friends. I did cut off 2 inches from the end of one roast, and it was well done and dry.
3. The third roast stayed on for a total of 5 1/4 hours. The instant read thermometer read 144 degrees.
I did not calibrate the thermometer, but I had one digital and one dial instant read, and both recorded the exact same temps.
Any ideas what I did wrong? Should I have marinated the tri-tip? Should I have basted it during cooking? Should I have started with better quality tri-tip?
Any advice would be helpful.