Probably mentioned 37 times already is boiling most any form of meat before it goes on the smoker. Some folk do not mind, but I do.
No matter how long you boil tri tip, it will never come out like pork ribs.
**EDIT** The only thing that might need to be boiled before it goes on the smoker, and even then I am unsure, is beef tongue. Somebody started a cook thread a while back, and I forget how they pre cooked it.