Adapted from West Coast Prime Meats Cooks © 2015



  • One piece tri-tip (approximately two pounds)
  • One large red onion, peeled, cored and cut in 1/2-inch dice
  • Four cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • Two teaspoons Lawry’s Seasoning Salt
  • Two teaspoons garlic salt


The smoker outside Richie’s lures customers in with its enticing aroma of smoked meat and aromatic seasonings and has made tri-tip a signature item for the brand. The kitchen staff holds the tri-tip pieces warm and slices them to order for breakfast, lunch and dinner. “The wood-smoked flavor with onion and garlic on top of the wood and then on top of the tri-tip is why it’s so flavorful,” owner Jack Williams claims.

  1. Prepare your smoker or kettle grill.
  2. Trim the silver skin and any excess fat off of the tri-tip.
  3. We jacquard the tri-tip on both sides. Cooking stores sell a hand-held jacquard device or you can use the pointed side of a meat mallet; tenderize on both sides.
  4. Mix the onion and the rough-chopped garlic together in a small bowl.
  5. When the smoker is ready to cook, toss three-quarters of the onion-garlic mix on the hot wood. Reserve the rest of the mix for later.
  6. Season both sides of the tri-tip with the garlic salt and Lawry’s Seasoning Salt.
  7. Place the tri-tip fat-side-down, sear the meat, then turn it fat-side-up.
  8. Turn every five minutes. On final turn, sprinkle the meat with the remaining onion-garlic mix. Cook to desired doneness (145 for medium rare, 160 for medium well).
  9. Remove from the smoker, hand-slice and serve.

Chef's Tip

Richie’s Real American Diner uses a mesquite-wood-fueled smoker to cook its meats. If you do not have a smoker, you can use a kettle-style barbecue and mesquite-wood chips to smoke your meat. See How to Turn Your Kettle Grill Into a Smoker


Copyright © 2015 by Amy and Craig Nickoloff and West Coast Prime Meats
Recipes reprinted with permission of the owners.