Let’s face it, burgers and brats are fine, but we’ve all been there before. Shake things up with some Tri Tip Steak Tacos.
Tri Tip is one of my favorite cuts of meat to grill. It’s relatively cheap, and it’s tender and delicious. Perfect for 2-3 couples sharing a night on the back deck, it’s also fantastic for fajitas or tacos for a crowd.
What is a tri tip and why do they call it that? It’s the bottom of the sirloin sub-primal cut and is usually between 1.5 and 2.5 pounds, and it’s somewhat triangular in shape.
Tri Tip Steak Taco Ingredients:
1 tri tip, approximately 2 pounds
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
1 package taco seasoning
Salt and black pepper
2 bell peppers
3 red jalapeno peppers
2 packages flour tortillas
1 package shredded cheese
First trim some of the excess fat off the tri tip–but don’t worry about trimming it all. Just the big globs. Then bust out the oil and the taco seasoning.
Place the tri tip in a resealable plastic bag with half the package of taco seasoning and a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Marinate for 2 to 12 hours. When ready to grill, go to work on the peppers and onions.
Place the tri tip in a resealable plastic bag, with half the package of taco seasoning and a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Marinate for 2 to 12 hours.
Next, slice the bell peppers into quarters, removing the stems, white flesh and the seeds. Slice the chili peppers in half, also removing stems, white flesh and seeds. Slice the onion into thick slices. Then take out a few of these thin, wooden skewers, and cut off the ends with a pair of wire cutters.
***Pro Tip: Slide two skewers into the sides of the onion to keep the slices from coming apart on the grill***
Now the peppers and onions are ready for the grill.
Remove the tri tip from the fridge and take it out of the plastic bag, coating each side with coarse salt, black pepper and the remainder of the taco seasoning.
Prepare the grill for two-zone grilling, in this case my three burner Char-Broil ®TRU Infrared™. That means the two burners on the left are on high, and the one on the right is off. I place a wood chip smoker box on the left side over the hot burner.
Close the lid and wait for smoke, then place the tri tip on the upper rack over the burner that is not on, with the fat end closest to the heat. Close the lid and smoke the tri tip until it comes up to between 110-120°F internal temperature.
Now throw on the peppers and onions.
Once there are some nice grill marks on the vegetables, flip them over and repeat on the other side.
Once the peppers and onions have chars on both sides, it’s time to put a char on that tri tip. Place the tri tip right on a hot grill grate and sear for a couple minutes before rotating 45 degrees. After a couple more minutes, flip over and repeat on the other side of the beef.
Once the tri tip has those beautiful grill marks, remove it from the heat and get ready to make some tacos. Let the meat rest for 5-8 minutes so the juices can calm down and redistribute throughout the cut.
Lay the tortillas out flat, layer with shredded cheese, a couple slices of tri tip, peppers and onions.
Form into a taco and brush the outside of the tortilla with olive oil and place on the grill.
Keep an eye on the undersides of the tacos as they will burn quickly. Once there are some grill marks, rotate 45 degrees and cross hatch the tacos and then flip them over.
Once they are browned on both sides and the cheese is gooey and melty, remove from the grill and serve.
The tender tri tip bites through easily, making it perfect for tacos. Combine that with the now crunchy tortillas, gooey cheese and charred peppers and onion and it adds up to a fantastic meal.
Reverse seared tri tip, grilled peppers and onions formed into tacos, also prepared on the grill.
- 1 tri tip, approximately 2 pounds
- 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
- 1 package taco seasoning
- Salt and black pepper
- 2 bell peppers
- 3 red jalapeno peppers
- 1 onion
- 2 packages tortillas
- 1 package shredded cheese
- Trim the excess fat off the tri tip
- Place the tri tip into a zip lock bag with half the oil and half the package of taco seasoning.
- Marinate for 2-12 hours. Remove the steak from the marinade and salt and pepper all sides. Add the remaining taco seasoning.
- Slice the bell peppers into quarters, removing the stems, seeds and white flesh.
- Slice the chili peppers into halves, removing the stems, seeds and white flesh.
- Slice the onion into thick slabs.
- Skewer the side of each slab of onion with two thin wooden skewers, cutting off the ends with wire cutters.
- Prepare the grill for two-zone grilling with burners on one side on high and the burners on the other off.
- Place an aluminum wood chip box on the side of the hot burners and close the lid until smoke appears.
- Place the tri tip on the upper rack on the side of the grill with the burners off.
- Smoke until the tri tip reaches an internal temperature between 110-120 degrees as measured with a digital probe thermometer.
- Char the veggies and onions on both sides and then sear the tri tip directly on the grill.
- Remove the meat and vegetables from the grill, allowing the beef to rest for 5-8 minutes.
- Slice the peppers, onion and tri tip.
- Lay out the tortillas and cover with a layer of cheese, a couple slices of beef, peppers and onions.
- Form into a taco and brush the outside of the taco shell with oil and place on the hot grill.
- Check the underside of the tacos and rotate 45 degrees when grill marks appear.
- When the tortillas are cross hatched on one side, flip over and repeat on the other.
- Once the tortillas are browned on both sides, remove from the grill and serve.
Smoking until the meat reaches an internal temperature between 110-120 degrees and then searing will result in rare beef. Smoke longer before searing to have the tri tip end up more well done.