Grilled Tri-Tip Tacos on the Weber Smokefire from Kelsey Heidkamp
Tri-tip is a wildly popular cut of meat on the West Coast, but we believe you should be able to enjoy its radical flavor no matter where you live. That’s why we left this grilled taco recipe in the expert hands of Weber Grill Master Kelsey Heidkamp, whose love of tri-tip beef is rivaled only by the BBQ techniques and knowledge she’s been kind enough to share in our Master Grillabilities® series. In fact, her mastery of multi-zone cooking is just as crucial to this tri-tip recipe as the ingredients for the coffee-chile dry rub and deliciously fresh adobo sauce. If you’d like to put a new spin on taco night with West Coast flair, then you simply must give these tri-tip tacos a try!
SERVES 4-6 people PREP 20 min COOK 30-40 min READY IN 1 hr
- For the Rub:
- 1 Tbsp ground dark-roast coffee
- 1 Tbsp light brown sugar, packed
- 1 Tbsp ancho chile powder
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp smoked sweet paprika
- For the Tri-Tip:
- 1 tri-tip roast (2–2½ lbs.)
- 1 small poblano pepper, sliced
- 1 small red bell pepper, sliced
- 1 small red onion, sliced
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- For the Adobo Sauce:
- 1 cup whole milk, European-style yogurt, or sour cream
- 2 Tbsp sauce from canned chipotles in adobo
- 1 garlic clove, minced or pushed through a press
- 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- ⅛ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- For the Tacos:
- 12 corn or flour tortillas
- 1 avocado, smashed
- 4 radishes, thinly sliced
- Cilantro leaves
- 1 lime, sliced
- Items You’ll Need:
- Weber SmokeFire Wet Smoke Kit
- Weber Deluxe Grilling Basket
- Temperature probe
- Lump Charcoal
- On a cutting board, use a filet knife to trim the silver skin from the underside of the meat and the fat cap from the top side. To remove the silver skin, stick the knife between it and the meat, then slide the blade along the meat’s surface while peeling back the thin membrane. For the fat cap, cut it away in small slices until you’ve exposed the meat beneath it.
- In a small bowl, combine all the rub ingredients and blend well.
- Place the tri-tip roast in a baking dish or sheet pan, then generously coat on all sides with the rub. Cover the tri-tip with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or up to 24 hours.
- After the meat has marinated, place the Weber SmokeFire Wet Smoke Kit on top of the Flavorizer bars (located below the cooking grate) on the left side of your grill. Fill it halfway with room-temperature water, then preheat the grill for high heat (500°F).
- In a small bowl, combine and whisk all the sauce ingredients. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Combine the poblano pepper, bell pepper, and onion slices in a bowl and toss with olive oil. Set aside.
- Remove your tri-tip from the refrigerator 30 minutes before grilling. For an accurate reading, ensure that the temperature probe tip is inserted 2 inches into the thickest part of the tri-tip.
- When your grill has preheated to about 500°F, sear the tri-tip over direct heat on the right side of the grill with the lid closed. Let it sear for 10–12 minutes, splitting the time evenly between both sides.
- Move the tri-tip to indirect heat on the left side of the grill (above the Wet Smoke Kit) and adjust the temperature to a medium heat of about 400°F. Shut the lid and continue cooking until the thickest part of the roast registers your preferred internal temperature (for reference, beef reaches medium-rare doneness at 135°F, and medium doneness at 145°F).
- While the tri-tip roasts, place the Weber Deluxe Grilling Basket over direct heat on the right side of the grill and preheat for 10 minutes.
- Add the pepper-and-onion mixture to the Weber Deluxe Grilling Basket and grill for 8–10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove them from the grill once the veggies have an all-over caramelization, then season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Once your tri-tip hits the desired internal temperature, remove it from the grill and rest at room temperature, indoors, for 20 minutes.
- While the tri-tip rests, grill the tortillas over medium heat (400°F) for 1–2 minutes, flipping once.
- After the roast has rested for 20 minutes, cut it across the grain into thin slices, then cut the slices into bite-size strips. To identify the grain’s direction, look for the parallel lines of muscle fiber running down the meat. Cutting perpendicular to the grain shortens those muscle fibers for a better eating experience; cutting with the grain results in chewy bites.
- Build the tacos by first layering the adobo sauce on the grilled tortillas, followed by the onions and peppers, tri-tip slices, smashed avocado, radishes, cilantro, and fresh lime. Serve warm, and enjoy!