Grilling Tri-Tip for Tacos!


Calling all grill amateurs, intermediates, and master chefs!  Steve Halili’s very own rendition of Mexican tacos will have you asking why you ever bothered cooking seasoned-ground beef on the stove!

Serving Size:

3-4 People

Total Cooking and Prep Time:

45 Minutes – 1 Hour


-2 lbs of Tri-Tip (Trimmed)

-2 Jalapeño Peppers

-1 White Onion

-1 Stack of Cilantro

-12 oz Queso Fresco

-Cayenne Pepper

-Garlic Powder

-Coarse Sea Salt

-Fresh Ground Pepper

-Extra Virgin Olive Oil

– 4 Limes

-Bag of Small Corn Tortillas


Before anything, you should light the charcoals in a smoke chimney. While the coals are heating up, begin to prep the tri-tip by applying a healthy amount of coarse sea salt, fresh ground pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and finely diced up jalapeño peppers. Once you have all those ingredients on the tri-tip, begin to massage the dry rub onto the meat while applying a light coating of extra virgin olive oil. Afterwards, begin to dice up the cilantro and onion and mix them together into a bowl. Cut up the limes in order to squeeze your lime juice to top off the tacos.

Once you’re done with the prep work, the coals on the grill should be just about done and should be smoking white. Arrange the coals on one side of the grill, this will allow for the application of direct heat and indirect heat. Afterwards, you want to place the tri-tip on the portion of the grill that is directly underneath the charcoals for about 5 minutes, flipping the tri-tip over every minute within that time frame in order to give it a nice sear and grill marks. Then proceed to move the tri-tip to the other side of the grill in order for it to begin cooking under indirect heat, which will allow for a slower cooking method that doesn’t dry out the meat. The tri-tip should be flipped every 5-7 minutes for about 25-30 minutes. If you have a meat thermometer, you should shoot for an internal temperature of about 125-140 for a rare to medium rare finish.

After the tri-tip has been cooked on the grill, step away from the carving station and drop the knife because you want to give the tri-tip time to ‘rest’. By leaving the meat alone for about 10 minutes you allow the meat to cook internally while allowing all the juices to re-enter the center of the tri-tip. Once those arduous ten minutes of waiting are up, you can finally carve up the tri-tip, but be sure to cut against the grain of the meat in order to achieve maximum tenderness. For example, if the grain on the meat is running horizontally, you want to cut the meat vertically. This simple, yet very crucial moment in the cutting process can make a meal, tender and juicy or hard and fibrous. Once you’re done cutting up the meat into small cubes, you can begin the customization of your very own tri-tip taco with the diced onions, cilantro, quartered limes and queso fresco!

We here at Tres Agaves would love to hear about your successful grilling stories, pictures, or any feedback you’d like to leave! [email protected]

Mexican-Inspired Grilled Chicken Wings

It’s time to get your grill on!  Perfecto for impromptu barbecues, we love this Mexican-inspired, dry-rub grilled chicken wing recipe because there is no need to marinate the chicken beforehand.

Serving Size:

3 To 4 People

Total Cooking Time With Prep:

45 Minutes To An Hour

What You Will Need:

– Charcoal Grill

Large Bowl

3 lbs of whole chicken wings (wing tips included)

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Sea Salt (table salt is fine too)

Granulated Garlic Powder

Cayenne Pepper

Fresh Ground Pepper

Tapatio Hot Sauce

Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice

Small Stack of Cilantro


First things first, prepare your charcoal grill with a heap of gray/white coals in the middle of the coal catcher. I insist that you leave the charcoal unadulterated (i.e. no lighter fluid) because it will ruin the flavors you are about to embark on. Normally I use a standard sized Weber grill that comfortably fits 3 lbs of chicken wings on the outer edge of the grill leaving the middle completely open for other food to grill with direct heat. You don’t want your chicken wings on top of direct heat for too long because they will char too quickly (and you don’t want burnt, undercooked chicken wings!) The old barbeque adage goes, “Low And Slow Is the Way To Go!”

While the coals are heating up nicely on the grill, grab a large sized bowl and put all the chicken wings in. Once you’ve done that, begin to add: sea salt, cayenne pepper, fresh ground pepper, granulated garlic powder, Tapatio Hot Sauce, and fresh squeezed lime juice, liberally.

Now this is when things get dirty! Mix up all the ingredients in the bowl with your hands in order to massage all these ingredients into the chicken wings. Once you’ve done that, you might want to add another helping of the ingredients above in order to cover the wings that were on the bottom of the bowl, but that’s completely up to your discretion and taste buds. You want to make sure the chicken wings have a light red tint to them, if not add more cayenne pepper to the equation.  Before you put the wings on the grill, be sure to whip out that extra virgin olive oil and liberally coat the top of the bowl full of wings and stir it all up again. The Extra Virgin Olive Oil will act as a nice coating in order to keep the previous ingredients on the wings and to help crisp up the wings while they’re cooking on the grill.

After all that elbow grease has been used up mixing the bowl full of wings, you’re about ready to go put these bad boys on the grill. Be sure to put the wings on the edges of your circular grill with the skin side facing down and the wing tips facing toward the middle of the grill. Once every 3 to 4 minutes you want to flip the wings over with the wing tips facing toward the edge of the grill and the skin side facing up. Be sure to rotate the wing tip and skin side positions in various ways to make sure that every portion of the wings has been on the grill. You want to achieve a nice golden brown hue to your wings, which usually takes about 45 minutes to 1 hour of flipping them every 3-4 minutes. Make sure to keep the lid on top of the grill during the last portion of the cooking process in order to achieve a nice smoky flavor. While you’re waiting for the wings to cook, be sure to grab that stack of cilantro and dice them up finely, which will serve as a nice garnish after you take the wings off the grill and onto a serving plate.

Please send any pictures, success stories, or comments about this recipe to [email protected]. I’d love to hear how your chicken wings turn out!