Learn How To Choose The Right Meat, How To Marinate, Season & Grill Juicy Beef Fajitas Every Time
The Secret Is In The Marinade
I'm often asked what are my special choices for beef for fajitas
The truth is....It's NOT the choice of meat, it's the 'marinade' that makes the meat tender.
I actually choose the least expensive cut of meat I can buy from my butcher.
From the marinade to the seasonings, even the toughest cuts of meat can be made into juicy, tender bites if you just follow some simple steps.
Once you have made your choice of meat for your juicy grilled fajitas, wash that cut of meat under cold water and set out to dry on a drying rack (I use a cookie racks with paper towels underneath)
Now prepare a decent marinade. Start with two or three cups of Cola (the store brand is perfect) in a glass baking pan. Don't worry about trying to write all of this down, as I will present a Prep and Ingredients list below.
Doesn't that flank steak look great? (That's on my cutting board on my Patio)
Marinate the meat in the cola for three or four hours in your refrigerator. Then remove the meat from the cola and add the other ingredients I've listed below to your pan of cola. Mix all of your ingredients together with the cola. Now, take the steak and using a fork, poke holes all over it to allow the cola/seasoning mix to get inside the meat when you put the meat back in the pan. Cover with plastic wrap to seal and let it refrigerate overnight.
Now.....you are ready to grill your steak for the juiciest grilled fajitas in town
The Recipe & Preparation
Any blender or mixer will do, I just use my wife's
These are the ingredients you will add to your cola. This mix will now give you the flavor for that juicy 'Fajita' taste.
(1/3) Cup Extra virgin Olive Oil (everyone knows this one)
( 1 ) Tablespoon of Lime Juice (you can substitute w/lemon juice)
(1/4) Teaspoon of Onion Powder
(3/4) Teaspoon of Garlic Powder (Make sure you use powder and not 'Garlic salt'.
(1/2) Teaspoon of Slap Ya Mama seasoning
Sprinkle several drops of Worchestershire Sauce across the bottom the pan
Now, I mix all the above in my wife's mixing bowl (on low speed because even though the oil needs to be mixed well? It tends to splatter with the beater's on anything but low speed.) Just make sure that everything is blended well.
If you have a blender to use instead of a mixer, all the better.
A Couple Of Really Great Blenders - In case your wife won't let you use her mixer.
A CampingmanNW Tip: If ordering items through Amazon, consolidate your purchases. After all, it's NOT about being cheap, it's about shopping smart
The Hamilton Beach name has been around for years and is well respected. Now while this isn't the largest blender out there, at 40 ounces of capacity, it is more than serviceable for the average home. 700 watts of power and a glass blender jar that is dishwasher safe.
Evaluation: What anyone is looking for in a blender is quality and dependability. A three year warranty explains it all. Buy this one.
Oster is the name of the first blender we ever had in our house as a kid. There are more powerful blenders, but with 10 speeds and a 450 watt motor? This blender is no slouch and not to forget the 6 cup capacity blender.
Evaluation: While a lighter weight model than the Hamilton Beach, the pluses are that it doesn't cost and arm and a leg to own and is dependable as the dickens. You decide.
Before You Refrigerate, Make Sure The Meat Is Covered
If the meat isn't covered by Cola and Seasonings, just add more cola
Your entire plan here is to make this flank/chuck steak as juicy and tender as a Filet Mignon, so to make sure that it is, pierce on both sides (or through and through if you prefer) before placing your meat back into the cola and ingredients mix. The big deal though?
Make sure that the meat is completely covered by the ingredients and if not, just add more cola.
Cover (I use a glass baking dish, see photo) and place it back into the refrigerator, overnight
Cola has plenty of uses besides just being a soft drink
Time To Grill Those Fajitas
Here's how to get ready
We've talked about how to buy inexpensive meats and turn them into a mouth watering, juicy, tender and flavorful meal and why.
We've discussed marinating and why. Now it's time to get down to the brass tacks of actually BBQ'ing or cooking the meat.
First? Season the meat
My favorite fajita seasoning is D. L. Jardine's Fajita seasoning. If you cannot find any locally, you can order some below. it really does make a difference. Not only because it's the best tasting fajita seasoning I have found, but it also has some meat tenderizer's already in it. Apply D. L. Jardine's liberally to both side of the meat and set it aside while you start your BBQ. (30 minutes is usually enough time)
Before you start grilling, remember to only use a spatula or tongs, never use a meat fork. You don't want to cut or pierce the meat in any way. (remember, you did all of the piercing during your marinade period. What you want now, is for the meat to retain all of that juiciness we have imbued it with and have been striving for the 'Fajita' flavor..
Put the meat fork away and use a spatula.
Grilling Fajita Steaks - See that meat fork? Don't use one of those to turn fajita meat
Some Of My Secret Ingredients - I use these because they work
D. L. Jardine's Fajita seasoning is a cut above the competition. it's simple to use and adds that 'restaurant style' flavoring that you want in a seasoning.
Evaluation: Hands down, the best Fajita seasoning out there. Sprinkle it on, let it sit and then grill for that perfect flavor
Now I know what you're thinking.......why advertise a Cajun Seasoning for Fajitas? Simple.....for taste. "Slap Ya Mama" seasoning is a wee bit spicy but adds that perfect 'extra' to the meat for those who like a little spicy flavor.
Evaluation: Can be used on all types of meats and salads. Is very flavorful. Buy some and see for yourself. I use it for nearly everything, even popcorn. Oh yes and on french fries too.
Grilling The Steak
Medium heat only
Grilling the meat must be done over a medium heat. if you're using charcoal, the briquettes should be white. If you look at the picture, you can see the coals visible through the grill...they are white. (If using a gas BBQ, keep the heat at around 200 degrees) You want the grill hot, but cool enough that you do not dry out your meats. Grill each side for about 5 or 6 minutes, (depending upon the thickness of the meat) turning it only once. (Turning the meat twice is o.k. if necessary) and again, use a spatula only....so as NOT to pierce the meat.
Don't overcook, as flank steak can dry out easily if you do. (remember, it continues to cook even after removed from the grill) Now, slice the meat into wide strips (usually 1/2 to 3/4 inch wide) and set aside for a moment.
This is open to interpretation and individual taste, but I am traditional, so I serve with Mexican rice, black beans, grilled jalapeno peppers, green peppers and onions. All of which can be added to a large flour tortilla. For extra flavors, add fresh diced tomatoes, shredded lettuce and cheese.
Grilling Juicy Fajitas
Every piece of meat cooks slightly different than the one before, but it's tastes and juiciness can be duplicated over and over and over by following these few simple steps outlined here today.
It's easy to learn
My hope is that you can take away something from this lens today that will enable you to grill your very own fajitas tender and juicy as well. Grilling any kind of meat is an art, and believe me when I say: "If I can learn this? Anyone can." 'Nuff said.
Feel free to adjust to your tastes
Recipes as we all know, are all subject to interpretation and taste, so feel free to add or change any of this to suit your own tastes and likes.
Grilling in general
Began when I was youngster watching my Father in our backyard and my Grandfather with his huge old barrel BBQ. That fascination has continued to this day. From my first camping trip to that aborted steak BBQ at college, I have spent many years in between then and now, learning the 'how to's of the art. I continue to learn and am always on the lookout for a new recipe.
I thank you for reading today, stay safe and I'll see you on the trail. CampingmanNW