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Traeger Tailgating: Flat Iron Steak Fajitas

Posted by mmillet on September 29, 2013


Traeger Tailgating: Flat Iron Steak Fajitas

Grilled meat and peppers in a warm tortilla - how can you go wrong?! We love fajitas, especially when you're talking about two of our favorite things: game day and tailgating. Hot off the Traeger, they're warm, easily portable and so succulently satisfying. The word fajita means "little girdle", referring to the location of the meat on the animal, hence why they're traditionally made using skirt steak.  But we seriously believe in playing with our food and ingredients and have decided that we like using flat iron steaks in fajitas even better! (don't mistake us - skirt steak is still an excellent choice! You could also use easily use flank steak.)

Just try it. It will attrack the hungry masses.


Prep time: 25 minutes plus 2 to 4 hours for marinating the meat
Cook time: 20 to 30 minutes
Serves: 6 to 8
Pellet recommendation: Mesquite

For the marinade and meat:
Juice of 2 limes
Juice of 1 small orange
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 teaspoons agave or honey
1 teaspoon pure chile powder, such as ancho or chipotle
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon oregano, preferably Mexican
1/2 cup olive oil or vegetable oil
2 to 3 flat iron steaks (2 pounds total), each about 3/4 inch thick

For the vegetables and for serving:
2 bell peppers, preferably orange, red, or yellow, stemmed, seeded, and sliced into thin strips
2 poblano peppers, stemmed, seeded, and sliced into thin strips
1 large sweet onion, peeled and cut lengthwise into thin wedges through the stem end
2 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Flour tortillas, warmed on the Traeger or in the microwave
4 ounces crumbled queso fresco or cotija cheese
Good-quality salsa, homemade or store-bought, for serving
Sour cream, for serving
Fresh cilantro leaves, for serving


In a small mixing bowl, combine the lime and orange juice, garlic, agave, chile powder, cumin, salt, and oregano. Slowly whisk in the olive oil.

Put the meat in a resealable plastic bag and pour the marinade over it, massaging to coat all the surfaces. Refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours.

Prepare the vegetables: Combine the bell pepper and poblano strips as well as the onion wedges in a mixing bowl. Drizzle with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Stir to coat. Set aside until ready to cook.

When ready to cook, put a 12-inch cast iron skillet on the grill grate. Start the Traeger grill on Smoke with the lid open until the fire is established (4 to 5 minutes). Set the temperature to 450 degrees F (or High) and preheat, lid closed, for 10 to 15 minutes.(Make sure you allow the cast iron skillet to preheat as well.)

Drain the marinade from the steaks and pat the meat dry with paper towels. Discard the marinade. Sprinkle a teaspoon of coarse salt in the skillet.

Sear the steaks in the pre-heated cast iron skillet, about 2 minutes per side, working in batches if necessary.

Traeger Tailgating: Flat Iron Steak Fajitas

Transfer the steaks directly to the grill grate once they’ve been seared. Toss the vegetables into the hot skillet and sauté, moving around with tongs, until nicely browned but still tender-crisp, working in batches if necessary. Leave the lid up while you do this: The Traeger will lose heat, but that’s okay.

Traeger Tailgating: Flat Iron Steak Fajitas

Carefully move the skillet to a heat-proof surface; the vegetables will stay very hot. Close the lid of the Traeger and let the steaks cook until medium-rare, about 135 degrees F, 10 to 15 minutes per side.

Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Warm the tortillas on the Traeger or in a microwave. Slice the steak against the grain on a sharp diagonal and transfer to a platter. Put the vegetables next to the steak, and let people assemble their own fajitas.

Traeger Tailgating: Flat Iron Steak Fajitas

Serve with bowls of cheese, salsa, sour cream, and fresh cilantro leaves.

Traeger Tailgating: Flat Iron Steak Fajitas