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Tri-Tip Tacos with Chipotle Peanut Sauce

Tri-Tip Tacos with Chipotle Peanut Sauce

These Tri-Tip Tacos feature tender slices of smoked tri-tip topped with a creamy chipotle peanut sauce and finished with diced red onion, jalapeñoes, cilantro, and peanuts.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Marinating Time 12 hrs
Course Main Course
Servings 6


  • 1 charcoal grill
  • 1 BBQ Chimney
  • 1 bag charcoal briquettes
  • 2 BBQ baskets
  • 1 immersion blender, blender, or food processor


  • 1 tri-tip fat and silver skin trimmed and discarded
  • cup BBQ rub **
  • 1 (186 ml, 6 fl oz) can chipotle peppers in adobo
  • ½ cup natural crunchy peanut butter
  • cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 12-16 corn tortillas
  • ½ red onion finely diced
  • 1 jalapeño thinly sliced
  • 25-30 sprigs fresh cilantro
  • ½ cup unsalted dry-roasted peanuts


  • Place the trimmed tri-tip inside a small baking sheet and coat it all over with the BBQ rub. Place a cooling rack inside the baking sheet and place the tri-tip on top. Transfer it to the fridge and chill for 12 hours or a minimum of 3.
    1 tri-tip, ⅓ cup BBQ rub **
  • When you’re ready to cook your tri-tip take your meat out of the fridge an hour before putting it on the grill. 
  • Start by placing two BBQ baskets at one end of the BBQ. Fill the baskets with approximately 10 charcoal briquettes each. Wad up some paper and place it underneath a chimney on top of the grill. Fill the chimney with a layer of briquettes, we used about 20, and light the paper. Once you’ve got a good flame, let the briquettes burn until they turn white.
  • Once the briquettes are white-hot, pour them evenly over the baskets. Next, fan them until you can see the barest hint of flame, cover the BBQ and fully open the vents. Heat your BBQ to somewhere in the ball park of 275°F.
  • Once your grill is up to temperature, place the tri-tip over indirect heat. Cover and cook until the meat registers an internal temperature of 115°F. This should take about 30 minutes. 
  • While the tri-tip is cooking, make the Chipotle Peanut Sauce and prep the taco fixings. Place the chipotle peppers in adobo in a food processor, blender, or glass large enough to accommodate an immersion blender. Add the peanut butter, rice vinegar, and honey. Give everything a blitz and the sesame oil, lime juice, and water. Blitz until everything is fully integrated and set the sauce aside.
    1 (186 ml, 6 fl oz) can chipotle peppers in adobo, ½ cup natural crunchy peanut butter, ⅓ cup rice vinegar, 2 tbsp honey, 1 lime, 2 tsp sesame oil, 3 tbsp water
  • When the tri-tip reaches 115°F, transfer the meat directly over the hot coals and sear. Remove the tri-tip once the internal temperature hits 130°F. *** Take the meat off of the grill and wrap it in tin foil. Let rest for a minimum of 20 minutes.
  • While the meat is resting, place corn tortillas on the grill. We’re not looking to toast them until they’re rigid, we just want to warm them and get a little color on them. Transfer the tortillas to a tortilla warmer and set them aside.
    12-16 corn tortillas
  • When the meat is done resting, slice the tri-tip at thinly as possible **** Start by placing 3-4 pieces of meat in the center of one of the tortillas. Top the meat with a spoonful of the Chipotle Peanut Sauce and a sprinkle of the finely diced red onion. Add 2-3 jalapeño rings, a sprig of fresh cilantro, and a sprinkling of peanuts. Serve immediately with a couple of lime wedges and a round of ice-cold beers.
    ½ red onion, 1 jalapeño, 25-30 sprigs fresh cilantro, ½ cup unsalted dry-roasted peanuts


** I used Skull & Mortar Original BBQ Rub, which is very tasty. But use the rub that speaks to you.
*** We were targeting the rare to medium-rare that tri-tip is generally thought to be best served at. But you do you.
**** Tri-tip has two different grain directions, so make sure you take note of that and adjust halfway through to ensure you are cutting against the grain.
Keyword beef, chipotle, corn tortillas, peanut butter, peanuts, tacos, tri-tip