The hissing sound and smoky smell from a frying pan full of fajitas is the real heart of the restaurant. You know what a wheeze is? your grill, and now is the time to use it to recreate the classic Tex-Mex at home. Don’t worry—we’ve got a few pointers on how to cook steak, chicken, and shrimp fajitas on a grill that are sure to impress your summer dinner guests.
How do restaurants make fajitas so tender?
Making restaurant-quality fajitas that aren’t tough and chewy is a foodie’s dream. These two tips from an online cooking community called Ovenvia are great for whipping up soft fajitas:
- Add an acidic ingredient to the salt water. A marinade that contains acidic ingredients such as fresh citrus juice or vinegar will naturally break down the meat’s fibers to melt in your mouth. Note: Meats such as steak and chicken can tolerate sitting in acidic marinade longer than shrimp. Follow your recipe’s specific directions for seasoning times.
- For chicken breasts and beef such as sirloin or tanoura, slice the meat against the grain (lines of the muscle fibers) once grilled.. Slicing the meat this way ensures a juicy cut. Tip: Look closely at the meat to see the direction of grain flow before slicing.
What kind of onions do you use for fajitas?
Onions are the first among the fajita add-ons. Choosing the type of onion to use doesn’t have to be difficult – the chefs at BestVeganTips.com have a handy guide to choosing the best one:
- white onionThis onion is traditionally used in fajita recipes because of its pungent and sharp flavour. Plus, they cook better during cooking.
- red onion: This type of onion is sweet and sour. Red onions are known for their softer flavor than white onions.
- yellow onion: They take longer to cook and don’t get the same crunchy texture as white onions. But it’s a great trade-off if that’s all you have on hand.
Whatever type of onion you choose should work well with a colorful assortment of red, yellow, and green peppers – all sliced evenly.
Want to make chopping bell peppers and onions a breeze? Try CUTLUXE’s 7-inch Santoku Knife (Buy from Amazon, $42.99)—it has a razor-sharp blade and a comfortable grip, making chopping and slicing less stressful.
How long does it take to cook meat on the grill?
To get the fajitas just right, heat the grill over medium heat and cook the meat first:
- Boneless and skinless chicken breastsThe USDA recommends grilling this piece of chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees — about 6 to 8 minutes per side.
- Sirloin or skirtCooking times for steaks will depend on the level of doneness you want. Check out this indoor temperature chart from WhatsCookingAmerica.net to learn more.
- ShrimpThe experts at Weber Grill Factory suggest cooking the shrimp on wooden or metal skewers for 5 to 7 minutes over medium heat. You’ll know the shrimp are done when the outside turns pink and the flesh is opaque.
Once the meat is fully cooked, remove it from the grill and let it rest for at least three minutes – preferably covered, so it stays warm.
How long should vegetables be cooked on the grill?
Next is vegetables. Instead of cooking it directly on the grates, it’s best to use a grill pan like Esie Houzie’s Nonstick Grilling Tray (Buy on Amazon, starting at $19.74). This tray has small holes that allow smoke from the grill to marinate the peppers and onions, which complement the salt, pepper, and other seasonings you sprinkled on them.
Food writer Sonja Overhiser of ACoupleCooks.com notes that vegetables cut into 1-inch-wide strips take about 15 to 20 minutes to roast over medium-high heat. Make sure to flip the vegetables a few times to even cook. The peppers and onions are cooked when they are soft and slightly charred.
Serve the vegetables in a separate bowl, along with the steak, warm flour or corn tortillas, and your favorite toppings. You can also put vegetables and meat in a cast iron skillet as if they were served at your favorite restaurant.
What toppings are good for fajitas?
There are plenty of fun options to decorate your fajitas. Here are a few delicious toppings to add to your spread:
- shredded cheese
- Jalapeno slices
- chopped coriander
- Fresh lemon wedges for squeezing
- sour cream
For an extra spicy and creamy kick, try Herdy’s Spicy Avocado Salsa (learn where to buy at Salsas.com). Think of this hot sauce as your “secret weapon” – it will add a tangy touch to fajitas and enhance everyday dishes like eggs, pizza or salads.
We hope these fajita grilling tips will help you bring the feast home and enjoy a delicious meal with your loved ones.
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