Smoky skirt steak fajitas for a perfect summer barbecue

The sun is out hoorahhh! And it's the perfect day for a barbecue. Olympics closing ceremony, sunshine...all you need are a few drinks to make the ideal afternoon party. If you’re looking to buy a barbecue cookery book this summer then go for Ray “Dr BBQ” Lampe’s ‘Slow Fire, The Beginner’s Guide to Lip-Smacking BBQ’ (Chronicle books). It’s bursting with yummy recipes as well as sauces, rubs and a few side orders to boot. It covers everything you need to make sure your summer entertaining goes with a swing. Here's a recipe for Smoky skirt steak fajitas you could try to get the barbecue in full swing. We've tried it and love it...

Smoky skirt steak fajitas recipe

Skirt steak cooks up very nicely on the barbecue for tasty fajitas. Just be sure to sharpen your knife and slice the meat thinly and always against the grain. The fajita rub and the oak smoke flavour work well together on the meat, and cooking the vegetables in a smoker puts this recipe one above the rest. If you don’t have a smoker you can use a barbecue with a lid. Just use wood pellets to keep the heat going.

Serves 10


1kg good quality steak

2 limes

Dr. BBQ’s Fired-Up Fajita Rub (see below)

1 large red onion, halved and sliced

1 green bell pepper, halved and sliced

1 red bell pepper, halved and sliced

1 yellow bell pepper, halved and sliced

1 jalapeno, finely chopped (remove the seeds if you don’t like heat)

70ml cup olive oil

2 teaspoons salt

10 flour tortillas

Sour cream and salsa as needed

Dr. BBQ’s Fired-Up Fajita Rub

This is a big, bold, spicy rub that will really fire things up. But note, this one’s not for mild eaters. It’s great for fajitas or taco meat, where the tortillas will help mellow things out, but also try it on meats that will be used as part of a salad.


30g cup salt 30g cup chilli powder

1 teaspoon ground chipotle

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon onion powder

1⁄2 teaspoon garlic powder

1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper

1⁄2 teaspoon lemon pepper

1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well. The rub may be stored in an airtight container in a cool place for up to six months.


1. Cut the steak into six pieces. With a heavy meat mallet, pound the steak well to tenderise it. Squeeze the juice of one lime over one side of the meat. Season with the fajita rub. (If you season it heavily, the meat will be very rich and spicy. If you like it a little milder, then season lightly.) Let rest for 5 minutes. Flip the steaks and squeeze the juice of the second lime over them. Season with the fajita rub. Place the steaks on a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for up to 2 hours. Prepare your cooker to cook indirectly at 235°F using medium oak wood for smoke flavor.

2. In a medium aluminum foil pan/container, combine the onion, bell peppers, and jalapeno. Drizzle with the olive oil. Season with the salt and 1 tablespoon of the fajita rub. Toss to mix well. Put the pan in the cooker and cook for one hour after which toss it well with tongs.

3. Wrap the tortillas tightly in tin foil and set aside.

4. Add the steak to the cooker in a single layer. Cook for 30 minutes. Toss the onion-pepper mixture and flip the steaks.

5. Put the tortilla package in the cooker. Cook for 30 minutes.

6. Remove the onion-pepper mixture, tortillas and steaks from the cooker. Tent the steaks loosely with foil and let rest for five minutes.

7. Slice the steaks thinly against the grain and add  to the pan with the onion-pepper mixture. Toss well and serve with the warm tortillas, sour cream, and salsa.

Recipes taken from Ray “Dr BBQ” Lampe’s Slow Fire, The Beginner’s Guide to Lip-Smacking BBQ, published by Chronicle books.

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Emma Morton Turner, Guest Editor

View all posts by Emma Morton Turner, Guest Editor