How to Smoke the Grill Game

Tacos & Tequila


Relish today. Ketchup tomorrow

As self-proclaimed pitmasters, we’ve both seen and experienced our fair share of epic barbecues. Whether we’re feasting our eyes upon stellar outdoor entertaining areas at any of our listings or firing up the barbecue at home, we’re constantly grilling up something tasty — literally & figuratively. Summer is the season of searing and smoking, and there’s no better way to relish some hot dogs and burgers (get it?) than with killer company.
As August melts and September kindles, we’re all looking to cook up one last summer shindig with friends and family. But, when it comes to hosting an absolute money barbecue, it’s not so easy to please both kiddos and adults alike. That’s where we come in. With our cured and curated list of crowd-pleasing recipes and tips, you’ll totally smoke the grill game for one last barbecue throwdown.


Grilled Skirt Steak Skewers

Who doesn’t love to nom on skewers? With a marinade like this, we sure do. And fun skewers for kids? Winner winner steak dinner.
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  1. Get about 25–30 bamboo or wooden skewers and soak ’em in water.
  2. Combine all ingredients to make the marinade then set aside.
  3. Slice the skirt steak (along the grain of the meat) into thin strips and let them soak up the marinade for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Thread the strips onto soaked skewers and thrown them on the grill for 3–4 minutes on each side.

Mexican Street Corn

Sometimes we question if it’s the corn we like, or just the butter. So, throw that cob on the grill, sprinkle it with cotija cheese and you’ve got a sweet Mexican spin on an American classic.
  • 8 ears of corn, husked
  • Vegetable oil, for brushing
  • 1 tsp chile powder
  • ½ tsp cayenne powder
  • ¼ cup mayo or unsalted butter
  • ½ cup crumbled cotija cheese
  • 1 lime, cut into 8 wedges

  1. Brush the heated grill with vegetable oil and combine chile powder and cayenne in a small bowl.
  2. Grill the corn until it’s cooked through and lightly charred (about 10 minutes).
  3. Remove corn from the grill and immediately brush each ear with 1 ½ tsp of mayo/butter, sprinkle with 1 tbsp of cotija, a pinch of chile/cayenne mixture and the squeeze of 1 lime.

Maple Balsamic Cheddar Burger

Need we say more? Double up the recipe for double the deliciousness.

For the burgers:

  • 2 lbs ground beef (80/20)
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp maple balsamic vinegar (or, balsamic and a dash of maple syrup)

For balsamic ketchup:

  • ½ cup quality ketchup
  • 2 ½ tsp maple balsamic vinegar

The rest of the goods:

  • 1 small onion, cut into thin slices
  • 5 slices sharp cheddar cheese
  • 5 pretzel buns
  • Go to town on the bacon, lettuce, tomato, caramelized onions, bacon, etc. Did we mention bacon?

  1. In a large bowl, mix the egg, ground beef, cumin, salt, pepper and 2 tsp of maple balsamic vinegar. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate for ~3 hours.
  2. Form 5 patties, fire up the grill and cook to your liking. Throw the buns and onion slices on the grill while melting the cheddar.
  3. Assemble with the goods and devour.

Grilled Carnitas Tacos with Pineapple Salsa

Sure, carnitas is usually cooked slow cooked in the oven for about 8 hours. But, when do we ever abide by the rules? Grilled pork tacos for the win.

For the carnitas:

  • 5 lb pork shoulder (boneless)
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp cumin

For grilled pineapple salsa:

  • 10–12 pineapple rings
  • ¾ cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 jalapeños, seeded & diced
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp lime zest
  • Salt

Other taco fixins’:

  • Flour or corn tortillas, salsa, guac, crumbled cotija cheese, etc.

  1. Combine the spices for the dry rub and coat the entire pork shoulder. Let it rest overnight for maximum flavor.
  2. Get the grill to a steady 250 degree temp and cook the pork for 8–10 hours (this is a long but entirely worthwhile process, we promise), turning every 2 hours or so.
  3. Use a meat thermometer to ensure the pork is done. It should be around 190–200 degrees in the center.
  4. The pork shoulder will want to fall apart. That’s a good sign, but don’t shred it just yet. Place the meat in tinfoil and allow it to rest for 45 minutes.
  5. In the meantime, throw those pineapple rings on the grill and cook 2–3 minutes on each side, until they have those beautiful charcoal marks. Allow to cool, dice, then combine with cilantro, jalapeños, lime juice & zest and salt.
  6. Use a fork to shred your shoulder then assemble the tacos to your liking.
  7. For the best results, pair your tacos with a killer margarita or tequila drink of choice. Obviously. Maybe not for the kiddos, though.


Tried and true for your grillin’ benefit. Tips of the steak variety are great, too.

  1. Buy quality meat, of course. A higher grade meat with more marbling = oneway ticket to flavor-town.
  2. A clean grill means fewer fires. Turn on the grill 10–15 minutes before you want to use it so you can easily brush off the remnants of whatever you fired up last night.
  3. Dry rubs with fresh herbs and spices are key. Consider basting the meat with a good oil, butter or sauce, too.
  4. Let it rest. This is easier said than done but—for optimal flavor—allow the meat to soak up its own juicy scrumptiousness before digging in.

There you have it. Now, get out there and getcha grill on.

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