Top Rated Carne Asada Recipes
Here's one carne asada recipe that I hold near and dear to my heart. Serve with warm corn tortillas, salsa, lime juice, shredded cheese, avocado slices or guacamole, chopped red onion, and lime juice.
The Best Carne Asada Recipe You've Ever Tried
Why is this the best carne asada recipe you've ever tasted? Two reasons. First, it produces an absolutely delectable cooked beef you can use "served in a taco with pico and guac, as carne asada fries, in fajitas," or however you'd like, really, says Nathaniel Lee, chef and writer of Beginner Food. Second, this is about the easiest carne asada recipe out there. Aside from the ("optional, but highly recommended!") two- to five-hour marinating period, the prep here takes all of five minutes and the cooking time less than 20, including resting for ten minutes before the last lime drizzle and serving.
Two keys to making this carne asada a success: Go heavy with the liquid smoke and salt, and go hot with the grill. "The biggest mistake to avoid here is not preheating your cooking device," says Lee. "Due to the extremely short cook time and the thinness of the meat, you want to cook as hot and fast as possible, and with absolutely no time being spent heating the elements and the meat at the same time."
In other words, get that grill fired up, that cast iron pan on the burner, or your broiler blazing well before you toss on (or in) the steak. You can cook carne asada using various cooking devices, but it's got to be hot no matter what.
How to make Carne Asada Recipe
JUMP TO FULL INSTRUCTIONS
- Place the flank steak in a large baking dish and, if using the sliced onion, spread the slices over the meat. (Please check the ingredients list below)
- In a medium-sized bowl mix together the orange juice, lime juice, light beer, Kikkoman SoySauce, vegetable oil, and freshly ground black pepper.
- Pour the marinade over the meat cover with a plastic film and refrigerate for at least one hour.
- Light up your charcoal grill, or preheat your gas grill. And brush your grill with a little vegetable oil.
- Remove meat from marinade and pat dry. Place meat on the grill and cook for 8 to 10 minutes per side. Remove meat from grill and place it on your cutting board. Slice it and serve it with corn tortillas.
- Place the cooked meat on a preheated cast iron pan, add a few drops of Soy Sauce and serve immediately. Enjoy!
It is best to enjoy a cut of roast meat that is freshly cooked and served while still smoking.
Yes! Carne asada is keto. Recipes can of course vary, so you would always want to double check, but this carne asada steak has just 2 grams of carbs per serving. Pair it with some keto-friendly sides, and you’ve got a delicious keto dinner.
You can make carne asada ahead of time, but it will depend just how ahead of time you want to make it.
If you want to make it earlier in the day for serving that night, then the timing will be just about perfect. Make the marinade in the morning or mid day and let the steak marinate until it’s time for dinner. (Just not longer than 8 hours!)
If you want to prep it further ahead than the 8 hours, I would recommend mixing together the marinade, but not putting the steak into the marinade until you’re closer to cooking it. The WhiskWare Dressing Shaker is perfect for this because you can make the carne asada marinade and store it in the same container.
Don’t let the marinate for much longer than 8 hours. Otherwise, the meat can get a bit mushy.
To further tenderize the flank steak or skirt steak, use a quality meat tenderizer tool. It's a must-have!
Run it over both sides of the meat, which helps the skirt steak or flank steak absorb the marinade for maximum flavor.
Yield: 6 servings
prep time: 4 hours 30 minutes
cook time: 15 minutes
total time: 4 hours 45 minutes
Cilantro, olive oil, soy sauce, orange + lime juice, garlic, jalapeno and cumin make for the easiest and most flavorful marinade. SO SO GOOD.
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
- Juice of 1 orange
- Juice of 1 lime
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 1/2 pounds flank steak
- In a medium bowl, combine cilantro, olive oil, soy sauce, orange juice, lime juice, garlic, jalapeno, cumin and 1 teaspoon pepper set aside 1/2 cup of the mixture in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
- In a gallon size Ziploc bag or large bowl, combine steak and remaining cilantro mixture marinate for at least 4 hours to overnight, turning the bag occasionally. Drain the steak from the marinade.
- Preheat grill to medium high heat. Using paper towels, pat both sides of the steak dry season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Add steak to grill, and cook, flipping once, until desired doneness, about 6 minutes per side for medium rare. Let rest 5 minutes.
- Thinly slice steak against the grain and serve with reserved 1/2 cup cilantro mixture.
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Easy Carne Asada Recipe
This Carne Asada recipe is a Latin American grilled beef dish that&rsquos usually sliced and served in tacos, burritos or salads. We absolutely love Mexican carne asada on tacos and when we&rsquore out looking for street tacos to eat, carne asada is on the top of our list. This carne asada recipe has a fantastic and flavorful marinade that produces a juicy, tender and delicious cut of beef that everyone loves. It&rsquos not intimidating at all to make carne asada because it&rsquos super easy to make. All you need is a great and simple recipe for carne asada (which we have below!), some salsa, lettuce and all the taco trimmings. What you have is a fabulous game day, Cinco de Mayo or outdoor grilling Summer dish that&rsquos a guaranteed crowd pleaser. This is an absolutely delicious carne asada recipe that can be made on the grill or on the stove top!
Watch Video for this delicious Carne Asada Recipe:
Easy Carne Asada (Oven, Stovetop & Grill Instructions)
Hey, friends. I’ve talked before about how while I fully love every recipe I post here, there are some I get extra excited about sharing with you. My Tri-tip recipe was one, these Country-style Ribs and Carnitas were too. And today, I have another one for you: Carne Asada.
I can’t wait for you to try this recipe, because it is the best homemade carne asada you will ever eat. You get super flavorful tangy meat, and since you’re going to cook it over fast, high heat, it’s also got those crispy, charred edges that, as the chef, you totally have first dibs on.
For the full, printable recipe, scroll on down to the recipe card. If you’ve never made carne asada before or have some carne asada questions, read on.
What is carne asada?
Carne asada translates literally as “grilled meat.” Its preparation varies, but generally, it’s thin cuts of beef sometimes marinated, sometimes prepared with a rub, and grilled or cooked over high heat. It can be served as a stand-alone main dish or sliced and used as filling for tacos, burritos, and other dishes.
What kind of meat is carne asada?
There are a few different cuts of beef you can use for carne asada. Most popular here in the US are flank steak, skirt steak, and flap meat (if you’re curious where they all come from, this is a great breakdown). All three are thin-ish cuts with an easily detectible grain that do well when marinated and cooked over high heat.
Here in California, I don’t see any one of these consistently available at a reasonable price, so I’ll use them interchangeably depending on price and availability. They’re all going to taste great and get the job done.
Given a choice though, my favorite is flap meat. It has a great beefy flavor, is usually the cheapest option, and seems to come out slightly more tender than the other two.
Carne Asada Marinade Recipe
While some carne asada is prepared with just a spice rub, this recipe uses a citrus-based marinade. The acids help break down the muscle fibers and tenderize the meat, and it penetrates really well, so the meat picks up a ton of flavor.
How long to marinate carne asada? If you’re in a hurry, you can get away with just a few hours, but you’ll get the best results with a 24-hour marinade. If you can, start marinating your beef the night before. You won’t be sorry.
Pro tip: I know marinades with more than a couple of ingredients are a pain to make, but this one’s worth it, I promise! Line up your ingredients before hand, in the order they’re written in the recipe, and if you use a liquid measuring cup like the one in the photo above, you don’t actually have to get any other measuring cups dirty. Plus most of the spices call for 1 teaspoon so things will move quickly.
How to Make Carne Asada
Your carne asada will shrink quite a bit as it cooks!
Once your meat is marinated, you’re going to want to cook it over quick, high heat.
- On the grill – Medium-high heat 4 to 8 minutes per side.
- In the oven – Under the broiler on high 4 to 6 minutes per side.
- On the stove – Medium-high heat 4 to 8 minutes per side.
Cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of the meat, so I highly recommend using an instant-read thermometer to take the guesswork out of cooking. If you have a thermometer, these are the temps you’ll want to aim for:
Medium rare 130-140°F
Medium well 150°F+
The meat in the photos was cooked under the broiler to about 137°F at the thickest point.
Then slice the meat across the grain. (Here’s why, if you’re curious.) Depending on the type of steak you used, this grain might run all the way down the length of the meat or across it like it does with this flap meat.
Fortunately, the grain in all three cuts is pretty obvious, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding the direction.
How to serve carne asada?
Carne asada can be served as a main on its own with a side of beans and rice. It’s also great chopped and used in steak fajitas, tacos, salads, carne asada fries, or burrito bowls.
For other carne asada sides, a quick corn salad, easy oven-roasted broccoli, or chips and nacho cheese are a good option.
Carne Asada Recipe
If you're looking for an authentic Carne Asada recipe - this is it! Grilled Carne Asada tastes better and looks more beautiful than it has a right to, if you judge a meal by the amount of effort it takes. And it's a sensory pleasure before it even touches the grill! As you squeeze fresh orange, lime and lemon juices for the marinade, then whisk in cilantro, garlic and jalapeño, the aroma that floats up to your nose is nothing short of heavenly.
Then the steak cooks hot and fast, on your table in about 20 minutes, complete with gorgeous grill marks and a perfectly pink and tender interior.
To make this, we started with a recipe from Tyler Florence and switched it up to make it our own: swapping in apple cider vinegar, reducing the oil a bit and adding a third citrus flavor (lemon) and some cumin. Adding lemon juice to the mix happened by chance. I'd just finished a batch of homemade tonic water which left us with a slew of lemons, limes and oranges, flesh and juice intact, sans zest. And I love the citrus trifecta - now I may always use making tonic water as an excuse to make Carne Asada!
The literal translation of the term means Carne (flesh, meat or beef) and Asada (roast, broiled, grilled), typically translated to 'Grilled Meat' and most often is seared in some way for that signature charred flavor!
There are several cuts of beef used to make Carne Asada including sirloin and tenderloin, but most recipes call for either flank steak or skirt steak. I've tried both and definitely prefer outside skirt steak for its flavor and texture. Either way you'll want to thinly slice the steak across the grain before serving for maximum tenderness!
Carne Asada Dinner
Roast the garlic cloves in a dry skillet, turning them regularly, until they are blotchy black in spots and soft, 10 to 15 minutes. Or blanch them in a microwave in a small bowl covered with water at 100% for1 minute (poke a hole in each one to let the steam escape). When the garlic is cool enough to handle, peel (the soft cloves easily slip from the skins), roughly chop and drop it into a blender or food processor. Add the lime juice, oil, oregano, salt and pepper and blend everything into a marinade. Set aside 2 tablespoons of the marinade for the finished grilled steak.
Smear half of the remaining garlicky marinade on both sides of the steaks, lay them in a deep plate, and set them aside at room temperature (for quick penetration) while preparing the rest of the ingredients.
In a mixing bowl, use a potato masher or the back of a spoon to roughly mash the avocados, then drizzle in the remaining marinade. Taste and season with more salt if necessary. Cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface and refrigerate until serving time.
In a large (4-quart) saucepan over medium heat, cook the bacon or chorizo until it has rendered its fat and is beginning to brown. Add the beans and beer, water or broth. Let simmer while you grill the steaks. When the beans begin to simmer, turn the temperature to medium-low and cover the pan.
Light a fire in your grill and let it burn until you have a thick bed of coals that are quite hot and covered in white ash or turn your gas grill on to medium to medium-high. It’s best to have a very hot section of the grill for searing and a cooler section for letting the steaks finish cooking without burning. For indoor grilling, heat a grill pan (I like cast iron best) between medium and medium-high for about 10 minutes, to ensure it’s heated thoroughly. Turn on the oven to 250 degrees and set up a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet.
Remove the steaks from the marinade, letting as much as possible drip back onto the plate. Lay them on the hottest part of the charcoal or gas grill or in the grill pan. After a minute or so, depending on the temperature and the cut of steak, use a pair of tongs to check if the steaks are ready to flip: All meat initially sticks to the grill (and know that some marinades are stickier than others) but will more-or-less release itself when it’s ready to flip. If you can’t easily lift the steaks off the grates, leave them a little while longer until they release themselves more. Then flip them (they should have rich-brown grill marks on one side) and cook the other side. To my taste, outside skirt is best served medium (they’re too chewy for me when rare)—that should take 7 to 10 minutes total, depending on the temperature of your grill pan or grill. If you want the steak medium rare, cook it about 2 minutes less. Skirt steaks are tasty at medium-well too, but, to ensure they stay juicy and don’t burn, you’ll want to move them to the cooler part of the grill or transfer grill-pan steaks to the rack and finish their cooking in the oven. All steaks are juiciest when you let them rest on a cooling rack set on a rimmed baking sheet and slide them into the very low oven or cover them with a loose tent of foil until you are ready to serve.
The beans should be the consistency of a thick bean soup. If they aren’t, stir in a little water, taste them for salt (unless you’ve purchased no-salt beans, they won’t need any). Finally stir in the chopped cilantro and pickled jalapeño.
Ladle the beans into bowls for each guest. Spoon a portion of guacamole onto each plate, along with a steak. Smear a little of the marinade you reserved over each steak. Warm tortillas, some salsa and a big salad are always welcome with carne asada.
Place dried ancho and guajillo chiles on a microwave-safe plate and microwave until pliable and toasty-smelling, 10 to 20 seconds. Transfer to the jar of a blender and add chipotle peppers, orange juice, lime juice, olive oil, soy sauce, fish sauce, garlic, cilantro, cumin seed, coriander seed, and brown sugar. Blend until a smooth sauce has formed, about 1 minute. Season to taste with salt. Transfer half of the salsa to a large bowl and the other half to a sealed container. Set aside the sealed container in the refrigerator.
Add an extra 2 teaspoons of salt to the salsa in the bowl. It should taste slightly saltier than is comfortable to taste. Add 1 piece of steak to bowl and turn to coat. Transfer to a gallon-sized zipper-lock bag with the top folded over to prevent excess sauce and meat juices from contaminating the seal. Repeat with remaining steak, adding it all to the same bag. Pour any excess marinade over the steak. Squeeze all air out of the bag and seal. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours and up to overnight.
When ready to cook, remove the extra salsa from the fridge to allow it to warm up a little. Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and arrange the coals on one side of the charcoal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill, and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Alternatively, set half the burners on a gas grill to the highest heat setting, cover, and preheat for 10 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate.
Remove steak from marinade and wipe off excess. Place directly over the hot side of the grill. If using a gas grill, cover if using a charcoal grill, leave exposed. Cook, turning occasionally, until steak is well charred on outside and center registers 110°F on an instant-read thermometer, 5 to 10 minutes total. Transfer to a cutting board and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Slice thinly against the grain and serve immediately, passing extra salsa, lime wedges, avocado, onions, cilantro, and tortillas on the side.