Marinated flank or skirt steak is grilled to perfection for the best Authentic Carne Asada recipe. This tender, grilled meat is full of authentic Mexican flavor.

Bird's eye view of Carne Asada surrounded by limes, tomatoes, and jalapenos.

Marinated flank steak is grilled to perfection for the best Authentic Carne Asada recipe. This tender, grilled meat is full of authentic Mexican flavor. This recipe is based off of one from the world renowned chef of Mexican Cuisine, Rick Bayless. It has been altered so that the average home cook can easily make it at home.

Carne Asada is all about the marinade. You take a nice piece of steak, marinate it with some delicious flavors, and then head out to the grill for a flavorful piece of beef you can eat plain, on a taco, burrito, or anything else you can think of. It’s so good it is often eaten plain, like the fine steak it is.

What kind of meat do you use for carne asada?

Carne asada is traditionally made using skirt steak or flank steak. The two cuts are very similar and can be used interchangeably. The two meat cuts do have a few differences. Flank steak is a more lean option and has a great, intense meaty flavor. Skirt steak also has an intense meaty flavor but does have more tough fibers than flank steak. It should only be cooked to rare or medium-rare, otherwise it may become unpleasantly chewy. Both need to be cut against the grain.

Carne Asada Marinade
Grilled Carne Asada
Slice Carne Asada Against the Grain

PRO TIP: When cutting your meat, be sure to cut against the grain. It is quite easy to see the grain running through the meat in both of these cuts. It looks like lines. Do not cut parallel to these lines, always cut perpendicular to them. The grain provides a natural breaking point in the meat. If you cut against them then you end up with tons of breaking points in each piece which keeps it from being chewy.

What should I serve with Carne Asada?

Carne Asada on a tortilla topped with onions and parsley.

What if I don’t have a grill? Can I make carne asada indoors?

If you don’t have access to an outdoor grill, you can always cook your carne asada indoors on the stovetop.  A stovetop will work the same way as a grill. Heat a large heavy skillet (preferably cast iron) over high heat. Cook the meat for about 5 to 7 minutes per side, or until the desired level of doneness is reached.

Close up of Carne Asada on a wood countertop.


  1. Be sure to cut against the grain.
  2. The written recipe calls for marinating in a plastic bag. You can also marinate in a bowl. Just make sure the meat is covered.
  3. If you are one of the people in the world who don’t like cilantro, simply leave it out. Do not replace it with something like parsley.
  4. There are thousands of ways to prepare something authentically. This version of carne asada is cooked authentically on the grill and has an amazing amount of flavor.
  5. When using an outdoor gas grill, heat it to high heat, somewhere around 500 degrees before grilling this meat.
  6. Cooking time is an estimate and depends on the thickness of your meat. Use a meat thermometer for accuracy.