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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.

TIPS AND TRICKS

  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.

Watch the video below where Rachel will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes on YouTube, Facebook Watch, or our Facebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.

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.
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Ingredients
  • 2 limes juiced
  • 4 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 jalapeno minced
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 pounds flank or skirt steak
Instructions
  • In a gallon size resealable bag, combine lime juice, crushed garlic, orange juice, cilantro, salt, pepper, vegetable oil, jalapeno, and vinegar. Squeeze it around to mix it up.
  • Put the entire flank steak into the resealable bag. Seal it up tight. Make sure all the meat is exposed to the marinade, squishing the bag around to coat. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
  • Heat an outdoor grill to high heat.
  • Remove the flank steak from the marinade, and discard excess marinade. Cook on the grill for 7 to 10 minutes per side.
  • Once done, remove from heat and let rest 10 minutes. Slice against the grain, and serve.
Notes

Nutrition

Calories: 152kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 216mg | Potassium: 214mg | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 260IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 0.9mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Grilling, Mexican
Keyword: Carne Asada

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Marissa

5 stars
I’ve finally found legit carne asada! Made this for dinner tonight and got it marinating last night. It’s DELICIOUS! Made quite a bit of steak and the four of us devoured it. The citrus flavors really shine through! I love that the recipe doesn’t need a ton of ingredients! This is a keeper.

I agree! I used the same recipe for Cinco de Mayo this year and it was delicious! I love the citrus flavor as well. Thank you stay at home chef!

Grace

5 stars
This is a great recipe, the citrus and vinegar make a very bright and flavorful taco. I lack an indoor grill and wanted the same smoky flavor, so I added a dash of smoked paprika and cumin .

2 stars
I was excited to make this for the family but was a bit disappointed with how bland it came out. Will try it again with doubled spices.

ROBERT ST. CROIX

This recipe as shown is great. I liked it alot. After watching Samin Nosrat’s “Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat” I replaced the lime, OJ and vinigar with Naranja Agfia ( Bitter Orange) juice and it was also awsome.

Kids gave it two thumbs up.

This is a great recipe! I have used this marinade twice now for small dinners and both times it has been a hit! Thanks for the detailed instructions they were super helpful for a novice cook like me.

Mister Big

4 stars
This is a good carne asada recipe that lets the flavor of the meat sing. My only modification is to cut the amount of vinegar in half. The first time I made this, I could taste the vinegar in the meat more than the other ingredients. By halving the vinegar, it made for a more seamless marinade. Also, my local supermarket has super thin flank steak cuts, so the cooking times advised here would reduce my steak to a charcoal. I went with 2.5 minutes per side at high head on a gas grill.

Rogelio Garcia

5 stars
Perfection

julie cruz

5 stars
Excellent! made exactly as directed, used flap steak because that was what the store had, and got RAVE reviews on Super Bowl Sunday…super easy and delicious. It’s a keeper!

LAURIE F

5 stars
So good! We ate all of it the first night and went back to the store the very next day to double the recipe and do it again the next night and hopefully have leftovers! Wouldn’t change a thing! Amazing! That review where the guy said he couldn’t taste anything was bunk! Thus is very very flavorful!

Angela Anthony

I made this tonight after marinating overnight. It was wonderful and very tender. I actually used my sandwich press to cook it and it worked beautifully. I did cut the flank steak in half- one was cooked to medium rare, the other rare.

Laura Freitas

Great…best cooked over an outdoor grill

M

5 stars
Omg. This recipe is awesome! Rivals the best Mexican restaurants in my area!

Dennis

4 stars
Double the garlic,( that’s how we roll), double the jalipeno , and also the cilantro. She’s in heaven, I’m right behind her !!!! Making this for my southern California daughter in law, who makes,( made), the best we’ve ever had. Bravo….

Bibiana

5 stars
Love it!!!!

Davis Johanson

1 star
Followed recipe exactly and marinated for 12 hours. Literally tasted like I did nothing to the steak and just cooked it without any seasoning. Don’t know how this has 5 stars (probably fake reviews) because I am an avid and skilled cook and this recipe sucks.

Chantel

I don’t understand how you could make this recipe AS IS and not get any flavor. This is the BEST tasting meat we have had in our house, and we make this marinade often for both steak AND chicken. And when it comes to food we are VERY picky eaters, who ONLY enjoy TONS of flavor. This recipe is our GO TO. Thank you Rachel!

Gina Peterson

I agree with you 100%

Will C

Have done this recipe 6+ times. Comes out great every time. Not sure what you’re doing, maybe not as skilled as you!

Juste Moi

That is because you are not suppose to marinate this technically past 8 hours. It will break the meat down hence your issue with the recipe.

Tricia

Try cooking the marinade and serving it overtop.

Ashley S

I NEVER comment on blogs, whether I like the recipe or not but you have made me want to comment. I LOVED this recipe – granted I would add more garlic and jalapeno but that’s just my personal taste. My SUPER picky kids LOVED it, and my boyfriend LOVED it. We have tried marinated carne asada from the Mexican market, and from our local grocery store, and neither of them come even close to this recipe. I’m sorry it didn’t work for you (although I’m not sure how that’s possible) but this recipe completely deserves 5 stars!!!

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