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Slow Cooker Carne Asada makes making steak tacos a breeze! Flank steak is slow cooked in a flavorful sauce for carne asada that will knock your socks off!

Slow Cooker Carne Asada sliced and served on a platter with cilantro, lime wedges and slices of jalapeno

Traditionally, Grilled Carne Asada is all about the marinade. In this slow cooker version, I’ve taken my regular marinade and turned it into a sauce that is full of flavor. The steak is then smothered in the sauce and slow cooked to perfection. While certainly a non-traditional option, it makes a great “set it and forget it” meal.

My recipe is based off of one from the world renowned chef of Mexican Cuisine, Rick Bayless. If you ever have the chance to go to his restaurant, Frontera Grill, in Chicago….GO! It’s unreal!

Is skirt steak and flank steak the same?

Skirt steak and flank steak are similar cuts of beef and can often be used interchangeably in recipes. Flank steak is a thicker, wider cut of meat and comes from the abdominal area. The fibers are tough and long. Skirt steak comes from the diaphragm muscles and contains even tougher fibers. Both cuts should be sliced thin, against the grain. Skirt steak should not be cooked above medium.

What is the best cut of meat for carne asada?

Carne asada is traditionally made using skirt or flank steak. The two cuts are very similar, but I prefer the meatier one, which is flank steak. You can also use sirloin flap meat or brisket. Flank steak, sirloin, and brisket are all great options for the slow cooker, while skirt steak may come out tough when cooked above medium.

Slow Cooker Carne Asada Taco with slices of jalapeno and cilantro

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.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS: Carne Asada can be eaten plain, or served up in tacos and burritos.

If you like this recipe you may also be interested in these Slow Cooker recipes:

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.

Slow Cooker Carne Asada sliced and served on a platter with cilantro, lime wedges and slices of jalapeno
Slow Cooker Carne Asada makes making steak tacos a breeze! Flank steak is slow cooked in a flavorful sauce for carne asada that will knock your socks off!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 10 minutes
  • 2 limes juiced
  • 4 cloves garlic crushed
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 jalapeno minced
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 2 pound flank steak
  • In a large bowl, whisk together lime juice, crushed garlic, orange juice, cilantro, salt, pepper, olive oil, jalapeno, and vinegar.
  • Lay the flank steak in the bottom of a slow cooker. Pour sauce over steak.
  • Place the lid on and cook on high for 3 to 4 hours, or on low for 6 to 8 hours.


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
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January 26, 2018 4:23 pm

Rachel , I cannot wait to try these. I recently made your slow cooker ribs. They were incredible. I made them exactly as your recipe stated. I love your site , I thank you for putting it out there for all of us , and I am looking forward to making your great recipes!!!!

richard mildren
May 5, 2019 7:18 am

5 stars
Love this and have shared with many friends and family, MY FAVE!

March 10, 2018 1:26 pm

I prepared this recipe with a small change, instead of white vinager I used balsamic vianger. I prepared the rest the way you have it. Marinated for 2 to 3 hours, grilled, not slow grill but regular time, 20 to 30 minutes and used fajitas, my God, it was delicious. Loved it.

Donna E
February 25, 2018 8:27 am

When I lived in Chicago I came upon Frontera Grill and I was hooked. I recommend his restaurant to everyone that visits and love his cookbooks. I am so excited to try this meal tonight…it’s already in the crock pot! Thank you

February 6, 2018 10:12 am

I love all food mexican and appreciate people who use authentic spices and cooking styles. Plus, when you mentioned Rick Bayless, I was hooked! I have yet to try his restaurant but now it’s back on my radar to get done. I love street tacos and these would be perfect meat to place on the corn tortillas with some onion, salsa verde and cilantro. Thank you!

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