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Carne Asada

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 20 min
  • Calories: 350
A plate of carne asada with tortillas, limes, avocado and radishes

This easy carne asada recipe is as simple as can be—fire up the grill and you’ll be feasting on juicy carne asada tacos in no time.

Fire Up The Grill!

It’s no secret that we’re huge fans of Mexican food—it’s full of fresh, bold, bright flavors, what’s not to love? And juicy carne asada tacos are one of our very favorite summertime—and anytime—dinners, and our simple carne asada recipe makes that delicious, Mexican feast just a bit more accessible on a nightly (or at least weekly) basis. Just add some chips and margaritas, and you’ve got yourself a party, even if it’s just a party for two!

What Is Carne Asada?

You’ve probably ordered carne asada in a restaurant before, so maybe you already know that you really love to eat it! But do you know much about it, beyond the fact of its deliciousness? Carne asada means “grilled meat” in Spanish, though the phrase has come to connote a particular variety of meals and celebrations throughout Latin and South America, as well as in the American Southwest, and one of the most well-known of those meals is this particular dish—marinated, grilled steak that’s often served as (the greatest ever) taco filling.

flank steak on parchment paper, orange, lime, olive oil, salt, cumin, chili powder, garlic
marinade in a small glass bowl for carne asada

Our Carne Asada Marinade:

As the name implies, carne asada is all about the flavor of grilled meat—rich and hearty—and our carne asada marinade is intended to enhance that intrinsic goodness, not overpower it. In fact, many argue that true, authentic carne asada should have no marinade at all! But we can’t pass up a chance to add a little extra flavor to any meal, so we’ve gone the way of the marinade. That said, we’re keeping it simple and classic. Our go-to carne asada marinade ingredients are:

  • Orange juice
  • Lime juice
  • Oil
  • Fresh garlic
  • Dried oregano
  • Chili powder
  • Kosher salt
  • Cumin
  • Black pepper
  • Cayenne
flank steak being marinaded in a baking dish with garlic, orange juice, lime and spices for carne asada.
fresh grilled carne asada in a baking dish

How To Cook Carne Asada

Now that you’ve whisked up your gorgeously citrus-y carne asada marinade, let’s get grilling! Here’s how to make carne asada:

  1. Marinate your meat. An hour is enough, but it can sit for up to four hours. Don’t go over four hours, though, because with so much citrus juice in the marinade, the meat will begin to break down too much if you let it sit too long.
  2. Season! Once the meat is marinated, sprinkle it with a little salt and pepper.
  3. Grill! Usually about five-eight minutes per side, but keep an eye on it. Skirt steak will be at a perfect medium-rare when it reaches 135°F on an instant-read thermometer and that’s your most reliable way of testing done-ness.
  4. Let it rest! Do it! Though there is some disagreement about why it works (because, food science) letting a grilled steak rest for a few minutes before cutting is a sure-fire way to ensure juiciness.
  5. Slice the grilled steak thinly against the grain and serve!

What To Serve With Carne Asada

Other than those perfect margaritas we mentioned earlier, the sky’s the limit as to what you serve with this simple stunner of a centerpiece. We like to serve it as part of a taco night spread, so we usually whip up our favorite recipes to pair with it:

Carne asada on a plate with avocado, lime, radish and cilantro

Tools You’ll Need:

More Grilled Steak Recipes To Try!

Here’s what we’ll be grilling up, all summer long:

grilled flank steak for Carne asada on a plate with avocado, lime, radish, cilantro and tortillas
grilled skirt steak for Carne asada on a plate with avocado, lime, radish, cilantro and tortillas

Did You Feast?!

We hope this carne asada recipe felt like a feast to you! It always feels like an extra special meal to us. If you make it at home, we’d love to hear about it! Snap a photo of your carne asada and maybe even a video of the beautiful people you feed it to. Tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper. Happy eating!

Carne Asada

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 20 min
  • Calories: 350

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs Flank or skirt steak
  • 1 Orange juiced (1/4 cup)
  • 2 Limes juiced (1/4 cup)
  • 2 tbsp Oil (olive or vegetable), plus more for grill
  • 8 Garlic cloves, minced (2 tbsp)
  • 2 tsp Oregano
  • 2 tsp Chilli powder
  • 2 tsp Kosher salt, plus more for steak
  • 2 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp Freshly ground pepper, plus more for steak
  • 1/4 tsp Cayenne pepper

Method

  1. Whisk the orange juice, lime juice, olive oil, garlic, oregano, chili powder, salt, cumin, pepper and cayenne in a small bowl.
  2. Place the steak in a 9x13 baking dish or gallon size ziplock bag and cover it with the marinade until fully coated. Refrigerate for 1 to 4 hours.
  3. Preheat the grill medium-high heat (400-450°F).
  4. Discard the extra marinade and season steak with salt and pepper.
  5. Grill the steaks for 5-8 minutes per side, depending on the thickness. (should we add something here about what temp to cook it to?)
  6. Remove steaks and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Slice thinly against the grain and serve.
RARE 125° F 52 ° C

MEDIUM RARE 135° F 57 ° C
MEDIUM 145° F 63 ° C
MEDIUM WELL 150° F 66 ° C
WELL DONE 160° F 71 ° C