BEST Carne Asada

Carne Asada marinated and spice rubbed for the most juicy, tender, flavorful Carne Asada EVER!

 Carne asada that is restaurant quality at home!  This Carne Asada recipe is perfect for tacos, burritos, nachos, salads, etc. at a fraction of the price and fabulous for crowds!  

How to Make Carne Asada Recipe Video

Grilled Carne Asada marinated and spice rubbed.

PIN THIS RECIPE TO SAVE FOR LATER

Carne Asada Recipe

I always hesitate by putting “best” in the tile of a recipe because “Best” is such a personal preference.  We each have our own “best” – some may like spicier, some may like sweeter, some may like saltier.  But this is the “Best” Carne Asada recipe I have ever made or tried and I hope you will agree!

My husband, Patrick, is Mexican food connoisseur.   I’ve created recipes for Tacos Al PastorSlow Cooker Carnitas, Slow Cooker Barbacoa Beef, Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken, Baja Fish Tacos, Chicken Fajitas, Chicken Tortilla Soup and now this carne asada recipe because his heaven is eating Mexican food every. single. day.  He devours carne asada burritos, California burritos (carne asado burritos with French fries, etc.), carne asada fries, carne asada nachos or carne asada street tacos at least once a week either after surfing or on our Friday night dates.  Living in Carlsbad/San Diego, we have a plethora of Mexican restaurants and he is always on the hunt for the “best” carne asada.

The hunt stops here.

To please my carne asada critic, I perfected this recipe with 4 different attempts.  We didn’t mind the attempts as they were all tender, and charred and delicious.  Still, they lacked a certain “umph” of flavor – restaurant quality flavor.  Finally, I decided to not only marinate the steak but also rub the steak with spices right before grilling.   So not only does the steak marinate in orange juice, lime juice, soy sauce and a splash of liquid smoke, it gets marinated with and then rubbed with cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, garlic and onion.  And that is when “good” became Patrick’s approved “best” carne asada.

What does Carne Asada mean? What is Carne Asada?

In Spanish, Carne literally means “flesh/meat/beef” and Asada means “roast/broiled/grilled,” so “grilled meat.”  When it comes to “carne asada” in cooking, the term refers to grilled and sliced beef, usually skirt, flank or flap steak.  The steak is associated with a charred flavor from searing the meat on the grill.

showing how to serve carne aada by adding to street tacos lined up on a plate in corn tortillas

What Type of Meat Should I use for Carne Asada?

Carne asada is traditionally made using skirt or flank steak.  I prefer flank steak with its wide, flat shape, rich buttery flavor and melt-in-your-mouth texture.  Flank steak is a little leaner than skirt steak but because we are using a marinade to maximize the flavor, it emerges wonderfully juicy and flavorful.

SKIRT STEAK VS. FLANK STEAK

  • What is the difference between flank steak and skirt steak?  Flank steak is a thicker, wider cut of meat than skirt steak. Flank steak and skirt steak come from two different parts of the cow which affects how tough they are.  Skirt steak comes from the diaphragm muscle of the cow which contains more tough muscle fibers than flank steak and is therefore tougher; these fibers, however, also boat a more intense flavor.  
  • Can I substitute skirt steak for flank steak? If you want to substitute skirt steak for flank steak, it should only be cooked to rare or medium-rare otherwise it will be too tough and chewy to eat. 

HOW TO PURCHASE AND STORE STEAK FOR CARNE ASADA

Here is everything you need to now about purchasing flank steak to make the best carne asada:

  • Is flank steak expensive?  Flank steak is generally one of the least expensive cuts of beef.  It is traditionally slightly more expensive than skirt steak and flap meat at $7-10 per pound.
  • How much flank steak do I need per person? The general rule of thumb is to allow 4-8 oz. of steak per person, so an average flank steak will serve 3-5 people.   You will need to take into consideration the appetite of your eaters (adults/children) and what else you are serving with the flank steak.
  • Where to buy flank steak? Flank steak is widely accessible and should be easy to find at any grocery store.  It is located in the beef section or at the butcher counter. Flank steak sometimes comes packaged in marinade, so make sure to double check the packaging – for this flank steak recipe, we want just the steak.
  • What to look for when buying flank steak? Look for flank steak that’s an even, deep red color with a fair amount of fine fat running along the length of the muscles. Look for steak that is smooth verses poorly buttered steak that suffers nicks or gouges from the membrane aggressively being removed. Finally, look for the steak that’s the most uniform in thickness to avoid overcooking thin ends.
  • How do I store raw flank steak? Uncooked flank steak should be stored in its packaging until ready to marinate or transferred to a freezer bag with all excess air squeezed out. Store in packaging for up to three days.
  • How do I store cooked flank steak? Cooked flank steak should be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to five days.  Flank steak can also be frozen in an airtight container with excess air squeezed out or vacuum-sealed to prevent freezer burn.  Frozen flank steak is good for up to three months.

The Best Carne Asada Marinade

Because flank steak is a leaner, less expensive cut of steak, we need a dynamite marinade to transform this steak into a juicy, flavor bomb.  Marinades need to accomplish three things:  tenderize the meat, infuse it with flavor and chemically change the structure so it retains juices and actually becomes juicier.   I’ve outlined how the ingredients below adeptly accomplish this:

  • Citrus:  orange juice and lime juice tenderize the meat by breaking down the tough connective tissue. They also infuse the meat with bright floral tones characteristic of carne asada that complement the earthy seasonings. 
  • Soy sauce:  enzymatically breaks down the proteins to further tenderize while also adding a rich depth of grounding flavor.
  • Seasonings: ground cumin, garlic powder, smoked paprika, chili powder, salt, onion powder, ground coriander, pepper and cayenne.  3 tablespoons of this Spice Mix are added to our marinade and the rest gets rubbed all over our steak before grilling.  This allows the seasonings to both penetrate the meat inside and out and is the key to this best carne asada street tacos ever.
  • Oil:  is crucial as it spreads the oil-soluble flavors more evenly across the meat and also promotes even browning when cooking.
Rare Grilled Carne Asada marinated and spice rubbed.

CARNE ASADA MARINADE 101

When it comes to marinating steak for carne asada or any protein, there are some safety rules to follow to avoid cross contamination.  Follow these simple rules to maintain sanitary conditions and food safety:

  • Use food safe containers.  I prefer food-safe sealable plastic bags such as freezer Ziploc bags.  They really allow the marinade to envelop the carne asada vs. a dish in which the marinade might not cover all of the steak.  When using a plastic bag, make sure to squeeze out excess air before sealing then roll up the bag so the steak is nice and snug. Sealable bags are also great for easy cleanup – just toss them! You may also use food grade plastic, stainless steel, or glass containers and cover with plastic wrap if they don’t have a lid.
  • Flip steak occasionally.  If you marinate the flank steak in a shallow dish, make sure to flip the steak over occasionally so it marinates evenly.
  • Marinate in the refrigerator. Always marinate steak for a prolonged period of time covered in the refrigerator and not at room temperature to avoid food-born illness.  Only remove it from the fridge to the counter 60 minutes before you’re ready to grill to help bring it to room temperature so it cooks evenly.  
  • Don’t reuse marinade.  Never reuse a marinade even for basting unless you boil it first to destroy any harmful bacteria. If you want to use the marinade for basting, drizzling or dipping, it is best to reserve a portion before you add the steak. I do this in countless of my recipes including this one.
  • PRO TIP: You can also reserve a couple tablespoons of marinade (not contaminated) to drizzle on veggies before grilling or cooking like I do in my chicken fajita recipe and many kabob recipes to make them uber flavorful without any extra work!

SHOULD YOU POKE HOLES IN FLANK STEAK BEFORE MARINATING?

In contrast to popular belief, you should NOT poke holes in the steak before marinating. This actually drains out the valuable juices and will result in less juicy steak.

HOW TO MAKE CARNE ASADA

STEP 1: Pound Steak

Using a meat mallet or side of a can, pound steak to an even, thin thickness.

showing how to make carne asada by pounding steak to an even thickenss

STEP 2: Make Spice Mix

  • The spice mix is a dynamic blend of seasonings that gets used both in the marinade and then in the wet rub. You only have to measure the seasonings once but get double the flavor.
showing how to make carne asada recipe by gathering seasonings: chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, coriander, cayenne pepper, salt

STEP 3: Marinate Steak

  • Add all Marinade Ingredients (except steak) to a large freezer bag and whisk to combine.
  • Add 3 tablespoons Spice Mix to Marinade and whisk to combine.
  • Add steak, squeeze out excess air, seal and turn to evenly coat.
showing how to make carne asada recipe by massaging marinade into steak

STEP 4: Wet Rub

  • The wet rub is my secret to the BEST carne asada so please don’t skip! When ready to grill, mix remaining Spice Mix with 2 tablespoons olive oil to create a Wet Spice Rub.
  • Rub steak evenly all over with Spice Rub and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. I use this time to make guacamole.
showing how to make carne asada by rubbing flank steak with wet rub
showing how to make carne asada by massaging a rub all over steak

STEP 5: Cook Steak

  • I want you to be able to make this carne asada recipe year-round, so I’ve included how to make carne asada on the grill, in the oven and on the stove below. 
  • My preferred, and most authentic method, is definitely the grill as it delivers the smoky flavor characteristic of carne asada, but you can use the other methods if you don’t have a grill or when it’s not grilling season.
showing how to make carne asada by grilling flank steak on a gas grill

STEP 6: Let Steak Rest

  • Remove steak and let rest 10 minutes before chopping into small pieces.
showing how to make carne asada tacos by letting steak rest before chopping

HOW LONG TO MARINATE CARNE ASADA STEAK?

4-12 hour is the optimal time to marinate carne asada.  After 4 hours, the flank steak has absorbed a lot of the flavor but after 12 hours it will become even more tender. You definitely don’t want to marinate it longer than 12 hours though because the acid in the marinade will begin to change the structure of the meat to the point of mushiness – no Bueno!

HOW TO GRILL CARNE ASADA

Take care to grease your clean grill grates well with oil.  Next, close the lid and heat to the highest heat and WAIT to add your steak until the grill reaches temperature, this could take up to 15 minutes, so be patient.  Add your steak and reduce heat to medium-high heat. This temperature ensures a smokey charred outside, and pink juicy inside.  Grill steak for 5 to 6 minutes per side, turning once, for medium, depending on the thickness. 

HOW TO COOK CARNE ASADA IN THE OVEN

My preferred method for cooking carne asada is on the grill. Grilling delivers the characteristic smokey flavor but you can use the other methods such as cooking on the stove or in the oven (directions to follow) if you don’t have a grill or when it’s not grilling season.

OVEN BROILED:  Broiling the carne asada mimics the high directional heat of the grill. Place steak on a baking sheet.  Broil 8 inches away from the broiler for 6-8 minutes on each side or until it reaches desired temperature.

HOW TO COOK CARNE ASADA ON THE STOVE

You may pan sear carne asada but unless you have a large grill pan, your steak will not fit and will need to be cut in half and cooked in two batches.

STOVETOP:  Heat one tablespoon olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.  Cook for 6-8 minutes per side or until it reaches desired temperature.

How Do I Know When the CARNE ASADA IS Done?

Flank steak is a lean cut of beef, so it is best not cooked above medium or else it can be tough and chewy instead of juicy.  I would aim for medium, meaning it will be pink in the middle.  That being said, the marinade gives you a little wiggle room, but I wouldn’t push it.

To check the carne asada for doneness, insert an instant read thermometer into the center of the steak. 

  • Rare steak:  125 degrees F
  • Medium rare:  135 degrees F
  • Medium: 145 degrees F *RECOMMENDED*
  • Medium well:  155 degrees F
  • Medium Well (not recommended)
  • Well done: 165 degrees F (not recommended)

Let carne asada rest

After the carne asada is grilled, it is important that you let it rest 10 minutes before thinly slicing against the grain on a diagonal.  While the steak cooks, the juices are forced away from the heat to the middle of the meat.  The resting time allows for the redistribution and reabsorption of the juices throughout the whole steak.

HOW TO CUT CARNE bASADA?

After 10 minutes, take care to slice your steak THINLY against the grain.  You can see the “grain” running through the meat in one direction. The grain is essentially the muscle fibers running through the meat.  You want to cut perpendicular to the muscle fibers so they become as short as possible.  You can a have melt in your mouth steak off the grill but if you cut it parallel to the grain you will end up with long muscle fibers AKA chewy, rubbery tough meat. So cut AGAINST the grain!

Grilled, marinated Carne Asada being thinly sliced against the grain

TIPS FOR CARNE ASADA RECIPE:

  • Pound the steak to an even, thin thickness.  Even if your steak looks even already, you’ll still want to give it a good pounding to tenderize it (works wonders!).  Place steak in between two pieces of plastic wrap or I just place it in a freezer size plastic bag.  Pound it evenly with a meat mallet or side of a can. 
  • Don’t over-marinate.  The carne asada marinade is highly acidic which means you don’t want to marinate the steak as long as you would in a marinade without as much citrus.  Don’t marinate much longer than 12 hours or the muscle fibers can break down and become mushy.
  • Marinate long enough.  I recommend marinating the carne asada for the maximum 12 hours.  This will infuse the steak with TONS of flavor and optimal juiciness. 
  • Bring carne asada to room temperature before cooking.  You always want to let any protein sit at room temperature before cooking in order for it to cook evenly so you aren’t left with an overcooked exterior and cold interior. This also relaxes the cold fibers for juicier results.
  • Clean grill. Clean the grill very well before cooking for beautiful grill marks and to prevent sticking.
  • Use a hot grill.  Heat up the grill with the lid closed cranked to the maximum temperature so it can achieve temperature more quickly; plan on 10-15 minutes.  Once the grill is hot, you can adjust the temperature.  Don’t add the steak until the grill reaches temperature or it won’t sear as nicely.
  • Flip carne asada once using tongs. Only flip/touch your steak once for the perfect caramelized crust. Only use tongs to flip the meat because a fork will pierce the meat and you will continuously loose juices and tenderness.
  • Cook to medium.  Don’t overcook or your carne asada won’t be as juicy. Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness and grill to 140 degrees for medium.  The steak will rise to 145 degrees after it rests. 
  • When to use high heat.  If you like rare or medium-rare steak, then grill steak on high heat so it’s hot enough to get some color on the outside in a short amount of time.
  • Let carne asada rest.  After the carne asada is grilled, it is important to let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing or chopping.  While the steak cooks, the juices are forced away from the heat to the middle of the meat.  The resting time allows for the redistribution and reabsorption of the juices throughout the whole steak.
  • Slice across the grain. Cut carne asada steak across the grain to shorten the muscle fibers for more tender steak.
  • Hot sauce to taste.  The carne asada isn’t spicy but plenty flavorful.  If you are your guests like a kick, make sure to serve the steak with hot sauce on the side.
showing how to assemble marinated carne asada tacos by layering with carne asada, sour cream, guacamole, pico de gallo

How to Serve Carne Asada STEAK

Carne asada should be thinly sliced and can be eaten plain alongside rice or beans or it will immediately elevate your tacos, burritos, nachos, fries, etc. to the most amazing tacos, fajitas, burritos, nachos, fries, etc. especially when piled with cheese, homemade salsasalsa verde,pico de gallo, sour cream and/or guacamole or as I prefer, my avocado crema and served with any of the below sides such as Mexican Rice or Cilantro Lime Rice.

wHAT TO SERVE WITH CARNE ASADA?

how to FREEZE CARNE ASADA

You can freeze the carne asada meat cooked or uncooked:

  • Uncooked carne asada:  add marinade and steak to a freezer bag per recipe instructions. Squeeze out excess air, seal and freeze for up to 3 months.  Thaw in the refrigerator before cooking.  It will marinate as it thaws.  You will still want to use the spice rub on the steak before cooking.
  • Cooked carne asada: transfer chopped carne asada to an airtight container or plastic freezer bag and squeeze out any excess air. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.  You can also defrost in the microwave but take care to defrost slowly so your steak doesn’t overcook or get rubbery. 

HOW TO STORE & REHEAT CARNE ASADA

STORAGE

  • Let carne asada come to room temperature.
  • Transfer to an airtight container. 
  • Store in the refrigerator for up to five days.

MICROWAVE

  • Cover the sliced carne asada with a damp paper towel to keep it from drying out.
  • Microwave at 30 second intervals until warmed through.

STOVE TOP

  • Heat one tablespoon oil or butter in a skillet over medium high heat.  The fat will help the carne asada stay tender; you may substitute with water.
  • Once hot, add steak and cook undisturbed for a couple minutes, then begin to cook and stir until warmed through.
  • Take care not to overcook or it can become dry. 

IS CARNE ASADA HEALTHY?

Flank steak used in this carne asada recipe is a very lean cut of beef with a high amount of protein, amino acids, iron, and zinc.  Here are some health benefits of steak:  

  • Protein:  Steak is a powerful source of protein to fuel your body. It is excellent for helping to build muscle and for maintaining muscle mass.  Even fit individuals can suffer muscle atrophy if they do not consume enough protein which contains amino acids (the building blocks of protein).  Protein can also help repair muscles from wear and tear and to relieve muscle aches.
  • Amino acids:  Steak also contains the dietary amino acid called beta-alanine, which helps form a dipeptide called carnosine, which is crucial to support physical activity.  Healthy levels of carnosine reduce fatigue and improves muscle performance, endurance and precision during physical activity.
  • Iron:  Steak contains high levels of iron which is absorbed more quickly than iron found in supplements and even some vegetables.  Iron is needed to carry oxygen tofrom the lungs to all parts of the body.  Your body also needs iron to make some hormones and keep your hair, skin and nails healthy.  If you do not have enough iron, you won’t have healthy oxygen circulation, which will cause fatigue and grogginess.
  • Zinc:  A (3.5-ounce) serving of beef contains 4.8 mg of zinc, which is 44% of the Daily Value.  Zinc is vital for a healthy immune system, correctly synthesizing DNA, and healing wounds.

HELPFUL TOOLS FOR THIS FLANK STEAK RECIPE:

  • Instant-read thermometer:  you need an instant-read thermometer for the juiciest steak, chicken and pork AND for perfectly fried everything! It allows you to cook any protein to the exact temperature every time and allows you to heat oil to the correct temperature for frying.
  • Grill brush:  is essential for keeping your grill clean!  This grill brush with scrapers cleans stubborn stains deeply and efficiently. 
  • Quality Knives: a chef’s knife will be your most used kitchen tool by far! Quality knives make prep time much quicker, are important for safety and essential for finely slicing flank steak. If you’re concerned about moola, please remember that your best chef knives, depending on how hard you use them and how well you take care of them, can easily last 25 years or more. I love my Wusthof but there are hundreds of less expensive knives with great reviews such as this one.
Grilled Carne Asada marinated and spice rubbed tacos.
a hand holding a carne asada street taco ready to eat

Carne Asada Recipe

Carne Asada marinated and spice rubbed for the most juicy, tender, flavorful Carne Asada EVER! This Carne Asada recipe is perfect for tacos, burritos, nachos, salads, etc. at a fraction of the price and fabulous for crowds!
Servings: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ – 2 pounds flank steak, pounded thin

Marinade

Spice Mix

Instructions

  • To a small plastic bag (or sealable container), add Spice Mix and whisk to combine. Set aside.
  • Add Marinade Ingredients to a large freezer bag and whisk to combine. Add 3 tablespoons Spice Mix to Marinade and whisk to combine. Add steak and seal bag, removing excess air. Marinate in the refrigerator 4-12 hours.
  • When ready to grill, mix remaining Spice Mix with 2 tablespoons olive oil to create a Spice Rub.
  • Discard marinade and pat steaks dry with paper towel (just so steak is not wet, not to remove marinade/spices). Rub steak evenly all over with Spice Rub and let rest at room temperature for 30-60 minutes.
  • Grease and preheat outdoor grill to medium-high heat. Grill steak for 5-6 minutes per side, or until an internal thermometer reads 130-135 degrees F for medium rare or around 140 degrees for medium. Grill time will vary depending on thickness of your steak and desired level of doneness.. *If you like your steaks rare then use HIGH heat so you can get the charred outside in less time.
  • Remove steak and let rest 10 minutes before thinly slicing against the grain on a diagonal.

Video

Notes

Don’t miss the “how to make” recipe video at the top of the post!

HOW TO COOK IN THE OVEN

Place steak on a baking sheet.  Broil 8 inches away from the broiler for 6-8 minutes on each side or until it reaches desired temperature.

HOW TO COOK ON THE STOVE

You may pan sear carne asada but unless you have a large grill pan, your steak will not fit and will need to be cut in half and cooked in two batches.  Heat one tablespoon olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.  Cook for 6-8 minutes per side or until it reaches desired temperature.

TIPS AND TRICKS 

  • Pound the steak to an even, thin thickness.  Even if your steak looks even already, you’ll still want to give it a good pounding to tenderize it (works wonders!).  Place steak in between two pieces of plastic wrap or I just place it in a freezer size plastic bag.  Pound it evenly with a meat mallet or side of a can.
  • Don’t over-marinate.  The carne asada marinade is highly acidic which means you don’t want to marinate the steak as long as you would in a marinade without as much citrus.  Don’t marinate much longer than 12 hours or the muscle fibers can break down and become mushy.
  • Marinate long enough.  I recommend marinating the carne asada for the maximum 12 hours.  This will infuse the steak with TONS of flavor and optimal juiciness.
  • Bring carne asada to room temperature before cooking.  You always want to let any protein sit at room temperature before cooking in order for it to cook evenly so you aren’t left with an overcooked exterior and cold interior. This also relaxes the cold fibers for juicier results.
  • Clean grill. Clean the grill very well before cooking for beautiful grill marks and to prevent sticking.
  • Use a hot grill.  Heat up the grill with the lid closed cranked to the maximum temperature so it can achieve temperature more quickly; plan on 10-15 minutes.  Once the grill is hot, you can adjust the temperature.  Don’t add the steak until the grill reaches temperature or it won’t sear as nicely.
  • Flip carne asada once using tongs. Only flip/touch your steak once for the perfect caramelized crust. Only use tongs to flip the meat because a fork will pierce the meat and you will continuously loose juices and tenderness.
  • Cook to medium.  Don’t overcook or your carne asada won’t be as juicy. Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness and grill to 140 degrees for medium.  The steak will rise to 145 degrees after it rests.
  • When to use high heat.  If you like rare or medium-rare steak, then grill steak on high heat so it’s hot enough to get some color on the outside in a short amount of time.
  • Let carne asada rest.  After the carne asada is grilled, it is important to let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing or chopping.  While the steak cooks, the juices are forced away from the heat to the middle of the meat.  The resting time allows for the redistribution and reabsorption of the juices throughout the whole steak.
  • Slice across the grain. Cut carne asada steak across the grain to shorten the muscle fibers for more tender steak.
  • Hot sauce to taste.  The carne asada isn’t spicy but plenty flavorful.  If you are your guests like a kick, make sure to serve the steak with hot sauce on the side.

HOW TO STORE & REHEAT 

  • STORAGE:  Let carne asada come to room temperature then transfer to an airtight container.  Store in the refrigerator for up to five days.
  • MICROWAVE: Cover the sliced carne asada with a damp paper towel to keep it from drying out.  Microwave at 30 second intervals until warmed through.
  • STOVE TOP:  Heat one tablespoon oil or butter in a skillet over medium high heat.  The fat will help the carne asada stay tender; youmay substitute with water.  Once hot, add steak and cook undisturbed for a couple minutes, then begin to cook and stir until warmed through.  Take care not to overcook or it can become dry.

Did You Make This Recipe?

Tag @CarlsbadCravings and Use #CarlsbadCravngs

Leave a Review, I Always Love Hearing From You!

Carlsbad Cravings© Original

Reader Interactions

leave a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

61 Comments

  1. Elise Q. says

    Shut up, shut up, shut up! I just found your website (via pinterest) and can I say every single thing that I’ve laid my eyes on is something that I need in my mouth right now. I’m going to be cooking from your blog for a few weeks here now. I can feel it.

    Just thought that you’d like to know.

    • Jen says

      LOL! I am loving your comment and your enthusiasm! I am so happy you found my blog and I am excited for you to start trying my recipes! I hope you find lots to love here and I can’t wait to hear what you try first! Thanks for taking the time to leave such a nice comment :)!

      • Heather says

        I want to make this for a party! Can I grill the meat ahead and slice it and keep it in a slow cooker?

        • Jen says

          Hi Heather, I think the “warm” setting with a tiny amount of water should work fine. Let me know how it goes!

  2. Barb Poulson says

    Thanks for an AMAZING dinner! Followed everything per directions, even cooking time and it was a HUGE HIT! Served with grilled vegis, peppers, strawberry salsa (pinterest) and copycat El Pollo Loco avocado dressing (pinterest). Our son just warmed up the leftovers (miracle there were any!) and scarfed them down! Love your recipes – I am from North County but live in CO and they are a taste of home!

    • Jen says

      You are SO welcome Barb! I am so happy it was a huge hit – yay! Your entire meal sounds amazing – love the addition of Strawberry Salsa – yum! And what a small world! I am so happy I can bring a bit of North County flavor to CO 🙂 Thanks for following along!

      • Nancy Jewett says

        Jen, you bring a lot of North County flavors to CO!

        • Jen says

          YAY! happy to hear North County is finding its way to CO! Thanks for making my recipes Nancy!

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Justin! I just checked out your site – what gorgeous recipes YOU have! Yum!

  3. Amber says

    I just made this for dinner and it was amazing. I was unable to afford the flank or skirt steak so I tried the flat iron steak. I figured it was long and flat like the others at half the cost (if not more) so why not? I was amazed at how tender it was! We stood around the meat plate eating the leftover pieces by sopping up the rest of the sauce with the meat. SO GREAT! Thank you so much!

    • Jen says

      YAY! Hi Amber, I am thrilled you all loved this so much! And thank you so much for the tip on the skirt steak – so great to know that it came out just as tender and delicious! I hope you find more recipes to love here! Have a great weekend!

  4. Eric says

    Was searching how to grill carne asada and found your blog! Not only did I get what I needed, but also a handful of ideas too. I’m not much of a cook, but I’m going to surprise my folks with this one:D

    Cheers!

    • Jen says

      Awesome Eric! I am so happy you stumbled across my blog! I hope the carne asada surprise was as delicious as you hoped and that you find more fun recipes to try here!

      • Mary says

        Hi! I made this amazing recipe a while ago and was going to make it again, but now the ingredients aren’t showing up on the site :-/ is it just me?

        • Jen says

          Hi Mary, I am SO sorry! I switched servers over the last couple days and have had some technical difficulties – like ingredients missing – ahh!!! Hopefully it will all be resolved tomorrow! Thank you for your patience and I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed this recipe!

  5. Jennifer says

    I made these tonight and everyone loved them. Meat was tender and flavorful. I also made your recipe for the Mexican fries. They were the best oven fries I’ve made! Thanks!

    • Jen says

      Hi Jennifer, so happy this was a crowd pleaser and thank you for the ultimate compliment of the “best oven fries” – yay! Nothing beats a little Mexican flair – even with fries 🙂

  6. Mary says

    Hi! I made this amazing recipe a while ago and was going to make it again, but now the ingredients aren’t showing up on the site :-/ is it just me?

    • Jen says

      Hi Mary, I am SO sorry! I switched servers over the last couple days and have had some technical difficulties – like ingredients missing – ahh!!! Hopefully it will all be resolved tomorrow! Thank you for your patience and I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed this recipe!

  7. James says

    Just found this recipe and I’m looking forward to giving it a try. Living in South Texas, I’m not a stranger to southwestern or Mexican cuisine but I actually only heard about Carne’ Asada fries last night from a native Californian. Your pictures reinforced my need to give this dish a try.

    • Jen says

      Hi James, welcome to the world of Carne Asada Fries!!! They might just be the best way to eat carne asada – or fries 🙂 Hope you can make them soon and love them!

  8. Dany says

    What’s a California burrito?!? I live in California and we don’t get fries with our burritos. Can you bring that here? Lol

    • Jen says

      WHAT?! No California Burritos?! Maybe it’s a southern California thing. Everywhere in San Diego has their own version of a California Burrito – I guess you’ll have to make you’re own with this recipe 🙂

  9. Will says

    Can I use this marinade on chicken thighs?

  10. Debi says

    Do you use Hickory or Mesquite liquid smoke for this? I have both. Thanks!

    • Jen says

      I think it comes down to personal preference but I use Mesquite. Enjoy!

  11. Becca Rose says

    Served this awesome meat at our Father’s Day gathering. Everyone LOVED it and were asking how I did it. Super good flavor – loved the marinade and the rub together! AMAZING!! Thank you!

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Becca Rose for making my day! I’m thrilled it was such a hit and what a perfect choice for Father’s Day! xo

  12. Michelle says

    Flank steak is already pretty thin. How much more do you flatten it?

    • Jen says

      Hi Michelle, it will depend on the individual steak – some are definitely more thin then others so just make sure its pounded to an even thickness.

  13. Jen says

    Hi Jen,

    When grilling the steak, do you place the steak directly over the flame for the first 14-20 mins? TIA for your help.

    • Jen says

      Hi Jen, yes directly over the flame. Enjoy!

  14. Trey in Nebraska from Diego says

    Try making fries from fresh potatoes. It is so legit. Soak them in cold water for 30 minutes after cutting and then dry. Coat them with olive oil, cumin, pepper and garlic salt and cook in air fryer for 15 minutes on 400 then blanch in ice water. Dry and air fry again on 400 for 10 minutes and you have perfect mexi fries for the ultimate Cali Burrito. Now if I could just get Roberto’s red sauce recipe down pat.

  15. Aurora says

    Hi!

    I just wanted to say I made this for dinner last night and I can’t believe how good it was. I tweaked It a little, but being Mexican, I have to say this is some of the best carne asada I have ever had. My husband darn near licked the plate. I’m originally from Oceanside and we moved to D.C. a few months back and it is so hard finding good Mexican food out here. Made it with a side of rice, guacamole, and pico de gallo. It was perfect.

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Auroa! I am honored you loved this carne asada recipe – especially because you know your carne asada! I’m so happy you were able to taste a piece of home!

  16. Steve says

    I knew when you said you were from Carlsbad, this recipe would be legit. I was right on . I followed this recipe to a tee. Only exception was I cooked on a wood smoker w Mesquite wood. Jen this was so delicious. Everyone loved it. This is my new go to from now on. Thanks for posting. I grew up in Carlsbad, Ca years ago. PS we have California burritos in Vegas. lol

    • Jen says

      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment Steve, you made my day – especially because YOU know what you’re talking about! Your carne asada sounds extra amazing cooked on your wood smoker!

  17. Stephanie says

    I’m also a SoCal coastal native and carne asada is something we bbq frequently. I’ve had some go-to recipes over the years but thought I’d give yours a try because of the ingredient list looked spot on and well, every recipe of yours I make for my family is incredible. This marinade was to die for. I prefer flank steak but used skirt because that’s what I had. I actually didn’t pat the marinade off because it looked and smelled so good i couldn’t bring myself to do it, and simply sprinkled the leftover dry rub on that. While this recipe has many of the same ingredients i use, the brown sugar, soy sauce and liquid smoke were new to me and the ratio of ingredients absolutely made this the BEST carne asada we have ever cooked up. My old recipes are going in the trash. Your husband was right, this deserves the “BEST” in the title.

    • Jen says

      Oh my goodness, what a humbling review, thank you SO much Stephanie! I am actually in the hospital right now with pneumonia and your comment absolutely made my day – my week! I’m honored this is the “best” carne asada recipe and is taking it’s place front and center. Thank you! xo

  18. Jennifer Fulk says

    Hi Jen! Beef is so expensive right now but beef loin flap meat was on sale at my store . It says excellent for carne asada , so I needed a marinade and of course I came here! 🙂 I am going to do this for the 4th. I have 3 1/2 pounds of meat. Do you think the marinade /spice rub will be enough or would I need to double everything? What would you recommend? Thanks!

    • Jen says

      Hi Jennifer, I would double it for maximum flavor. Enjoy!

  19. Lori K. says

    Hi Jen, I’m hoping you can clear up some confusion I have. How much total oil does this recipe require? There are 2 tablespoons listed in the marinade, which I put in. Then the instructions indicate to add 2 tablespoons to the spice rub, but I don’t see 2 additional tablespoons of oil in the ingredient list. Did I put the 2 tablespoons into the marinade when I was supposed to reserve it for the spice rub? Or am I supposed to use 2 tablespoons each for the marinade and spice rub, for a total of 4? Thank you!

    • Jen says

      Hi Lori, you were correct to add the oil to the marinade for a total of 4 TBS. Enjoy!

  20. Shannon says

    Looks amazing and we can’t wait to try it! What kind of tortillas do you use?

    • Jen says

      La Tortilla Factory – they’re the best!

  21. Stephanie says

    This was my first time making Carne Asada. This recipe is spot on. My husband said this was better then he gets at our favorite Mexican restaurant. I did use a cast iron skillet to cook it in as it was too big for my grill pan but came out tender and juicy. This will become a staple in our household.

    • Jen says

      Thanks so much for your glowing review Stephanie! I’m so pleased carne asada was better than your husband’s favorite restaurant and will be on repeat -the ultimate compliment!

  22. Holly L. says

    Hi! How do you prepare your tortillas? They look amazing. Are they corn or flour?

    • Jen says

      Thank you Holly! I use corn tortillas ( La Tortilla Factory Corn Tortillas) and toast them over my gas stove directly on the burner. You can also accomplish this on the grill as well. Good luck!

  23. Amanda W says

    I very rarely comment on anything, but I had to say this is the best meat I’ve ever made, maybe ever even tasted! It is truly perfect. And it’s extra special because I made this during my first time ever grilling. I used this for tacos, and I made your Mexican corn salad to go with it. 🙂 I also just want to thank you for your wonderful site full of incredibly delicious recipes – I’ve made so many of your recipes, and they are all so amazing. I love how well you break down a recipe and make it super easy to do. You’re my favorite food blogger, and I really appreciate what you do.

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much for making my day Amanda!!!! xo I am SO honored I am your favorite food blogger and that you find my recipes easy to follow! I’m so pleased this carne asada recipe was such a hit! Thanks for following along and for making my recipes!

  24. Anne says

    I’ve made this a few times now and loved it so much but wanted to know if I could use sirloin steak instead because my store was out of flank. Thanks so much and have a great day

    • Jen says

      Absolutely! And I’m so pleased it’s a favorite!

  25. Lisa DeBarbieri says

    This was so full of flavor! My brother who doesn’t love steak said this makes him a steak lover! Nephew loved it too! Thanks so much for the great recipe, I will be making this again!

    • Jen says

      That’s amazing! I’m so pleased this recipe won everyone over, thanks Lisa!

  26. Giulia M Brooks says

    Lori K.,
    Thank you. I thought I’d done something incorrectly. Making it now, Jen! Gonna make your beef enchiladas with the meat.