Carne Asada. This grilled flank steak is marinated in a flavorful mix of orange and lime juice, spices, onion and garlic. Smokey, juicy, and tender this meat is perfect for using in tacos, burritos, salads and more! 

Overhead view of flank steak that has been marinated in carne asada marinade, and grilled. Sliced and laid out on a baking sheet. Topped with bits of green diced cilantro and a lime wedge on the side.

Authentic Carne Asada. This meat comes out so tender and flavorful thanks to an easy to put together marinade. Thanks to using some citrus juice the meat is tenderized. Flavored with onion, garlic, cilantro, and spices. This meat is perfect to serve thinly sliced with some Mexican Street Corn on the side or chopped up and put into tacos!

How to make Carne Asada Marinade: 

  1. Prepare Marinade: mix together the ingredients for the marinade.
  2. Marinate Meat: marinate for at least 4 hours up to 24 hours. Top the meat with orange slices and sliced onion for additional flavor. Seal and marinate in the refrigerator.
  3. Grill: remove the excess onion and oranges. Grill both sides of the meat, this meat cooks hot and quick. Temperatures are listed below to cook to desired done-ness.
  4. Rest: let the meat rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing. This allows for residual cooking, the meat temperature will continue to rise during this time.
  5. Slice: slice the meat against the grain, this gives a tender bite.

What kind of meat to use: 

Carne Asada can be made with either skirt or flank steak. My personal preference is to use Flank Steak. The difference between the two is the texture and taste. They are both mostly muscle.

  • Skirt steak has a more pronounced beef flavor, but can cook up a bit tougher than flank steak. Skirt steak should be marinated and cooked to medium rare to keep it tender.
  • Flank steak is a more tender meat than skirt steak, it is perfect for cooking up hot and fast, which makes it a great option for carne asada. 

Cooking Temperatures:

Flank steak cooks quickly. Preheat your grill to 400℉. Cook for about 3-5 minutes on one side and flip to cook the other side. Check the temperature of the meat in the thickest part using an instant read cooking thermometer. Pull the meat when it reaches the desired temperature and keep in mind the residual cooking time while the meat rests could rise the temperature another 5 degrees.

  • Rare: 115℉ -120℉
  • Medium Rare: 120℉ – 125℉
  • Medium: 130℉-135℉
  • Well Done: 140℉ – 145℉
Sliced carne asada that is blackened on the outside from grilling, but red and juicy in the middle.

More Grilling Recipes:

Sliced carne asada that is blackened on the outside from grilling, but red and juicy in the middle.

Authentic Carne Asada

Carne Asada. This grilled flank steak is marinated in a flavorful mix of orange and lime juice, spices, onion and garlic. Smokey, juicy, and tender this meat is perfect for using in tacos, burritos, salads and more!

Ingredients

  • 1½-3 lbs flank steak
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • ¼ cup lime juice, freshly squeezed
  • ½ bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • ½ white onion, sliced

Instructions

  • In a small bowl combine the orange juice, lime juice, cilantro, garlic, and seasonings. Stir together. Will be thick.
  • Coat the meat in the marinade. Place on a tray, in a bag, or container. Top with orange slices and onion. Cover and refrigerate for 4-24 hours.
  • Preheat grill to 400°F. Remove the extra oranges and onion from the meat. Grill for 3-5 minutes. Then turn and cook the other side an additonal 3-5 minutes.
  • Check the temperature of the meat in the thickest part. Rare: 115℉ -120℉ Medium Rare: 120℉ – 125℉ Medium: 130℉-135℉ Well Done: 140℉ – 145℉.
  • Remove the meat from the grill when desired temperature is reached. Cover with foil and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
  • Slice meat thinly against the grain and serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 163kcal, Carbohydrates: 11g, Protein: 19g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 51mg, Sodium: 922mg, Potassium: 433mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 530IU, Vitamin C: 20mg, Calcium: 44mg, Iron: 2mg
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