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Mexican Cuisine: How to Grill Carne Asada?

DINING | Published on 12/06/2020
Carne asada recipe
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Grilling carne asada is perfect for a summer cookout and while it is extremely common all over Mexico, you may not know just how great it is until you try it for yourself. With bold spices and flavorful salsas, carne asada grill time may just be the best time you have all summer. 

What is carne asada? 

It’s simply a grilled skirt or flank steak with Mexican flavors, perfect on its own or inside tacos. Learning how to grill carne asada is simple but rewarding, especially if you enjoy authentic Mexican cuisine. The grilled meat can be eaten on its own, with salsas, or inside a taco, and with different marinades, you can find the perfect flavor for the best carne asada recipe. Use these steps for how to make carne asada, and you’ll have the best summer cookout!


Before grilling carne asada, the secret to flavorful, juicy meat is a marinada. Any marinade needs four basic things: acid, seasoning, oil, and salt. An acid, like vinegar or citrus juice, will make your meat tender while the oil helps hold everything together. Salt will make the meat juicy while adding flavor. You can then add any other seasonings for flavor. For the best carne asada recipe, mix together some lime juice, olive oil, salt, soy sauce, cumin, and garlic, key ingredients in authentic Mexican cuisine. If you think the best carne asada recipe should have a kick, cut up a jalapeno for your marinade as well. An authentic carne asada recipe calls for thin cuts of skirt or flank steak, common cuts at most grocery stores. Place the marinade and meat in a ziplock bag to soak for 4-12 hours. 

How to grill carne asada isn’t very different from grilling any other sort of meat. First, you’ll want to heat the grill up completely for even cooking. Then, removed the meat from the marinade you used for your authentic carne asada recipe, laying the meat out flat on the grill. The carne asada grill time will depend on how thick your meat is and how cooked you want it. The minimum carne asada grill time is typically about four minutes per side, but how long to grill carne asada will be different for thicker slices or if you like your meat well done. To check your carne asada grill time, simply cut into a thicker slice to see how pink it is. If you’re nervous about how long to grill carne asada, you can also use a meat thermometer and remove it from the grill when it reaches around 155°F. As you become familiar with how to grill carne asada, you’ll be able to see when it’s done.


If you’re firing up the grill for an authentic carne asada recipe, you can also make a grilled salsa at the same time. Place a couple red and green tomatoes, garlic, and a jalapeno on the side while you’re grilling carne asada, where the heat is less intense. Turn them occasionally, and once the vegetables are soft and their skin is starting to peel, put them in a blender with a little water. Blend them to your desired consistency. You can then top of your steak or tacos with homemade salsa.

For most people, the answer to “what is carne asada?” is simple. Most commonly it is tacos, a staple in authentic Mexican cuisine. After taking your meat off the grill, cut it into thin slices to be loaded onto soft corn tortillas. Squirt a little more lime juice on your taco, and top it off with your homemade salsa, diced onion, and fresh cilantro. You can also add beans, guacamole, and rice to make it a more diverse meal. These fresh and flavorful tacos are what is carne asada in its traditional form, and it’s what will make your summer cookouts delicious.

Learning how to make carne asada marinades and how long to grill carne asada will spice up your backyard cookouts this summer. While you’ll have to think ahead to marinate the meat, the overall process for how to make carne asada is one of the easiest grilling options. As you sink your teeth into these juicy tacos, you’ll be able to picture yourself on the beaches of Mexico.

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