This juicy and flavorful carne asada steak is perfect for any Mexican dish you’re craving, like tacos, burritos, salads, and more!
Hello, friends! I’m SOOOO pumped for grilling season. Of course, I’m not super pumped for 120F weather, but grilling season, definitely yes! And this year, I learned how to work the grill myself, so no being at the mercy of Mr. Hungry!
I’ll have you know I grilled this steak all by my big girl self, well, that is until the propane ran out halfway through grilling, and I had to ask my mom to switch the tanks because I didn’t know-how. So, I’ll get there, baby steps, walk before you run, and all that. But, my goal this year is to learn to use the grill like a pro so that I don’t have to avoid making grilled recipes during the week, knowing that Mr. Hungry will be annoyed to get off work and stand in 120F weather to grill. So, I’ll stand there while my kids run through the sprinklers, and I drink Margaritas. I’ve got it all planned out. And what better than Carne Asada steak to have with a Margarita, right?
I used flank steak and marinated it with a traditional carne asada marinade for 24 hours. The longer you marinate your meat, the fewer potentially harmful chemicals that are formed during the grilling process and the more flavor your meat will have, so it’s a win-win. This steak came out juicy, tender and packed with flavor. My kids LOVED it! I honestly couldn’t believe how much they loved it! My three-year-old ate two platefuls, and my nine-month-old ignored everything else on his plate. But they both ate it up and I was a happy Mama!
How to Make Carne Asada Steak
Start by prepping your marinade ingredients. Some people prefer to blend because they believe more flavor will impart to the meat, but I’ve never noticed a huge difference in the final product, so I don’t bother anymore.
Marinade time can range from 2 hours to 24 hours. The longer you marinate your meat, the more flavor the final product will have. Also, marinating has another benefit. It reduces the amount of potentially carcinogenic compounds such as PCA’s and HCA’s that are formed during grilling by up to about 80%. So extra flavor and a healthier final product, win-win!
After it’s done marinating, you throw it on the grill while you prep whatever you plan to serve this with, like salads, tacos, burritos, or even nachos!
Swaps and Substitutions
Marinades are very flexible recipes. You can omit, swap or change any ingredient. Just keep in mind this may change the final product a bit.
Orange Juice – pineapple or tangerine juice might be a fun twist! I wouldn’t omit this, though, because orange juice is the major player in imparting flavor!
Cilantro – you can swap two tablespoons of dried cilantro for 1/4 cup fresh.
Green Onion – about a tablespoon of dried chives could be substituted for the fresh green onion.
Garlic – you can swap 1/4 teaspoon dried garlic for one clove fresh.
Lemon Juice – you could omit or use lime juice.
Jalapeno – do not omit or substitute. I promise it doesn’t make the carne asada meat that spicy remember, my 9-month-old and three-year-old could eat it fine!
Flank Steak – you could use another type of steak if you needed or wanted to, but flank steak is the easiest to slice thinly.
Also, I didn’t use any salt, and it came out great! You may want to add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt in the marinade as well, but that’s based on your preference.
How to Store & Freeze Carne Asada Steak
Freezing: There are two ways to freeze this recipe.
- Freeze meat (as long as it has not been previously frozen) and marinade together in a freezer-safe container like a large freezer bag for up to 3 months. Then, defrost under refrigeration and grill once thawed!
- After the meat is cooked, freeze for up to 3 months in a freezer-safe container. Then, defrost under refrigeration and reheat to 165F.
Storing: Store this carne asada steak in the refrigerator in an air-tight container for up to three days.
Try making my carne asada flank steak salad with this delicious steak!
Carne Asada Steak
- Combine all ingredients in a large shallow bowl or plastic bag. Option to blend your marinade ingredients before adding them to a bowl or plastic bag. (Some people prefer to blend because they believe more flavor will impart to the meat, but I've never noticed a huge difference in the final product.) Add steak and let marinate for 2-24 hours.
- Preheat grill to 500F. Take the steak out of the marinade and grill until it reaches 145-165F (depending on the desired doneness.) Grill to your desired liking. Once it's off the grill and done, let it sit for a couple of minutes before slicing it into thin strips.