How to Marinate Carne Asada

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II considered myself lucky whenever I get a chance to buy meat from Bear Creek Farm,  a sustainable grass-fed, grain-finished cattle and hog farm. They use Certified Humane practices to produce healthy, tasty beef and pork without the use of hormones or antibiotics.

I chose their flank steak (you could do this with skirt steak), and the key is knowing how to marinate carne asada.

When you marinate carne asada, you will be breaking down the meat with a combination of fat, salt and acid. The acid is mostly citrus in the form of orange and lime juice.

The spices include cumin and heat. I realized I didn’t have cumin. What I did have, however was some Trader Joe’s taco seasoning, which has cumin and other spices.

What is carne asada?

Carne asada means grilled meats, and is found in Mexican restaurants, often in tacos and burritos. Most often strips of meat cut on the bias against the grain and have been previously marinated or rubbed with spices.

What meat do you use for Carne Asada?

Typically, carne asada is made with flank steak or skirt steak, which does well marinated. I could have trimmed some of the fat off, but decided to leave it for more flavor.

Carne Asada with Marinade

How to Marinate Carne Asada

Most of the carne asada marinades include oil, lime, orange, garlic, cumin and cilantro. You will want to marinate carne asada for a minimum of four hours up to overnight.

I used the following ingredients for the marinade. I saved 1/3 of the marinade separately to pour over the carne asada once it is grilled.

  • Olive Oil
  • Lime Juice
  • Coconut Aminos (can use soy sauce or Tamari)
  • Orange Juice
  • Orange Zest
  • Garlic Cloves
  • Taco Seasoning (can use cumin and chili powder)
  • Cilantro
  • Salt
  • Pepper

This marinade proved to be simply wonderful.

How do you cook Carne Asada?

I marinated the flank steak for about 6 hours, and then put it on a very hot grill of 500 degrees F.

It took about 15 minutes, ten on the first side, and five on the second side. The internal temperature at the thickest part was 115 degrees f. and I knew that Doug would want it rare. A flank steak is thinner on the ends and that’s the part I would eat. After pouring on the reserved marinade, I allowed the steak to rest for 10 minutes. The steak was then cut across the grain in thin strips.

How do you eat Carne Asada?

The meat was so tasty, we ate it solo, but the leftovers will become tacos tomorrow, using my grain free tortillas and homemade guacamole.

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4 from 1 vote

How to Marinate Carne Asada

Marinade Carne Asada for Tacos and More
Prep Time15 minutes
Marinate Time6 hours
Course: Entree
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: carne asada
Servings: 6


  • 2 pounds flank steak
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 4 tablespoons coconut aminos or soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 3 garlic cloves sliced
  • 4 tablespoons taco seasoning see notes
  • handful chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt hold if in taco seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper


  • Mix together all ingredients except flank steak.
  • Reserve 1/3 of the marinade for the steak once its cooked.
  • Put flank steak in baking dish or dish big enough to hold steak and marinade.
  • Marinate at least four hours up to overnight.
  • Heat grill to HOT. 500 degrees F.
  • Sear on one side about ten minutes. Turn over for about five minutes, until steak reaches 115 degrees F. at the thickest part.
  • Rest steak for ten minutes.
  • Slice against the grain on the diagonal. Pour reserved marinade.


I used taco seasoning as it was convenient.
You can add cumin and chili powder instead.

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