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Carne Asada Marinade

Whether you are grilling some carne asada for tacos or planning a steak dinner, this Carne Asada Marinade is a great starting point!

Carne Asada Marinade

We can all agree that carne asada is delicious, and using this steak marinade will give you a perfect head start! The citrus juices in this marinade flavor the meat and add tenderizing power. The jalapeno provides a hit of spiciness to the overall flavor but does not overpower the final product. If you are sensitive to spicy foods, omit the jalapeno and use a milder pepper instead.

What is Carne Asada?

Translated from Spanish to English, carne asada means “cooked beef or grilled beef.” Usually, the meat is marinated in a heavy citrus marinade, grilled hot and fast over high heat, and then cut up for tacos or used in other dishes.

Skirt Steak

What Type of Steak to Use in Carne Asada:

The best candidates for Carne Asada Marinade are flat steaks like skirt, flank, and hanger steaks. They are more forgiving with longer marinating times, hold flavor well, and cook quickly! However, any beef steak that is less than an inch thick will work well. Thinner, chewier steaks benefit the most from the acidity of the marinade. If you’d prefer some tequila in the marinade, add a tablespoon or two for a nice kick! Use this carne asada marinade on chicken breasts and pork as well. See below for marinating times.

Carne Asada Marinade

Ingredients

  • Fresh orange juice
  • Fresh lime juice
  • Olive oil
  • Soy sauce (or Tamari)
  • Chopped cilantro (sub with flat leaf parsley)
  • Garlic 
  • 1 large jalapeno 
  • 2 medium green onions 
  • Cumin powder
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
Marinated carne asada on grill

Making carne asada marinade

  • Add citrus juices and soy sauce to a medium plastic or glass bowl. Slowly pour in olive oil while gently whisking. Doing so will help the oil incorporate into the liquid.
  • Add remaining ingredients to the liquid mixture and stir through. Let mixture stand for 5 minutes, stir through, and taste it. Adjust seasonings to suit your tastes.

Marinating times

We recommend a lengthy marinating time for most beef steaks; especially flat steaks. Use 1 cup of carne asada marinade per pound of meat.

  • Flank Steak: 8-24 hours
  • Skirt and Hanger Steaks: 4-6 hours
  • Sirloin Steaks: 4-8 hours
  • Ribeye, T-Bone, NY Strip: 2-4 hours
  • Thicker cuts of beef, like roasts: 12-24 hours
  • Chicken breasts: 2-3 hours
  • Pork tenderloin or steaks: 2-3 hours
  • Pork roasts: 4-5 hours

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BGDR’s Best Carne Asada Marinade

Carne Asada Marinade

Whether you are grilling up some carne asada for tacos or planning a steak dinner, this is a fantastic marinade to use. The citrus juices flavor this marinade and have a little tenderizing power, making this the perfect marinade for steaks, particularly flat steaks. The tequila adds a little oomph and earthiness to the overall flavor but does not overpower the final product. This recipe makes enough marinade for 2-2 ½ pounds of meat.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Marinades/Brines
Cuisine: American BBQ, Fusion, Mexican
Keyword: carne asada, carne asada marinade, Cinco de Mayo recipes, marinade recipes, Mexican marinade, steak marinade
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 2.25 Cups
Calories: 228kcal

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro (sub with flat leaf parsley)
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 large jalapeno seeded and minced
  • 2 medium green onions finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons cumin powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper

Instructions

  • Add citrus juices and soy sauce to a medium plastic or glass bowl. Slowly pour in olive oil while gently whisking. Doing so will help the oil incorporate into the liquid.
  • Add remaining ingredients to the liquid mixture and stir through.
    Let mixture stand for 5 minutes, stir through, and taste it. Adjust seasonings to suit your tastes.
  • To marinate:
  • Place steaks into a resealable plastic bag and pour marinade on top.
  • Gently move the meat around to get it well coated.
  • Release air from the bag and place it into the refrigerator.
  • Marinating times: (Use 1 cup of marinade per 1 pound of meat.)
  • Flat steaks (skirt, hanger, flank, flat iron, sirloin flap steak): 4-8 hours, but can go as long as 12 hours for thicker cuts.
  • Steaks (NY strip, ribeye, sirloin, T-Bone): 2-4 hours
  • Tri-tip and chuck roasts: 12-24 hours

Nutrition

Calories: 228kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 1263mg | Potassium: 246mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 208IU | Vitamin C: 55mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 1mg
Derrick Riches

I began writing about Barbecue & Grilling in 1997 with one mission, to help the backyard chef have the best experience possible.

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