For many meat-loving grilling enthusiasts, warm weather BBQ means grilling carne asada by the pound. Nothing beats a tortilla stacked with a handful of steak, heavily marinated, charred, and topped with avocado. As we approach the high season of grilling, we bring you the Best Carne Asada, a bold take on tradition beckoning the steak connoisseur to partake and enjoy.

Carne asada traditionally uses skirt, flank, or hanger steak because of their tougher texture and ability to handle robust marinades without disintegrating. The combo of moisture infusion and thin slices allow for quick grilling times and beautiful char. This marinade also acts like salsa for the finished steak, consisting of dried ancho, guajillo chilies, chipotle peppers, orange juice, lime juice, brown sugar, soy sauce, fish sauce, coriander, and cumin. Grab your sombrero for shade, start the grill, and get cooking! Grill over high heat for just minutes per side, and begin the feast.

Serves: 6

The Best Carne Asada Ingredients

  • 3 whole dried ancho chiles with stems and seeds removed (see note)
  • 3 whole dried guajillo chilies with stems and seeds removed (see note)
  • 2 whole chipotle peppers, canned in adobo
  • 3/4 cup fresh juice from 2 to 3 oranges, preferably sour oranges
  • 2 tablespoons fresh juice from 2 to 3 limes
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce, such as Red Boat
  • 6 medium cloves of garlic
  • 1 small bunch of cilantro, leaves, and tender stems only, divided
  • 1 tablespoon whole cumin seed, toasted and ground
  • 1 teaspoon whole coriander seed, toasted and ground
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 pounds skirt steak (2 to 3 whole skirt steaks), trimmed and cut with the grain into 5- to 6-inch lengths (see note)
  • Warm corn or flour tortillas, lime wedges, diced onion, fresh cilantro, and avocado for serving

Note: I like ancho and guajillo chilies here, but a mix of chilies such as negro, pasilla, and California can be used in their place. You can use an equivalent weight of hanger or flap steak in place of skirt steak.

The Best Carne Asada Directions

  1. Place dried ancho and guajillo chilies on a microwave-safe plate and microwave until pliable and toasty-smelling, 10 to 20 seconds. Transfer to the blender jar and add chipotle peppers, orange juice, lime juice, olive oil, soy sauce, fish sauce, garlic, cilantro, cumin seed, coriander seed, and brown sugar. Blend until a smooth sauce has formed, about 1 minute. Season to taste with salt. Transfer half of the salsa to a large bowl and the other half to a sealed container. Set aside the sealed container in the refrigerator.
  2. Add an extra two teaspoons of salt to the salsa in the bowl. It should taste slightly saltier than is comfortable to taste. Add one piece of steak to the bowl and turn to coat. Transfer to a gallon-sized zipper-lock bag with the top folded over to prevent excess sauce and meat juices from contaminating the seal. Repeat with remaining steak, adding it all to the same bag. Pour any excess marinade over the steak. Squeeze all air out of the bag and seal. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours and up to overnight.
  3. When ready to cook, remove the extra salsa from the fridge to allow it to warm up a little. Set half the burners on a gas grill to the highest heat setting and preheat for 10 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate.
  4. Remove steak from marinade and wipe off excess. Place directly over the hot side of the grill. Cook, occasionally turning, until steak is well charred on the outside and center registers 110°F on an instant-read thermometer, 5 to 10 minutes total. Transfer to a cutting board and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Slice thinly against the grain and serve immediately, passing extra salsa, lime wedges, avocado, onions, cilantro, and tortillas on the side.

Taken from

May 02, 2022 — Jason Klein