Grilled Carne Asada

Delicious carne asada seared to perfection on your backyard grill. Beautifully tender flank steak prepared in a citrus marinade and paprika BBQ dry rub before seared over flames. The best way to enjoy grilled carne asada.

grilled carne asada flank steak recipe

This grilled carne asada will take your backyard barbecue to the next level. It’s juicy, a little sweet, and has a tender kick thanks to our BBQ dry rub. Whether a beginner or a well-seasoned chef, this recipe will quickly become a favorite.

After marinating overnight in a juicy soak, carne asada only needs a few minutes on the grill to achieve that perfect sear. You can enjoy it in tacos, salads, wraps, or even by itself.

From marinade to meat prep, discover how to grill carne asada today.

grilled carne asada flank steak recipe

Carne Asada Explained

Carna asada is a Central American classic meat dish that simply features grilled beef steak, which has been prepared in a marinade of lime juice and salt. It can be enjoyed just by itself, but is also a great filling for tacos and burritos, and also serves as the main protein for Mexican alambres or huarache.

Traditional recipes use chuck steak, but we prefer to use flank steak because it’s easier to find where we are. Skirt and Sierra steak (taken from the beef chuck primal) are both good alternatives to flank if you can find them.

We love flank steak because of its intense beefy flavor, which is derived from the robust muscle fibers that run through the steak. These fibers can make the meat tough, but we can combat this with a meat tenderizer and citrus marinade to soften it, thereby releasing its amazing flavor and yield an unbelievably tender texture.

Times & Temperatures

We will be grilling our steak over medium-high heat to help lock in flavor while still maintaining its tender texture and moisture. Aim for a grilling temperature of 375-400°F (190-205°C).

Grill the flank steak for approximately 5 minutes per side, for a total of 10 minutes. However we always grill to temperature, not time. Grill the steak to an internal temperature of 130°F (55°C) for medium-rare. Use a digital meat thermometer for an accurate reading.

Quick Tips

  1. Keep some of the marinade aside. When you pull the steak from the grill to rest, drizzle a little marinade over the meat for an added kick of flavor.
  2. If you want to guarantee tender steak, use a meat tenderizer mallet (like this one on Amazon) to help break down the beef. Just a few hits should be enough.
  3. Ensure you have fresh limes for the marinade, and avoid store-bought lime juice. This will provide the citric acid we need to tenderize flank steak and break down its tough meat fibers.
grilled carne asada flank steak recipe
5 from 1 vote

Grilled Carne Asada

Delicious carne asada seared to perfection on your backyard grill. Beautifully tender flank steak prepared in a citrus marinade and paprika BBQ dry rub before seared over flames.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Marinade 5 hours
Total Time 5 hours 15 minutes
Servings 4


  • meat tenderizer
  • ziplock bag
  • digital meat thermometer


  • 2 lbs flank steak


  • 2 fresh limes juiced
  • ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup cilantro
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 4 garlic crushed
  • ¼ yellow onion chopped
  • 1 tsp kosher salt

Dry Rub

  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin


  • In a small bowl, add the marinade ingredients. Whisk to combine.
  • Place flank steak in ziplock bag or airtight container. Pour marinade into bags, covering the steak.
  • Place ziplock bags in refrigerator and marinate for at least 5 hours, or overnight
  • Fire up grill to medium-high heat, about 375°F (190°C)
  • While grill warms up, remove flank steak from marinade. Pat dry with paper towels to remove excess marinade.
  • In a small bowl, combine dry rub ingredients. Use a fork to crush or remove any lumps that form.
  • Apply the dry rub to the flank steak, covering evenly and across both sides of the meat
  • When grill is at 375°F, place flank steak on grill grates over direct heat. Grill for 5 minutes per side, or until internal temperature hits 130°F (55°C) for medium-rare.
  • Remove steak from grill and wrap in aluminum foil. Rest for 10 minutes.
  • Unwrap steak and slice meat against the grain into thin strips
  • Serve and enjoy

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