Carne Asada on a Pit Boss (6 Easy Steps)

Carne Asada’  is a delicious beef recipe that originated from Mexico!

There’s also the South American version known as “Asada,” which has its unique style, delicious flavor, and preparation. 

Carne Asada uses flank or skirt steak.

Both types of steak can be tricky to work with if you are not careful if it can end up dry.

So, make sure you follow my steps below so you can master this dish.

What Cut of Steak Should You Use for Carne Asada?

Carne Asada can be made with it either flank or skirt steak.

How to Tenderize the Meat for Carne Asada?

The traditional Asada or skirt steak recipe doesn’t call for alcohol, but I’ll be using it in mine because alcohol helps with tenderizing the meat.

However, it’s entirely your choice.

I like to make overnight steak marinade. It’s easier and makes for a flavorful steak.

How to Serve Carne Asada?

When I cook carne asada I like to serve it with Tacos (think of it as a spin on the regular ground beef tacos), but we’ll get into that a bit more later.

Main Ingredients for Carne Asada

Make no mistake about it; this is a very extensive list of ingredients.

But chances are you already have most of them in your kitchen.

It’s as simple as bookmarking this page and taking a quick look of what’s in your pantry.

Flank Steak or Skirt Steak – Make sure to choose a good cut. You can use either of the two for this recipe.

Pineapple – citrus of any kind is a must-have for beef marinades.

I love the way it balances the heat of the hot sauce and pairs well with the cilantro. 

Soy Sauce – Soy sauce enhances the meaty taste of beef.

It gives it a great umami flavor.

Garlic – Adding garlic to your marinade is a great way to bring out the flavor of your meat. 

Tortillas – I like to make carne asada tacos with tortillas.

You can use either corn or flour tortillas.

My Favorite Topping for Carne Asada

Salsa and/or hot sauce – Make sure you have your favorite hot sauces ready to amp up the flavor

Lettuce – Lettuce comes in a variety of flavors ranging from mild to buttery, nutty, and slightly bitter.

Look out for fresh lettuce and avoid the ones that look wilted or discolored. 

Avocado –  I like using avocado as a topping because it adds a rich creamy texture.

Cilantro – Cilantro is a great topping for carne asada.

I absolutely adore the earthy and spicy flavor.

Pickled Red Onion – I like to do a quick pickle on some red onion.

This gives them a little bit more acidity and a bit of a crunch.

Skirt Steak vs Flank Steak – Which Is Better?

Carne Asada is traditionally made with either beef flank or skirt steak, so pick up whichever one is handy for you.

Carne Asada Marinade Ingredients

The marinade for this is incredible, and it only takes a few minutes to put together.

200g fresh pineapple

1 tbsp brown sugar

1 coriander bunch

3-4 heaped Tbsps flake salt

2 tbsp of Olive Oil

1 tsp of freshly ground black pepper

Juice of 2 limes

1 tbsp of worcestershire sauce

4 cloves of fresh garlic

1tbsp of cumin powder

1 tsp of cayenne pepper or hot chilli powder (to taste, optional)

1 tsp of smoked paprika

It’s truly that simple to whip up this delicious marinade (that would totally work for chicken too).

I like to marinate overnight but you can do yours for 5-8 hours or 6-8 hours. 

Here are some of my tips for a great marinade for Carne Asada:

  • Make sure your lime juice is super fresh!
  • If you’d want to spice things up, you can add some thinly sliced jalapenos and red peppers.

How to Make the Marinade for the Carne Asada?

Place all your ingredients except for the meat into a food processor and process for 20 seconds.

You want a coarse grind on everything it doesn’t matter if you have large chunks.

Place your processed ingredients into a bowl with the meat and mix the meat until it’s fully coated.

How Long to Marinate Meat for Carne Asada?

You want to marinate the meat overnight.

Place into an airtight container and let sit in the fridge until the next day.

It’s important the meat has time to sit in the marinade, the lime, and pineapple will break down the tough fibers making it tender.

The cut I’ve used is the outside skirt, which is historically a very tough cut and requires marinating the day before.

More tender cuts require less time.

 Wood Pellet Recommendations for Carne Asada?

I like to use hickory or applewood flavored pellets for carne asada.

I find that mesquite is just a touch too heavy and can take over the marinade flavor.

How to Prepare Your Grill for Carne Asada?

While your pit boss is preheating on the H setting, pat dry your meat with a paper towel, and try to take as much moisture off as you can.

How to Cook Carne Asada on the Grill?

Once your pit boss is ready, throw open the fire pit, grease up your grates, and throw your meat on.

We want this cooked hot and fast, don’t worry though – your meat will still take on smoke flavour.

You can flip and rotate as much as you want with these but keep them on the direct fire

How Long to Cook Skirt and Flank Steak

Cook skirt steak for 4 minutes for medium-rare. Cook flank steak for 5 minutes on each side for medium-rare.

The cooking time for skirt and flank steak only varies a little bit, but to ensure they are tender follow my timings below;

Cook skirt steak for;
3 minutes each side for rare
4 minutes for medium-rare

Cook flank steak for ;
4 minutes each side for rare
5 minutes for medium-rare.

I would advise not cooking any more than that, the steak will become chewy then.

How Long to Cook Carne Asada?

Cook the carne asada until you reach at least an internal temperature of 125°F.

See below for the table for doneness.

Make sure you rest the meat for 10 minutes.

How to Serve Carne Asada?

Slice meat against the grain, never slice with the grain.

Served best as on tacos, whip up some avocado, chop some coriander, and find your favorite hot sauce!

How to Smoke Carne Asada

There’s nothing to this carne asada recipe.

All you need to worry about is getting it marinaded for long enough!

It is completely foolproof once you get the basics right – marinade, temperature, and time.

Prep Time: 5-10 minutes

Cook Time: 16 minutes

Marinate Time: 3 hours

Total Time: 3 hours 26 minutes

Servings: 10 people

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ – 2lbs Flank or Skirt Steak
  • 3 tbsps olive oil

For Marinade

200g fresh pineapple

1 tbsp brown sugar

1 coriander bunch

3-4 heaped Tbsps flake salt

2Tbsp of Olive Oil

1tsp of freshly ground black pepper

Juice of 2 limes

1 Tbsp of worcestershire sauce

4 cloves of fresh garlic

1Tbsp of cumin powder

1tsp of cayenne pepper or hot chilli powder (to taste, optional)

1tsp of smoked paprika

Tools

  • Pellet Grill
  • Sealable plastic bag
  • Paper towel
  • Digital meat thermometer

How to Smoke Carne Asada

Step 1: Marinate the Beef

To a large sealable plastic bag, add the orange and lime juice, garlic, cilantro, cumin, tequila, peppers, vinegar, and soy sauce for the marinade.

Mix properly and place your cuts of beef in the bag and give it a good shake and ensure everything is well covered.

Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.

Step 2: Prep the Beef Before Smoking

Once done marinating, take out the mat and pat dry with a paper towel to eliminate any excess liquids.

Remember to wipe off any herbs like the chopped cilantro that could burn easily and leave a bitter taste.

Discard the marinade.

Step 3: Preheat Your Grill

Get your grill ready by adding your wood chips, wood chunks, or wood pellets to the fire compartment, depending on the type of grill you’re using.

Preheat to between 400 – 450°F. 

Step 4: Get Smoking!

Place the steak on the grill grates and cook, see the timing below for how long to cook your steak.

Cook skirt steak for;
3 minutes each side for rare
4 minutes for medium-rare

Cook flank steak for ;
4 minutes each side for rare
5 minutes for medium-rare.

I would advise not cooking any more than that, the steak will become chewy then.

Step 5:  Temperature Check

Get out your meat thermometer.

The Carne Asada is ready when it reads an internal temperature of 120 – 135°F.

Step 6: Let Your Steak Rest

Let the flank steak rest for 10-15 minutes before serving.

Slice meat against the grain.

Step 7: Serve Carne Asda With Tacos

Your Carne Asada is ready for devouring! We always serve it as tacos!

Our Other Popular Beef Recipes

There are several beef recipes around like: 

  • Picanha steak, 
  • Green Chile Verde steak
  • Smoked ribeye steak
  • Smoked skirt steak
  • Smoked tomahawk steak
  • Reverse sear sirloin steak
  • Sear sirloin steak recipe
  • Seared T-bone steak
  • Steak fajitas
  • Smoked corned beef

Great Side Dishes for Carne Asada

  • Chili mac and cheese
  • freshly fried corn chips
  • Smoked corn topped with parmesan
  • Rice and beans

What to Do With Leftvoer Carne Asda?

Have saome leftover carne asda? You can make some declious dishes with it!

  • Chuck roast chili 
  • Beef stew 
  • Philly cheesesteak sandwiches 
  • Smoked chili 

Smoked Carne Asada

Carne Asada is delicious recipe that originates from Mexico, so make sure you follow these steps below so you can master this dish.
Prep Time3 hrs 10 mins
Cook Time16 mins
Total Time3 hrs 26 mins
Course: Appetizer, condiment, Dinner, lunch, main, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Barbecue, bbq, dinner, grill, lunch
Servings: 6 serves
Calories: 324kcal
Cost: 30

Equipment

  • pellet grill
  • Sealable plastic bag
  • Paper towel
  • Digital meat thermometer

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ – 2 lbs Flank or Skirt Steak
  • 3 tbsps olive oil

For Marinade

  • 200 g fresh pineapple
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 coriander bunch
  • 3-4 heaped Tbsps flake salt
  • 2 tbsp of Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp of freshly ground black pepper
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1 tbsp of worcestershire sauce
  • 4 cloves of fresh garlic
  • 1 tbsp of cumin powder
  • 1 tsp of cayenne pepper or hot chilli powder to taste, optional
  • 1 tsp of smoked paprika

Instructions

Marinate The Beef

  • To a large sealable plastic bag, add the orange and lime juice, garlic, cilantro, cumin, tequila, peppers, vinegar, and soy sauce for the marinade.
  • Mix properly.
  • Place your cuts of beef in the bag and give it a good shake and ensure everything is well covered.
  • Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.

Prep The Beef Before Smoking

  • Take out the mat
  • Pat dry with a paper towel to eliminate any excess liquids.
  • Wipe off any herbs like the chopped cilantro that could burn easily and leave a bitter taste.
  • Discard the marinade.

Preheat Your Grill

  • Get your grill ready by adding your wood chips, wood chunks, or wood pellets to the fire compartment, depending on the type of grill you’re using.
  • Preheat to between 400 – 450°F.

Get Smoking!

  • Place the steak on the grill grates and cook.

Temperature Check

  • Get out your meat thermometer.
  • The Carne Asada is ready when it reads an internal temperature of 120 – 135°F.

Let Your Steak Rest

  • Let the flank steak rest for 10-15 minutes before serving.
  • Slice meat against the grain.

I told you; easy peasy, right?!

Apart from tacos, burritos, and nachos, this Carne Asada can also be served with street corn, fries, guacamole, rice, and beans.

This steak is best enjoyed on a sunny day or at a grill party filled with hungry football fans on Game Day.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my recipe. I’m looking forward to knowing what you think.

Don’t eat it all at once and make sure to cook this a couple of times till you get the hang of it.

Try making it different each time by alternating with sweet notes and spicy notes.  

Adios! Until next time

Smoke On!

Charlie

Author: Charlie Reeves
Hi, I’m Charlie, I am head taste tester at Simply Meat Smoking! I love it grilling, smoking, and getting out in the yard with the kids! The family also love to test all my recipes (especially my EXTRA CRISPY pulled pork, smoky pork loin, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill)

You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling adventures with you!

You can read more on our About Us page.

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