How to Cook Carne Asada in a Skillet (Updated 2023)

How to Cook Carne Asada in a Skillet

Want to learn how to cook carne asada in a skillet? Stick around as we share step-by-step how to do so.

At family gatherings, nights out, and date nights, carne asada is one of the staple entrées. It’s flavorful and works well with other food options on the table.

For instance, you can serve it with greens, tacos, buttered corn, and even rice or mashed potatoes. While the meat is commonly cooked on a grill, you can also cook carne asada in a skillet.

In this article, we’re diving deeper into the best carne asada preparation for cooking it in a skillet.

How to Cook Carne Asada in a Skillet

Carne Asada Meal

There are a lot of reasons to choose the skillet over the grill.

For one, cooking in a skillet eliminates the time spent setting up the grill and even the production of grill lines.

With stovetop cooking, you can enjoy convenience in preparation and even cooking heat.

  1. Turn on the stove and set it to medium-high heat.
  2. Get the bag containing the sliced steak and discard the excess marinade.
  3. Allow the skillet to heat before pouring in olive oil.
  4. Place the marinated meat into the skillet and allow it to become golden brown.
  5. Pan-fry until the meat absorbs all the remaining sauce.
  6. Pay attention to the meat and avoid burning it. Flip the meat every 2 to 3 minutes.
  7. Remove meat from the skillet and place it on a plate for serving.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a good Carne Asada recipe?

Carne Asada Recipe

Authentic carne asada combines the intense flavor of seasonings and spices, then is absorbed by the meat before grilling or searing.

Here’s how you can prepare the meat before cooking.

  1. Get a skirt or flank steak, then cut it thinly into pieces. The flank variety has a lean option and an intense meaty flavor. Meanwhile, skirt steak has more tough fibers, so it should only be cooked rare or medium-rare. If intensely cooked, the meat can become unpleasantly chewy.

Tip: When cutting, slice against the grain to provide a natural breaking point in the meat. If you try to cut against the breaking points, you are keeping the heart from becoming chewy.

  1. Create a marinade mixture by combining chopped garlic, shredded lettuce, salt, diced onion, lime or orange juice, cumin, and pepper. Marinate the slices of beef hours before cooking.

What Sides to Serve with Carne Asada?

Serve this flavorful meat along with sumptuous side dishes to make the meal more filling. Some of the best side dishes include rice, slaw, potato salads, and others.

  • Yellow rice with jalapeño pepper for added flavor
  • Smoked sweet potato salad with bacon
  • Chilled avocado soup
  • Mexican sweet corn
  • Butternut squash soup with chipotle cream—perfect contrast to sweet squash
  • Corned mashed potato for added crunch

What Is Carne Asada?

Carne Asada

Simply looking at its name, you can easily discern the Mexican connection of carne asada. It’s a traditional meat dish that translates to ‘roaster’ or ‘grilled meat’ in Spanish.

While many culinary traditions marinate meat for added flavor, this dish has roots in the Columbus years, when Spanish cattle were brought to the Americans.

Spanish cattle were also brought to different parts of the world, including the Caribbean, then further to the southwest.

Previously, ancient cultures had thinly sliced beef, then crisped it to perfection on a grilling surface. Over hundreds of years, cooking techniques evolved, and people discovered new ways to enhance the taste of meat.

In this particular dish, the marinade is the backbone of the flavorful dish.

Pieces of beef or steak are soaked in a combination of spices, bringing out a distinct juicy and flavorful taste in every bite.

Carne asada is common in many Mexican eateries and restaurants, usually served in tacos and burritos, on salads, or as a standalone entrée. Unlike a standard steak, carne asada is sliced thinly for its unique appearance.

Additionally, chefs use skirts or flank steak to bring out that juiciness and tenderness. But mostly, what makes this meal special is the seasoning—not a lot of people know how to arrive at that distinct flavor that complements the meat.

A spice rub won’t suffice, and the flavor won’t be intense without the glorious marinating process.

Bottom Line

Aside from grilling, you can also cook carne asada using a skillet or stovetop.

It requires less preparation and provides an even cooking heat. Make sure to choose the best type of steak, marinate for longer hours (even overnight), and cook until brown and juicy. Happy eating!

How to Cook Carne Asada in a Skillet


How to Cook Carne Asada in a Skillet

Did you know you can cook carne asada on a skillet? You can prepare an exceptional carne asada right at home with these 2 secret hacks.

One is to marinate a premium-quality skirt/flank steak in an authentic citrusy carne asada marinade for 24 hours.

The other is to cook it on high heat to get those enticing charred edges. You can enjoy it stuffed in tacos or serve it on the side with salads, veggies & rice.

Learn how to cook carne asada in a skillet by following these steps:

  • Author: Recipe Marker
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 minutes
  • Total Time: 13 minutes
  • Yield: 4 Servings 1x
  • Category: Cook
  • Method: Stove
  • Cuisine: Meal


  • 1 1/2 pound skirt steak (marinaded for 824 hours)
  • 12-inches cast iron skillet 
  • Vegetable oil
  • Spatula


  1. First, remove the steak from the marinade and place it on a wire rack to drip off the excess marinade.
  2. Place the skillet on the stove over medium-high heat. Also, turn on the kitchen vent.
  3. Once the skillet is hot enough, drizzle the oil and let it get smoking hot.
  4. Lay the steak on the skillet and sear for 4 minutes on each side for a medium-rare result.
  5. Transfer the cooked steak to a tray and let it sit for 5 minutes.
  6. Then, slice thinly against the grain and serve as desired!


  • Traditionally, carne asada is cooked to medium-rare where the internal temperature reads 135° F. But those who prefer medium can cook the steak for 7-8 minutes on each side.
  • Besides skirt/flank steak, carne asada can also be prepared with flap meat which is an inexpensive option. It has an intense flavor and turns out tender after cooking as compared to skirt/flank steak.

Keywords: How to Cook Carne Asada in a Skillet


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