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Mexican-Style Grilled Steak (Carne Asada)


This recipe comes from America's Test Kitchen. Carne Asada is a Mexican style grilled steak, using skirt steak. It's seasoned with cumin & salt, and is chilled for at least 45 minutes (and up to 24 hours). It's either grilled over charcoal or using a gas grill, then fresh garlic is rubbed over the meat. Sliced thin, it's perfect for tacos, burritos and even over a salad.

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  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 (2-pound) skirt steak, trimmed, pounded 1/4 inch thick and cut with grain into 4 equal steaks
  • 1 (13 x 9-inch) disposable aluminum roasting pan (if using charcoal)
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and smashed
  • Lime wedges


Servings 4
Preparation time 110mins
Cooking time 120mins
Adapted from


Step 1

Combine salt and cumin in small bowl. Sprinkle salt mixture evenly over both sides of steaks. Transfer steaks to wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 45 minutes or up to 24 hours. Meanwhile, if using charcoal, use kitchen shears to remove bottom of disposable pan and discard, reserving pan collar.

FOR A CHARCOAL GRILL: Open bottom vent completely. Light large chimney starter filled with charcoal briquettes (6 quarts). When top coals are partially covered with ash, place disposable pan collar in center of grill over bottom vent and pour coals into even layer in collar. Set cooking grate in place, cover, and open lid vent completely. Heat grill until hot, about 5 minutes.

FOR A GAS GRILL: Turn all burners to high, cover, and heat grill until hot, about 15 minutes. Leave all burners on high.

Clean and oil cooking grate. Place steaks on grill (if using charcoal, arrange steaks over coals in collar) and cook, uncovered, until well browned on first side, 2 to 4 minutes. Flip steaks and continue to cook until well browned on second side and meat registers 130 degrees, 2 to 4 minutes longer. Transfer steaks to carving board, tent loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest for 5 minutes.

Rub garlic thoroughly over 1 side of steaks. Slice steaks against grain into 1/4-inch-thick slices and serve with lime wedges.


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