Easy Juicy Carne Asada in Cast Iron Skillet or Hexclad

This juicy Carne Asada is beautifully charred in a cast iron skillet or Hexclad Hybrid pan. It’s full of flavor but easy on the spice to be heartburn-friendly with easy-to-digest marinade ingredients including orange juice, lime juice, avocado oil, cilantro, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, cumin, and oregano for healthy tacos, burritos, and bowls.

Carne asada sliced on a cutting board.

Cooking carne asada in cast iron produces a nice char on the outside and juicy, tender meat on the inside. It has all the delicious flavor of an authentic carne asada recipe but without the spicy heat. But you can easily add more spice if you prefer.  The medium-rare steak is first marinated in orange juice, lime juice, avocado oil, cilantro, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, cumin, and oregano, like many Mexican recipes. Then, the marinated skirt steak is quickly cooked on the stovetop in a cast iron skillet or Hexclad Hybrid pan. 

This juicy steak is perfect for carne asada tacos, Taco Tuesday, Cinco de Mayo, or your favorite Mexican dish. Everyone can enjoy this heartburn-friendly Mexican carne asada regardless of their spice tolerance.

Bring Your Own Spice Mild Recipe logo

BYOS: Flavor Without the Fire!

Love bold flavors but not the heat? Spice things up on your own terms with this BYOS recipe bursting with deliciousness. All the ingredients are prepped for easy digestion and a heartburn-free experience. Adjust the spice level to your preference—no more burnt tongues or tears here! Now, everyone can enjoy this recipe regardless of their spice tolerance!

YouTube video
Carne asada in a hexclad hybrid pan.

Ingredients & Substitutions

Here is everything you need to make my easy carne asada steak:

Skirt Steak: Substitute with flank steak, flap steak, hanger steak, or sirloin steak for a similar tender and juicy result.

Avocado Oil: Use olive oil or light olive oil as alternatives.

Fresh Orange Juice: You can omit the orange juice or swap it with pineapple juice for a different citrus flavor.

Lime Juice: You can use bottled lime juice if fresh limes are unavailable.

Cilantro: Replace with parsley or basil if you’re not a fan of cilantro.

Worcestershire Sauce: Soy sauce or tamari can be used as substitutes, though the flavor will vary slightly. Be sure to use a gluten-free Worcestershire sauce if you have a gluten allergy.

Garlic: Garlic powder or garlic paste can be used if fresh garlic is not on hand.

Cumin: Substitute with ground coriander or a combination of chili powder and coriander.

Oregano: Use dried basil, thyme, or marjoram as alternatives.

Salt: Sea salt, kosher salt, or Himalayan pink salt can be used interchangeably.

Dash Pepper: Black pepper or white pepper can be used, or omit entirely if sensitivity to pepper is an issue.

Carne asada sliced on a cutting board.

How to Make My Mexican Skirt Steak Recipe

Here are easy, detailed, step-by-step skillet instructions for making pan-seared carne asada. The carne asada marinade ingredients are also repeated in the recipe card at the bottom of this blog post.

Step 1: Marinate the Steak

In a medium bowl, combine avocado oil, orange juice, the juice of 2 limes, chopped cilantro, Worcestershire sauce, minced garlic cloves, cumin, oregano, salt, and a dash of pepper. Mix well to combine.

Place 1-2 pounds of skirt steak in a large resealable plastic bag or a shallow dish. Pour the marinade over the steak, ensuring it is evenly coated. Seal the bag or cover the dish and refrigerate for 1-4 hours or overnight to allow the flavors to infuse.

Adding marinade ingredients to a dish.
Marinading the steak in a glass dish.
Removing excess marinade with a paper towel.

Step 2: Cook the Steak

Cast Iron Skillet or Hexclad Stove Top Method:

Heat a cast iron skillet or a Hexclad skillet over medium-high heat until it is hot. You can test the heat by sprinkling a few drops of water onto the skillet; they should sizzle and evaporate immediately.

Remove the skirt steak from the marinade, allowing any excess marinade to drip off. Lay it down on paper towels to remove excess marinade.

Place the steak in the preheated skillet. Cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side for medium-rare, or until the steak reaches your desired level of doneness. Avoid overcrowding the skillet; cook in batches if necessary.

Once cooked, transfer the steak to a cutting board and let it rest for 10-15 minutes. This allows the juices to be redistributed, ensuring a juicy and tender carne asada.

Slice the steak against the grain into thin strips. Serve immediately with your favorite sides, such as grilled vegetables, rice, or tortillas.

For all three cooking methods use a meat thermometer to measure the internal temperature of the steak.

For medium-rare: The internal temperature should be about 130°F (54°C).

For medium: Aim for 140°F (60°C).

Placing skirt steak in hot cast iron pan.
Taking the temperature of the steak.

Carne Asada Cooked in the Oven

Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C). Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper for easy cleanup. Lightly oil the surface to prevent sticking. Place the marinated steak on the prepared baking sheet, spreading it out in a single layer. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, flipping the steak halfway through cooking until it reaches your desired level of doneness.

How to Cook Carne Asada on the Grill

Preheat your grill to medium-high heat (about 400-450°F or 200-230°C) and lightly oil the grill grates to prevent sticking. Remove the steak from the marinade, allowing any excess to drip off. Place the steak on the preheated grill. Grill for about 3-4 minutes on each side or until the steak reaches your desired level of doneness.

Carne asada sliced on a cutting board.

Helpful Recipe Notes

Marinating Time: For the best flavor, marinate the steak overnight. If you’re short on time, marinate for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to penetrate the meat.

Removing Marinade: Be sure to remove the excess marinade by patting the meat with paper towels before placing in skillet. This will produce a nice char on the outside of the meat when it’s placed in the hot pan.

Cutting Against the Grain: Always slice the skirt steak against the grain. This means cutting perpendicular to the direction of the muscle fibers. This will ensure the steak is tender and easy to chew.

Resting the Steak: Letting the steak rest is crucial. This step allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, making each bite flavorful and juicy.

What to Serve with Your Carne Asada

Tacos: Serve the carne asada in street taco size warm tortillas, topped with fresh tomato salsa, queso fresco, and your favorite taco toppings. Add a squeeze of lime wedges for extra flavor.

Carne Asada Fries: Use leftover carne asada to make carne asada fries. Top crispy fries with the meat, sour cream, cotija cheese, and fresh tomato salsa.

Burritos: Wrap the carne asada in large corn tortillas with Spanish rice or Mexican rice, sour cream, and your favorite taco toppings.

Quesadillas: Make carne asada quesadillas by layering the meat and cotija cheese or queso fresco between corn tortillas, then grill until the cheese is melted and the tortillas are crispy.

Tostadas: Spread a layer of sour cream on crispy tostadas, then top with carne asada, fresh tomato salsa, cotija cheese, and lime wedges.

Salad: Create a hearty salad with chopped romaine lettuce, carne asada, fresh tomato salsa, queso fresco, and lime wedges. Add a dollop of sour cream as a dressing.

Bowl: Make a carne asada bowl with Mexican rice or Spanish rice, black beans, carne asada, fresh tomato salsa, and a sprinkle of cotija cheese.

How to Add More Spice to Mild Carne Asada

Red Pepper Flakes: Add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes to the marinade for a noticeable kick of heat.

Diced Jalapeño: Finely chop 1-2 jalapeño peppers and mix them into the marinade. Remove the seeds and membranes for a milder heat, or keep them for extra spiciness.

Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce: Add 1-2 tablespoons of finely chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce to the marinade for a smoky, spicy flavor.

Hot Sauce: Incorporate 1-2 tablespoons of your favorite hot sauce into the marinade. Adjust the amount based on your heat preference.

Ground Cayenne Pepper: Mix 1/4 teaspoon of ground cayenne pepper into the marinade to increase the spice level.

Serrano Peppers: Substitute or add finely chopped serrano peppers for a spicier alternative to jalapeños.

Spicy Mustard: Use 1-2 teaspoons of spicy brown mustard or Dijon mustard in the marinade to add a tangy heat.

Spicy Marinade Base: Create a separate spicy marinade by mixing these ingredients and marinating a portion of the steak in it. This way, you can cater to different spice preferences.

Refrigeration: Place any leftover carne asada in an airtight container and refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Reheating: When ready to eat, reheat gently in a skillet over medium heat or in the microwave. To retain moisture, cover with a damp paper towel if microwaving.

Freezing: For longer storage, place the cooked and cooled carne asada in a freezer-safe container or a resealable freezer bag for up to 3 months. Be sure to remove as much air as possible from the bag before sealing.

Thawing: When ready to use, thaw overnight in the refrigerator. 

Pre-Marinating and Freezing: If you prefer to prepare ahead, marinate the steak and then freeze it in the marinade in a resealable freezer bag and store it in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Vacuum Sealing: For extended storage and to prevent freezer burn, consider vacuum sealing the carne asada. This method will help maintain freshness and flavor for up to 6 months in the freezer.

Can I use a different cut of beef instead of skirt steak?
Yes, you can substitute skirt steak with flank steak or sirloin steak. These cuts are also tender and juicy when properly marinated and cooked.

How long should I marinate the​ steak in carne asada?
For the best flavor, marinate the steak for at least 1-4 hours to allow the flavors to infuse. 

Can I cook the carne asada on a grill instead of a large cast iron skillet?
Absolutely! Grilling is a great alternative. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat and cook the steak for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until it reaches your desired level of doneness.

How do I know when the steak is done?
Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness. For medium-rare, the internal temperature should be about 130°F (54°C). For medium, aim for 140°F (60°C).

Can I make the marinade in advance?
Yes, you can prepare the marinade up to 2 days in advance and store it in the refrigerator. Marinate the steak when you’re ready to cook.

Carne asada sliced on a cutting board.

Easy Juicy Carne Asada in Cast Iron Skillet or Hexclad

Dairy-Free diet-friendly recipe
Gluten-Free diet-friendly recipe
This juicy Carne Asada is beautifully charred in a cast iron skillet or Hexclad Hybrid pan. It's full of flavor but easy on the spice to be heartburn-friendly with easy-to-digest marinade ingredients including orange juice, lime juice, avocado oil, cilantro, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, cumin, and oregano for healthy tacos, burritos, and bowls.
5 from 5 votes
Servings 6
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Ingredients
  

  • 1-2 pounds skirt steak
  • 1/4 cup avocado oil
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 limes (juiced)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • dash pepper

Instructions
 

  • In a medium bowl, combine avocado oil, orange juice, the juice of 2 limes, chopped cilantro, Worcestershire sauce, minced garlic cloves, cumin, oregano, salt, and a dash of pepper. Mix well to combine.
    Place 1-2 pounds of skirt steak in a large resealable plastic bag or a shallow dish. Pour the marinade over the steak, ensuring it is evenly coated. Seal the bag or cover the dish and refrigerate for 1-4 hours or overnight to allow the flavors to infuse.

Cast Iron Skillet or Hexclad Stove Top Method:

  • Heat a cast iron skillet or a Hexclad skillet over medium-high heat until it is hot. You can test the heat by sprinkling a few drops of water onto the skillet; they should sizzle and evaporate immediately.
    Remove the skirt steak from the marinade, allowing any excess marinade to drip off. Lay it down on paper towels to remove excess marinade.
    Place the steak in the preheated skillet. Cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side for medium-rare, or until the steak reaches your desired level of doneness. Avoid overcrowding the skillet; cook in batches if necessary.
    Once cooked, transfer the steak to a cutting board and let it rest for 10-15 minutes. This allows the juices to be redistributed, ensuring a juicy and tender carne asada.
    Slice the steak against the grain into thin strips. Serve immediately with your favorite sides, such as grilled vegetables, rice, or tortillas.
    For all three cooking methods use a meat thermometer to measure the internal temperature of the steak.
    For medium-rare: The internal temperature should be about 130°F (54°C).For medium: Aim for 140°F (60°C).

Oven Cooked Method:

  • Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C).
    Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper for easy cleanup. Lightly oil the surface to prevent sticking.
    Place the marinated steak on the prepared baking sheet, spreading it out in a single layer.
    Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, flipping the steak halfway through cooking until it reaches your desired level of doneness.

Outdoor Grill Method:

  • Preheat your grill to medium-high heat (about 400-450°F or 200-230°C) and lightly oil the grill grates to prevent sticking.
    Remove the steak from the marinade, allowing any excess to drip off. Place the steak on the preheated grill.
    Grill for about 3-4 minutes on each side or until the steak reaches your desired level of doneness.

Video

YouTube video

Notes

Marinating Time: For the best flavor, marinate the steak overnight. If you’re short on time, marinate for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to penetrate the meat.
Removing Marinade: Be sure to remove the excess marinade by patting the meat with paper towels before placing in skillet. This will produce a nice char on the outside of the meat when it’s placed in the hot pan.
Cutting Against the Grain: Always slice the skirt steak against the grain. This means cutting perpendicular to the direction of the muscle fibers. This will ensure the steak is tender and easy to chew.
Resting the Steak: Letting the steak rest is crucial. This step allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, making each bite flavorful and juicy.

Nutrition

Calories: 272kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 25gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0.4gCholesterol: 71mgSodium: 501mgPotassium: 415mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 76IUVitamin C: 13mgCalcium: 30mgIron: 3mg
Keyword flank steak, heartburn friendly, skirt steak
Did you make this recipe and love it?Please let me know in the comments below how it turned out 🙂

8 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    My husband loves spicy food, but I don’t. This recipe made us both happy!!! The flavor is amazing and it cooked nice and tender.

5 from 5 votes

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