How to Cook Carne Asada on Flat Top Grill

You can only make a juicy carne asada if you have the high-quality top flat top grills from reputable brands. Otherwise, the wrong equipment that produces insufficient heat leads to the tough and chewy carne asada.

Besides securing the best equipment, read below to get the pro tips on how to prepare such a flavorful steak.

Table of Contents

What Tools Do You Need to Cook Carne Asada on a Flat Top Grill?

Meat Thermometer

It’s the ideal tool for checking the internal temperature of meat and hence knowing whether it’s ready or not.

A Large Plastic Bag

The spacious plastic bag with a tight lid makes it easy to mix the pieces of steak and marinade. Owing to the tight lid it makes it convenient to refrigerate the steak before cooking.

Pair of Tongs

You use the tongs safely to flip over the pieces of steak without sustaining burns.

What’s the Best Beef Cut to Use When Cooking Carne Asada On a Flat Top Grill?

Although you can use a wide variety of beef cuts when cooking carne asada, the common cuts of meat include flank steak or skirt steak. Skirt beef cut is tender and superior in taste. And so it’s easy to cook to a well-done level without the piece of steak getting hard or chewy.

On the other hand, flank steak is somehow lean and so ideal for those who delight in rare-medium.

Why Marinate Before Cooking Carne Asada On a Flat Top Grill?

Each of the six products used in marinating carne asada plays a distinctive role as outlined below:


Besides balancing the flavor, sugar helps to achieve the brown color of the steak. You can use white sugar, brown sugar, maple syrup, or even honey.


You can use acidic substances such as citrus juice, white wine, or vinegar. All of them help to tenderize the meat, especially the connective tissues.


Just like the acid, it also contributes to achieving tender meat. You can employ substances such as soy sauce, pineapple, or papaya juice.


Salt plays a double role in enhancing flavor and locking in the juices. Viable options include solid salt or fish sauce.


The spices give the steak an enhanced flavor. You can use a wide range of spices such as onions, ginger, garlic, and herbs.


Just like salt, oil has double functions. Besides dissolving some flavors in the meat, it boosts the formation of the brown appealing color.

Why Cook Carne Asada on a Flat Top Grill and not Over a Blazing Fire?

Enhanced Flavor

A flat top grill makes it easy to infuse flavor from spices and also lock in the juice in the meat. Furthermore, it gives the meat an appealing brown color and texture without drying it out.

Faster Cooking

After marinating for hours, you don’t need a slow cooking method. A flat top grill gets hot quickly and delivers the cooking in no time. Besides, it presents even cooking on all parts of the steak to the same doneness level.

Easy Searing

Besides the fast and even heating, a flat top grill, achieve a high heat level. And so it makes it easy to sear your steak to perfection.

How to Cook Carne Asada on Flat Top Grill


Combine your assorted marinating ingredients into a sealable plastic bag to make the best marinade. As mentioned before that includes crushed garlic, citrus juice, coarse salt, white vinegar, and canola oil.

To the same bag add your pieces of steak, seal, and shake. Refrigerate the bag for about 2 to 8 hours.

Remove from the Refrigerator

Remove the plastic bag and its content from the fridge about 20 minutes before cooking time. Take out the steak from the bag and wipe away the excess marinade.

Preheat the Flat Top Grill

Switch on the griddle and preheat it to a high heat setting. That should be easy if you had previously calibrated your flat top grill[ how to calibrate a flat top grill]. Let it idle for a couple of minutes till it grows smoking hot. When it’s ready a drop of water on the griddle should sizzle and evaporate almost instant.

Load the Steak

If your marinade had no oil, then you have to spray some oil on the griddle otherwise you won’t need to add oil again. Before loading the pieces of steak, ensure the griddle is sizzling hot. Otherwise, you won’t get the sweet charred smoky taste on the exterior and a juicy center.

Cook for a Couple More Minutes

Reduce the heat to a medium high level. Then cook for a couple of more minutes from 5 to 12 minutes, depending on the desired doneness level you require.

Rare takes about a total of 7 minutes, medium-rare approximately 10, and medium roughly 12 minutes. Take note of the steak. Just when its juices begin to rise, sprinkle salt and let it rest for it to liquefy. Flip over and repeat the procedure.

Test with a Meat Thermometer if Done

The surest way to know when the carne asada is done is by testing with a meat thermometer, just like you do when cooking steak on a flat top grill[how to cook steak on a flat top grill]. So insert the tip of the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat.

For medium-rare doneness, when the internal temperature heats 110 degrees Fahrenheit, remove it from the griddle. Otherwise, if you desire the medium doneness then wait till the internal heat level hits 125 degrees Fahrenheit before taking it off the flat top grill.

Let it Rest for a Couple More Minutes on the Chopping Board

Once you have taken the meat off the cooking surface, place it on the chopping board and let it idle for about 10 minutes. Don’t cut it yet. During that time the juice redistributes and it continues to cook.

Slice it Against the Grain

At the elapse of the 10 minutes, slice the ready steak against the grain. That way you have numerous breaking points on meat and thus increasing its tenderness. Serve with your favorite side dish such as rice cooked on a flat top grill[how to cook rice on a flat top grill]


Except for the long period of marinating, cooking carne asada is simple and takes less time. When you need to quick evening meal and you have a reliable top flat top grill, it’s a viable dish to consider preparing.