Awesome Homemade Carne Asada Dry Rub

This article has links to products that we may make commission from.
  • 101
     votes
  • 55 Comments
  • Jump to Recipe

This Carne Asada Dry Rub is a blend of all the traditional Mexican spices used for grilled steak, including Mexican chili powder, onion and garlic, cumin, and coriander.

» You might also like this Homemade Taco Seasoning and these Easy Carne Asada Quesadillas.

All the spices needed for carne asada dry rub in a bowl

When it comes to making carne asada, you want to make it super flavorful with a spice blend that will knock your socks off. This is the best way to make carne asada that you can enjoy on its own or in your carne asada tacos.

The typical spices used in authentic carne asada are Mexican chili powder, ground cumin, dried oregano, onion and garlic powder, coriander, salt and pepper. We’ve taken these spices and elevated it with a chili and lime seasoning that makes it possible to use just a dry rub on your steak, without the need to marinate it.

What is Carne Asada?

carne asada tacos

Carne Asada is actually a cooking method, rather than a specific dish. It literally means “grilled meats”. The steak, usually chuck steak, but you can also use skirt or flank steak – is typically marinated then grilled or seared to give it a charred flavor.

Carne asada can be served on its own or as an ingredient in other dishes. It’s one of the most common kinds of tacos you can get in Mexico. While there are typical seasonings associated with it, there’s no set recipe that must be followed.

What Ingredients You Need

carne asada spices

Since this is a spice rub, there are quite a few seasonings you’ll need. I like to buy my spices in the bulk section of the grocery. Whole Foods has a good bulk section, as do many others. I like to buy these spices in bulk to make both this and my favorite BBQ dry rub seasoning so I always have them on hand.

  • Mexican chili powder – I use arbol, ancho, and pasilla chili powder. I buy it in little packets from the grocery store. There’s usually a large selection at Mexican grocery stores, if you have one near you. You can also use whole dried chilis and do the grinding yourself.
  • Chili & Lime spice blend – There are a lot of brands available like Tajín Clásico Chile Lime Seasoning or Cielito. Trader Joe’s has a version.
  • Garlic & onion powder – I usually just use powdered versions, but you can use granulated garlic and onion, if you want a grainier rub.
  • Ground cumin – You can also grind your own from cumin seeds, if you like.
  • Celery salt – I use celery salt for this rub. You can use celery powder or ground celery seeds, but you’ll need to add additional salt to the rub.
  • Mexican oregano – Note that Mexican oregano is different than the typical oregano used in Mediterranean cooking. It has more of a bright floral and citrus flavor with a hint of anise. It’s best to use this type of oregano for the right flavor profile.
  • Black pepper – Add a little peppery heat with freshly ground black pepper.
  • Ground coriander – Cilantro is a major ingredient in Mexican cooking, so you can’t skip the coriander. You can use ground or grind it yourself from coriander seeds.

Pro Tip: You don’t have to follow this recipe completely. Tweak it and change it to suit your taste.

How to Make Carne Asada Rub

Carne asada dry rub in a bowl

Combine all the ingredients in a glass jar with a lid. Shake to mix it all up. Store it in a cool, dry place. As long as it stays dry and clean, you can keep it for up to 6 months.

This recipe makes a large portion that you can use multiple times, unless you’re making a lot of grilled steak. Always use a clean, dry spoon to scoop out what you need to keep the remaining rub clean.

How to Use Carne Asada Rub

carne asada seasoning on steak

The best way to use this rub is on a nice piece of steak. Sprinkle on a generous layer of rub, drizzle on some olive oil, and use your hands to rub it into the steak so it’s well coated.

Wrap and place the steak in the refrigerator for up to 4 hours to impart flavor. When you’re ready to cook it, remove the steak from the refrigerator 15 minutes in advance. Then just cook as you normally would, over the grill or on the stove top. The flavor from the rub will lock into the meat when you sear it.

You can also use this carne asada rub as seasoning on any other types of meat or even on veggies. I like to grill up some zucchini, onions, and bell peppers, then sprinkle the seasoning on with a drizzle of olive oil. It’s perfect!

Seasoning Bottle, Outgeek 3Pcs Spice Bottle Airtight Seasoning Bottle with Top Rotatable Shaker Kitchen Gadget (Silver) (jars with handle) (Three size)

Try a Seasoning Bottle!

If you make this homemade dry rub, it’s great to have a seasoning shaker to make it easier to use the dry rub without contaminating it while seasoning meats. I have 3 of these that I use for my favorite homemade rubs.

Is This a Carne Asada Marinade?

No, this is a dry rub that has all the flavors you expect from a marinade but in dry form. Making this dry rub means you can make a large batch and always have some on hand.

Usually you would combine olive oil, lime, and orange juice along with these spices to make a marinade and you’d soak the steak in the marinade for around 4 hours before cooking it. With our dry rub, you can skip the wet marinade and just coat the steak with the dry rub and olive oil. It’s very efficient and makes for a really delicious steak.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of meat is used for asada?

The meat is usually steak, chuck steak, but you can also use skirt or flank steak – is typically marinated then grilled or seared to give it a charred flavor.

Is carne asada seasoning spicy?

This seasoning mix is more flavorful than spicy. The only things that could add heat are the chili powder and ground black pepper. If you like more heat you can add some.

Before You Go

Since you made it to the end of this article, you’re probably pretty interested in this carne asada seasoning. Here are a few more articles we think you might enjoy.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

4.8 from 16 votes
Easy Mexican Wedding Cookies (aka Snowball Cookies)
4.4 from 41 votes
Mexican-Inspired Brussels Sprouts
5 from 5 votes
How to Build a Mexican Charcuterie Board

Like it, Love it, Want Some More of It? Subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook. We really love it when you save our recipes to Pinterest 😊

All the spices needed for carne asada dry rub in a bowl

Awesome Homemade Carne Asada Dry Rub

This Carne Asada Dry Rub is a blend of all the traditional Mexican spices used for grilled steak, including Mexican chili powder, onion and garlic, cumin, and coriander.
4.83 from 101 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Sauces
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Spices
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1 Batch
Calories: 205kcal
Author: Laura Lynch

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons (24 g) chili powder Arbol & Ancho or other Mexican chilis
  • 1 tablespoon (15 g) Chili & Lime spice blend like Tajín Clásico Chile Lime Seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons (16 g) garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons (14 g) onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons (4 g) ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons (12 g) celery salt
  • 2 teaspoons (4 g) Mexican oregano
  • 1 teaspoon (2 g) ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon (2 g) ground coriander

Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients in a glass jar with a lid. Shake to mix. Store in a cool, dry place.
  • Always use a clean, dry spoon to scoop out what you need to keep the remaining rub clean.

Notes

  • Store any leftover rub in a sealable jar or container to use another time.

Nutrition

Calories: 205kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 5073mg | Potassium: 972mg | Fiber: 15g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 7246IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 273mg | Iron: 10mg

Pin it for later

55 thoughts on “Awesome Homemade Carne Asada Dry Rub

  1. Daniel says:

    5 stars
    Sometimes I poke around the informational web of knowledge and look and see who’s blending what.
    I own a spice company and do custom blends for many restaurants and caterers. This blend you see above from Laura is about as ” Spot On ” as you’ll find anywhere. We all have twists and variations ( Laura I use the Pasilla de Oaxaca in ours along with the others you mention here) Nice to see someone do a ” Dry Rub ” as perfect as this and She also explains for you how to use it. I read and see some really bad ones on the internet but this one its pretty much perfect. Great Job Laura!

  2. Daniel Hall says:

    5 stars
    Sometimes I poke around the informational web of knowledge and look and see who’s blending what.
    I own a spice company and do custom blends for many restaurants and caterers. This blend you see above from Laura is about as ” Spot On ” as you’ll find anywhere. We all have twists and variations ( Laura I use the Pasilla de Oaxaca in ours along with the others you mention here) Nice to see someone do a ” Dry Rub ” as perfect as this and She also explains for you how to use it. I read and see some really bad ones on the internet but this one its pretty much perfect. Great Job Laura!

    • Richard Leon says:

      I have the ingredients for this recipe and am curious of how much meat it will cover. I’m using nearly 3 lbs of bottom round.

  3. Thrak says:

    5 stars
    I tried your homemade carne asada rub recipe over the weekend, and it was a huge hit! The combination of spices gave the meat such an incredible depth of flavor.

  4. CC Mitcell says:

    5 stars
    Your carne asada rub recipe is amazing! I used it on flank steak for our family BBQ, and everyone couldn’t stop raving about the flavor.

  5. olivia says:

    4 stars
    It was the perfect balance of smoky, spicy, and savory. I’ll be keeping this recipe on hand for future cookouts!

  6. BushyEyes says:

    5 stars
    I made a small tweak by adding a touch of brown sugar to give it a hint of sweetness, and it worked out perfectly. Thanks for the inspiration!

  7. Two2World says:

    4 stars
    I didn’t have all the spices on hand, so I substituted smoked paprika for the regular paprika and added a bit of cumin for extra depth. My family loved it.

  8. pangibear says:

    5 stars
    I made your carne asada rub recipe with a slight modification – I used it on chicken instead of beef, and it was fantastic hit!

  9. Nortin says:

    The flavors were bold and tasty, and the meat was incredibly tender. I’ll definitely be using this rub again.

  10. Daniel Martinez says:

    This recipe looks great, but I’m not sure how much seasoning to use per pound of meat. Could you provide some guidance on the ratio of seasoning to meat?

    • Angela Morris says:

      Hi Daniel, I would start out by using 1 tablespoon of rub per pound of meat. You want to be generous with the rub and make sure that the surface is covered well.

  11. Karen says:

    I didn’t have all the spices on hand. I don’t know what Mexican oregano is I only have regular dried oregano and I left out the celery salt. It was still good.

    • Angela Morris says:

      Experimenting with a dry rub recipe is a great way to find what you like and don’t like. I’m glad you liked the end result.

    • Angela Morris says:

      I think you will find that it goes well on all kinds of things. Try it on some chicken thighs, pork chops, and veggies. We like to grill zucchini, onions, and peppers with a little olive oil and this seasoning sprinkled on top.

    • Angela Morris says:

      You can freeze whole herbs and spices in the freeze as a way of preserving them. Freezing small amounts of ground spices isn’t recommended because moisture will eventually get in. You should store ground spices in a air tight container out of direct sunlight.

    • Angela Morris says:

      A good rule of thumb is 1-2 tablespoons per pound. You want to make sure to cover the meat completely.

  12. A Vestgren says:

    5 stars
    Incredible. Marinated for three hours, grilled to perfection, sliced thinly and garnished with fresh limes and coriander and a sprinkle of the rub over the top. . Served with spanish rice, pineapple salsa, a little guacamole and a salad of grapefruit, mint, and avocado. Could not have been better! My friends were blown away! Thank you.

  13. CommandV says:

    5 stars
    Thank you for the yummy recipe! My husband and I loved it! It was easy to make and oh, so delicious! Definitely a keeper!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating