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Authentic Carne Asada Camp Tacos

Easy. Fast. Super yummy.

By: Kristi Teplitz + Save to a List

It’s hard to beat warm, tasty, authentic steak tacos after a day crushing some climbs in a national park. As a typical “weekend warrior” I try to maximize my time doing the things I love to make full use of my days outside. This often means coming back to camp dirty, exhausted and starving, and the last thing I want to do is create an elaborate dinner.

Enter this ridiculously easy to make authentic carne asada taco recipe! It's all about the marinade. With a little prep the day before you leave for your trip and a solid cooler, you can come back to camp and be chowing down on yummy tacos within 10 minutes. (I should mention that we cooked this on a Coleman 2-burner stove so it was super fast, but you could definitely cook these over a fire, too!)

Recipe feeds 4

Marinade Ingredients:

  • 1.5 pounds steak (We loved our grass-fed steaks from Right Lane Ranch!)

  • 2 limes, juiced

  • 4-5 cloves garlic, minced

  • ½ cup orange juice

  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped (about 1.5 cups)

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • ¼ cup avocado oil (can use olive oil)

  • 1 jalapeno, minced

  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar

Taco Toppings:

  • Your preference here. Below is what we used:

  • Tortillas - we estimated 2 tortillas per person

  • Avocado oil

  • Pico de gallo (or salsa)

  • Avocado

  • Lime

  • Greens of your choice. We had extra fresh spinach, so we used that.

  • Cheese of your choice. We used a sharp cheddar and it was delicious.


  • Coleman stove & propane (though really this could be warmed up and cooked using any camp stove, or a fire)

  • Cast iron pan if using a 2-burner stove or a fire

  • Cutting board

  • Paring knife

  • Wooden Spoon

  • Metal tongs

  • Small bowl for marinade reduction


Pre-camping trip

The day before you leave, pre-cut the steak against the grain into desired bite-size pieces. Place meat into a bowl. Add remaining marinade ingredients to the bowl and mix well. Trying to get all meat covered in the marinade, cover in your container of choice and let sit in the fridge (or cooler) for 24 hours, if possible. Note: Choosing quality meat will make a difference in the outcome of your tacos!

Taco day!

Unpack your meat and put it and the marinade on a hot cast iron pan with some avocado oil (or your cooking oil of choice). Cook meat to your desired doneness. Scoop out cooked meat from your marinade and set aside. Taste-testing is an important part of this process, just make sure to leave some meat for the rest of your crew.

Keep cooking marinade until it is reduced to a thick sauce. This doesn’t take long. Stir constantly to prevent bits from burning. Remove from pan and put aside. Meanwhile, have your dinner mate(s) start preparing your toppings by cutting limes, avocado and cheese.

Time to start warming/toasting your tortillas! This is an optional step, but it doesn’t take much time and adds a lot to the flavor of your tacos! Turn your burner on low to medium-low and place tortillas directly on the grates. Using your tongs, flip the tortillas constantly to your preferred doneness, avoiding burning the tortillas (as much as you can).

These tacos are best when the tortillas are warm, so dig right in! Add your meat and scoop on some marinade reduction. Then add your favorite toppings and dig in! Enjoy!

Photos courtesy of Liam McNally and Kristi Teplitz.

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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