Costco Arrachera Skirt Steak (Carne Asada) + Pro Cook Tips!

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RYC Arrachera Beef Skirt Steak at Costco

Costco sells USDA Choice Marinated Arrachera Skirt Steak for $9.99 a pound. The Arrachera can be found in Costco’s meat and seafood area near other options such as the tri-tipracks of lambchicken, and salmon.

RYC-Arrachera-from-Costco

The Arrachera is sold in approximately 3-4 pound packages which go for $30-$40 each. 

Costco’s Arrachera is an inside skirt steak which has been marinated and enhanced with up to 22% solution that includes a papaya marinade/enzyme for tenderness.

Marinated-Arrachera-Skirt-Steak-from-Costco

What is the difference between skirt steak, arrachera, and carne asada?

There is quite a bit of confusion between the three names for this steak but they all essentially refer to the same piece of beef. 

Their respective names refer to which area of the cooking process they are in.

Skirt Steak

Skirt steak refers to the meat in its most basic raw form, and is a long flat piece of steak that has great flavor and is super tender. 

Skirt steak is fairly common and can be found at most butchers. The steak can be used in different recipes and transformed into many different final products.

Costco-Arrachera-Skirt-Steak
Marinated Skirt Steak (Arrachera)

Arrachera

Arrachera refers to marinated skirt steak, which is the item here. The Costco arrachera has been marinated with papaya enzymes and is filled with up to 22% marinade. 

Arrachera can also mean a marinated flank steak in lieu of skirt steak.

Carne Asada

Carne Asada means cooked beef in Spanish and will be the final product of this cooked arrachera. 

The beef only becomes carne asada when it is cooked and ready to be served.

Carne-Asada-Arrachera-from-Costco
Carne Asada

The raw beef will be called skirt steak until it is marinated, which it will then be called arrachera until it is cooked as carne asada. 

All 3 names refer to the same cut of beef, but at different points in the cooking process.

Inside Skirt Steak vs Outside Skirt Steak

The RYC Costco arrachera is made using inside skirt steak which is often considered less flavorful compared to outside skirt steak.

Costco Cost Comparison

How Much Does Arrachera (Carne Asada) at Costco Cost?

Costco sells their arrachera for $9.99 a pound. I would consider this price to be fair value or maybe just a touch expensive. 

Costco-Arrachera-Skirt-Steak-Price

Your local Mexican grocery store may have a lower price, but Costco’s price is more than fair for USDA Choice Beef. 

The Cost of Marinade

The one concern I do have about the price of the meat is actually the 22% solution or marinade that is used to tenderize and flavorize the USDA Choice skirt steak. 

When we look at the price, we have to look at paying for the addition of the marinade and paying for the weight of the marinade. A $1 surcharge per pound for skirt steak is worth it for the addition of the marinade.

Carne-Asada-Costco

But, when we look at the $9.99 per pound price tag we have to factor in the weight of the marinade and the beef. 

Per pound, we may only have .85 pounds of skirt steak and .15 pounds of marinade that make up the $9.99 per pound price. Something to keep in mind.

Costco Arrachera Carne Asada Taste Test

I cooked the arrachera on the grill and the steak came out absolutely delicious. The meat was easy to cook as it took just a few minutes for each side on the grill. 

I did slightly overcook mine (whoopsies!), but the taste, flavor, and tenderness were still fantastic.

Carne-Asada-from-Costco

One important thing to note is that it is imperative to slice the arrachera against the grain. This will make or break your arrachera steak. Full slicing directions will be included below.

Tenderness

The Costco carne asada skirt steak is amazing. The meat is tender, juicy, and jam packed with flavor. The 22% marinade really does its job well.

Costco-Skirt-Steak-Sliced-arrachera

Make sure to cut against the grain, and the steak will be so easy to chew and enjoy. My arrachera was even a little more cooked than I would have liked it to be, but was still so tender. 

This is going to be a high quality carne asada taco meat or fajita meat that will really impress.

Flavor

The flavor of the arrachera was a little salty, but still great. Each bite of the arrachera will explode with juices and flavors, and goes really well with tacos, fajitas, or rice. 

Carne-Asada-Tacos-Costco-Arrachera

Again, the marinade dominated the flavor. The taste was great and it was perfect for carne asada, but I would have liked a little more natural beef flavor.

Regardless, this is higher quality meat than what you would get at most local taquerias. 

How to Properly Slice Arrachera / Carne Asada

Slicing Costco’s Arrachera or Carne Asada is simple but counterintuitive. When the cooked skirt steak is laid flat with the long end going from left to right, the grains will actually be running from top to bottom. 

This means if you start slicing the steak, you will be slicing with the grain, which will lead to a less tender piece of beef.

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Properly Sliced Carne Asada

How to Slice Carne Asada Against the Grain!

In order to properly slice the arrachera, you should first cut off a 5-6 inch section of the beef. After cutting off a portion, flip the carne asada 90° and then start slicing. 

This technique allows you to easily cut against the grain to maximize the tenderness of the skirt steak.

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Slicing With the Grain (Left) vs Slicing Against the Grain (Right)

Serving Costco Carne Asada Skirt Steak

How to Serve Costco's Carne Asada (Arrachera)

The arrachera becomes carne asada after it is cooked and can be served anyway that carne asada is eaten. 

Costco’s arrachera makes somes high quality carne asada tacos that when dressed appropriately can rival that of your local taco truck/stand. 

Costco-Carne-Asada-Tacos

Carne Asada Tacos

The meat is top notch for tacos and with just some simple onions, cilantro, and salsa, you can easily create a fancy and impressive taco meal. 

I added some guacamole to my carne asada tacos. 

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Carne Asada Fajitas

Because this is USDA Choice skirt steak, it can also be cut into super tender strips that would pair wonderfully with onions and bell peppers to create a delicious and flavorful fajita meal. 

Half a pound of this arrachera skirt steak with some onions and peppers would give you a restaurant quality meal for one third of the cost.

Burrito-Bowl-Carne-Asada-with-Guacamole

Finally, I went for a super easy to make carne asada Mexican bowl. 

I made an easy Mexican bowl with some homemade chicken bone broth spanish rice, beans, arrachera, and a side of Costco Guacamole. Delicious!

How to Cook Costco Skirt Steak/Arrachera

Costco Arrachera Cooking Directions

Arrachera is pre-cooked carne asada, so the best way to cook the steak will be on high heat over the grill. If you don’t have a grill, a very hot skillet will suffice.

I opted to use the grill for the additional smoky flavors.

Costco-Arrachera-Cooking-Instructions

Carne Asada Grilling Instructions

  • Preheat grill to high heat.
  • Unfold and lay Costco arrachera across hot grill.
  • Cook for 3-5 minutes on each side until the internal temperature reaches 130°F.
  • Rest and slice against the grain.
  • Serve and enjoy!

If you are not using a grill, simply cook on high heat until the internal temperature reaches 130°F.

Costco Carne Asada Nutritional Information and Calories

How Many Calories in Costco Arrachera?

One serving of Costco’s Arrachera or Carne Asada is going to be 4 ounces and contains 150 calories. The 150 calories come from 8 grams of fat, 1 gram of carb, and 19 grams of protein.

Costco-Arrachera-Carne-Asada-Nutritional-Information

This is a fairly standard nutritional profile for skirt steak or carne asada. There is a reasonable amount of fat in the USDA Choice skirt steak which is great for flavor and enjoyment.

Costco Arrachera Skirt Steak (Carne Asada) Review

Summary

I’m usually not a big fan of pre-marinated meats, but Costco’s arrachera is absolutely delicious when cooked (carne asada). The beef is flavorful and so magnificently tender. 

It’s a little pricey for what it is, but the arrachera skirt steak is versatile and worth it. You can easily recreate restaurant quality dishes with this skirt steak for one-third of the cost. 

The arrachera from Costco is convenient and easy to cook and is a buy for me.

Overall
8.2/10
8.2/10
  • Value - 8/10
    8/10
  • Convenience - 9/10
    9/10
  • Taste - 8/10
    8/10
  • Nutrition - 8/10
    8/10
  • CFDB Score - 8/10
    8/10

Pros

  • Super tender
  • Good flavor
  • High quality carne asada
  • Easy to cook

Cons

  • Slightly pricey
  • Could use a touch more beef flavor

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