Costco Arrachera Skirt Steak (Carne Asada) + Pro Tips!
RYC Arrachera Beef Skirt Steak at 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 that has been marinated and enhanced with up to 22% solution that includes a papaya marinade/enzyme for tenderness.
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 refers to the meat in its most basic raw form and is a long flat piece of steak that has excellent flavor and is super tender.
Skirt steak is relatively common and can be found at most butchers. The steak can be used in different recipes and transformed into many different final products.
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.
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 consider this price to be fair value or maybe just a touch expensive.
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.
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 tasted absolutely delicious. The meat was easy to cook as each side took just a few minutes on the grill.
I did slightly overcook mine (whoopsies!), but the taste, flavor, and tenderness were still fantastic.
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.
The Costco carne asada skirt steak is fantastic. The meat is tender, juicy, and jam packed with flavor. The 22% marinade really does its job well.
Make sure to cut against the grain; the steak will be 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 will be a high-quality carne asada taco meat or fajita meat that will impress.
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.
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 run from top to bottom.
This means if you start slicing the steak, you will be slicing with the grain, leading to a less tender piece of beef.
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.
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 in any way that carne asada is eaten.
Costco’s arrachera makes some high-quality carne asada tacos that, when dressed appropriately, can rival that of your local taco truck/stand.
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.
Carne Asada Fajitas
Because this is USDA Choice skirt steak, it can also be cut into super tender strips that 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.
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. A very hot skillet will suffice if you don’t have a grill.
I opted to use the grill for the additional smoky flavors.
Carne Asada Grilling Instructions
- Preheat the grill to high heat.
- Unfold and lay Costco arrachera across the 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 will 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.
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
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, easy to cook, and a buy for me.
Value - 8/10
Convenience - 9/10
Taste - 8/10
Nutrition - 8/10
CFDB Score - 8/10
- Super tender
- Good flavor
- High quality carne asada
- Easy to cook
- Slightly pricey
- Could use a touch more beef flavor