Mexican food - Tacos Al Carbon Finished dish

Tacos Al Carbon

Tacos al carbon literally means “tacos grilled over charcoal” but they can also be cooked over a wood fire. The smoky flavour characteristic of charcoal infused into these steak tacos is what makes them so delicious and unique.

Tacos al carbon is made with marinated grilled steak and spring onions, both cooked together over the grill. They are then chopped and served over warm tortillas with salsa, and a simple garnish of coriander and onions.

Tacos al carbon can also be made with marinated grilled boneless chicken thighs or pork shoulder steaks.

These Mexican tacos are mostly prepared in the north of Mexico and have crossed the border to Texas, especially within Mexican-American communities.

Top Tips to Make Authentic Tacos al Carbon

  • Use good quality steak. This is the key ingredient for these tacos, so make sure to use a good cut of meat. Skirt, flank, sirloin and rump steak work great for this recipe.
  • Marinate the steak for a couple of hours before grilling. This will help tenderize the meat and add flavour.
  • Grill the steak over medium-high heat. Grilling the steak over medium-high heat helps to sear the outside of the meat and lock in the juices.
  • Let the steak rest before cutting. This will help keep the juices in the meat. Allow 6 to 7 minutes of rest before cutting.

The marinade recipe for the steaks is Gran Luchito Guajillo Fajita & Taco Mix, citrus juice, coriander and olive oil. We leave the meat to marinate for 2 to 3 hours in the fridge, then cook it at room temperature.

Serve these delicious tacos al carbon with a side of Elotes and Cowboy Beans.

  • Prep time


  • Cook time


  • Total time

    2HRS 45MINS

  • Ideal for

  • Make it

  • Serves


How to make it

  1. Begin by making the marinade. In a bowl, squeeze the orange and the juice, add the Guajillo Fajita & Taco Mix, half of the coriander, olive oil and pepper (leave the salt for when you cook the steaks). Mix with a spoon briefly and pour over the steak, marinate in the fridge for 2 to 3 hours.
  2. Light the charcoal on the grill, and allow 30 minutes approximately in order for it to be hot enough and ready to use. Don’t forget to have the steaks room temperature before grilling.
  3. Wash and rinse the spring onions, drizzle them with the olive oil and rub them using your hands making sure they are well coated in oil, season them with a pinch of salt and pepper, and set aside.
  4. Once the steak is ready and at room temperature, place it over the grill and allow it to cook 2 to 3 minutes on each side (depending on thickness) and an extra minute on a lower heat side. Keep the steak moist by brushing it with the leftover marinade from time to time. Place the spring onions on the side and let them char alongside the steaks. Season the steak with a good pinch of flaky salt while it’s cooking. Once ready, remove it from the grill and allow it to rest for 6 minutes before cutting. Remove the grill spring onions once they turn soft.
  5. Cut the steak into small cubes and chop the spring onion roughly. Place the Soft Tacos over the grill and warm them up on both sides for a minute or two, once ready remove them carefully and place them over a plate. Fill the tortillas with the grilled steak and a bit of grilled onions, add a sprinkle of the leftover coriander on top and serve with Chipotle Salsa and limes on the side, enjoy!.

What to serve with Tacos al Carbon

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How are Tacos al Carbon different from regular tacos?

The main difference between Tacos al Carbon and regular tacos lies in the preparation method. Tacos al Carbon feature grilled meats, giving them a distinctive smoky taste, whereas regular tacos may have a variety of fillings, which can include both cooked and uncooked ingredients.

Can I make Tacos al Carbon at home without a charcoal grill?

While using a charcoal grill does add a unique smoky flavor to Tacos al Carbon, you can still make them at home without one. A gas grill or stovetop grill pan can work well to achieve similar results. If neither of these options is available, you can use a regular skillet or griddle to cook the marinated meat.

Can Tacos al Carbon be made with vegetarian options?

Yes, Tacos al Carbon can be adapted for vegetarians by using grilled vegetables, such as bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, or even tofu, as a meat substitute. The same grilling technique can be applied to impart a smoky flavor to the vegetables.

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