carne picada tacos
Carne Picada Vs Carne Asada: What's The Difference?

Carne asada is a popular meat option at restaurants, but it has a lesser-known cousin: carne picada. It’s often confused with the former, but they are cut and cooked differently.

Carne asada is Spanish for "grilled meat" and can be used to describe any meat cooked this way, but it’s most commonly used to describe citrus-marinated, grilled, sliced beef.

Carne picada, on the other hand, translates to minced meat and describes a braised, chopped beef that may be used as a filling in tacos, burritos, or something else altogether.

Carne asada is typically made with skirt or flank steak — long, flat cuts that come from the cow's diaphragm. They’re fibrous cuts that need to be marinated to become tender.

Marinades usually include aromatics, an acid like citrus juice, sweetness, salt, and some spice. The meat becomes tender and develops a smoky flavor and char from the hot grill.

Carne picada is typically made with cheaper cuts of meat, which become tender and delicious after a long, slow braise for a juicy and incredibly flavorful result.