The Art of Grilling Flank Steak


Grilled flank steak is a versatile and easy-to-cook cut of beef that should not be underestimated. This thin and affordable steak can be marinated quickly, making it a perfect choice for a delicious grilled dinner. However, its potential goes beyond the grill. You can slice it and turn it into a hearty salad, add it to a flavorful stir-fry, or enhance its taste with a zesty sauce like a refreshing mango salsa. And let’s not forget about Ree Drummond’s mouthwatering cowboy butter! This recipe will not only guide you on how to make juicy and flavorful grilled flank steak every time but also show you how to impress your guests by serving it alongside a fresh grilled corn salad or crispy ranch potatoes.

What Makes Flank Steak Special?

Flank steak is a lean and elongated cut of beef that stands out for its unique qualities. While it is an affordable cut, its tenderness can be a challenge. However, by using a marinade, you can soften the meat and infuse it with incredible flavors. Grilling is the quickest method, but you can also cook it on a stove in a grill pan or cast-iron skillet.

Perfect Grilling Time

Due to its thinness, flank steak requires a relatively short cooking time. Over a hot grill (around 400˚ to 450˚) or in a grill pan over medium-high heat, each side should take about 3 to 5 minutes.

Achieving Ideal Doneness

To ensure a juicy steak, grill your flank steak hot and fast, serving it between medium-rare and medium. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature, aiming for 130˚F to 135˚F. Remember that the steak continues to cook after being removed from the grill, so take it off when it’s about 5˚ below your desired final doneness.

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The Power of Resting

Resisting the temptation to dive right into a piping hot steak has its rewards. By giving the meat about 10 minutes to rest, its juices have time to settle and redistribute, resulting in a juicier and more flavorful steak. It’s a short wait that truly pays off!

Marinating Magic

While marinating flank steak is not mandatory, it will undoubtedly enhance its taste. Since flank steak is relatively lean, a marinade not only adds flavor but also tenderizes the meat. This recipe keeps things simple by using pantry staples like red wine vinegar, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and olive oil.

The Art of Tenderizing

A good marinade with salt and acid (such as red wine vinegar) is key to tenderizing flank steak. Due to its thinness, a quick dip in the marinade (around 30 minutes) is all it needs. Be cautious not to let it sit for too long, as excessive salt and acid can actually toughen the steak.

The Perfect Slice

For the most tender bite, it’s crucial to slice flank steak against the grain. By identifying the long muscle fibers, which are easily visible in flank steaks, and cutting across them, you shorten the fibers and make the meat easier to chew. This step is particularly important for tough cuts like flank, skirt, and hanger steaks.

Flank Steak Substitutes

If you can’t find flank steak at your local market, don’t fret! There are alternative thinner cuts of beef that work well in this recipe, such as top round steak, skirt steak, and flat iron steak. Although hanger steak and tri-tip are excellent substitutes, they may be harder to come by. If no thin steaks are available, you can opt for a thicker steak and adjust the cooking time to achieve your desired doneness.

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Now that you have the secrets to cooking the perfect flank steak, it’s time to fire up the grill and impress your family and friends with this mouthwatering dish. For more delightful recipes and inspirations, visit Family Cuisine.

Grilled Flank Steak

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