Grilled Marinated Flank Steak

Flank steak is a lean, somewhat tough but flavorful cut of beef that benefits from the tenderizing effects of a marinade. It is best cooked medium rare and thinly sliced at an angle. It actually could be sliced even more at a diagonal than what I’ve shown here in the photo. My father is the real expert around here at making beautiful thin slices, not I.

Prepared this way, marinated, cooked quickly at high heat, thinly sliced, flank steak practically melts in your mouth. This recipe calls for grilling the steak, but if you don’t have a grill, you can prepare the steak on a large cast iron frying pan as well. I recently updated the marinade recipe based on a few suggestions from our readers. Thank you! There are more marinade ideas in the links to other food blogs at the bottom of the recipe. For more Southwestern flavors, see our carne asada recipe. Do you have a favorite flank steak marinade? or grilling trick for flank steak? If so, please let us know in the comments.

Grilled Marinated Flank Steak Recipe

Ingredients

Marinade Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Other ingredients

  • 2 pounds flank steak
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Method

grilled-flank-steak-1.jpg grilled-flank-steak-2.jpg

1 Score the surface of the steak with 1/4 inch deep knife cuts, about an inch apart, across the grain of the meat. Combine the marinade ingredients. Place steak and marinade ingredients in a large freezer bag. Coat the steak well with the marinade. Seal the bag and place in a bowl. Chill and marinate for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.

2 Using olive oil soaked onto a paper towel, coat the grill rack of your grill with olive oil. Preheat the grill with high, direct heat. The grill is hot enough when you hold your hand about an inch over it and you can only hold it there for about a second.

3 Take the steak out of the marinade bag and sprinkle generously on all sides with coarse salt and freshly ground pepper. The salt and pepper will help form a savory crust on the steak. Place steak on the hot grill. If you are using a gas grill, cover the grill. Grill for 4-6 minutes on each side. Half way through grilling on each side, turn the steak 90° so that you get more grill marks.

How do you know if the steak is done? The best way to tell is to poke it with your finger tips. While the steak is still raw, test it with your fingers; it will be quite squishy. That's what a very rare steak feels like. As the steak cooks the muscles contract and firm up. Touch the tip of your nose and that's what a very well done steak feels like. Here's a visual guide, the finger test to check the doneness of steak.

4 Flank steak is best eaten medium rare; well done will make it too tough. When the steak has cooked to your preferred level of doneness, remove from the grill and place on a cutting board. Cover with aluminum foil to hold in the heat and to keep the steak from drying out, and let rest for 10 minutes.

5 Make very thin slices, against the grain, and at a slight diagonal so that the slices are wide.

If you want, you can take the excess marinade and bring it to a boil, simmer for several minutes, and serve with the flank steak. Great also with salsa or horseradish sauce.

Serves 6.

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Links:
Korean Flank Steak from Madeleine at Everything Rachael Ray
BBQ Flank Steak from Garrett of Vanilla Garlic
Lemongrass Marinated Flank Steak by Michele of Flora Fauna Fortuna

74 Comments

  1. Linda

    I use oil, a little red wine vinegar, red wine, soy sauce, chopped garlic and dry oregano. I learned this from a friend and it tastes so good. I don’t measure the ingredients, just sort of dump it all in.

  2. Nate

    This is my recipe:

    Kalbi Marinated Flank Steak

    http://alohaworld.com/ono/viewrecipe.php?id=1097541560&category=Korean

  3. lydia

    I’m a lover of all things spicy, so my favorite marinade is soy sauce, sliced scallions, chili paste with garlic, and a bit of water to thin it out. I don’t marinate for very long, maybe 2 hours. The thing that’s always hardest for me is to let the meat rest after cooking. That, and slicing thin across the grain, make all the difference.

  4. carolie

    Once cooked to medium rare, rested and sliced, can I freeze the cooked strips, or will they get mushy?

    Thank you!

  5. Karen

    I recently did something similar with skirt steak:
    http://verbatim.blogs.com/verbatim/2007/06/dinner_and_part.html

  6. Rebecca

    Our favorite marinade comes right from the Weber booklet; they call it “Marinade for Chicken” but I think it works better for steak. It calls for 1/2 cup of soy sauce and 1/4 cup each of vinegar (I use balsamic) and olive oil, plus some dried oregano, basil, and crushed garlic.

    Also, if the flank steak is too expensive I’ll get skirt steak which is often a couple of dollars cheaper per pound. Marinated and sliced in the same way it turns out just as well, in fact my husband likes it better.

    I never thought of boiling the excess marinade and using it for a dipping sauce but that’s a great idea!

  7. Bert

    1/2cup oil
    1/2cup soy sauce
    1/2cup honey
    3Tbsp red wine vinegar
    2 cloves garlic
    2 green onions- chopped
    1 celery stalk – chopped
    1tsp pepper

    Mix it all up, soak the flank steak overnight. Grill to medium rare, and let it rest for 10min. Cut on the bias, and let it melt in your mouth.. My family absolutely loves this recipe.

  8. Dani

    My favorite is the Mark Bittman marinade that calls for lime juice, fish sauce, jalepenos, garlic and cilantro. It’s soooo good!

  9. Tony

    A family marinade recipe I like:
    1/4 cup soy sauce
    2/3 cup of Sherry
    1 cup pineapple juice
    pinch of salt & pepper
    1 clove garlic
    for those that like the sweeter marinades.

  10. Suzanne

    My family loves flank steak or london broil. I marinate for 3-4 hours in the fridge with the juice of 1-2 lemons, cup of red wine, 1/4 cup low sodium wheat free tamari, 1/2 cup of pineapple juice, 2-3 chopped garlic cloves and pepper to taste. Grill to medium rare, let it sit for 10 minutes and then slice against the grain.

  11. Monica

    My marinade (and I don’t really measure either) consists of the following ritual: Cut about two limes in half and rub/squeeze all over the surface of the meat. Salt and pepper the steak and place in a large zip lock type of bag. Squeeze any remaining lime juice over the meat. Add about 2-3 cloves of crushed garlic, one small, roughly chopped, white or spanish onion, and about 3-4 tablespoons of worcestershire sauce. Cover the meat with Corona beer (just my preference but I guess any beer will do). Let sit in the fridge for at least 2-3 hours before grilling. I always win my friend’s fajita cook-offs with this marinade!

  12. JO

    This is very simple and very tasty…not overpowering at all. Mix equal amounts of soy sauce and worchestershire sauce…1/2 cup each would do…and marinate the meat in a plastic bag for a few hours or overnight and char broil quickly to rare or med rare. Slice thinly on an angle.

  13. Beth

    I make a rub with 3-4 cloves of garlic (minced), a couple tablespoons of olive oil, kosher salt, and pepper. Let it sit for 6-8 hours and grill. My family loves it!

  14. Jules

    Mother’s Flank Steak Marinade

    1/2 cup Soy Sauce
    1/2 cup Olive Oil
    1/2 cup of good Whiskey
    2 small onions chopped finely
    2 cloves of garlic
    2 tbs of fresh ginger
    1 tps ground pepper
    1 tsp dry mustard
    1 tsp Cider or white vinegar.
    Marinate steak for 6-24 hours

    Yummm!

  15. Kristi

    I love to rub a flank steak with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and cumin, then broil it and serve it with mango salsa. Simple and awesome.

  16. Virginia Scharff

    This flank steak marinade recipe rocks:

    1/2 c. soy sauce
    3 Tbs. red wine vinegar
    2-4 cloves minced garlic
    1 1/2 c. orange marmalade
    1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (chile piquin)

    Seal in paper bag, marinate, grill and slice as you’ve explained.

    Hope you enjoy, and thanks, Elise, for the best of the best food blogs.

  17. chris

    My family used to eat grilled flank steak once a week when I was growing up. A super tasty, couldn’t-be-easier marinade for Hawaiian Style flank steak is just mixing equal parts soy sauce and pineapple juice. That’s it. Let it marinade overnight and you’ve got a very tasty, cheap steak that’s properly tenderized by the acidity in the pineapple juice.

  18. John

    This is my favorite flank steak marinade:

    4-5 large garlic cloves, crushed
    1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
    2 tsp salt
    1 tbsp chili powder
    1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
    1/2 cup red wine vinegar
    2 tbsp soy sauce
    1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped roughly

    I normally marinate overnight and then grill the next day.

  19. courtney

    I usually mix minced onion garlic and ginger, with soy sauce, rice vinegar, montreal steak seasoning salt, olive oil, and red pepper, black pepper and some brown sugar.

    I always poke it all over, and then sprinkle it with tenderizer first, then marinate for however long I have.

  20. Natanya

    Flank steak is a staple at our house during grilling season and my choice when I want to feed beef to a crowd. My favorite recipe is Soy-Marinated Flank Steaks from the Food Network Kitchens, although I’m a sucker for any kind of yummy rub to try. I think what I like most about the soy-marinated recipe is that you can do a quick 1-hour marinade and still get good flavor, or go for the longer marinade if there’s time.

    I will say that a quick cooking method has worked consistently well for me over time. I heat the grill very high, turn one side to medium-low, leave the other on high, and cook 6-7 minutes per side for medium rare. I also think good grill marks help elevate this piece of meat to the next level visually. There are some great recipes posted here, so I expect my family will be having a new flank steak recipe before this week is out. Their hearts will be broken I know.

  21. Tri

    I make flank steak at least once a week. Its cheap and so easy to cook up. Lately I’ve been really lazy and don’t even bother with marinating it. I usually just throw a ton of GrillMates Montreal Steak Seasoning on it and let it sit while I’m cooking up the side dishes. It isn’t as tender but it takes no time at all, and is perfectly good to me when sliced super thin against the grain. If I have enough time, I usually marinate it in some soy sauce, oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, chili garlic sauce, pressed garlic, and sesame oil. Another marinade that is fantastic is made with beer and limes, cumin, salt and pepper. It’s extremely tender this way and good with tex mex dishes. As others have mentioned, skirt steak is a good subsitute and my boyfriend likes it better due to the fattier content of the meat.

  22. Lisa

    This was a good one!! Primarily because while I often cook flank steak (and use a similar marinade for standard weeknight fare–ginger, honey, soy), I NEVER SCORED THE MEAT. Made a big old difference. Cheers to that one Elise. Thanks.

  23. Craig

    This is by far the most delicious flank steak marinade I have ever tried…and I eat alot of flank steak. Thank you…this one’s a keeper!

  24. Elise

    Hello,

    I made the marinated flank steak last night and did not even grilled it but broiled it in the oven until I thought it done – cannot remember how long – and it was still delicious. My husband loved it. Definitely a recipe I will be making again. Thank you.

    Elise

  25. Kat

    I used this recipe for a class that I am taking currently. Everyone keeps asking for the recipe it came out so great. I would recommend this recipe for anyone whether it’s just a family meal or a special occasion. Just amazing and to my taste.

  26. Hot Tub Johnny

    Made this for Mother’s Day – It was great.

  27. Trina

    is anything else possible to substitute beside red wine or whiskey or beer..?

    The recipe calls for red wine vinegar. You can use cider vinegar instead. And you can use red wine, whiskey, beer, or even vodka in addition to the vinegar. Alcohol will help the marinade penetrate the meat. ~Elise

  28. Sue

    I have been trying to improve my cooking,(I’m a baker), I tried this recipe and really enjoyed it. This is the second time I have tried cooking flank steak. I cooked it on the gas grill. The instructions for grilling are great.

  29. Rena

    I’ve been using this tasty Ginger Flank Steak recipe for years and it’s become a family favorite.

    1/2 cup oil
    1/4 cup soy sauce
    1/4 cup brown sugar
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    1 small onion, chopped
    2 Tbs. minced fresh ginger

    Score the flank steak, marinate 12-24 hours, then grill.
    Enjoy.

  30. Abiquiu Sue

    I love flank steak. Try a Mole Rub.

    2 TBSP brown sugar
    2 tsp each Cocoa powder, paprika, and Kosher Salt
    1 tsp ground cumin, garlic pwoder and black peper
    1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

    Mix above ingredients together well. Take the flank steak and rub small handfuls all over….let stand for an hour.

    Place steak on preheated grill high heat and grill to desired doneness and enjoy.

  31. Danielle

    We made this flank steak tonight and it was wonderful. Only change we made was adding about 1/4C orange juice to the marinade, otherwise, followed the recipe to the letter. While the meat was resting we grilled a variety of squashes. Great summer recipe!

  32. meg

    If I am doing a surf and turf dinner… can I use the same recipe of marinade to marinate the shrimp?

  33. Shelly

    This looks great. I am new to grilling… haven’t even bought my $20 charcoal grill from wal-mart yet but I’m looking up recipes to use when I do. I can’t wait to try this. I don’t have much experience with raw meats so I’m wondering… do you score the meat on both sides or just one? Thanks Elise, I am a huge fan of yours!

    Hi Shelly, score both sides. :-) ~Elise

  34. Resh

    I just made this on a Grill Pan, and it came out absolutely fantastic! I did however substitute the red wine vinegar for Balsamic Vinegar and put in Fresh Lime Juice… marinated it over night, and it was the best meat dish my husband has had!!! awesome recipe, thanks so much for sharing this!

  35. Rosie

    Wouldn’t you know that I have ever vinegar known to man in my pantry except red wine vinegar (sherry, white wine, balsamic, white balsamic, apple cider, champagne, etc.). What would you recommend using in lieu of the red wine vinegar so I don’t have to run to the store with a 5 month old in tow? Thanks!

  36. Libby

    Hello! I made a broiled version of this for a dinner party tonight with rave reviews! I changed a couple of things in the marinade: rice wine vinegar instead of red wine vinegar, brown sugar instead of honey, and added a little minced fresh ginger.

    I broiled for about 6 minutes per side. While the meat was cooking, I boiled the marinade. Then I poured off some of the excess oil (it formed two layers after I boiled it) and added the drippings from the broiler pan and reduced it a little more. It turned out great! Thanks for the great recipe!

  37. Tania

    Awesome! Thanks for sharing!

  38. Mrs. L

    Made this the other night and it was really good. My husband and I loved the flavor. We broiled it, had it for dinner one night and then made steak salad for lunch the next day. Yum!

  39. BoysDad

    I’m sorry to be a lone voice here, but I needed a quick flank steak recipe last week and I tried this. First of all, the meat did not tenderize at all (I marinated it for six hours), and second, the taste of the red wine vinegar overwhelmed everything else and not even my four sons would eat it (which is saying a lot)! I broiled the meat (medium rare) and sliced it very thin (1-2 mm) but it was like shoe-leather. I enjoy your site, but this really didn’t work for me.

    Hmm. Don’t know what happened here. Did you slice it against the grain? That alone would have tenderized the cut. ~Elise

  40. debbie

    Hi Elise! I made the Hawaiian-style marinade Chris mentions in your comments–sorry, but two ingredients wins over six–and it was fantastic. Blogged about it, too ;)

  41. Carrie

    Nothing useful to add, but I made this recipe tonight for family and it was really, really good. Very tender, juicy, wonderful flavor. Served it with some grilled polenta and salad. Thanks so much!

  42. cooper

    1 cup italian dressing
    10 shakes of soy sauce
    5 shakes of liquid smoke
    nature seasoning
    garlic salt
    a sqeeze of lemon

  43. kimberly

    Made this as written in original recipe. Served with roasted potatoes and fresh green beans. My family really enjoyed this!

  44. Sara

    I made this tonight and it was delicious. I used half olive oil and half toasted sesame oil. This one is a keeper for sure!

  45. Jenny

    I absolutely love this marinade! How would I go about cooking the steak under the broiler?

  46. EL

    I made this just as the recipe said, but after turning the meat over I coated it with about 1/3 cup of brown sugar. This made a nice sweet glaze. It was great!

  47. Camilla

    Sounds like a yummy recipe!
    Here is another fantastic, no-fail flank steak recipe that gets rave reviews from my guests:

    Marinade:
    (I personally double the following marinade ingredients and look for the biggest flank steak possible so I can have steak sandwiches with the leftovers…if there are any):
    1/2 cup vegetable oil
    1/4 cup soy sauce (I use light soy sauce)
    1T A1 steak sauce
    1T Worcestershire sauce
    a few minced garlic cloves

    Slice your raw flank steak into thin slices against the grain and at an angle. Place raw steak slices into a gallon ziploc bag. Prepare marinade (wisk together well) and pour into ziploc bag. Seal ziploc – trying to get as much air out as possible. Place in refrigerator overnight. Turn bag over in the morning. Grill marinated steak strips over high heat – a minute or so on each side. (you can broil for a few minutes on each side if you don’t have a grill)

    I have marinated for as little as 5-6 hours, but it is, hands down, MUCH better if you let the steak marinate 18-20 hours or so.

  48. Tania Vouk

    I made this for a large bbq and everyone loved it! I didn’t make any changes….perfect as is! Thanks!

  49. MrsAGriff

    Man was this delicious. My husband grilled it then made quesadillas with it…so yummy! Thanks!

  50. dawn

    This recipe is the best. I would not change a thing. Great on London Broil…served with grilled asparagus and baked potatoes

  51. Traci

    We LOVE this recipe! Great to marinade & take camping, at home, wherever! Everyone we’ve made it for loves it too.

  52. Nancy

    Delicious! I’ve made this several times now, and it’s a winner. Last night I only had 1 hour to marinate the meat and it was still fabulous. Thanks for the great (and easy) recipe.

  53. Becky

    My family also loves grilled & marinated flank steak. There are never any leftovers. As our winter was excessively harsh, it was impossible to dig out the grill from the 70″ of snow. So, I pulled out my George Foreman grill and cooked it on the countertop. It turned out great!

  54. Becky

    Almost forgot..the other tip I have for preparing this sort of thing comes from my experiences at Dream Dinners. I prepare marinades in advance in ziploc bags, put my meat in the same ziploc bag, label & date it, and put it in the freezer. It will hold in the freezer for up to 3 months. When we want flank, I just pull out the frozen bag and defrost it overnight in the fridge. It marinates while defrosting.

  55. Lisa in St. Pete

    This is an excellent recipe for all red meat, truly perfect the way it is! What a perfect combo of flavors. the key is tenderizing the meat. Flank/london broils are very tough meats so tenderize and marinade overnight as suggested ad it will come out far more tender than you could imagine! Absolutely my favorite marinade for which I have used dozens of times and it is always a hit! Bon Appetite!

  56. Amy J

    Made this for a Memorial Day cookout–it was absolutely fabulous! Served with a mango/avocado salsa, it was perfect. Thanks for a great recipe!

  57. Michelle

    I made this exactly as shown, except with skirt steak, so I didn’t score it. Marinated overnight, followed the slicing directions and used it for fajitas. It was tender and had delicious flavor! I will try it on ribeye steak next to get a sort of a hawaiian steak.

  58. cheryl

    Here is a great trick for flank steak..have the butcher put it through the tenderizer 2x’s…A great easy marinade is Dale’s..it also come in low salt…..it is kinda like a zip sauce..wonderful…I like to serve big beef steak tomatoes with buffalo matzerella cheese with balsamic, olive oil, basil leaves salt and pepper..then some yummy crusty bread……easy dinner…kids love the steak. enjoy

  59. Peggy

    Deliciously sweet and tasty! I grilled skewers of pineapple, peppers and onions, (brushed with the steak marinade) alongside the flank steak. The flavors were most complimentary. I cut the soy sauce in half to reduce the salt content, and it was perfectly salted anyway. Will definitely use this recipe again! Thanks!

  60. Tamara

    I’ve made this steak a few times and each time it comes out perfectly – I have to say its some of the best steak I’ve ever had! I also love the marinade and use it for stir frys…mix in some Mirin (Japanese rice wine) instead of red wine vinegar…its delicious!

  61. Kat

    This was great! Thanks!

  62. Kip

    This was a big hit with my family. I had one nice size flank steak and my boys devoured it. No leftovers for lunch at work. I will definitely make this one again.

  63. dollarbill7

    I just use Italian Dressing and a ziploc baggie. Just let it marinate 12 – 24 hours.

  64. Kathleen

    I tried this marinade last night for some guests and they were totally WOW’d! The only thing I changed was adding a little more garlic. Next time I make a batch I am going to throw some boneless skinless chicken breast into the mix and see how it goes.

  65. Kimberly

    We made this for our 4th of July barbecue tonight. I swapped out cider vinegar for the red wine vinegar, and used less soy sauce to cut the sodium. Cooked the marinade down and used as sauce for the meat, as well as the portabellas and baby bok choy also cooked on the grill. So, so good. Thanks, Elise!

  66. Alex

    Not trying to be nit-picky, but I think the firmness of the steak as it cooks is actually caused by the actin and myosin proteins denaturing in the meat, not by any sort of muscle contraction.

  67. Shannon Craven

    I thought this recipe was delicious – the only change I made was that I used the remaining marinade to saute sliced baby bella mushrooms and topped the steak with them. My whole family loved it. I thought I would have the leftovers over salad the next day, but there were no leftovers!

  68. Steve Straub

    I’ve been making this flank steak recipe for years and it’s always fantastic and a big hit with guests. We serve it with mashed potatoes which is perfect for the sauce. Last week I got the idea to use the marinade to make beef jerky and it turned out to be some of the best we’ve ever had.

    3 lbs of flank steak or london broil sliced very thin (it helps if you slighly freeze the meat first)

    Make a double portion marinade

    Combine meat and mariniade in a zip lock bag for 36-48 hours (I did 36)

    Put in a dehydrator for 8-12 hours depending on your model.

    Enjoy!!!

  69. Julie

    Just put a flank steak in the fridge to thaw. This is one of my family’s favorites. Thank you for all the great recipes!!!

  70. Kenny

    I made this then forgot about it for 4 days in the fridge and wondered if I should cook it and because I’m a cheap bastard I did it was amazing and tender put another one in the fridge tonight think I will only leave it in for about 2 or 3 days yum :-)

  71. Erica

    OMG this was soooo good!!!! While I was grilling the steak, I sauteed onions and peppers. Once they were cooked, I dumped in the left over marinade and cooked for a few more minutes. Served the steak and veggies with white rice. It was DELISH!!!!

  72. Sarah

    First time I have ever made Flank Steak, I cook almost every night for our family, I’m just not the biggest beef lover, neither is my son. This was incredibly easy…don’t know what took me so long…darned FEAR I tell ya. But I learned to beware using a cookie sheet if you do not have a broiler pan, I hope I don’t have to throw it out…anyway, I had to make myself stop eating it because it was SO good and best of all my 8 year old son (whom does NOT like steak LOVED IT TOO)..I will be making this again especially for a large crowd! I also only marinated for 1.5 hours and still so flavorful! Thank you

  73. bernee

    Our grill is currently out of order so I used the alternate cooking method suggested – large cast iron frying pan. I got it to medium-high before adding the marinated meat and tried it for three minutes on one side – too burnt due to the honey, I think. The so-called savory crust we were supposed to get is black. Recommend just broiling it in future if you can’t grill.

  74. Georgia

    This was the best steak I’ve ever had! Only change I made was to make cross-hatch score marks on the top and bottom of the steak, and cooked it 2 minutes per side on our Weber grill (which may run hot, but 4 minutes total worked well). Fabulous recipe!!

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