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 across the grain of the meat.
How to Cook Flank Steak
Prepared this way, marinated, cooked quickly at high heat, and 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 in a large cast iron frying pan as well.
Watch How to Grill Flank Steak
The Best Marinade for Grilled Steak
The flank steak marinade in this recipe calls for a lovely blend of soy sauce, honey, and garlic. It works wonderfully for this cut of meat.
For more Southwestern flavors, see our carne asada recipe. Do you have a favorite flank steak marinade? Or a grilling trick for flank steak? If so, please let us know in the comments.
Love Flank Steak? Try These Recipes
What is Flank Steak?
Flank steak is the cow's lower chest or abdominal muscle. Since it's muscle that's used a lot, the flank is a thick-grained, low-fat cut. The beauty of it is that it's inexpensive, but flavorful. It's a versatile cut of beef, especially when prepared well. It's best marinated and then seared whole over high heat. Cutting the cooked flank steak against the grain at a 45 degree angle ensures you're cutting through the tough parts, making it easier to eat.
Skirt steak is a similar cut, but has a different shape, a bit more fat, and the grain runs in a different direction.
How Long to Marinate Flank Steak
The ideal amount of time is 12 hours, but you can marinate it for up to 24 hours. You should let it sit in the marinade for a minimum of 2 hours, even if you're pressed for time.
How to Store and Reheat Cooked Steak
You can store leftover flank steak for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator. To reheat, warm up in a preheated 225°F oven until it's warmed through with an internal temperature of 110°F (about 15 minutes or so). Then, sear on a well-oiled cast iron pan for about 60 to 90 seconds on each side.
Ideas for Leftover Grilled Flank Steak
- Use them as filling for weeknight tacos.
- Add them to stir-fried vegetables.
- Toss them with ramen and broccoli, like this recipe.
- Add them to a bowl of ramen or pho.
- Make a steak salad with the slices.
- Toss them in a grain bowl.
- Use them as a burrito filling.
- Make nachos.
- Serve them on the side for DIY lettuce wraps.
- Make homemade cup noodles.
Grilled Marinated Flank Steak
For the marinade
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the steak
1 (2-pound) flank steak
Coarse salt, to taste (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste (optional)
Marinate the steak:
Combine the marinade ingredients in a large non-reactive bowl.
Place the steak in the bowl and turn it, so it is completely coated with the marinade. (You can also place the steak and marinade in a plastic freezer bag and place it in a bowl.)
Chill and marinate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.
Prepare your grill:
Prepare the grill for high, direct heat with one part of the grill for lower, indirect heat. The grill is hot enough when you hold your hand about an inch over the hot side, and you can only hold it there for about a second.
Grill the steak:
Remove the steak from the marinade and gently shake off the excess marinade from the steak (But make sure there is still a coating of it, you'll want the oil on it to help keep the steak from sticking to the grill.).
If you want, 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 side of the grill. Grill for a minute or two on each side to get a good sear. Then, move the steak to the cooler side of the grill, cover and cook a few minutes more until done to your liking.
How do you know when the steak is done? One way to tell is to poke it with your fingertips. 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. 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.
Rest the steak:
When the steak has cooked to your liking, remove from the grill and place on a cutting board. Cover with aluminum foil to hold in the heat while the steak rests for 10 to 15 minutes.
Slice across the grain:
Notice the direction of the muscle fibers of the steak; this is called the grain of the meat. Flank steak is a very lean cut that will be tough and chewy unless you cut it in a way that breaks up the muscle fibers.
So, cut the steak across the grain of the meat, at a steep diagonal, so that the slices are wide. I find it easiest to use a long serrated bread knife for this, but any long sharp knife will do.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 13g||17%|
|Saturated Fat 2g||11%|
|Total Carbohydrate 13g||5%|
|Dietary Fiber 0g||1%|
|Total Sugars 12g|
|Vitamin C 0mg||2%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|