Say hello to marinated and grilled flank steak! This budget-friendly piece of meat is perfect on its own or used in a plethora of dishes.
I never turn down a juicy and tender steak, especially one that can be repurposed for endless meals! That’s why this flank steak recipe is one of my favorites.
Not only is it a budget-friendly cut that’s perfect for grilling, but it’s also a popular protein my family and I love to use for flank steak tacos, steak fajitas, beef and broccoli, and lomo saltado.
Table of Contents
What is flank steak?
Also known as bavette steak, flank steak is a lean cut of beef that comes from the abdominal muscles of the cow. Like skirt steak, it’s known for its rich, beefy flavor and amazing marinating and grilling ability.
- It simplifies dinner time. I like to marinate the steak the night before cooking. This way, the prep work is done, and all that’s left to do is grill the meat!
- The marinade is versatile. In our kitchen, we think of flank steak as a blank canvas. I get to unleash my creativity with different herbs, seasonings, sauces, marinades, and more!
- Tender, juicy, and just plain delicious. This easy-to-follow and flexible recipe gives you a perfectly seared, succulent slab of steak for the cookout in no time.
All you need is the meat and a handful of ingredients you likely already have in your kitchen, such as:
- Flank steak. For the juiciest, most flavorful meat, use flank steak that has a thin layer of marbled fat along the edge and no discoloration. Remember, flank steak is sometimes labeled as “bavette steak”.
- Soy sauce. I like to use soy sauce as the base of the flank steak marinade because it adds a deep umami richness and yields a caramelized crust on the surface. If you need a substitute with a similar flavor profile, try tamari, coconut aminos, or Worcestershire sauce.
- Olive oil. This also encourages browning around the meat and prevents it from sticking to the grill grates.
- Honey. Its sweet flavor balances the salty flavors in the marinade.
- Balsamic vinegar. Just enough to help tenderize the steak. Feel free to experiment with red wine vinegar or fresh orange, lime, or lemon juice here.
- Garlic cloves. Minced.
- Thyme. I like to use springs of fresh thyme but dried thyme works if that’s what you have at home.
- Black pepper. To taste.
Find the printable recipe with measurements below.
How to marinate and grill flank steak
Marinating flank steak requires a little patience but the results are well worth the extra time! From there, all that’s left to do is get your grill on.
Step 1 – Marinate the steak. Whisk the marinade ingredients in a small bowl. Place the steak in a large bowl and pour the marinade over top. Cover and place it in the fridge to marinate for at least 10 minutes or overnight.
Step 2 – Prepare for grilling. Let the marinated steak sit at room temperature while you preheat the grill.
Step 3 – Grill the steak. Pat the steak dry and season it with pepper. Place it on the grill and cook to your desired doneness.
Step 4 – Rest, slice, and serve. Let the steak rest before slicing it against the grain and serving. Enjoy!
Alternative cooking methods
This steak is not only a blank canvas in terms of seasonings but it’s also easy to cook in other ways. Here is how to pan sear, smoke, and bake this steak in the oven:
Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat on the stove, then add the oil. Once hot, sear the steak in the skillet for 3 to 5 minutes per side (for medium-rare), adjusting the time based on your preferred level of doneness. (It’s almost identical to my cast iron steak).
Preheat the smoker to 225ºF-250°F. Add your preferred wood chips, then place the steak on the grates and smoke it for 2 to 3 hours or until the beef is fall-apart tender.
Place the marinated steak on a baking sheet and roast at 425°F for 15 to 20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches your desired level of doneness. If the steak isn’t as crispy or caramelized enough around the outside after baking, place it under the broiler and broil for about 5 minutes or until it’s browned to your liking.
Recipe tips and variations
- I recommend marinating the steak for at least 2 hours. But for the best results, leave it overnight so all of the flavors can penetrate the meat.
- To achieve a caramelized seared crust, preheat the grill to high heat and brush the grates with oil.
- Use a meat thermometer. My favorite way to check for doneness is with a meat thermometer. My family loves our steak cooked to medium-rare (an internal temperature of 130°F to 140°F) but adjust it to your own preferences.
- Customize the flavors! Put your own spin on the flank steak marinade recipe by using fresh rosemary, citrus juice, brown sugar, or red pepper flakes in the mixture.
To store: Let the steak cool to room temperature, place it in an airtight container, and store it in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.
To freeze: Wrap the leftover flank steak tightly in plastic or foil, then freeze for 2 to 3 months. Let it thaw overnight in the fridge.
To reheat: Bring the steak to room temperature, then reheat it in the oven at 250ºF or in a skillet on the stovetop over medium heat.
More mouthwatering steaks to grill
Frequently asked questions
Both flank steak and skirt steak are affordable cuts of beef that can be used interchangeably in recipes. What sets them apart is that flank steak is cut from the abdominal area, while skirt steak comes from the diaphragm muscle.
As a result, flank steak typically has finer muscle fibers and a more robust, beefy flavor. It’s great for dishes that call for thin, quick-cooking slices of meat.
The grilled steak is impressive when it’s sliced thinly and served on a platter with vibrant garnishes, like freshly chopped cilantro or parsley, chimichurri, or creamy garlic yogurt sauce. I like to serve it with simple sides, like potato wedges and asparagus, not to take away from the steak’s mouthwatering appeal.
Flank Steak Recipe
- Combine all the ingredients, except for the steak, in a small bowl. Whisk well.
- Place the steak in a large bowl and pour the marinade so the steak is completely coated. Marinate in the fridge for at least 10 minutes up to 24 hours.
- Preheat the grill to medium heat.
- Remove the meat from the marinade and let it sit at room temperature while you heat the grill.
- Sprinkle the meat with pepper and place it on the grill. Cook until the internal temperature reaches around 140F, flipping several times.
- Leave meat to rest aside for 10 minutes, before slicing it across the grain.
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