Join me as we dive into the art of grilling the perfect flank steak. Get ready to experience tender, juicy goodness infused with mouthwatering flavors that will make you a true connoisseur of grilled meats. So, grab your apron, and let's fire up the grill! (I'm so excited, can you tell?)
This recipe is one that's been in my family for a long, long time. We still make it all summer. The flavor is ridiculously good, and the long marinade time on the flank steak makes for a super tender (and affordable) slice of beef.
Unleash the grill master within you with our ultimate guide to grilling tender and flavorful flank steak. From marinating techniques to slicing tips and delectable side pairings, this article has everything you need to become the steak grilling superstar!
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Why You'll Love This Recipe
- What is Flank Steak?
- Do I have to Marinate it?
- Flank Steak vs. Skirt Steak: What's the Difference?
- How to Make Flank Steak
- Internal Temperature and Grill Times
- How to Slice It
- Pro Tips and Tricks
- Flavor Variations
- Wine Pairings
- What to Serve it With
- Storage and Reheating
- Other Great Beef Recipes
- 📖 Recipe
Frequently Asked Questions
For optimal flavor, marinate the flank steak for at least 6 hours, but preferably overnight. This allows the marinade to penetrate the meat, tenderizing it and infusing it with delicious flavors.
While other cuts can be used, flank steak is ideal for its distinctive taste and tenderness. However, you can try similar cuts like skirt steak or flat iron steak as alternatives.
Grilling is the preferred method for flank steak as it imparts a smoky char and enhances the flavors. However, if grilling is not an option, you can broil or pan-fry the steak using high heat for a similar effect.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Juicy Marvel: It's so juicy, creating a flavor explosion in your mouth.
- Flavor Fiesta: Prepare your taste buds for a wild ride! We've got soy sauce bringing that umami goodness, garlic adding its aromatic pizzazz, honey providing a touch of sweetness, and ginger lending a zesty kick.
- Flexibility at its Finest: Let's talk versatility, my friends. This grilled flank steak is a star in its own right, but it also plays well with others. Slice it up for tantalizing sandwiches, tuck it into tacos, toss it in salads, or stir-fry it to perfection. The possibilities are endless!
What is Flank Steak?
Alright, before we get to the grilling business, let's take a moment to get acquainted with our culinary star: the flank steak. This lean and flavorful cut is taken from the abdominal muscles of the cow. It's a long, flat piece of meat that's perfect for grilling, thanks to its natural texture. However, be warned, my friends—it can be a tad tough if not handled with care. But fear not because we'll master the art of tenderness!
Do I have to Marinate it?
In short, yes. This is definitely a cut you want to marinate. While the flavors are delicious, it can definitely be tough if you don't let it marinate. I highly recommend letting it go for 24 hours in the fridge if you can.
Marinating flank steak is essential for two reasons: tenderizing the meat and infusing it with flavors. The marinade acts as a natural meat tenderizer, breaking down the connective tissues and fibers, resulting in a more tender and juicy steak. Additionally, the marinade imparts a delightful combination of flavors that elevate the overall taste profile of the meat.
Flank Steak vs. Skirt Steak: What's the Difference?
Flank steak and skirt steak, two popular cuts of beef, often find themselves in the grilling spotlight. They share some similarities, but make no mistake – they each bring their own unique flavors and textures to the table. Let's dive into the juicy details and uncover the delicious distinctions between these grill-worthy cuts.
First up, we have flank steak: a lean and flavorful slab of meat cut from the abdominal muscles of the cow. It's long and flat, with a bold grain pattern running through it. Flank steak is a go-to choice for grill enthusiasts who appreciate its versatility. The meaty marvel boasts a hearty texture and a pronounced beefy flavor that's ready to take on a marinade like a champion. But here's the catch – flank steak needs a little extra love to reach its full potential.
That's where marinating comes into play. Marinating flank steak not only infuses it with delicious flavors but also helps to tenderize the meat, making it oh-so-tender and juicy when grilled to perfection. The marinade seeps into every nook and cranny, giving the steak a chance to soak up those flavors. So, don't skimp on the marinade time. Let that flank steak soak up the goodness, ensuring that each bite is a burst of savory delight.
Now, let's turn our attention to skirt steak, a cut that's known for its robust and beefy character. Skirt steak comes from the diaphragm muscle of the cow and boasts a long, thin shape. It's got a distinct grain pattern and a rich, full-bodied flavor that's sure to tantalize your taste buds. Skirt steak has a slightly more pronounced grain than flank steak, and its texture is a bit looser, offering a tender yet toothsome bite.
Here's the exciting part – skirt steak is so flavorful that it doesn't require marinating to shine. Its inherent taste is robust enough to hold its own on the grill. You can simply season it with some salt and pepper, throw it on the heat, and let the grill work its magic. The result? A juicy, beefy masterpiece that's all about celebrating the pure essence of the meat.
Soy sauce: Adds a savory umami flavor and helps tenderize the meat.
Garlic: Infuses the marinade with a delightful aroma and a subtle tang.
Onion: Provides a sweet and savory base note to the marinade.
Honey: Balances the savory flavors with a touch of natural sweetness.
Sesame seeds: Adds a nutty and crunchy texture to the finished steak.
Ginger: Brings a warm and aromatic element to the marinade.
How to Make Flank Steak
Making the perfect grilled flank steak is easier than you might think. Follow these simple steps, and you'll be on your way to culinary excellence:
In a bowl, combine the soy sauce, minced garlic, finely chopped onion, honey, sesame seeds, ginger, and black pepper. Mix well to create the marinade.
Place the flank steak in a resealable plastic bag or a shallow dish. Pour the marinade over the steak, ensuring it is evenly coated. Seal the bag or cover the dish and refrigerate.
Allow the steak to marinate for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight. This extended marinating time allows the flavors to penetrate the meat fully.
Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Remove the flank steak from the marinade, letting any excess drip off. Discard the marinade.
Grill the steak for approximately 4-5 minutes per side for medium-rare, or adjust the cooking time based on your desired level of doneness.
Internal Temperature and Grill Times
This chart is a handy guide - but remember that these are general guidelines and cooking times may vary depending on your grill's heat intensity and the thickness of your steak. It's always a good idea to use a meat thermometer to ensure the desired level of doneness is reached.
|Doneness||Internal Temp (°F)||Grill Time (minutes) (per side)|
|Well Done||160°F and above||7-8|
How to Slice It
Slicing flank steak properly is crucial for an enjoyable eating experience. Again, this guy can be tough, so we're going to do everything we can to avoid having that happen. Follow these steps to achieve perfect slices:
- Allow the cooked flank steak to rest on a cutting board for about 5 minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute and ensures a more flavorful and tender result.
- Holding the steak firmly with one hand, position a sharp knife at a slight angle against the grain of the meat.
- Slice the flank steak into thin, diagonal strips, ensuring each cut is perpendicular to the grain.
Pro Tips and Tricks
Temperature is key: Ensure that your grill is preheated to the proper temperature before placing the flank steak on it. A hot grill will sear the meat quickly, sealing in the juices and creating a delicious crust.
Let it rest: After grilling, allow the flank steak to rest for a few minutes before slicing. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a more tender and flavorful steak.
Slice against the grain: When it's time to slice the flank steak, make sure to cut against the grain. This means cutting perpendicular to the long muscle fibers. Slicing against the grain helps break up the muscle fibers, resulting in a more tender bite.
Use a meat thermometer: For precise cooking, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the steak. For medium-rare, aim for an internal temperature of around 130-135°F (55-57°C).
Don't overcrowd the grill: Give the flank steak enough space on the grill, allowing it to cook evenly. Crowding the grill can lead to uneven cooking and prevent the meat from achieving a nice char.
Brush with marinade during grilling: For an extra burst of flavor, brush the flank steak with the marinade while it's on the grill. Be careful not to brush too much, as excessive marinade can cause flare-ups.
Use indirect heat for thicker steaks: If you have a thicker cut of flank steak, consider using indirect heat. Start by searing the steak over direct heat to develop a crust, then move it to a cooler part of the grill to finish cooking more gently.
Experiment with wood chips: Add an extra layer of smokiness to your grilled flank steak by incorporating wood chips into your grilling process. Soak the chips in water for about 30 minutes, then place them directly on the charcoal or in a smoker box if using a gas grill.
Quality matters: Choose a high-quality flank steak for the best results. Look for well-marbled meat with a vibrant red color. Opting for grass-fed or organic beef can also enhance the flavor profile of the steak.
Let the marinade shine: If you prefer a lighter flavor, reserve some of the marinade before adding it to the raw steak. Use the reserved marinade as a sauce or glaze to drizzle over the grilled flank steak when serving.
Grill your sides: Take advantage of the grill's heat and space by grilling your chosen side dishes alongside the flank steak. This imparts a smoky flavor and creates a cohesive and delicious meal.
Citrus twist: Add freshly squeezed lime or orange juice to the marinade for a zesty and tangy flavor.
Asian-inspired: Incorporate ingredients like soy sauce, sesame oil, and Sriracha into the marinade for an extra kick of Asian flair.
Herb-infused: Experiment with fresh herbs such as rosemary, thyme, or cilantro to add an aromatic touch to the marinade.
Mediterranean twist: Add a Mediterranean flair by incorporating ingredients like lemon juice, oregano, and minced garlic into the marinade. Serve the grilled flank steak with a side of tzatziki sauce and roasted vegetables for a delightful Mediterranean feast.
Spicy kick: For those who enjoy heat, spice up the marinade with chili flakes, cayenne pepper, or a touch of hot sauce. Pair the grilled flank steak with a cooling avocado salsa or a refreshing chimichuri to balance the spiciness.
Smoky and savory: Enhance the smoky flavors by adding a dash of liquid smoke to the marinade. Serve the steak with grilled corn on the cob and a robust chimichurri sauce for a deliciously savory combination.
Cabernet Sauvignon: This full-bodied red wine with its rich tannins and dark fruit notes harmonizes beautifully with the robust flavors of the steak.
Malbec: A medium-bodied red wine with a velvety texture and hints of blackberry and spice provides a delightful contrast to the grilled flank steak.
Rosé: A dry and fruity rosé offers a refreshing and versatile option, balancing the flavors of the steak without overpowering them.
Merlot: A medium-bodied red wine with its velvety texture and notes of black cherry and plum enhances the flavors of the grilled flank steak without overpowering it.
Syrah/Shiraz: This bold and spicy red wine with its black pepper and dark fruit characteristics pairs exceptionally well with the robust flavors and smoky char of the steak.
Rosé: Opt for a dry and crisp rosé with its fruity and floral notes to provide a refreshing and versatile wine pairing that complements the grilled flank steak beautifully.
Zinfandel: With its rich and jammy fruit flavors, zinfandel stands up well to the bold flavors of the steak, offering a luscious and satisfying wine pairing.
Sauvignon Blanc: If you prefer white wine, choose a Sauvignon Blanc with its vibrant acidity, citrus notes, and herbaceous undertones. It provides a refreshing contrast to the richness of the grilled flank steak.
Red blend: A well-balanced red blend offers a versatile option that combines different grape varieties, delivering a complex flavor profile that pairs harmoniously with the flavors of the steak.
What to Serve it With
Grilled vegetables: Create a colorful medley of grilled peppers, zucchini, and eggplant to accompany the steak.
Roasted potatoes: Serve up some crispy roasted potatoes seasoned with herbs and garlic for a delightful side dish.
Fresh salad: A light and refreshing salad featuring mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, and a tangy vinaigrette balances the richness of the steak.
Mashed potatoes: Creamy and flavorful mashed potatoes make a comforting and satisfying side dish that perfectly complements the grilled flank steak.
Roasted asparagus: Roasted asparagus spears seasoned with olive oil, salt, and pepper provide a vibrant and healthy side option that adds a pop of color to the plate.
Quinoa salad: A light and refreshing quinoa salad with cherry tomatoes, cucumber, feta cheese, and a lemon vinaigrette makes for a wholesome and balanced accompaniment to the steak.
Storage and Reheating
If you have leftovers or need to prepare the steak in advance, follow these storage and reheating guidelines:
- Allow the grilled flank steak to cool completely before storing it in an airtight container or wrapped tightly in aluminum foil.
- Refrigerate the steak for up to 3-4 days.
- To reheat, gently warm the steak in a preheated oven at a low temperature or quickly sauté it in a pan over medium heat until warmed through.
Other Great Beef Recipes
Soy-Marinated Flank Steak
- BBQ or Grill
- ¼ C soy sauce
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 small onion chopped
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 lb flank steak
- In a bowl, combine soy sauce, minced garlic, chopped onion, honey, sesame seeds, ginger, and black pepper. Mix well to create the marinade.
- Place the flank steak in a resealable plastic bag or a shallow dish. Pour the marinade over the steak, ensuring it is evenly coated. Seal the bag or cover the dish and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.
- Preheat your grill to medium-high heat.
- Remove the flank steak from the marinade, letting any excess drip off. Discard the marinade.
- Grill the steak for approximately 4-5 minutes per side for medium-rare, or adjust the cooking time based on your desired level of doneness.
- Remove the steak from the grill and let it rest on a cutting board for 5 minutes.
- Slice the flank steak thinly against the grain.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!
Hi, I'm Cara! I'm a food writer, journalist, and recipe developer. I'm obsessed good food, good wine, good cocktails and entertaining. I've picked up a few tips over the years, and love sharing them with others.