How To Cook Flank Steak On The Grill
An Introduction to Flank Steak
Flank steak comes from the lower abdominal area or the flank of the cow. This is a less expensive version of the pricier cuts of beef. Our beef flank steak recipes will show you how to cook this type of meat to be flavorful and tender. You will need to use a dry rub or marinade. You will be cooking your steaks on your grill. If you do not have one, the best way to cook flank steak indoors is with a cast-iron skillet.
To achieve the best results, your marinade needs to include salt, acidity, seasonings, oil and sugar. This is what will affect the general flavor of your meat. If you overcook flank steak or do not use a marinade or a rub, your meat may be tough.
How to Cook Flank Steak - Marinade
The best way to cook tender flank steaks is with a rub or marinade. We have included several good options below.
The first version
- One-third cup olive juice
- One-third cup of soy sauce
- One-half teaspoon black pepper
- Two cloves garlic (minced)
- One-quarter cup honey
- Two tablespoons red wine vinegar
The second version
- Juice from one lemon
- Two tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- Chili paste or hot sauce
- Three tablespoons olive oil
- One-quarter cup honey
- One-quarter cup wine vinegar
The third version
- One-half cup of extra virgin olive oil
- Four cloves garlic (chopped)
- One-quarter teaspoon black pepper
- Two tablespoons fresh rosemary (chopped)
- Two teaspoons kosher salt
For all of the above marinades, use a blender to mix your ingredients. Put your flank steak into a baking dish and poke each steak ten times on each side with a fork. Completely cover your steak with the marinade. Cover your dish and refrigerate for a minimum of one hour. Pro Tip: For the best results, you need to let your flank steak marinate overnight.
Flank Steak Dry Rub Recipe
- One teaspoon ground cumin
- One teaspoon black pepper
- Two teaspoons coriander
- One-half teaspoon cayenne pepper
- One teaspoon salt
- One teaspoon garlic powder
- One teaspoon paprika
Using your hands, completely cover your steaks with the dry rub. Make certain every surface is covered.
Preparing your Flank Steak
You will need one pound of flank steak for every three people. Score your steak by making shallow cuts into your meat. This will allow better penetration of your marinade and seasonings. Put your steaks onto a cutting board. Use a sharp knife tip to make cuts on both sides in a diamond pattern. Each cut should be one-quarter of an inch thick and against the grain. You will be using either a marinade or dry rub. Pro Tip: For a stronger flavor, let your flank steaks marinate overnight.
Preparing your Grill
Whether you have a charcoal or gas grill, it needs to be hot before you begin cooking your flank steak. If you are using a gas grill, only light one burner. Set your burner for high. Close the lid and wait a few minutes for your grill to become hot. Leave your second burner off so you will have an area to move your steaks to slow-cook after they have been seared.
If you are using a charcoal grill, cover the entire surface of the bottom of your grill. Push your charcoal to one side to leave half of the surface free of charcoal. Once you have seared your flank steak, you will need this area for slow cooking. Light your charcoal and wait until your charcoal is predominately grey and the flames have died down. The surface of your grill needs to be extremely hot.
Use a paper towel to pat down your steaks if you have used a marinade. Skip this step if you used a rub. The moisture contained in the outer layer of your flank steak must evaporate before a black and brown crust can form. If you try to grill steaks that are extremely wet, you will never achieve the desirable crispy coating. You want your steaks to be a little damp but not dripping wet.
Dry rub will absorb a lot of the moisture in your meat. If you pat down your steaks with paper towels, they will be too dry. Your rub can also come loose from your steaks. If you have ever wondered how to cook flank steak properly, this is one of your most important keys to success.
Cooking your Beef Flank Steak Recipe
Once your grill is hot enough, brush the metal bars of your grill with vegetable or olive oil using a grill brush. You are now ready to place your flank steaks on your grill. As soon as your steaks come in contact with the surface of your grill, they should start to sizzle. Pro Tip: If you do not have a grill brush available, you can use bunched up paper towels dipped in oil. Make certain your hand does not come into contact with the surface of your grill.
During the first few minutes, you will be searing your flank steaks. This will require between three and four minutes. Use a pair of tongs to turn over your steaks. Provided your grill was nice and hot, you should see blackened or dark brown areas of your steak with a crispy appearance. If your meat is not well seared, turn it back over immediately and let your meat continue to cook.
Once your flank steaks are well seared, cook them on the other side over high heat for another three to four minutes. This will ensure you have a crispy layer on both sides for a great taste and the ideal texture. You will enjoy the caramelized exterior of your steaks. Once both sides of your flank steaks have been seared, you will need to move them to a cooler section of your grill. You can do this using your tongs.
If you are using a gas grill, move your flank steaks over the burner that is off. For a charcoal grill, move your meat to the section with no charcoal underneath. Cooking over high heat is ideal for searing your flank steaks. If you try to continue cooking your meat over high heat, your steaks will burn before they are completely cooked. When you finish cooking over steady, low heat, the inside of your steaks will have a chance to finish cooking without burning.
Cook your steaks over low heat for three more minutes on each side. Keep your lid closed to prevent the heat from escaping. Use a meat thermometer to determine the internal temperature of your flank steaks. Once both sides have been seared and your steaks have cooked over low heat, they should be done. To make certain, insert the pointed end of your meat thermometer into the thickest portion of your steaks.
Make certain your thermometer does not come in contact with the surface of your grill while checking the internal temperature of your flank steaks. Your reading will tell you how your steaks are cooked. Never take your steaks off of your grill if the temperature is less than 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Your meat will be under-cooked and not safe to eat. We have included a temperature guide below.
- Rare: 120 degrees Fahrenheit
- Medium-rare: 130 degrees Fahrenheit
- Medium: 140 degrees Fahrenheit
- Medium-Well: 150 degrees Fahrenheit
- Well done: 160 degrees Fahrenheit
Remove your flank steaks from your grill and place them on a cutting board or a platter. Use aluminum foil to make a tent over your flank steaks. Let your meat rest for ten to fifteen minutes. This will enable your flank steaks to absorb the juices for more flavorful and tender results. The aluminum foil will also keep your steaks hot while they are resting.
When you are ready to cut your meat, make sure you cut at a perpendicular angle to the surface lines of your steak. This will tenderize your meat even more. You are now ready to serve your steaks and enjoy your efforts.
The Best Side Dishes and Drinks to Serve with Flank Steak
There are a lot of delicious options to serve with your meal. Pomegranate juice, cranberry juice and club soda with lime or lemon are ideal. You can also mix your juices with club soda for a sensational mixed drink perfect for both adults and kids. The following side dishes are also a nice addition to your meal.
- Grilled sweet potatoes
- Grilled asparagus with balsamic vinegar, olive oil and red onions
- Tangy carrot slaw
- Grilled zucchini salad
- Grilled baby potatoes with herbs and dijon mustard
- Cilantro pesto with roasted sweet potatoes
- Grilled broccoli with parmesan
- Smashed cucumbers with herbs
- Easy and light broccoli salad
- Grilled asparagus with butter
- Crispy potatoes with salt and vinegar
Your Final Results
Grilling flank steak is an excellent option for an inexpensive and tasty meal. Our beef flank steak recipe will provide you with flavorful, tender and juicy steaks. Make certain your grill is very hot before cooking your steaks. We hope you also enjoy the marinade recipes we have included.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does flank steak take on the grill?
Flank steak cooks very quickly on the grill for two reasons: it’s a thin cut of meat, and it tastes best when cooked to medium-rare temperatures. It should only take three or four minutes a side for your flank steak to reach medium-rare. If you prefer a medium steak, cook the flank for five minutes a side.
What temperature do you grill steak on a gas grill?
If you’re cooking flank steak on a gas grill, it’s best to turn the burners on to high heat. You want the hottest possible heat because the steak is very thin, so you don’t have to worry about cooking it all the way through. The grill should be somewhere between 450 and 500 degrees Fahrenheit before you open the lid to grill the steak.
Do you close the grill when cooking steaks?
Unless you’re using a Big Green Egg (which recommends cooking everything with a closed lid), steaks can be cooked with the grill lid open. Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule — like if you’re cooking a very thick steak. For most steaks, it’s best to keep the lid closed while the grill is preheating to keep all the heat inside the grill. Then, once you’re ready to cook, keep the grill open.
Should you put olive oil on a steak before cooking?
The answer to this question depends on whether you used an oil-based marinade. If that’s the case, there’s no need to put extra oil on the steak before cooking. If you used a dry rub, you might want to brush a teaspoon of cooking oil on each side the steak before hitting the grill. To prevent the steaks from sticking to the grill, it’s always best to rub oil on the grill grates before starting your grilling session.
How many times should you flip a steak on the grill?
For a thin steak like a flank steak, you should only need to flip the steak one time. You want to keep the steak in contact with the hot grill grates for as much as the cooking process as possible. Flipping it multiple times takes it away from the heat, which slows things down.