Flank Steak – How To Marinate And Grill
Welcome, grill masters and grill novices alike! Are you looking for a delicious flank steak recipe to try without having to go to Outback Steakhouse this evening with the family? Bring the smokehouse glory to your home this evening by reading this blog post. Learn about flank steak, how to enhance its flavor, and exclusive pro tips for preparing and cooking the steak.
What is a flank steak?
Steak is a delicious cut of meat and there are many varieties that come from a cow. Today, we will discuss the flank steak. The flank steak is harvested from the bottom of the cow’s stomach. It is a thin cut of meat that gets even thinner as it is cooked.
Despite it being a lean meat, it can also be tough in texture. Achieve a moist and delicious flank steak by following the guidelines for enhancing its flavor and cooking it as mentioned below.
Pro tip: Thinly slicing the flank steak against the grain is the best way to enjoy its deliciously beefy flavor and to experience the utmost tenderness out of this cut of meat.
How do I enhance the flavor of a flank steak?
Dry rubs and marinades work the best to flavor a flank steak. Dry rubs impart a bold flavor without the need for marinading the meat overnight. Think of dry rubs as a quick solution for flavorful beef flank steak on a time crunch. Marinades are known to help deeply flavor and tenderize the meat so it is more moist after cooking.
A flank steak marinade that sits with the meat overnight is the better solution for when you have more time to prepare the steak.
For dry rubs, use onion powder and garlic powder as a base flavor. For overnight marinades, any premise marinade from the grocery store of your choice works well. However, having your overnight marinade homemade will allow you to customize the flavor more to your liking. Try soy sauce as a base for the first overnight marinades that you make for flank steak.
Pro tip: A dry rub can sit on the steak for at least 10 minutes before being cooked. You can let it sit longer for up to an hour to impart more flavor. For a marinade, you can let the steak sit for 3-5 hours or even overnight for a deeper flavor.
What’s a delicious starter recipe for cooking a flank steak?
Beef flank steak recipes are all over the Internet nowadays as people attempt to cook this popular cut of meat with their own flair. You can choose to grill, pan sear, or broil a beef steak after you have chosen your desired flavoring. Choose the cooking method that is most comfortable for you.
Since this is a flank steak recipe for grill master novices, this recipe will involve pan searing the meat. Get started on your grilling journey with this starter recipe.
Sweet, Smoky, & Savory Beef Flank Steak
Step 1: Ground the Mustard Seeds
If you are using ground mustard, you can skip this step. If you are using ground mustard seeds, you will have a smokier flavor for your steak. Cook the seeds on medium heat until you smell their aroma. Transfer them to a mortar and pestle to make the mustard seeds into ground mustard. Let the ground mixture sit to cool for 5 minutes.
Step 2: Mix the Spices
Measure the paprika, cayenne pepper, dried basil, salt, pepper, packed brown sugar, garlic powder, and onion powder all into a small bowl. Combine the seasonings with a fork or whisk. Once the ground mustard has cooled, mix that in with the other spices.
Step 3: Apply the Dry Rub
Distribute the dry rub on both sides of each flank steak you are preparing. Let the dry rub sit on the flank steak for 10-60 minutes based on your desired depth of flavor.
Step 4: Cook & Enjoy!
Pan sear the steaks on high heat for 4-5 minutes on each side depending on your desired fineness. Enjoy as steak fajitas or by itself with a side of vegetables and mashed potatoes. Flank steak also makes awesome leftover sandwiches for work for you or school for the kids or grandkids the next day!
Pro tip: No matter whatever kind of beef steak recipes you try, remember to always cook the meat at a high heat so it is tender and moist every time.
Beef Flank Steak Recipe
- 1/2 Teaspoon Cayenne pepper
- 1/2 Teaspoon Dried basil
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 Teaspoon Pepper
- 1/2 Tablespoon
Packed brown sugar
Tablespoon Onion powder
Tablespoon Mustard seeds (or use ground mustard)
- If you are using ground mustard seeds, you will have a smokier flavor for your steak.
- Cook the seeds on medium heat until you smell their aroma.
- Transfer them to a mortar and pestle to make the mustard seeds into ground mustard.
- Let the ground mixture sit to cool for 5 minutes.
- Measure the paprika, cayenne pepper, dried basil, salt, pepper, packed brown sugar, garlic powder, and onion powder all into a small bowl.
- Combine the seasonings with a fork or whisk.
- Once the ground mustard has cooled, mix that in with the other spices.
- Distribute the dry rub on both sides of each flank steak you are preparing.
- Let the dry rub sit on the flank steak for 10-60 minutes based on your desired depth of flavor.
- Pan sear the steaks on high heat for 4-5 minutes on each side depending on your desired fineness.
- Enjoy as steak fajitas or by itself with a side of vegetables and mashed potatoes.
- Flank steak also makes awesome leftover sandwiches for work for you or school for the kids or grand kids the next day!
What’s the takeaway?
Now that you have learned about the steak, how to flavor it, and a starter recipe, you can expand and try more recipes that include overnight marinades. You can even vary the types of steak dishes that you can make at home so you are eating at restaurants less throughout the week.
Learning how to cook flank steak at home will help with meal planning so you can always have a delicious dinner during the busy work week. Have a steakhouse menu one night per week so you can perfect your steak cooking skills over time!
Bonus pro tip: As you try out more recipes, document your favorite ones however you want. Print them out from online or make a copy of it from one of your cookbooks. You can file these in a meal planning binder for future reference. If you find online recipes and would rather not print them out, save them in a Pinterest folder exclusively for steak recipes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there another word for flank steak?
Flank steak comes from the lower abdominal muscles in the belly of a cow. Because this particular muscle gets a lot of work on a daily basis, it can be tough if it’s not cooked properly. You may also see flank steak labeled as “London Broil,” which is not technically a cut of meat but a cooking technique.
What can you use if you can’t find a flank steak?
Flank steak is one of a kind, but there are a few steaks that are common substitutes — especially when you’re cooking flank steak on the grill. A hanger steak has a similar taste and texture, although it’s a thicker cut. Skirt steak is a little longer and thinner, but it’s your best bet for a substitution. You could also use flat iron or a sirloin flap, if you like.
Is flank steak expensive?
Flank steak used to be one of the least expensive cuts of beef, but it can be quite expensive these days. It’s a popular cut to use for making fajitas, tacos, and carne asada. For the best prices on flank steak, check out a carniceria or Mexican meat market. You can also ask the butcher if the package labeled “London Broil” is actually a flank steak; these packages are usually priced at more affordable levels than the ones labeled as flank, for some reason.
How long does flank steak take on the grill?
If you cook flank steak for too long on the grill, it can become very tough. It goes from perfectly tender to chewy more quickly than you'd think! It should only take 8 to 10 minutes total to cook a flank steak. It’s best to cook it over very high heat on the grill and flip it halfway through the grilling time to ensure even cooking.
Do you need to marinate flank steak?
Some people say you have to marinate flank steak for hours before grilling it, but we disagree. The steak is already tender enough if you cook it to medium rare or medium temperatures, so you don’t necessarily need to marinate it to get there. We recommend using a flavorful dry rub, like the one detailed above. If you do decide to marinate flank steak in an acidic marinade, don’t let it sit for more than 24 hours or it can get mushy.