There are plenty of flank steak recipes that will give you the tenderness of a steak but with the flavors of a fajita.
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Did you know that fajitas were first created in the late 1930s? Mexican ranch workers living in Texas were sometimes paid in meat instead of money. And of course, the meat they were given was often the parts of the cow that the ranchers didn’t want, such as the flank steak or skirt steak.
The hard-working cowboys wasted no time teaching themselves to cook these cuts of beef, and they served the grilled meat right up on their tortillas. Since that time, beef fajitas have soared in popularity, and they become mainstream in the 1960s at Guajardo’s Cash Grocery store.
The real secret is getting the right flank steak marinade to put your meat in for a few hours so it has a chance to soak up all those delicious ingredients.
You’ll also hear it called skirt steak marinade but it’s the same cut of meat and it will taste just as good as any flank steak marinade recipe.
The best thing about a flank steak recipe is it doesn’t take a ton of time to make because they are mostly sitting in the grill cooking on their own.
Grilling flank steak is one of the most popular ways to do it because you get all that rich smoky flavor combined with the rest of the ingredients you’re using.
This is one of the best recipes for flank steak so it will be perfect to use when you start busting out the grill again.
How to Grill Flank Steak
When you have a marinade flank steak the best option is always going to be to grill it. The great thing about flank steak recipes is that they are usually pretty forgiving so if you’re a little new to grilling, this is a good option for you.
The meat will be pretty thin compared to other cuts so you don’t have to leave it on nearly as long so the cooking time is pretty short.
You can even use a cooking brush while the marinated flank steak is cooking to coat the meat every so often with more of the sauce so it never dries out and stays extra juicy.
If you’re wondering how long to grill flank steak you’ll have to wait about 15-20 minutes for the meat to cook thoroughly. You could use a thermometer to test the internal temp to make sure it’s just right.
If you can’t cook your flank steak on grill then you can use a skillet to get the job done. Just make sure it’s set to high heat so that you can sear it when you throw it on and it gets a nice crisp outer layer.
What is Flank Steak?
The flank steak, or skirt steak, is from the abdominal muscles of the cow. It’s a long, thin cut of meat that can be a little tough if not cooked properly.
That’s why a good flank steak grilled recipe is key to making sure it comes out tender and juicy every time.
But, when it’s cooked correctly, the grilled flank steak is one of the most flavorful and tender cuts of meat you’ll ever eat.
Because the abdominal muscles are used pretty often the flank steak is a low-fat cut which means it’s pretty inexpensive in the store compared to other meats.
When you cut the flank steak you want to make sure you cut against the grain at about a 45 degree angle. This will ensure your grilled flank steak recipe is easier to eat and isn’t as tough to chew.
Marinading Flank Steak
A flank steak marinade recipe is only as good as the marinade you put on it. Usually the marinade is made from rich and savory ingredients like soy sauce, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, worcestershire sauce, honey, ginger, and garlic.
The truth is, you can make your marinade out of pretty much anything you want. If you’re used to more southwest flavors you can throw in some peppers to make it a bit spicier. If you prefer a more refreshing meat you can toss in some herbs or mints to make it really shine.
If you went to every state and had a flank steak made for you it would probably be different every single time you tired it. Once you get used to the recipe and cooking your flank steak go ahead and start experimenting with your favorite flavors.
How Long Do You Have to Marinate Flank Steak?
Marinading the steak is really the secret to getting all the great flavors but how long you marinate is really up to you. The longer you keep the steak in the marinade the more flavor it’s going to absorb.
Ideally, you want to keep the steak in there for at least 12 hours so prepping it the night before and letting it sit in the fridge overnight would be best. If you wanted, you could go ahead and leave the steak in the marinade for up to 24 hours to get the most tender and flavorful steak ever.
But, if you are pressed and don’t have time to spare then a quick 2-hour marinade would still help a lot more than just not marinating it altogether.
How Do You Store and Reheat Flank Steak?
You can store your marinated flank steak recipes in the fridge in an airtight container like you normally would with other foods. It should last you about 3-4 days that way and it’s super easy to reheat.
Just stick it on a plate with some water splashed on it and stick it in the microwave for the easiest way to reheat. If you want to keep the integrity of the grilled steak a little more you’ll need to preheat the oven to about 225 degrees and let it rest in the oven till the internal temp is around 110 degrees.
Be careful about leaving it in for too long because that’s how you’ll dry it out and the meat will become a lot tougher. What you can do is splash a little water on your meat so it provides more water that can evaporate instead of sucking all the juices from within.
Ideas for Leftover Grilled Flank Steak
There are so many things you can do with a grilled flank steak recipe and so many different dishes you can add it to. Here are some of the best ways you can use your juicy steak for different recipes:
- Using them as filler in your weeknight tacos
- Cut them up and add to your stir-fry
- Use it as protein for your ramen and broccoli bowl
- Use them in a ramen or pho bowl
- Add them to a healthy arugula salad
- Use them with eggs as a savory breakfast option
- Put them inside a burrito
- Make the best nachos you’ve ever had
- Take some lettuce wraps and create a no-carb taco
Grilled Marinated Flank Steak
Our BEST Flank Steak Recipes
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 minced garlic cloves
- 1 3/4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup raw honey
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Other ingredients:
- 2- pound flank steak
- Coarse salt
- Marinate the steak:
- Take all of your marinating ingredients and toss them into a food-safe bowl. Mix them thoroughly so they get evenly mixed.
- Place steak inside the bowl and make sure every surface is covered with the marinade. Another method is to pour all the marinade ingredients into a ziplock bag and toss the flank steak inside to fully coat.
- Let the steak marinade in the bowl or bag for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours in the fridge.
- Prepare your grill:
- Prepare your grill like you normally would but make sure you leave space for one side of the grill to receive indirect heat instead of the high, direct heat a flame would produce.
- You’ll know the grill is ready when you put your hand about one inch over the direct, high heat and you can only leave it there for about one second.
- Grill the steak:
- When the grill is ready, take your flank steak out of the marinade and gently shake off any extra marinade over the sink. The extra parts could drop into the fire and cause an excess amount of heat and you’ll end up burning some of your flank steak.
- You do still want some coating on the steak so that it doesn’t come out dry and end up sticking to the grill itself.
- This is an opportunity to sprinkle a little more salt and pepper if you feel you haven’t added enough to this point. The salt and pepper seasoning can act as a crust on the flank steak and it will bring even more flavor to your flank steak.
- Place flank steak gently on the hotter side of the grill and wait for a minute or two before flipping and doing the same on the other side. You want your steak to get a nice sear from the extreme heat.
- Then, place your steak on the cooler side of the grill to let cook for about 5-8 more minutes. You can also use an internal thermometer to check the temp inside the steak to make sure it cooks thoroughly.
- You ideally want a steak to reach 120-125 degrees for rare, 130-145 degrees for medium rare, and 145 degrees for medium.
- There are a couple of other ways you can tell if your steak is done if you don’t have a thermometer. You can gently poke the steak to check the doneness. When you touch a raw steak it will be very mushy and form to your finger.
- The longer the steak cooks, the more it hardens so you want a texture that is still a little soft while having a nice firm outer layer. If you touch the tip of your nose that is what a well done steak typically feels like so you can make a decision based on touch.
- Rest the steak:
- When you think the steak is done and you’re ready to take it off the grill you don’t want to immediately start cutting into it. That’s because the steak needs some time to absorb all the liquids inside which takes some cooling to do.
- If you rest your steak on a cutting board for an additional 10 minutes while covering it with some foil, it will have time to really soak up all the juices. If you notice your steak juices running all down the cutting board when you cut it, you haven’t let it sit long enough.
- Slice across the grain:
- Flank steak can be known for being chewy even if you cook it perfectly and that’s because of the grain of the meat. The grain is essentially muscle fibers in the meat and they can be a lot tougher than the rest of the meat.
- If you cut perpendicularly to the grain, your steak will be much more tender and easy to chew. You’ll see the grain when you’re looking at your steak and it usually runs along the length of the meat.
- If you can, you’ll want to cut the steak diagonally so you get the widest slices possible. Garnish with some parsley or some lime juice, depending on the meal you’re having.
How hot should the grill be for flank steak?
You want to make sure your grill reaches about 450 to cook your flank steak. Since the beef cut is pretty thin you don’t have to worry about cooking it on low temps to make sure it cooks all the way through.
The high heat will also create a nice sear on your steak so the outer fat layer caramelizes and creates a delicious flavor on your steak. Make sure to wait for the grill to warm up completely before throwing the steak on or else you might mess with the cooking times.
Do you close the grill when cooking flank steak?
For a flank steak it’s much less important to keep the grill closed then if you had a thicker cut of steak like a filet mignon. The thin flank steak can cook just as well with the grill lid open as it can with it closed. If you are trying to conserve time or trying to get the best possible results it’s recommended to keep the lid closed.
This is because when the lid is closed the temperature can remain the same throughout the entire compartment and will help the steak cook more evenly.