Learn How to Cook a Delicious Flank Steak

Flank steak, known for its rich flavor and tender texture, is a popular cut of beef that has gained immense popularity among home cooks and grilling enthusiasts. With its long, flat shape and distinctive grain, flank steak offers a versatile canvas for creating delicious dishes. However, cooking this lean and flavorful cut to perfection can be a challenge for many.

Whether you’re planning a weekend barbecue or simply want to impress your family and friends with a mouthwatering meal, learning how to cook a flank steak like a pro is essential. From selecting the right cut to mastering various cooking methods, there are several key factors to consider in order to achieve melt-in-your-mouth tenderness and incredible flavor.

In this guide, we’ll delve into the art of cooking flank steak, sharing expert tips and techniques that will elevate your culinary skills. Whether you’re a novice in the kitchen or an experienced chef, this comprehensive guide will equip you with the knowledge and confidence to prepare a perfect flank steak every time. So let’s dive in and unlock the secrets to mastering this delicious cut of beef!

What is Flank Steak?

What is Flank Steak?

Flank steak is a flavorful and versatile cut of beef that is prized for its rich marbling and tender texture. Derived from the abdominal muscles of the cow, flank steak is known for its long, flat shape and distinctive grain pattern. It has gained popularity among home cooks and professional chefs alike due to its delicious taste and the numerous culinary possibilities it offers.


Flank steak, also known as London broil or jiffy steak, is a lean and boneless cut of beef that is taken from the lower chest region of the cow. It is located just below the rib cage and above the hindquarters. The term “flank” refers to the section of meat that runs along the sides of the animal, extending from the bottom of the ribs to the hipbone.


The unique characteristics of flank steak make it an excellent choice for various cooking methods. It is renowned for its intense beefy flavor and can be incredibly tender when prepared correctly. However, due to its natural leanness, flank steak can become tough and chewy if not handled properly.

To fully appreciate the deliciousness of flank steak, it is essential to understand its grain. The grain refers to the direction in which the muscle fibers run within the meat. Flank steak has long, parallel fibers, making it necessary to slice against the grain when serving. By cutting across the grain, you ensure that each bite is tender and easy to chew.

Flank steak is commonly used in dishes like fajitas, stir-fries, sandwiches, and salads. Its versatility allows it to absorb flavors well, making it ideal for marinades and spice rubs. The thinness of the cut also makes it a popular choice for grilling or searing on high heat, resulting in a caramelized exterior and a juicy interior.

Whether you prefer it rare, medium-rare, or well-done, flank steak can satisfy a wide range of meat lovers. Its tenderness and succulence make it a favorite for special occasions, backyard barbecues, or weeknight dinners.

So, if you’re in the mood for a delectable beef dish, consider adding flank steak to your menu. With its robust flavor and versatility, it is sure to please your taste buds and impress your guests.

Stay tuned for more tips on selecting the perfect flank steak and various cooking techniques in upcoming sections.

Choosing the Right Flank Steak

Choosing the Right Flank Steak

When it comes to cooking a delicious flank steak, choosing the right cut of meat is crucial. The quality and selection of your flank steak can greatly influence the final outcome of your dish. To ensure a mouthwatering result, here are some valuable insights on selecting and buying the perfect flank steak.

Flank Steak Selection

When selecting a flank steak, there are a few factors to consider. First, examine the color of the meat. Look for vibrant red or deep burgundy hues, as this indicates freshness. Avoid cuts that appear grayish or have any discoloration.

Another aspect to assess is marbling. While flank steak is known for its leanness, a small amount of marbling can enhance flavor and tenderness. Look for thin lines of fat running through the muscle fibers, as these can add juiciness to your steak when cooked.

Evaluating Flank Steak Quality

To ensure high-quality flank steak, consider the following points:

  1. Grain: Check the direction of the grain. The grain refers to the lines of muscle fibers in the meat. Look for flank steaks with long, visible muscle fibers running parallel to each other. This will make it easier to slice the steak against the grain later, resulting in a more tender bite.

  2. Thickness: Opt for flank steaks that are relatively thin, around 1/2 to 1 inch thick. Thicker cuts may require longer cooking times and can be less tender. Thinner cuts also absorb marinades and seasonings more effectively, enhancing the overall flavor.

  3. Butcher’s Advice: Seek the guidance of a knowledgeable butcher. They can recommend the best flank steak options available, provide tips on cooking methods, and share insights on the latest cuts and trends. Building a relationship with a trusted butcher can make your steak-buying experience even more enjoyable.

Where to Buy Flank Steak

Flank steak can be found at various locations, including supermarkets, butcher shops, and online meat suppliers. Consider the following options when purchasing your flank steak:

  1. Local Butcher: Visit a local butcher shop for a personalized experience. They often offer higher-quality cuts and can provide valuable advice on cooking techniques.

  2. Supermarkets: Many supermarkets carry flank steak in their meat section. While the selection may be more limited, they can still offer decent quality cuts.

  3. Online Suppliers: Explore online suppliers that specialize in delivering high-quality meats to your doorstep. This option provides convenience and ensures access to a wider range of premium flank steaks.

Remember to consider your budget, personal preferences, and convenience when choosing where to buy your flank steak.

By taking the time to carefully select your flank steak and ensuring its quality, you’re setting yourself up for culinary success. Next, let’s dive into the essential steps for preparing this flavorful cut of meat.

(Word count: 446)

Preparing Flank Steak

Preparing Flank Steak

Preparing flank steak properly is crucial to ensure a flavorful and tender end result. This step is where you can add your own personal touch and enhance the natural flavors of the meat. Let’s delve into the essential aspects of preparing a delicious flank steak:

Marinating Flank Steak

Marinating is a popular technique used to infuse the meat with additional flavors and improve its tenderness. A marinade typically consists of an acidic component, such as vinegar or citrus juice, along with various herbs, spices, and oils. The acidity helps to break down the muscle fibers, making the steak more tender.

To marinate a flank steak, start by combining your desired ingredients in a bowl or a resealable plastic bag. You can experiment with different flavor profiles like Asian-inspired, Mediterranean, or even spicy Southwestern. Once the marinade is ready, place the flank steak in the marinade, ensuring that it is completely submerged. Allow it to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight for maximum flavor penetration.

Seasoning Flank Steak

Seasoning plays a crucial role in elevating the taste of your flank steak. Before cooking, generously season both sides of the steak with salt and pepper. Additionally, you can incorporate other dry rubs or spice blends to add depth and complexity to the meat. Some popular options include garlic powder, paprika, cumin, or even a dash of chili powder for some heat. Rub the seasoning gently onto the steak, ensuring an even coating.

Tenderizing Flank Steak

Flank steak is known for its long, lean muscle fibers, which can sometimes make it chewy if not prepared correctly. Tenderizing the meat helps break down these fibers, resulting in a more tender and enjoyable eating experience.

One effective method for tenderizing flank steak is using a meat mallet or a tenderizing tool. Place the steak on a cutting board and gently pound it with the textured side of the mallet or tool. This process helps to break up the connective tissues and makes the meat more tender. Be careful not to over-tenderize, as this can result in an overly soft texture.

Another tenderizing technique is scoring the steak. Using a sharp knife, make shallow diagonal cuts on both sides of the steak, creating a diamond-shaped pattern. This not only helps to tenderize the meat but also allows marinades and seasonings to penetrate deeper.

Remember, allowing the flank steak to rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes after marinating, seasoning, or tenderizing it will ensure more even cooking.

By taking the time to marinate, season, and tenderize your flank steak properly, you’ll be rewarded with a succulent and flavorful final dish. These steps may require a bit of preparation, but the resulting melt-in-your-mouth experience will be well worth it. Now, let’s move on to the next crucial aspect – grilling the flank steak to perfection!

Grilling Flank Steak

Grilling Flank Steak

Grilling a flank steak to perfection requires some know-how and attention to detail. To help you achieve that juicy and flavorful result, we have compiled some essential grilling tips, discussed the optimal cooking temperature, and emphasized the importance of a resting period.

Grilling Tips

  • Preheat the grill: Before placing your flank steak on the grill, make sure it is preheated to the appropriate temperature. This ensures even cooking and helps to create those coveted grill marks.

  • Oil the grill grates: Prevent sticking by oiling the grates before placing the steak on them. You can use a brush or a folded paper towel dipped in oil to coat the grates lightly.

  • Pat dry the steak: Remove excess moisture from the surface of the flank steak using a paper towel. This step allows for better searing and caramelization during the grilling process.

  • Season appropriately: Marinating or seasoning the flank steak before grilling enhances its flavor. Choose a marinade or rub that complements the meat and let it sit for at least 30 minutes or overnight in the refrigerator for maximum taste.

  • Maintain proper heat: Keep the grill at medium-high heat for grilling flank steak. This temperature ensures a nice sear while not overcooking the meat.

Cooking Temperature

Achieving the perfect level of doneness is crucial when grilling a flank steak. Here are some general guidelines for cooking temperatures:

  1. Rare: 120-125°F (49-52°C) internal temperature. The meat will be bright red and very rare in the center.

  2. Medium-rare: 130-135°F (54-57°C) internal temperature. The center will be pink and slightly firm when touched.

  3. Medium: 140-145°F (60-63°C) internal temperature. The center will have a warm pink color and feel firmer to the touch.

Note that these temperatures are just a reference point, and personal preference plays a significant role in determining the level of doneness you desire. Use an instant-read meat thermometer to ensure accuracy.

Resting Period

After grilling, it’s essential to let the flank steak rest for a few minutes before slicing into it. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a juicier and more tender steak. Tent the steak loosely with foil during the resting period to keep it warm.

A good rule of thumb is to let the flank steak rest for about 5-10 minutes. This short waiting period will yield more flavorful and succulent slices.

By following these grilling tips, ensuring the proper cooking temperature, and allowing for a resting period, you can achieve a perfectly grilled flank steak every time. Experiment with different flavors and seasonings to personalize your grilling experience and impress your guests with this delicious cut of beef.

Now that we’ve covered the grilling process, let’s explore some alternative cooking methods for flank steak in the next section.

Alternative Cooking Methods

Alternative Cooking Methods

When it comes to cooking a delicious flank steak, grilling is often the go-to method for many. However, there are alternative cooking methods that can also result in mouthwatering and tender flank steak. In this section, we will explore three popular alternatives: broiling, pan-searing, and oven-roasting.

Broiling Flank Steak

Broiling is a fantastic option for those who don’t have access to a grill or prefer an indoor cooking method. To broil a flank steak, preheat your oven’s broiler on high and position the rack about 6 inches below the heat source. Follow these steps:

  1. Season the flank steak with salt, pepper, and any desired spices or marinade.
  2. Place the steak on a broiler pan or a wire rack set inside a baking sheet.
  3. Slide the pan into the oven under the broiler and cook for about 4-6 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the steak and the desired level of doneness.
  4. Keep a close eye on the steak as broiling can quickly sear the exterior. Use a meat thermometer to ensure it reaches your desired internal temperature (145°F for medium-rare).
  5. Once done, remove the steak from the oven and let it rest for a few minutes before slicing against the grain.

Broiling creates a beautiful charred crust on the outside while maintaining juicy and flavorful meat inside. It’s a quick and convenient method that delivers impressive results.

Pan-Searing Flank Steak

Pan-searing is another excellent technique for cooking flank steak indoors. It allows you to control the heat and get a nice sear on the steak. Here’s how to pan-sear flank steak:

  1. Heat a cast-iron skillet or heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat until it’s smoking hot.
  2. Season the flank steak with salt, pepper, and any desired spices or marinade.
  3. Add a small amount of oil to the hot pan and swirl it around to coat the bottom evenly.
  4. Carefully place the steak in the pan and cook for about 3-4 minutes per side, depending on the thickness and desired doneness.
  5. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature (145°F for medium-rare) and adjust the cooking time accordingly.
  6. Once cooked to your liking, transfer the steak to a cutting board and let it rest for a few minutes before slicing.

Pan-searing creates a delicious crust on the outside while keeping the inside tender and juicy. It’s a versatile method that allows you to control the level of doneness more precisely.

Oven-Roasting Flank Steak

Oven-roasting is a great technique when you have a bit more time to spare and want to infuse additional flavors into your flank steak. Here’s how you can oven-roast a flank steak:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Season the flank steak with salt, pepper, and any desired spices or marinade.
  3. Heat an oven-safe skillet or roasting pan over medium-high heat on the stovetop.
  4. Add a small amount of oil to the pan and sear the steak for about 2-3 minutes per side until browned.
  5. Transfer the pan to the preheated oven and continue cooking for approximately 10-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the steak and desired doneness.
  6. Use a meat thermometer to ensure the steak reaches your preferred internal temperature (145°F for medium-rare).
  7. Remove the steak from the oven and let it rest for a few minutes before slicing against the grain.

Oven-roasting allows the flavors to develop slowly while creating a moist and tender flank steak. It’s an excellent method for those who enjoy a more hands-off approach to cooking.

By exploring these alternative cooking methods, you can add variety to your flank steak preparations and find the technique that suits your taste preferences. Whether you choose to broil, pan-sear, or oven-roast, each method offers its unique flavors and textures that will surely impress your family and friends. So go ahead and experiment with these techniques to elevate your flank steak dishes to new heights!

Serving and Enjoying

Serving and Enjoying

When it comes to serving a delicious flank steak, there are numerous options to consider. In this section, we will explore some serving suggestions, side dishes, and even share a few mouthwatering flank steak recipes to elevate your dining experience.

Serving Suggestions

Flank steak is incredibly versatile and can be served in various ways. Here are a few serving ideas to inspire you:

  1. Classic Steak Presentation: Serve the flank steak as the main star of the dish. Slice it against the grain into thin strips and arrange them on a plate. You can garnish with fresh herbs like cilantro or parsley for an added touch of freshness.

  2. Steak Tacos or Fajitas: Take your flank steak to the next level by using it as a filling for tacos or fajitas. Pair it with warm tortillas, salsa, guacamole, and your favorite toppings for a flavorful and satisfying meal.

  3. Steak Salad: Thinly sliced flank steak can make a fantastic addition to a salad. Combine it with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, and your choice of dressing for a refreshing and protein-packed salad.

  4. Sandwich or Wrap: Create a delicious steak sandwich or wrap by layering thinly sliced flank steak with your favorite condiments and veggies. Add some cheese or spreads for extra flavor and enjoy a hearty and filling meal.

Side Dishes

When it comes to choosing side dishes to accompany your flank steak, opt for options that complement its rich flavors. Here are a few side dish suggestions:

  1. Grilled Vegetables: Grilling vegetables not only adds a smoky flavor but also provides a nice contrast to the juicy and tender flank steak. Some popular options include zucchini, bell peppers, asparagus, and corn on the cob.

  2. Garlic Mashed Potatoes: Creamy garlic mashed potatoes are a classic side dish that pairs well with almost any steak. The creamy texture and savory flavors perfectly complement the bold taste of the flank steak.

  3. Roasted Root Vegetables: Roasting root vegetables such as carrots, parsnips, and sweet potatoes brings out their natural sweetness and adds a comforting touch to your meal. Season them with herbs like rosemary or thyme for added depth of flavor.

  4. Grilled Corn on the Cob: Grilled corn on the cob is a popular side dish that complements grilled meats beautifully. Brush the corn with butter and grill until tender and slightly charred for a delicious accompaniment to your flank steak.

Flank Steak Recipes

If you’re looking to experiment with different flavors and preparations, here are a couple of mouthwatering flank steak recipes to try:

  1. Asian-inspired Marinated Flank Steak: In a bowl, mix soy sauce, minced garlic, grated ginger, brown sugar, sesame oil, and lime juice. Marinate the flank steak in this mixture for at least 30 minutes. Grill to your desired doneness and serve with stir-fried vegetables and steamed rice.

  2. Chimichurri Flank Steak: Prepare a vibrant chimichurri sauce by blending together fresh parsley, cilantro, garlic, red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Marinate the flank steak in half of the chimichurri sauce for an hour. Grill the steak and serve it sliced, drizzled with the remaining sauce.

Remember, these are just a few suggestions to get you started. Feel free to get creative and adapt these ideas to suit your preferences. Serving a perfectly cooked flank steak with well-chosen side dishes and exciting flavors will surely impress your guests and leave them craving more.
Flank steak, with its delicious flavor and versatility, is a cut of meat that deserves special attention in the kitchen. In this guide, we have explored the various aspects of cooking a flank steak to perfection.

We began by understanding the nature of flank steak and its unique characteristics. From there, we delved into the importance of selecting the right cut, ensuring that quality is not compromised.

Next, we discussed the crucial steps involved in preparing the flank steak, including marinating, seasoning, and tenderizing. These steps not only enhance the taste but also ensure that the meat remains juicy and tender.

Grilling emerged as the preferred method for cooking flank steak, and we shared valuable tips on achieving the perfect sear while maintaining the desired level of doneness. We also explored alternative cooking methods such as broiling, pan-searing, and oven-roasting for those without grills.

Finally, we touched upon the joy of serving and enjoying flank steak. The possibilities are endless when it comes to pairing this delectable cut with various side dishes and exploring different recipes.

Now armed with knowledge about how to cook a flank steak, you have the power to create memorable meals that will delight your family and friends. So, fire up the grill or heat up the skillet and let the aroma of a perfectly cooked flank steak fill your kitchen.

Remember, cooking is an art, and mastering the technique of preparing flank steak opens up a world of culinary possibilities. So, embrace the challenge, experiment with flavors, and savor every bite.

In conclusion, whether you’re a seasoned chef or a novice cook, learning how to cook a flank steak is a skill worth acquiring. It’s a journey that promises delicious results and brings people together around the dinner table. So, go ahead and embark on this culinary adventure – your taste buds will thank you!

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button