Grilled Flank Steak

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Easy grilled flank steak with a delicious marinade and an easy cilantro-parsley chimichurri. This grilled flank steak recipe includes a simple marinade, easy rub, and a delicious chimichurri sauce. Recipe from: chelseasmessyapron.com

Here’s our absolute favorite recipe for easy Grilled Flank Steak. It marinates in a simple blend of ingredients focused on maximizing flavor and tenderness, and then gets a quick rub of spices before being grilled to perfection. If desired, top this delicious flank steak with the simple chimichurri herb sauce included in this recipe.

Keep the grill going and pair Grilled Flank Steak with our favorite grilled corn salad.

 

Overhead image of the grilled flank steak with chimichurri sauce over it

The best-ever Grilled Flank Steak

Grilled Flank Steak is a recipe I make all summer long and have for years now. It’s a family favorite and a hit with anyone that gives it a try.

The steak starts in a simple marinade of just six ingredients, and then after it’s marinated, we add a quick four-ingredient spice rub to maximize flavor. And while this grilled flank steak can certainly stand on its own, it’s truly out of this world when paired with an easy herb sauce — my (inauthentic) take on chimichurri. A lot of the ingredients overlap from the marinade to the herb sauce, so why not whip that up too?!

What is flank steak?

Flank steak is cut from the bottom abdominal area of the cow, so it contains a lot of hard-working muscles. A flank steak has a lot of tough fibers running throughout it and is a fairly lean piece of meat. It’s also slightly thicker and wider than skirt steak (read about the differences between skirt and flank steak here). 

QUICK TIP

Sometimes a grocery store will label a flank steak under a different name such as a London Broil, Flank Steak Fillet, and/or Jiffy Steak. When in doubt, ask the person at the meat counter. If you can’t find a flank steak, flat iron steak, hanger steak, or skirt steak will all work similarly with this recipe.

Process shots: Assemble the marinade ingredients; mix to combine; add steak to the mixture; separately, combine the rub ingredients; sprinkle over steak and rub in; grill to desired level of doneness.

Is flank steak tough or tender?

Since flank steak is lean with tough fibers, it benefits from the tenderizing effects of a marinade. Flank steak is a thin cut of meat with a lot of surface area between the string-like muscle fibers, so it absorbs the flavors of the marinade well.

Flank steak is going to be most tender when it is thinly sliced against the grain and cooked to  medium rare. By using this marinade recipe and following a few tips I’ll share in this post, you’ll end up with the absolute best flank steak — it practically melts in your mouth, it’s so tender.

Grilled Flank Steak will end up tough if it’s not marinated (or marinated too long), not cooked at a high temperature, over-cooked, or sliced in the same direction of the muscle fibers.

How do you cook flank steak so it’s not tough?

  • Make sure the grill is completely heated before you add the steak to the grates. High heat sears the surface of the meat, resulting in a juicier steak with an amazing char.
  • Cut the cooked steak against the grain and sliced on the bias. Here’s more on that! It’s especially important to cut against the grain (at a steep diagonal so slices are wide) because of all the tough muscle fibers. By cutting against the grain, it reduces the length of those muscle fibers to make chewing easier. 
  • Slicing on the bias means holding the knife at a 45-degree angle instead of the standard bread slicing angle.
  • We like to use a long serrated, sharp bread knife to cut a grilled flank steak. However, any sharp knife will work.
  • Use a meat thermometer to ensure the meat is perfectly cooked to your personal preference (more on this below).

QUICK TIP

Flank steak is very lean and will be tough and chewy if it is cut in the same direction of the muscle fibers.

Process shots: Make chimichurri sauce by first combining red wine vinegar, garlic and lime juice; finely chop and lightly pack parsley and cilantro and add to vinegar; add seasonings and honey; stir well and let sit; serve over steak.

How long does it take to grill a flank steak?

One of the best things about flank steak is how quick it is to grill! It takes about 8-10 minutes to grill to medium-rare.

I prefer grilled flank steak at medium rare and find it loses flavor and texture when cooked beyond medium.  A high grill temperature and short grilling time will keep a flank steak tender. 

That said, cook the steak exactly how you like it!  Below are the temperatures for cooking flank steak to your personal preference.

Fully preheat the grill to 450 degrees F. Aim to keep the grill that consistent temperature throughout the grilling process.

  • Rare: 120-125 degrees F
  • Medium-Rare: 135 degrees F (about 4-5 minutes on one side and another 4-5 minutes on the other side)
  • Medium: 140 degrees F (about 5-7 minutes on one side and another 3-5 minutes on the other side)
  • Medium-Well: 150 degrees F (about 8-10 minutes on one side and another 3-5 minutes on the other side)
  • Well-Done: 160-175 degrees F.

**Time depends on the steak’s thickness, your grill, and actual temperature of your grill**

QUICK TIP

Pull the steaks off about 5 degrees below the desired temperature — the flank steak will “cook” those last 5 degrees from carryover heat as it rests tented under foil.

Overhead view of Grilled Flank Steak, sliced and topped with chimichurri sauce.

Sauce tips

The chimichurri sauce that tops this Grilled Flank Steak isn’t complicated to make but can be a little time consuming if made by hand. Personally, I think it’s best with hand-chopped herbs (hand chopping creates a more coarse and textured sauce), but you can save time by using a food processor or small blender. Here are a few other tips:

  • Make the sauce ahead of time. I recommend making the sauce in advance right after making the marinade. This herb sauce just gets more and more flavorful as it sits! 
  • Make sure to completely dry the herbs. After washing the cilantro and parsley, take the time to fully dry them (a salad spinner makes this process go fast). If you use wet herbs, the sauce will taste watery.
  • Use good quality, extra-virgin olive oil. The better your olive oil, the better the flavor of the sauce. 

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Grilled Flank Steak

4.58 from 7 votes
Our absolute favorite recipe for an easy Grilled Flank Steak. This steak starts in a simple marinade and then gets a quick rub of spices before being grilled to perfection. If desired, top this delicious steak with simple chimichurri herb sauce included in this recipe.
Print Recipe

Grilled Flank Steak

4.58 from 7 votes
Our absolute favorite recipe for an easy Grilled Flank Steak. This steak starts in a simple marinade and then gets a quick rub of spices before being grilled to perfection. If desired, top this delicious steak with simple chimichurri herb sauce included in this recipe.
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword grilled flank steak
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Marinating Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 682kcal
Cost $19.75

Ingredients

Steak & Marinade

  • 1.5 - 2 pounds (907g) flank steak
  • 1/4 cup (52g) olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup EACH: honey (84g) and soy sauce (65g)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped Italian parsley

Quick Spices

  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon EACH: ground cumin, ground coriander seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Chimmichurri

  • 3-4 cloves finely chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 large lime (2 tablespoons juice)
  • 1/2 cup (30g) finely chopped cilantro (~1 full bunch)
  • 1/2 cup (33g) finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley (~1 full bunch)
  • 1/2 cup (104g) good-quality olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • fine sea salt and freshly cracked pepper

Instructions

  • PREP: Remove flank steak from packaging and pat dry with paper towels. Place in a large resealable bag.
  • MARINADE: In a bowl, combine the olive oil, minced garlic, red wine vinegar, honey, soy sauce, pepper, and 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped Italian parsley. Whisk together and pour over the flank steak. Seal and place in the fridge for at least 1 hour and preferably 4-6 hours. Flip the steak in the bag halfway through the marinating time.
  • CHIMICHURRI SAUCE: I like to make this the same time I'm marinating the meat, because it gets more flavorful as it sits. In a large mason jar, add the finely chopped garlic cloves (2-3 cloves if sensitive to garlic, or 4 cloves for garlic lover!), red wine vinegar and freshly squeezed lime juice. Stir and set aside. Finely chop a bunch of parsley to get a full 1/2 cup gently packed (you should use most, if not all of a good sized bunch; some stems are fine -- I just remove the bulk of large stems and then chop the rest). Chop the cilantro and measure to get a lightly packed 1/2 cup. Add the parsley and cilantro to the mason jar along with the olive oil, dried oregano, red pepper flakes, and honey. Season to taste with salt and pepper (I use 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper). Stir thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate while the meat marinates.
  • GRILL PREP: Preheat the grill to 450 degrees F. Once heated, clean the grill grates with a wire brush. Liberally oil the grill (I do this by drenching a paper towel in canola or vegetable oil and, holding tongs, rubbing the paper towel over the grill). This will ensure the meat doesn't stick to the grates and gets a great char (char = flavor!)
  • QUICK SPICES: Stir together 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seed, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.
  • STEAK: Remove from marinade and discard remaining marinade. Sprinkle half the rub on top of the steak. Place on fully heated grill (rub-side down) and quickly sprinkle the rub on top. Close grill lid. Cook for 4-5 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature is 130-135 degrees F for medium rare or 145 degrees for medium. (I use a meat thermometer here. My grill takes exactly 4 minutes per side at 450 degrees F.) Remove the steak from the grill to a cutting board. Tent with foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Once the steak has rested, slice it very thinly against the grain (See Note 1). Serve with chimichurri herb sauce.

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Find the fibers on the steak and determine how they are running along the steak. Once you find that grain, slice perpendicular (here's a visual). This will keep the meat juicier and much more tender. It's easier to chew when cut against the grain.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 682kcal | Carbohydrates: 26.5g | Protein: 41.9g | Fat: 46.5g | Cholesterol: 215mg | Sodium: 556.4mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 22.9g

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9 Comments

  1. Okay this looks so delicious! Look at that juicy steak. To die for! I would love to make this! Gorgeous drool worthy pictures too! Okay now I’m hungry! 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    This was amazing! I’m so happy I found your pin! I changed it a bit to accommodate my diet restrictions and wanted to share. I had 3 chicken breasts so I divided accordingly. Instead of beans and corn I put fresh spinach under the chicken and I seared the chicken a bit on the stove before placing on the rice and spinach. Sealed them with 2 pieces of foil to ensure seal that you talk about and put on indirect heat on the BBQ. AMAZING! Happy husband here 🙂

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