Flank steak is a popular cut of beef that is known for its rich flavor and tenderness. However, many people wonder if marinating flank steak is necessary to achieve the best results. In this article, we will explore whether or not you need to marinate flank steak and provide some tips for making the most out of your meat.

What is Flank Steak?

Flank steak comes from the abdominal muscles of the cow, located near the hind legs. This cut of meat is long and flat, with a pronounced grain that makes it easy to slice against. It is lean and flavorful, but can also be tough if not cooked properly.

Do I Have to Marinate Flank Steak?

The short answer is no, you don’t have to marinate flank steak. However, marinating can enhance the flavor and tenderness of your meat.

When you marinate a piece of meat, you are essentially soaking it in a mixture of ingredients that can help break down its tough fibers and infuse it with additional flavors. Most marinades contain an acidic component like vinegar or citrus juice, as well as herbs, spices, and oils.

Marinating flank steak for at least 30 minutes before cooking can help tenderize the meat and add extra flavor. However, if you are short on time or prefer a simpler preparation method, you can skip the marinade altogether.

Tips for Cooking Flank Steak

Whether or not you decide to marinate your flank steak, there are a few tips you should keep in mind when cooking it:

  • Let your meat come to room temperature before cooking it. This will help it cook more evenly.
  • Season your meat generously with salt and pepper before cooking.
  • Cook your flank steak over high heat for a short amount of time.

    This will help it develop a crispy exterior while still remaining juicy and tender on the inside.

  • Let your meat rest for at least 5-10 minutes before slicing it. This will allow the juices to redistribute, resulting in a more flavorful and tender piece of meat.


In conclusion, while you don’t necessarily have to marinate your flank steak, doing so can enhance its flavor and tenderness. However, if you are short on time or prefer a simpler preparation method, you can skip the marinade altogether and still achieve delicious results. Just remember to season your meat well and cook it over high heat for a short amount of time, and you’ll have a perfectly cooked flank steak every time.