Flank steak is a popular cut of meat, known for its rich and beefy flavor and its versatility in the kitchen. However, many people wonder if it is necessary to marinate flank steak before cooking it. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the benefits of marinating flank steak and whether or not it’s really necessary.
What is Flank Steak?
Flank steak comes from the abdominal muscles of the cow. It’s a long, flat cut that’s typically about one inch thick.
This cut of meat is lean and flavorful but can also be tough if not cooked properly. Flank steak is best cooked quickly over high heat and sliced against the grain to ensure tenderness.
What Does Marinating Do?
Marinating involves soaking meat in a mixture of liquids, acids, and spices to enhance its flavor and tenderness. The acid in the marinade helps to break down the connective tissues in the meat, making it more tender. The flavorings in the marinade also infuse into the meat, adding depth and complexity to its taste.
When Should You Marinade Flank Steak?
While marinating isn’t strictly necessary for flank steak, it can be beneficial for several reasons. If you’re planning on grilling or broiling your flank steak, marinating it beforehand can help keep it from drying out during cooking. Additionally, marinating can help add flavor to lean cuts of meat like flank steak that don’t have a lot of inherent fat or marbling.
The Best Marinades for Flank Steak
When it comes to marinades for flank steak, there are countless options to choose from. Some popular choices include:
- Tangy citrus marinade: made with orange juice, lime juice, garlic, cumin, and chili powder.
- Soy and ginger marinade: made with soy sauce, ginger, garlic, brown sugar, and rice vinegar.
- Balsamic vinegar marinade: made with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic, and herbs like rosemary or thyme.
How to Marinade Flank Steak
If you’ve decided to marinate your flank steak before cooking it, here’s how to do it:
- Choose a marinade recipe that appeals to you and gather all of the necessary ingredients.
- Whisk together the marinade ingredients in a bowl or measuring cup.
- Place the flank steak in a shallow dish or resealable plastic bag and pour the marinade over it.
- Cover the dish or seal the bag and place it in the refrigerator. Allow the flank steak to marinate for at least 30 minutes (or up to 24 hours) before cooking.
The Bottom Line
While marinating isn’t strictly necessary for flank steak, it can help enhance its flavor and tenderness. If you’re planning on grilling or broiling your flank steak, marinating it beforehand can also help keep it from drying out during cooking. With countless marinades to choose from, you’re sure to find one that suits your taste preferences.