If you’re a fan of grilled meats, you may have wondered whether flank steak is a good candidate for the grill. After all, flank steak is a relatively lean and fibrous cut that comes from the lower chest of the cow, and it can be tough if cooked improperly. However, when prepared and cooked correctly, flank steak can be a flavorful and tender option that’s perfect for grilling.
What Makes Flank Steak Suitable for Grilling?
Flank steak has several qualities that make it well-suited for grilling:
- Flavor: Flank steak has a bold and beefy flavor that can stand up to high heat and bold seasonings.
- Texture: Flank steak has a pronounced grain that can be sliced against to create tender strips of meat.
- Thickness: Flank steak is usually thin enough to cook relatively quickly on the grill without overcooking or drying out.
- Cooking Temperature: Flank steak should be cooked at high heat to sear the surface and trap in juices, which means it’s ideal for grilling over direct heat.
How to Prepare Flank Steak for Grilling
To get the most out of your flank steak on the grill, you need to prepare it properly. Here are some tips:
Select Quality Meat
Look for flank steak that is bright red in color with minimal browning or discoloration. It should also have good marbling (small streaks of fat) throughout the meat, which will help keep it moist during cooking.
Tenderize the Meat
Since flank steak can be tough if not treated properly, you’ll want to tenderize it before grilling. You can do this by scoring the surface of the meat with a sharp knife in a crosshatch pattern, or by marinating it in an acidic marinade (such as vinegar, citrus juice, or wine) for several hours or overnight. The acid will help break down the muscle fibers and make the meat more tender.
Season the Meat
Flank steak can handle bold flavors, so don’t be shy with your seasonings. A simple rub of salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and paprika can enhance the natural flavor of the meat. You can also add other spices and herbs to suit your taste.
How to Grill Flank Steak
Once you’ve prepared your flank steak for grilling, it’s time to fire up the grill. Here’s how:
Preheat Your Grill
Heat your grill to high heat (around 450-500°F) and oil the grates with cooking spray or a brush dipped in oil.
Grill the Steak
Lay the flank steak on the hot grill and cook for 4-6 minutes per side for medium-rare doneness (or longer if you prefer well-done). Try not to move or poke the steak too much while it’s cooking to avoid losing juices. Use tongs or a spatula to flip it over.
Let It Rest
When you’ve finished grilling the flank steak, remove it from the heat and let it rest for at least 5 minutes on a cutting board covered with foil. This will allow the juices to redistribute throughout the meat and make it more tender.
So, does flank steak grill well? The answer is yes, as long as you take the time to prepare and cook it properly. By selecting quality meat, tenderizing it, seasoning it, and grilling it over high heat, you can enjoy a flavorful and tender flank steak that’s perfect for a variety of dishes, from fajitas to salads to sandwiches.