Marinated Flank Steak is a popular dish that is known for its rich flavor and tender texture. However, sometimes the steak can turn out tough, leaving you wondering where you went wrong. In this article, we’ll explore why marinated flank steak can end up tough and what you can do to prevent it from happening.

What is Flank Steak?

Flank steak is a cut of beef that comes from the abdominal muscles of a cow. It’s long and flat in shape and has a strong grain running through it. Because of its lean nature, it’s often marinated to enhance its flavor and tenderize the meat.

Why Can Marinated Flank Steak be Tough?

One of the most common reasons why marinated flank steak can end up tough is because of overcooking. Flank steak should be cooked to medium-rare or medium doneness, as cooking it for too long can cause the meat to become Chewy and dry.

Another reason why marinated flank steak can end up tough is because of improper slicing. It’s essential to slice against the grain when cutting flank steak, as this breaks down the muscle fibers and makes the meat more tender.

Additionally, marinating for too long or using an acidic marinade can also cause flank steak to become tough. Acidic marinades like those containing vinegar or citrus juices can break down the protein in the meat, resulting in a mushy texture if left for too long.

How Can You Prevent Marinated Flank Steak from Becoming Tough?

To prevent your marinated flank steak from becoming tough, there are a few things you can do:

  • Cook your flank steak to medium-rare or medium doneness.
  • Slice against the grain.
  • Marinate your steak for no more than 24 hours.
  • Choose a non-acidic marinade or limit the amount of acidic ingredients used.


Marinated flank steak is a delicious and flavorful dish that can be enjoyed by many. However, it’s important to take the necessary steps to ensure that your steak doesn’t end up tough. By following these tips, you’ll be sure to have a perfectly cooked and tender marinated flank steak every time!