In episode 64, Taryn teaches you how to grill dry rubbed flank steak. You’ll learn about flank steak as a cut of meat, some of the best ways to cook it, as well as how to prep and season it for grilling with a dry rub. Taryn also goes over serving suggestions to turn this simple and quick recipe into a full, family-friendly meal!
These are some of the recipes mentioned in the episode, all of which are on Hot Pan Kitchen.
Some of the following are affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
- Thermapen ONE meat thermometer (the one we’ve used for years and love!)
- Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- Salt conversion chart from Epicurious
- Grilling tongs
Taryn Solie: Hello grillers, and thank you for tuning in today! I am your host, Taryn Solie, and I am here to give you some grilling inspiration.
Today we’re going to talk about grilling one of my favorite cuts of meat, which is flank steak. I like this cut for a number of reasons:
1 – it’s on the longer and thinner side so it doesn’t take very long to cook;
2 – it’s great for feeding families because you can cut it up and use it in other dishes really easily, like tacos, fajitas, salads, etc.; and
3 – it’s a slightly cheaper option when you’re craving steak. While steak in itself is pricier than, say ground beef or a chuck roast, pound for pound flank steak is typically cheaper than a ribeye or filet mignon.
The recipe we’ll be going over today is a dry-rubbed flank steak, but before we get into the recipe itself let’s talk a little bit about this cut of beef. Flank steak comes from the underside of a cow and is typically a longer and thinner cut than other steaks like a ribeye or strip steak. It’s a pretty lean cut, but can also be somewhat tough as the muscle gets used when the cow moves around. As a result, you can easily see the muscle fibers, often called “grain”, running through your piece of meat.
Now since flank steak is a leaner cut of beef, this means you need to cook and cut it properly to make it tender. There are some tactics to do this, like marinating the meat or slow cooking it, but that’s not what we’re going to do today.
We’re using two other tactics in this recipe. The first is making sure we’re not overcooking the steak as that will definitely result in tough meat. And we do that by using a meat thermometer so we can monitor the internal temperature of the steak. If you don’t have a meat thermometer I’ll link to the one we use and love on the show notes page.
We’re also going to make sure we’re cutting the meat correctly. When the steak is done cooking, you want to let it rest for 5 or 10 minutes and then cut it against, or perpendicular to, the grain. This helps break up the fibers so the meat is easier to chew.
Okay, now that you have some background on flank steak, let’s dive into the recipe!
As I mentioned, we’re doing a dry-rubbed flank steak, and the rub for this is super flavorful without being overpowering or spicy. It’s a great all-around flavor, meaning you can use this flank steak for lots of different types of dishes – or of course, just eat it on its own.
To start, here are the ingredients you’ll need:
- a flank steak that’s between 1.5 and 2 pounds;
- 1 tbsp of light brown sugar;
- ½ tbsp of chili powder;
- ½ tbsp of paprika, regular or smoked;
- 1 tsp of Diamond Crystal kosher salt;
- 1 tsp of ground black pepper;
- ½ tsp of garlic powder;
- ½ tsp of mustard powder;
- ¼ tsp of ground coriander;
- ¼ tsp of ground cumin; and
- 1 tbsp of a high heat oil – I like to use avocado oil for this recipe.
A couple of quick notes before we get to the grilling instructions.
- First, I use the Diamond Crystal brand of kosher salt in this recipe because it’s less salty by weight than other salts. This leaves a little more room for error when you’re cooking. If you’re using a different type of salt, you’ll want to use less. I’ll put a resource on the show notes page for how to calculate that.
- Next, make sure your spices aren’t stale – if they’ve been sitting in the back of your pantry for the last year they probably won’t be as flavorful. It might be time to invest in some new spices.
- And lastly, you want to take your flank steak out of the fridge to warm slightly before you fire up the grill. If your steak is still too cold when you grill it, it will cook unevenly and be overly done on the outside and cold and raw on the inside. 15 to 20 minutes before you warm up your grill should be plenty of time.
Okay, let’s get to the instructions!
First you want to preheat your grill to 425 degrees F. While the grill is heating up, take your flank steak out of it’s packaging and unfold it – it will typically come folded in half or thirds. Lay it out on the packaging or on a clean cutting board. Dab some paper towels on the flank steak to dry it off a bit – this will help the spices stick to the meat better. You can throw the paper towels in the trash when you’re done.
Next make the spice rub. Take out a small bowl and some measuring spoons and measure out everything except the oil and add it into the bowl. Use one of the measuring spoons to stir everything together until the spices are well combined.
Take the bowl and sprinkle half of the rub on one side of the steak. Use your hands to spread it around to cover the surface of the steak, then flip the steak over and do the same thing on the other side with the remaining half of the spice rub.
Measure out the oil and pour half on the first side of the steak, rubbing it lightly to coat the meat but not so hard that you’re rubbing the spices off. Turn the meat over and do the same thing on the other side until all of the meat is coated with both the spice rub and the oil.
Once the grill is up to temperature go ahead and use some tongs to place the steak on the grill grates. Close the lid and cook the steak for 5 minutes. Once those five minutes are up, open the lid and use those same tongs to flip the steak over so the other side is resting on the grill grates. Close the lid again and cook the steak for another 5 to 6 minutes.
Now I’m going to pause here because beef is one of those cuts of meat where different people like it cooked in different ways, or to different doneness. Some people like their steak rare, which is an internal temperature of around 125 degrees F. This means your steak will still be red at the center. Others go for more of a medium doneness where the temp of the steak is around 145 degrees F and there’s just a little pink. And some people like it well done where there’s no pink in the steak and the internal temp is closer to 160 degrees F.
For flank steak I typically cook it to around 140 degrees F – it’s a bit of a compromise as my husband prefers it rarer, but I like more of a medium doneness. When grilling, you do have to be careful not to overcook this cut of meat. Because it’s thinner, it can go from medium to well done in just a couple minutes.
So after flipping the steak and cooking it for 5 or 6 minutes, you need to check the internal temperature of the meat with a meat thermometer. If the steak is only a couple degrees from where you want it to be, go ahead and remove the steak from the grill as it’s internal temp will continue to rise just slightly when it’s resting. If you’re still 5 or more degrees from your desired temp, let it cook another minute or two then check the temperature again. Keep doing this until you’re nearly at your desired internal temperature and then pull the steak off the grill onto a clean cutting board.
Let the steak rest on the cutting board for 5 to 10 minutes – this is important as you want the steak to hold in it’s juices, which it won’t do if you cut into it right away. Then use a large sharp knife and fork to cut the steak into thin slices and serve!
As I mentioned previously there are lots of different ways you can serve this flank steak. Some of the ones we’ve done are in fajitas, on top of salads, and in burrito bowls. We also just eat it on its own with sides, like some grilled corn or sauteed zucchini and mushrooms.
I’ll include a link to the full printable recipe for this dry rubbed flank steak, as well as the other recipes I’ve mentioned, on the show notes page. To get to it you can either go to my main website at Hot Pan Kitchen dot com and click on podcast in the main menu, or you can click on the link provided in whatever podcast app you’re listening on.
If you enjoyed this recipe, consider subscribing to the show on your favorite podcast platform so you don’t miss out on future episodes! I’ve got so many more great grilling and smoking recipes you’re going to love.
That’s it for today, thank you so much for listening, and until next time, keep grilling like a mother.