Marinated and Grilled Flank Steak

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Marinated and grilled flank steak is a simple, yet incredibly flavorful way to prepare this cut of beef. The rosemary balsamic marinade is the perfect blend of savory with just a touch of sweetness that is all highlighted in the steak by char from the grill.

Sliced, marinated steak. Text reads "Grilled Flank Steak".

What is Flank Steak?

Flank steak is a long and thin cut of meat taken from the lower chest or abdomen of the steer. It is a versatile cut of steak that can be cooked in a variety of ways. Because it is a well-used muscle, it can often be a bit tough. Cooking this steak correctly (over high heat) helps to ensure that your meat comes out tender and moist.

Flank vs Skirt vs Marinade

While flank steak, skirt steak, and flap steak are all thin, flavorful cuts of beef, there are some key differences. Flank steak is wider and thicker than skirt steak, with a more intense beefy flavor. Skirt steak is long, thin, and chewy, with a robust taste that works well in stir-fry dishes. Flap steak, also known as sirloin tips, is a thin, relatively tender cut that is best marinated and grilled or pan-seared over high heat.

Other ways to ensure your flank steak isn’t tough include slicing against the grain (don’t forget about this) and cooking it at or below medium doneness. By doing these simple things, you’ll have a tasty steak ready to eat as-is or serve in fajitas or steak salads.

Beef cut in marinade poured from zip-top bag onto baking sheet.

Grilled Flank Steak

As mentioned in the previous section, you can cook flank steak in many different ways, including roasting, boiling, grilling, braising, and more.

The muscle fibers in flank steak all run in a single direction, so this cut of beef is ideal for tenderizing with a marinade and grilling over high heat. I like to marinate to help tenderize and flavor the steak and then sear over scorching high-heat until medium rare.

Flank Steak Marinade

The key to any great flank steak marinade is including these 5 key elements- salt, sugar, acidity, oil, and seasonings. The salt and sugar help season the meat as well as increase the tenderness and juiciness of the meat. The acidity, such as lime juice or red wine vinegar, adds that tangy bite, and the olive oil helps to transfer all of that marinade into the meat itself. Finally, the seasonings like garlic, black pepper and Dijon mustard are there to really influence the overall flavor profile of the meat.

Here’s what you need to make this marinade:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce 
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 5 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2-3 sprigs of fresh rosemary

This marinade covers all of those bases with balsamic vinegar for acidity, olive oil, salt, a little hit of sugar, and plenty of flavor from the rosemary, garlic, and black pepper. It really is the perfect balance of flavors that also helps tenderize the flank steak while it marinates. I recommend marinating for at least 2 hours, but this marinade is so balanced, you can push it up to 24 hours for maximum flavor and tenderness.

Marinated flank steak on the grill.

How to Grill Flank Steak

This flank steak recipe includes marinating in an aromatic rosemary balsamic marinate prior to a quick sear on a hot grill. Let’s get into the process. Here’s how to grill flank steak to complete and utter perfection.

  1. Marinate. Combine the ingredients for the marinade and place the steak in a zip-top bag with the marinade. Place it in the refrigerator to marinate. The marination time for this steak is up to you. Aim to marinate the meat for at least 2-4 hours, but you can leave it in the marinade for up to 24 hours if desired.
  2. Preheat. When you are ready to cook your meat, fire up that grill. Preheat your preferred grill to high heat (at least 450 degrees F) so that when the steak hits the grates, you get a nice crispy sear on the outside.
  3. Grill. Since the steak is so thin, it cooks up incredibly quickly. Once your grill is preheated, place the meat directly on the grates and close the lid. Grill for 4-5 mins per side, or until the steak reaches your preferred internal temperature.  Try not to cook flank steak beyond 145 degrees F. It becomes extremely tough the longer you cook it. Medium-rare is my preferred doneness, but medium will also work well.
  4. Slice and serve. Once you pull the steaks off the grill, remember to slice them against the grain to ensure they are as tender as possible. Serve immediately and enjoy.
Sliced flanks on cutting board.

Temperature Doneness Guide

I recommend using a meat thermometer (I love this simple digital thermometer) to monitor the steak as it is grilling. Pull the steak from the grill when it reaches your target temperature (I’m a medium rare gal myself). I do not recommend cooking the steak above medium. If it’s cooked past 145 degrees F, it tends to dry out and get tough.

Here are the target temps depending on your preferred doneness:

  • Rare: 125 degrees F
  • Medium Rare: 135 degrees F.
  • Medium: 145 degrees F
  • Medium Well: 155 degrees F
  • Well Done: 165 degrees F

More Ways to enjoy flank

Ah, grilled flank steak. It’s fast, it’s easy, and it tastes completely amazing. It’s also affordable and makes for a great dinner option that’ll feed the entire family. This versatile cut works great in steak fajitas, on a hearty steak salad, or in flank steak tacos. Download the Hey Grill Hey app, and then access all the recipes below, and hundreds more.

Sliced flank steak on a cutting board.

Grilled Flank Steak Recipe

Follow the recipe, and I’ll teach you the simple steps to marinate and cook flank steak at home. Hey Grill Hey is dedicated to help you make better BBQ, feed the people you love, and become a backyard BBQ hero. You can find more of my smoking and grilling recipes and videos on YouTubeInstagram, or our Facebook Page.

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Marinated and Grilled Flank Steak

By: Susie Bulloch (
4.85 from 32 votes
Marinated and grilled flank steak is a simple, yet incredibly flavorful way to prepare a flank steak. The rosemary balsamic marinade is mouthwatering.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Marinating Time2 hours
Total Time2 hours 20 minutes
Servings4 people



  • 1 1.5-2 pound flank steak

Rosemary Balsamic Marinade

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary


  • Make marinade. In a gallon zip top bag, combine all of the ingredients for the rosemary balsamic marinade. Zip the top, then toss gently until all of the salt and sugar granules are dissolved.
    1/2 cup olive oil, 1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt, 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, 5 cloves garlic, 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, 2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • Marinate steaks. Place the flank steak in the marinade, press out any excess air from the bag, and seal tightly. Using your hands, massage the marinade around the meat to ensure it is evenly covered. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 24 hours.
    1 1.5-2 pound flank steak
  • Grill steaks. Preheat your grill for direct heat grilling at 450 degrees F. Grill the steak for 4-5 minutes per side, or until an internal thermometer reads 130-135 degrees F for medium rare or around 145 degrees for medium. Remove the steak from the grill to a cutting board and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes.
  • Slice, serve, and enjoy. Slice the steak into thin strips against the grain (perpendicular to the long strands of muscle) and enjoy.


Calories: 248kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 10mg | Potassium: 35mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 148IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Like this? Leave a comment below!

**This post was originally published in June 2018, but we recently updated it with more information and helpful tips. However, the recipe remains the same.



Susie is the BBQ Brain behind the Hey Grill Hey website. Her passion for smoked meats and developing fun, new recipes have landed her on the Food Network, cooking turkeys with Shaq, and on a couple of Guinness World Records. When she’s not grilling, she is hanging out with Todd and their three kids, preferably outdoors!

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Recipe Rating

Reader Reviews

80 Reviews

  1. Bob says:

    I grill or pan fry flank steak frequently. It’s one of my favorite cuts. I don’t know what it is about flank steak, but my experience over the past 48 years of grilling is different from your claim: Since the steak is so thin, it cooks up incredibly quickly.I’m not sure why, but compared to other cuts, even something like a 2 inch thick rib-eye steak, a flank steak always comes out more rare than expected in the center.I’m talking about the kind of grilling where you go by appearance of the char and use what you think is a “normal” cooking time and heat level aided by giving the steak a poke to judge how done it is.I’ve grilled so many steaks that I’ve developed a pretty good feel for how much time and temperature I need for a good char on the outside without over cooking the center. Usually that involves pulling a steak off the very high heat when it looks good and spending only a few minutes on lower heat to get the center to medium-rare. But I have learned that flank steak seems to like several minutes additional cooking on a lower heat area of the grill after the outside is perfect. In other words, I’d say a flank steak cooks more slowly than normal for reasons I don’t understand. Another even thinner steak is the skirt steak. For some reason it actually does cook up very quickly, perhaps because it really is so thin. Getting a good char and a medium rare interior is a challenge and requires high heat and zero extra time cooking over lower heat even though it’s quite similar to the flank steak. A good thermometer can help avoid any unpleasant surprises when cooking flank steaks.

  2. Julie says:

    Please don’t marinate meat with anything acidic for longer than 15 minutes. It will ruin the texture. Better to put it on the meat toward the end or immediately after. A good reference for general cooking would be the Netflix doc – Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat.

  3. Ashley S. says:

    I’ve used so many of your recipes that I don’t know why I haven’t reviewed before now. This recipe, and every other recipe from your site that I’ve tried, is spot on. Thank you so much!

  4. Sally says:

    I want to cut my flank steak in half before grilling. There is only 2 of us so I will freeze half to cook some other time. When cutting in half should I do it along or against the grain? Thanks!

    1. Hey Grill Hey says:

      Cut it however it’s most convenient for you!

  5. Bill M says:

    Only had time to marinate for 2 hours. Great recipe! My family loved it.

  6. Marie says:

    This recipe is a win with my family!! Easy and tastes great. Has been a “go to” recipe for over a year now.

  7. Kevin Oliva says:

    I loved it. My wife loved the flavor, but doesn’t like flank steak. Can you recommend a leaner cut that this would go good on?

    1. Hey Grill Hey says:

      This would be a great marinade for any beef!

  8. Angel says:

    Absolutely wonderful!! Made exactly to recipe. However, realized when unpacking the steak, it was a flat iron. Still perfect!!