070 Grilling Citrus Marinated Flank Steak | Grill Like A Mother (2023)

In this episode of the Grill Like A Mother podcast, host Taryn Solie shares a recipe for grilled citrus marinated flank steak, her take on the popular Mexican dish Carne Asada. The episode includes a full ingredient list and step-by-step instructions on how to make the marinade and prepare the steak, as well as expert tips on marinating, grilling, and serving the meat. Be sure and listen in so you can impress your family and friends with this flavorful and juicy dish!

070 Grilling Citrus Marinated Flank Steak | Grill Like A Mother (1)

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These are some of the recipes mentioned in the episode, all of which are on Hot Pan Kitchen.

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  • Citrus Marinated Flank Steak
  • Steak Burrito Bowls
  • Grilled Onions
  • Grilled Bell Peppers


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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 I’m talking about a grilled flank steak recipe that is one of my favorites. If you’re not familiar with flank steak, it’s a long and flat cut of meat that is on the underside of the cow just before the hind legs. It has a lot of grain, meaning muscle fiber, in it and tends to be a tougher cut of meat, which means it’s great for marinades as they help tenderize the steak.

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Flank steak itself is one of my favorite cuts of beef to grill. It’s really easy to put it in a marinade, let it sit for a while, then grill it up quickly and have dinner ready. The marinade that I’m going over today is my take on the Carne Asada that my family gets at the local Mexican restaurant we’ve frequented since I was a baby. It’s really flavorful and juicy, and goes well in just about any meal – fajitas, tacos, burritos, salads, etc. I know you’re going to love it as much as my family does.

Let’s get started with the ingredients. You’ll need:

  • 2 small limes or ¼ cup of fresh lime juice;
  • 2 tbsp of a high heat oil – I use avocado oil;
  • 2 tbsp of coconut aminos;
  • 2 tsp of ground cumin;
  • 2 tsp of Diamond Crystal kosher salt;
  • ½ tsp of ground coriander;
  • 5 large cloves of garlic; and
  • a 2.5 lb flank steak.

Before we get into the recipe instructions, a few quick tips:

  • One, this recipe specifically uses Diamond Crystal kosher salt, which is my preferred salt for grilling and cooking. This is because it’s less salty by volume than other salts, which leaves more room for error when salting your food. If you’re using a different type of salt, you’ll want to adjust the measurement a bit and I’ll link to a resource on the show notes page for that.
  • Two, you want to make sure you’re starting with a thawed raw flank steak. This recipe doesn’t work if you try and marinate the steak when it’s frozen – the melting ice will dilute the marinade and it won’t be nearly as flavorful.
  • And three, you’re going to determine to what temperature you’re going to cook the steak to, based on the level of doneness you like in your steak. If you like rare steak, you want to remove the steak from the grill when it reaches around 130 degrees F in its center. For more of a medium steak, go up to 140 degrees F. For a well done steak, cook it until it reaches around 160 degrees F. To do this, you’ll need a meat thermometer – if you don’t have one, I’ll link to the one we use and love on the show notes page.

Alright, let’s get to the recipe instructions!


First you’ll make the marinade. Use a sharp knife and cutting board to cut the limes in half. In a large liquid measuring cup, juice each piece of lime until you have about ¼ cup of lime juice. You can also use bottled lime juice, but the marinade will be more flavorful with fresh lime juice.

Next, get out some measuring spoons and measure out, one at a time, the avocado oil, coconut aminos, ground cumin, ground coriander, and kosher salt, emptying each one into the measuring cup with the lime juice.

Peel the skin off the garlic cloves and use a garlic press to squeeze the pressed garlic into the measuring cup with the rest of the marinade. If you don’t have a garlic press, you can also just mince the garlic using the knife and cutting board. Stir the marinade together with a small whisk or other utensil until it’s well combined.

Take the flank steak out of its wrapping and place it in a large sealable plastic bag (or other container where it can lie flat). Pour the marinade over the steak and seal the bag closed, getting as much air out of it as you can. Use your hands to kind of massage the marinade into the steak until its well covered and place it flat in the fridge overnight. If you have time and remember, flip the steak over in the morning so both sides are sitting in the marinade roughly an equal amount of time. If you forget, it’s okay, the steak will still taste good.

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When you’re getting ready to grill the steak, take it out of the fridge roughly 30 minutes before placing on the grill to take the chill off the meat. Set your grill to 400 degrees F and once it’s come to temperature, remove the steak from the bag with a pair of tongs and place it on the grill. Close the lid and cook the steak for 6 minutes on one side, then flip it and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes with the lid closed. The second cooking time will depend on the internal temperature of the steak and your desired doneness.

Once the steak is done cooking, place it on a large cutting board and let it rest for about 10 minutes. After it rests, cut it into thin slices using a large sharp knife. You want to cut it across the grain, which is perpendicular to the lines in the steak that run lengthwise, to help tenderize the meat even further. Serve it immediately!

As I mentioned previously, this flank steak is great in meals like tacos, burritos, fajitas, and on top of salads. I like to eat it either in a burrito bowl or just plain with some grilled veggies and rice. We typically do grilled bell peppers and onions – kind of fajita style – but you can grill up whatever veggies you like.

I’ll include a link to the full printable recipe for this garlic lime marinated 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.

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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.


How long should you cook a flank steak on the grill? ›

How long does it take to grill flank steak? Flank steak is a relatively thin cut, but depending on the thickness of your piece, it should take 3 to 5 minutes per side over a very hot grill (around 400˚ to 450˚) or in a grill pan over medium-high heat.

Should you pound flank steak before grilling? ›

Pound the steak to an even, thin thickness to tenderize and for even cooking. Don't marinate much longer than 12 hours or the muscle fibers can break down and become mushy but please aim for 12 hours for optimal flavor and juiciness.

Why was my grilled flank steak tough? ›

Because flank steak is quite lean, it can be a bit tough if not prepared and sliced properly. Marinating with a little acid, like lemon juice or vinegar, will help tenderize this cut of beef. Cooking until medium-rare and slicing against the grain are key to a tender result.

What is the best method to cook flank steak? ›

Grilling is perhaps the best way to cook Flank steak, but you can also pan-sear it in a skillet, broil it in your oven, or even use a specialty cooking method like an instant pot. The real trick is to keep your Flank steak grill time to a minimum.

How often do you flip flank steak on the grill? ›

Place your flank steak over the hottest part of the grill (approximately 450–500°F). Sear, uncovered, on each side for 1-2 minutes depending on how thick is the meat. Continue to grill the steak, uncovered, for 6-8 minutes total, flipping the meat once halfway through.

Do you cook flank steak fast or slow? ›

And because flank steak is relatively thin, it's best to cook it over relatively high heat—so it can develop a flavorful crust on the outside before it's overcooked on the inside. All in all, that means a flank steak will do best with quick, high-heat cooking methods like grilling, broiling, and pan-searing.

What happens if you marinate flank steak too long? ›

Soaking the meat beyond 48 hours will just leave the surface too soft and mushy. Short soaks don't do much for the texture, even if they add flavor. Make sure to let the meat marinate at least overnight for 12 hours before cooking if you want a more tender Flank steak.

Why is my flank steak always tough? ›

The critical reason for this is because flank steak, although lean and flavorful, is tougher than other cuts of beef due to the many long thin fibers running through it. To help tenderize flank steak, it is often marinated and cooked by grilling, stir-frying, broiling, or smoking.

Should flank steak be room temperature before cooking? ›

Step 1: Bring Your Flank Steak to Room Temp

For the best results, let it sit at room temperature for 30-60 minutes before cooking so that the meat can absorb the salt. Bringing meat close to room temperature before cooking also prevents it from seizing up in the pan, resulting in a juicier, more tender flank steak.

How long does it take for flank steak to get tender? ›

A great flank steak marinade like this one is important if you want a tender, juicy, flavorful steak. Make sure you marinate your flank steak for at least 2 hours for best results or longer if you have time. This wonderful quick and easy recipe also works great when the steak is sliced and used for fajitas.

How do you tenderize flank steak quickly? ›

The fastest way to tenderize Flank Steak is with a spiked mallet. Pound both sides of the meat until dimples appear. This can be done in as little as a minute. Pounding a Flank Steak with a spiked meat tenderizer break up tough connective tissue and muscle fibers which softens the beef.

How do I make my steak tender and not chewy? ›

Using a meat mallet (or kitchen mallet) to pound steaks helps soften and tenderize the meat. Simply place the meat in between pieces of plastic wrap or wax paper and pound it prior to cooking. If you don't have a meat mallet, you can also use a heavy kitchen tool such as a skillet, saucepan or rolling pin.

Is it better to marinate or dry rub flank steak? ›

Rubs are designed to flavor meat. That's it. We like marinades a lot, but when we're forced to pick between marinade and rub, we usually go with rub. One of the main reasons we like rubs is because it creates a savory crust on the meat, which marinades don't do.

Do you flip flank steak? ›

How to grill Flank Steak
  1. Turn your grill to high heat, about 450 degrees.
  2. Let the grill heat up for about 15 minutes so that it's good and hot.
  3. Sear for 1 minute on each side (set two timers!! ...
  4. Flip once about halfway through after you've turned your grill to medium.
Aug 31, 2019

What is the best temperature to cook flank steak? ›

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.

Why do you only flip steak once? ›

We typically recommend flipping your steak just once on the grill because it's not getting direct heat on one side like it would on a pan. Instead, the steak is up a few inches from the flame, allowing the heat to circulate a bit more.

How long can flank steak sit out before cooking? ›

It varies depending on the cut of beef, but most beef cuts can sit out for an hour or two without going bad. Tenderloin, filet mignon, and flank steak can keep for about four hours.

How do you cook flank steak without drying it out? ›

Oven Cooked Flank Steak

Before you place the steaks in the oven, coat them with a mixture of olive oil and your desired spices (lime juice, lemon juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, etc.) to keep them from drying out in the oven.

Can you low and slow flank steak? ›

Place the flank steak in the slow cooker and cover. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low on 4-5 hours, or until very tender.

How do Chinese tenderize flank steak? ›

In Chinese cooking, proteins like beef, pork or chicken are velveted first before stir-frying them. There are several ways to velvet, but at its most basic level, it involves marinating meat with at least one ingredient that will make it alkaline. This is what tenderizes the meat, especially cheaper, tougher cuts.

Is it OK to marinate flank steak for 24 hours? ›

Marinate in the refrigerator for at least two hours but up to 24 hours. The longer you marinate the steak, the more flavor!

Is it better to marinate steak in the fridge or on the counter? ›

Always marinate foods in the refrigerator, not on the kitchen counter. Some older recipes call for marinating at room temperature. DO NOT FOLLOW THIS PRACTICE. Marinating at room temperature causes the meat to enter the “Danger Zone” (between 40°F and 140°F), where bacteria multiply fastest.

Why is my steak tough but rare? ›

When exposed to too much heat, the fat within the muscles gets rendered out completely, ridding the steak of the moisture that makes it tender. On the other hand, if that fat doesn't have enough time to break down, the resulting steak will be as tough as it would be if it were adequately cooked.

Does baking soda tenderize flank steak? ›

Less than a teaspoon of baking soda ensures that your steak remains juicy and tender—even after a speedy marinade. While other recipes demand hours of marinating, this baking soda hack makes a flank steak or any other fibrous cut of beef ready to sear after just an hour.

Does tough meat mean overcooked? ›

Once the food gets overcooked, it often becomes tough and dry. If you've gone too far, there are some things that you can do to keep things from being too tough and too dry. Keep things warm. Once the food cools off, your tough and dry meat will become even tougher and dryer.

What is the secret to grilling a tender steak? ›

You simply grill. the steak over the direct heat until it reaches the desired temperature, flipping it about every minute. This will ensure that the surface gets nice and golden brown and that the middle won't cook too quickly.

How do restaurants make their steaks so tender? ›

Most fine restaurants age their beef to intensify the flavor and improve the tenderness of the cut. Wet aging is done by vacuum packing the meat and letting it age in its own juices. Wet aging is done by more than 90% of fine steakhouses.

Should you salt flank steak before cooking? ›

Salt not only makes the flank steak taste better, but also helps to tenderize it. Flank steak can be marinated with other ingredients, but if you add only salt and a little pepper, the flavor will also be very good.

How long to leave steak out of fridge before cooking? ›

Take your steak out of the fridge about 20 minutes before grilling to bring it to room temperature. A freezing-cold steak won't cook evenly.

When should I season my steak before grilling? ›

How do you prepare and season steak? The best way to season steak is to add a generous amount of salt to both sides about 45 minutes before cooking. Then, just before cooking, add your other spices, like black pepper and garlic powder, ensuring that you cover both sides of the steak.

How long can you keep flank steak in marinade? ›

How Long to Marinate Flank Steak. The ideal amount of time is 12 hours, but you can marinate it for up to 24 hours. You should let it sit in the marinade for a minimum of 2 hours, even if you're pressed for time.

How do you know when flank steak is done? ›

To get a perfect steak, simply poke it while it cooks, until the firmness of the meat matches the firmness of various parts of your hand.

What is the white stuff on flank steak? ›

Veal flank steak is taken from the part of the diaphragm muscle that is attached to the ribs (ribs 6 and 12). It lacks bone and is covered by a white membrane that is very important to remove before cooking. Generally, butcher shops sell flank steak with the membrane removed; if not, you can do it yourself at home.

Should flank steak be pink in the middle? ›

Cooking method: For best results, you'll want to either use the grill, or place it under the broiler. If you overcook flank steak, it will become tough. So make sure it's still pink in the middle.

Will orange juice tenderize flank steak? ›

A flank steak is a flat, flavorful cut of beef that comes from the underside of the cow. Orange Juice – Adds sweetness and acidity to the marinade. The acid helps tenderize.

What is the secret ingredient to tenderize meat? ›

Whether hosting a holiday cookout, serving up some stir-fry or tackling game meats, baking soda is the go-to meat tenderizer to help make your steak, chicken or turkey silkier, juicier and yummier.

How long does it take to grill flank steak? ›

How long does it take to grill flank steak? Flank steak is a relatively thin cut, but depending on the thickness of your piece, it should take 3 to 5 minutes per side over a very hot grill (around 400˚ to 450˚) or in a grill pan over medium-high heat.

Do you have to beat flank steak? ›

Flank steak is extremely lean with hardly any fat or connective tissue so it does not need to be trimmed but it should be pounded with a meat mallet in order to tenderize the steak.

How do you remove silver skin from flank steak? ›

Trimming a Flank Steak

When you trim a flank, remove any fat down to about 1/4 of an inch. There is a silver skin membrane on one side. The easiest way to remove the membrane is to work loose an edge and grab it with your fingers. Gently pull and use the tip of your knife to free the membrane.

Is Worcestershire sauce a tenderizer? ›

As it turns out, Worcestershire sauce already contains many of the components of a good marinade! It has vinegar to tenderize the meat, sugar for sweetness and shine, and savory flavors like onion, garlic, tamarind, and anchovies.

What is the toughest cut of steak? ›

Shank. Shank is arguably the toughest, cheapest cut of beef. Located in front of the brisket at the cow's forearm, this beef cut is notable for its sinewy dryness. Due to its lack of popularity, shank is not typically found in retail stores.

How do chefs tenderize steak? ›

Briefly soaking meat in a solution of baking soda and water raises the pH on the meat's surface, making it more difficult for the proteins to bond excessively, which keeps the meat tender and moist when it's cooked.

How long to grill skirt steak on gas grill? ›

Prepare a hot fire in a charcoal or gas grill and oil the grill grates. Grill the steak for 3 to 5 minutes on each side, until done to the degree of doneness you prefer. Let the skirt steaks rest for 5 minutes before slicing to serve.

Should flank steak be cooked medium-rare? ›

Because flank steak is lean, it can become dry and chewy if overcooked. So go for rare to medium-rare. And because flank steak is relatively thin, it's best to cook it over relatively high heat—so it can develop a flavorful crust on the outside before it's overcooked on the inside.

What is better to grill flank or skirt steak? ›

The main difference between flank steak and skirt steak is how tough they are. Skirt steak is tougher thank flank, and carries a more intense flavor. This means that it can only be cooked as rare or medium-rare, and is usually best seared. If you prefer your steak well done or tender then I advise going for flank.

How often do you flip steak in the gas grill? ›

If you're cooking steak on the grill, you most definitely should flip it about halfway through the cooking process. We typically recommend flipping your steak just once on the grill because it's not getting direct heat on one side like it would on a pan.

Do you grill skirt steak with lid open or closed? ›

Grilling with the lid on or off – Leave the lid open when you're searing steaks and need to keep a close eye on it. Once you move it to indirect heat, you can close the lid and let the smoke do its thing. Quick-cooking foods can usually be cooked (fish, veggies, hot dogs) with the lid open the whole time.

Which is more tender flank or skirt steak? ›

Skirt steak will have more marbling than flank and it is somewhat more tender and flavorful. Skirt steak takes to a marinade well and is excellent on the grill. It also needs to be cooked quickly over high heat – be careful not to overcook.

What is the difference between flank steak and skirt steak? ›

What Are the Differences Between Skirt Steak and Flank Steak? Skirt steak has more fat, making it taste even richer and juicier than flank steak. It also has more connective tissue. Flank steak is thicker and wider than skirt steak and a little easier to find in stores.

Should you beat flank steak? ›

Tenderize. It is particularly important to tenderize skirt steak, but you can also tenderize flank or hanger steak. Use a tenderizing mallet or the bottom of a pan. Briefly pound the steaks on one side, turn them over and pound again.

Is it okay for flank steak to be pink? ›

For best results, you'll want to either use the grill, or place it under the broiler. If you overcook flank steak, it will become tough. So make sure it's still pink in the middle.


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