How To Cook Flank Steak in the Oven

updated May 16, 2024
How To Cook Flank Steak in the Oven

No grill? No problem. Use your broiler for perfectly cooked steak with delicious crispy bits.

Serves4 to 6

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Freshly cooked flank steak straight out from the oven over parchment paper on baking sheet

Lately, I have been all about flank steak. This cut isn’t quite as fancy — or typically as expensive — as premium steaks, like ribeye and filet mignon, but it cooks just as quickly and delivers big on flavor.

I love it for more casual weeknight meals, like easy steak fajitas or alongside some roasted veggies. Plus, the leftovers make tasty steak sandwiches for lunch the next day.

Here’s how to cook flank steak in the oven, from marinating the steak to slicing it for dinner.

Why You’ll Love It

  • Flank steak has a fantastic beefy flavor. It’s great in fajitas and burritos, but it’s also good on its own with a simple sauce and a side salad.
  • Broiling is the easiest way to cook flank steak. My favorite way to cook flank steak is under the broiler. You get plenty of crispy seared bits with zero guesswork.

What Is Flank Steak?

This cut is called a flank steak because it literally comes from the flank of the cow — its side, below the ribs. It’s a fairly wide and thin cut; it’s only 1 to 1 1/2 inches at its thickest and it becomes even thinner toward one end. This means that flank cooks very quickly, and the wide, tapered shape also makes it a good choice when you’re cooking for a crowd — there’s enough meat to share and you can get both rare slices and well-done slices all from the same cut so everyone is happy.

To feed four to six adults, get 1 1/2 to 2 pounds of flank steak — you can stretch this amount to feed eight if you’re serving appetizers or other side dishes. Flank steak can be used in most recipes that call for skirt steak.

A Marinade Makes Flank Steak Tender

This is a fairly tough and chewy cut, so a marinade does double duty here, both tenderizing and giving the meat some flavor. I give the proportions for a simple marinade in the recipe below, but any marinade will do. I like to marinate flank steak for at least an hour, or even up to 24 hours. Get the steak marinating in the fridge before going to bed or work, and all you have to do when you get home for dinner is turn on the broiler.

The Best Way to Cook Flank Steak

You can grill flank steak, cook it in a skillet on the stovetop, or even cut it up for a stir-fry, but my choice for everyday cooking is under the broiler. The broiler is basically an upside-down grill that blasts the steak with direct heat. You get lots of lovely crispy bits around the edge without drying out or overcooking the steak.

This is the time to pull out your broiler pan if you have one. If you don’t, use a baking sheet with a wire rack set on top. Either way, line that bottom pan with aluminum foil to make cleanup easy.

How to Check Flank Steak for Doneness

A lot of recipes say to never cook flank steak beyond medium-rare. I do love a medium-rare steak, but I actually think flank does fine when cooked a little more thoroughly. If you marinate the steak and then slice it thinly across the grain after cooking, you don’t need to fret that your steak will be chewy.

Check the temperature in the thickest part with an instant-read thermometer:

  • 115°F to 120°F for rare steak
  • 120°F to 125°F for medium-rare steak
  • 130°F to 135°F for medium steak
  • 140°F to 145°F for medium-well steak

How to Broil Flank Steak

  1. Coat the flank steak with marinade. Whisk all the marinade ingredients together, then pour over and rub the marinade into the steak.
  2. Marinate for 1 hour or up to 24 hours. Cover the dish and place the steak in the fridge for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.
  3. Heat the broiler and prepare the pan. Set your broiler to its highest setting (or simply turn it on if it doesn’t have settings). Place an oven rack a few inches below the broiler element. Line a broiler pan with aluminum foil, add the top, and spray the top with nonstick cooking spray.
  4. Broil the steak 4 to 6 minutes per side. Remove the steak from the marinade, shake off any excess, and place it in the middle of the broiler pan. Slide it directly under the broil. Cook for 4 to 6 minutes, flip it over, and broil for another 4 to 6 minutes (8 to 12 minutes total).
  5. Check the steak for doneness. The steak is done when the edges are charred and crispy, and you see some nicely dark searing on the top. Check the temperature in the thickest part with an instant-read thermometer.
  6. Rest for 5 minutes. Transfer the steak to a cutting board and rest for 5 minutes.
  7. Slice against the grain. This means the long fibers should all be running left to right on your cutting board, and you should be slicing through them, top to bottom.
  8. Transfer to a serving platter. Transfer the slices to a serving platter. Pour the juices from the pan and cutting board over the meat and toss to coat.
  9. Serve warm or room temperature. Serve the steak right away. Leftovers are great in sandwiches and on salads, or reheated in quesadillas, burritos, or other quick dinners.

How to Slice Flank Steak Against the Grain

One last trick for complete flank steak happiness: slice it against the grain. Flank steak has very pronounced muscle fibers; you can clearly see them running down the length of the cut in big, wiry bundles. These fibers can make the steak very tough and chewy, even with a long marinade, so it’s important to slice this cut very thinly and against the grain.

When you’re ready to slice the steak, make sure those long muscle fibers are running from left to right on your cutting board. Cut through them using a sharp knife, from top to bottom. Thin slices also help make the meat easier to chew and more enjoyable to eat.

Delicious Ways to Use Flank Steak

Helpful Swaps

Grilled Flank Steak: Instead of broiling, you can also grill flank steak over very high heat on a gas or charcoal grill.

How To Cook Flank Steak in the Oven

No grill? No problem. Use your broiler for perfectly cooked steak with delicious crispy bits.

Serves 4 to 6

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds

    flank steak

For the marinade:

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons

    lemon juice, lime juice, vinegar, or other acid

  • 2 tablespoons

    olive oil

  • 3 cloves

    garlic, optional, grated on a microplane or pressed in a garlic press

  • 1 teaspoon

    salt

  • 1 to 2 teaspoons

    spices, like chili powder, barbecue spices, curry, or other favorite spice blend

  • Replace this basic marinade with 1/4 to 1/3 cup any other favorite marinade

Instructions

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  1. Place 1 1/2 to 2 pounds flank steak in a shallow dish, like a 9x13-inch baking dish. Whisk together all the marinade ingredients and pour over the steak. Rub the marinade into the steak and flip the steak once or twice in the dish to coat.

  2. Cover the dish and place the steak in the fridge for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours. Flip the steak occasionally if you happen to think about it.

  3. Set your broiler to its highest setting (or simply turn it on if it doesn't have settings). Place an oven rack a few inches below the broiler element. Line a broiler pan with aluminum foil, add the top, and spray the top with nonstick cooking spray.

  4. Remove the steak from the marinade, shake off any excess, and place it in the middle of the broiler pan. Slide it directly under the broil. Cook for 4 to 6 minutes, flip it over, and broil for another 4 to 6 minutes (8 to 12 minutes total).

  5. The steak is done when the edges are charred and crispy, and you see some nicely dark searing on the top. Check the temperature in the thickest part with an instant-read thermometer: 115 to 120°F for rare steak, 120 to 125°F for medium-rare steak, 130 to 135°F for medium steak, and 140 to 145°F for medium-well steak. If additional cooking is needed, cook for another minute or two for every 10 degrees needed; transfer the steak to the oven if it's becoming too crisp on the edges.

  6. Transfer the steak to a cutting board and rest for 5 minutes.

  7. Slice the steak into very thin slices using a sharp knife, cutting against the grain. This means the long fibers should all be running left to right on your cutting board, and you should be slicing through them, top to bottom.

  8. Transfer the slices to a serving platter. Pour the juices from the pan and cutting board over the meat and toss to coat.

  9. Serve the steak right away. Leftovers are great in sandwiches and on salads, or reheated in quesadillas, burritos, or other quick dinners.