Flank steak, which is extracted from the belly of the beef, is one of the favorite cuts to grill. This cut, however, needs certain precautions to be delicious. Learn how to prepare it!
What is flank steak?
Flank steak is one of the favorite cuts of beef, as it has an intense flavor. It is ideal to make it with chimichurri sauce, in arrachera, in fajitas or simply eat it after grilling.
As it is extracted from a part of the animal that has a strong muscular presence, flank steak is a tough meat. That is why it is essential to know how to marinate it properly and use methods that allow you to tenderize it; in addition, it is essential to follow the cooking time indicated in your recipe.
Tips for making the best flank steak
Since the meat is quite tough, it is important to use certain methods to tenderize it. To do this, it is advisable to use a kitchen mallet to pound the meat to make it thinner and softer; you can also use milk or yogurt, which are very effective ways to tenderize flank steak.
The flank steak will not only acquire a better flavor if it is properly marinated, but the marinade also serves to tenderize the meat. It is best to use citrus-based marinade, such as orange or lemon; these are perfect for flavoring and tenderizing the steak. It is also advisable to use carbonated beverages, including beer.
Marinating time plays a key role when preparing flank steak. There are recipes that call for the meat to be marinated for up to 12 hours before cooking. It all depends on the dish you are going to prepare! To marinate, take the meat into the refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap.
All cuts of meat, whether beef or pork, should be removed from the refrigerator to bring them to room temperature. This process should be done two hours before cooking. In the case of flank steak, uncover and leave it in the marinade while it reaches room temperature.
Once ready, remove from the marinade and pat dry with absorbent kitchen paper.
Flank steak can be prepared on the grill, but also in the oven. It is very important that you respect the cooking times, as well as the temperature. If you bake it in the oven, it should be at 180ºC; if you make it on the grill or barbecue, then medium heat will be enough.
Cooking time for flank steak
This cut, after hitting it with the mallet, will be much thinner. Keep this factor in mind when putting it on the fire. If you place it in the oven, at 180º C, you will need 20 minutes for the meat to be ready.
If you prepare it on the grill and you are in a hurry, place the steak on the direct heat source for 15-20 minutes. However, it is best to grill the flank steak using an indirect heat source and leave it for longer. In this case, it will be enough to put a tray under the grill grate and cover it with the grill lid. If you use this method, the time can be up to 30 minutes, depending on the doneness you like.
Distance from the grill
The flank steak should be placed 15 centimeters away from the heat source. So it is important to position the rack correctly before placing the meat. Remember to spray the rack with a little cooking spray to prevent the meat from sticking.
Flank steak, like most cuts, needs to be handled properly. To do this, use kitchen tongs when turning the meat and also to remove it from the heat.
You should turn the meat over halfway through cooking.
Use the marinade to add flavor
Placing a tray under the grill is not only important to generate an indirect heat source, but also to collect the cooking and marinade juices. Once you place the meat on the grill, you should cover it with a drizzle of marinade juice; rectify it with juice from time to time.
Flank steak can have large dimensions and is best served to diners accompanied by different side garnishes, in small steaks. Cutting flank steak into smaller portions can make a big difference in the texture of the meat.
As it is a piece with a lot of muscle fiber and grain, it is important to make the cuts parallel. It will be fairly easy to do this, but always respect the grain of the meat.