Cast Iron Flank Steak is the perfect weeknight steak dinner. Economical, lean and high in protein, flavorful and cooks in under 10 minutes.
Cast Iron Flank Steak Recipe
High-quality beef is a normal part of our weekly meal plan because of the nutrition it provides. But this Cast Iron Flank Steak makes it into the dinner rotation often because it is lean, healthy and all my kids will eat it without complaining.
The steak marinade is super easy and it doesn’t hurt that it cooks for under 10 minutes. You know dinner is quick when the main entrée is on the table and you are still waiting on the green beans to finish cooking.
Best Way to Cook Flank Steak
So here is a handy little tip: to properly prepare a Cast Iron Flank Steak, you must have a cast iron skillet. (Yes, I know. Shocking, right?) I have more pots, pans, and skillets and kitchen gear than I will ever admit on this website. You might call me a collector (hoarder). But nothing works better than a good old fashioned Lodge Cast Iron Skillet.
While there are plenty of cast iron skillets that will cook just as well, I just don’t know that any of them will ever beat the value. This is the 15 inch Cast Iron Skillet that is my go-to when searing larger pieces of meat. It is big enough to handle the job. A little heavy. And awesome.
How to Cook Flank Steak
A word about Flank Steak. The universe means for it to be cooked medium-rare.
If you are super picky about your steak being cooked at a higher temperature than that – first, I am sorry. Secondly, you might be able to cook a high-quality flank steak to medium but no further.
The fat that naturally occurs in other cuts of beef is what makes them so tender. Flank steak is VERY lean, making it a great, healthy choice. But it will also chew like an old shoe if you cook it to well done. Trust me, medium-rare. I promise you are going to love it even if you prefer other cuts cooked to a higher temperature.
Because this Cast Iron Flank Steak cooks so fast, we often cook more than we will eat at one meal. Save the leftovers for flank steak tacos, fajitas, steak and eggs, slice it thinly for an awesome steak sandwich. Of course, to make this plan work, you have to leave the extra steaks in the kitchen and store them in the fridge before anyone sees them.
Flank Steak Marinade
I mentioned this flank steak marinade is super easy to make. The ingredients are probably in your pantry already.
Just whisk olive oil, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, pepper, and honey until the honey dissolves and it becomes a uniform marinade.
Pour it over your meat in a shallow dish, making sure it is coated thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate overnight or for whatever amount of time you have available. I have marinated flank steak for as little as 15 minutes and as long as overnight. Both are delicious.
Obviously, the longer it sits in the marinade, the stronger the flavor will be in the meat.
Skirt Steak vs. Flank Steak
If you can’t find flank steak, skirt steak makes a great alternative.
Use the same cooking method and marinade but make sure you remove the thin membrane on the backside of the skirt steak. Many butchers leave it for you to deal with so double check! If you leave it on, your steak will be significantly tougher.
Also, cut skirt steak thinly against the grain. That means cut the steak at an angle on the long side, not the short side. It seems weird, I know. But you will end up with a big beefy flavor that is tender enough to eat rather than chew indefinitely. Also, note that flank steak and skirt steak are not the same things but grocery stores often confuse them and label them interchangeably.
Looking for more great beef recipes?
If you need more quick and easy beef recipes for weeknights, try these Pressure Cooker Short Ribs! Normally short ribs are weekend fare because they are a low and slow cut of beef. But the Instant Pot makes this recipe much faster.
These Easy Beef Empanadas are a favorite of my kids!
Still Feeling Beefy? Try this Oxtail Soup Recipe too! I have not explained to my kids what an oxtail actually is so as far as they are concerned it is just a super flavorful beef stew.
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 1/2 to 2 lbs flank steak or skirt steak
Whisk olive oil, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, pepper and honey until the honey dissolves and it becomes a uniform marinade. Place meat in a shallow dish and pour marinade over meat coating it thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate overnight or for whatever amount of time you have available.
Preheat large cast iron pan to medium-high heat on top of the stove.
Place steak in the cast iron pan for approximately 4 minutes. Flip the steak to the other side. Look for pink beads of moisture to appear on the steak - that is a good indicator of medium-rare. Cook 3-4 minutes and remove. Let steak stand for 5 minutes before slicing thinly. Serve and enjoy! Discard leftover marinade.