At What Temperature Is Flank Steak Done?

You may have decided that you wanted to try and cook a flank steak at home. However, you may be wondering, at what temperature is flank steak cooked to.

You may be tempered to cook it just like a New York strip steak or a rib-eye steak. However, a flank steak has more fibers and less fat than these other types of steaks.

At What Temperature Is Flank Steak Done?

Also, a flank steak is a much heavier piece of meat as well. 

As flank steak is a bigger, and much leaner piece of meat, it needs to be prepared and cooked differently from a New York strip or rib-eye steak.

In this article, we will be discussing at what temperature is a flank steak done. 

The Internal Temperature Of A Flank Steak Should Be When Done

When you speak to a range of chefs and grillers, at which temperature their flank steak should be cooked to, they will all give you different answers.

It depends on whether you prefer your steak to be cooked, as some people like it much more rarely than others. 

Typically, a flank steak will be cooked, either rare, which is between 120 and 125 degrees Fahrenheit.

Or they prefer a more medium to rare cook, which will give the steak an internal temperature of 130 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

Below, we have gone into more detail about the temperatures and timings you should be aiming for. 

Choosing Between Medium Rare To Rare Flank Steak

Generally, we would suggest that you aim for an internal temperature of around 135 degrees Fahrenheit.

However, to be able to achieve this temperature, you will want to remove the flank steak from the heat or grill one it reaches between 125 and 128 degrees Fahrenheit.

This is because the flank steak will continue to cook after it has removed the heat, and this is why the internal temperature will rise between 5 and 10 degrees afterwards. 

We have discovered that if you pull your flank steak off the heat and serve it at a lower temperature, then the steak will be slightly chewier.

As a result, you need to try and give the fibers in the steak more time on the heat.

This will then allow the steak to have a less chewy texture, and melt in your mouth. 

It is known that flank steak has a lot of muscle fibers that run throughout the meat.

As a result, it requires a different cooking approach, than you would with other types of steaks.

With a slightly longer cooking time, this won’t break down all the collagen, but the extra time on the grill allows the collagen to break down a lot more.

The breakdown of collagen typically happens over 130 degrees Fahrenheit. 

As a result, the optimal temperature to serve flank steak is around 135 degrees Fahrenheit.

At this higher internal temperature, you may lose slightly more moisture, but the meat will be overall a lot more tender.

It is important, just like with any meat, that once it is cooked you need to give it plenty of time to rest as well. 

Now that we understand the internal temperature, you should be aiming for your flank steak.

We will now look at the process behind cooking a flank steak and some of the best methods that you can use yourself. 

Marinating Your Flank Steak

The flank steak is one of the best cuts of steak to be marinated. Generally, marinades don’t tenderize your meat very much, except the first few millimeters below the surface.

However, this shouldn’t stop you from wanting to marinade your flank steak.

Although, you should be careful what kind of marinade you use, as some can actually make the steak tougher instead of more tender. 

With your marinade, you can use ones that use acidic ingredients, such as vinegar or lemon.

Yet, in these cases, you don’t want to marinate your steak for too long.

This is because if you leave the acidic marinade on the flank steak for more than a couple of hours, then the outside of the meat will become quite tough. Which is the opposite of what you want. 

We have found that 2 hours to marinate your steak is more than enough time.

The flavors have plenty of time to penetrate the meat, but do not create a rough texture.

There are certain fruits, like kiwi, pineapple and papaya, that have particular enzymes which will help make your flank steak much more tender. 

With these enzymes, it is still uncertain how far into the meat they will penetrate down.

However, we are certain it is a minimum of a few millimeters.

Marinade Example

Marinade Example

There are various different types of marinades that you can use on your flank steak.

Below is an example of the kind of marinade that works well for a flank steak. The following is a sesame ginger and garlic marinade. 

  • ¼ cup of low sodium soy sauce.
  • 2 tablespoons of freshly chopped ginger or 1 teaspoon of dried ground ginger.
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
  • 2 to 3 finely chopped green onions.
  • 3 tablespoons of toasted sesame oil.
  • 3 to 4 cloves of garlic.

To make this marinade, add all the ingredients into an immersion blender sticker or a standard blender.

You can also create this marinade by hand as well, it may just take a bit more time to get it to the consistency that you desire. 

Once the marinade is ready, put your flank steak into a large ziplock bag with the marinade.

Then seal the bag up and cover the meat with the marinade, and sit in the bag. Leave the bag for between 30 and up to 2 hours, but no longer than this. 

Cutting Your Flank Steak

There is a right and wrong way to cut your flank steak. Ideally, when it comes to cutting your flank steak, you want to cut it against the grain.

Your knife should be at a 45-degree angle as you carve into the steak. Trying to stay at this angle is quite difficult, the closer you get to the end of the steak.

Although, when you are near the center of the steak, you should be able to get this angle easily. 

There is a reason, as to why you should carve the steak against the grain.

This is because by carving against the grain, you are breaking up the long fibers in the meat. Thus creating small and much more tender pieces of steak to enjoy. 

If you do decide to carve your meat with the grain, you will notice that the steak pieces are quite chewy. This is because there is still a lot of connective tissue that hasn’t been broken down. 

Cooking A Flank Steak On The Stovetop

Sometimes, there isn’t enough time to be able to marinade your steak. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t still achieve a tender flank steak. Instead, you can use a dry rub.

When it comes to a dry rub, sometimes just salt and pepper works perfectly. If you want to add a bit of spice, you can also add some cumin or chili powder to your dry rub. 

Then, when it comes to cooking your flank steak on your stovetop, you want to use a really heavy pan, like a cast iron pan.

This is because the pan will help give you a fantastic sear and crust to your steak.

Begin by heating the heating on a medium to high heat, however remember that cast iron pans are able to retain a lot of heat. Therefore, a high heat may be a little too hot for your steak. 

Once the pan has heated up, you can add your steak to the pan. If the flank steak is too large for your pan, then cut the steak in half and cook it in smaller batches.

You should be aiming to cook the steak for 5 minutes, without touching it or messing with it.

Then you can flip it over and cook for another 5 minutes. 

After this time, take your pan off the heat and check the internal temperature of your steak.

You should check the temperature in a few areas, because these steaks are known to have an uneven thickness.

Ideally, you want to be aiming for an internal temperature between 1254 and 128 degrees Fahrenheit. After it reaches this temperature, you can let the steak rest off the heat. 

Grilling A Flank Steak

You may decide that you want to grill a flank steak instead of on the stovetop.

By grilling, you will be grilling the steak over a medium to high heat and then finish the steak off in the cooler parts of the grill.

For a propane grill, preheat the grill on high for around 10 minutes, then turn the heat down to a medium to high temperature. Yet, for a charcoal grill, you will need to build a two zone fire instead. 

When your flank steak is ready for the grill, you should remove any excess moisture or marinade off the surface of the meat.

Otherwise, the marinade may burn, and you won’t get a nice sear or cyst on the meat. 

Start off by placing the flank steak on the hotter side of your grill and cook for 5 minutes, then you can flip it over.

Then continue to cook the other side for 5 minutes. Once both sides have been grilled for 5 minutes each, then you place the flank steak onto the cooler side of the grill and check the internal temperature. You can do this by using a meat thermometer.

Keep the steak on the cooler half of the grill, until the steak reaches an internal temperature of 125 to 128 degrees Fahrenheit.

Once it reaches the desired temperature, then you can take the steak off the grill and allow it a couple of minutes to rest. Then you can carve and serve!

Conclusion

Flank steaks are a great choice of steak to use and cook with. It has a great flavor, and unlike other types of steaks, it can be cooked to a higher internal temperature.

Ideally, you want your steak to have an internal temperature of 135 degrees Fahrenheit, when it is served.

Therefore, it should remove the steak off the heat once it reaches 125 to 128 degrees. 

Remember to watch how long you are cooking your flank steak for and how long you allow it to marinade.

If you follow all the steps, you will be able to produce a tasty and tender flank steak!

Tommy Hall