Hey grilling aficionados, are you ready to learn the secret to a perfectly cooked flank steak? It’s all in the timing. Welcome to my guide on how long to smoke a flank steak for perfection.
I love smoking meats and nothing is better than when that perfect cook comes out at the end. I’ve learned some tips and tricks over the years on how long to smoke a flank steak that will guarantee amazing results every time.
In this sizzling guide, I’ll cover:
- What You Need To Know About Flank Steak Before Smoking
- How Long To Smoke A Flank Steak For Perfection
- Pro Tips That Make All The Difference When Smoking Flank Steak
- What Temperature Should You Smoke Your Flank Steak At?
- Bonus: Delicious Recipes That Go Great With Smoked Flank Steak
So if you’re ready for juicy results, grab your tongs and let’s get smoking!
Understanding Flank Steak
What is Flank Steak?
Flank steak is a distinct, thick cut of beef that originates from the underbelly of the steer, specifically beneath the loin and sirloin.
It’s an integral part of the animal’s muscular system and has a robust, beefy flavor.
But don’t confuse it with other cuts like London broil and skirt steak.
They may be similar, but they’re not the same.
This somewhat tough cut of meat is taken from the diaphragm muscle attached to the steer’s ribs – making it a prime choice for specific cooking methods such as smoking.
Benefits of Smoking Flank Steak
Smoking flank steak isn’t just about enhancing its flavor; it’s also a great way to tenderize this otherwise tough meat.
This low-and-slow cooking technique is a process of relaxation for the intense muscle fibers within the steak, resulting in a beautifully tender piece of meat with a unique and irresistible smoky flavor – a flavor profile not achievable with quick-cooking methods.
How to Buy Flank Steak
While shopping for flank steak, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure you’re getting a quality cut.
The color should be a rich, reddish-brown, and the meat should be well-marbled with fat.
This good marbling is a clear sign of a prime cut.
Always avoid any meat with brown spots, as this could signify a lack of freshness.
Preparing the Flank Steak for Smoking
Ingredients to Make Smoked Flank Steak
A flavorful marinade is key for a delicious smoked flank steak.
Some of my favorite ingredients include lemon juice, olive oil, teriyaki sauce, brown sugar, garlic powder, garlic salt, and soy sauce.
A well-marinated steak can transform a simple smoking session into a gourmet barbecue extravaganza.
Marinating the Flank Steak
For the Smoked Flank Steak Marinade
Marinating flank steak is an essential step in breaking down its toughness before it hits the grill.
The marinade ingredients I mentioned earlier work perfectly for this.
Let your flank steak soak in this zesty mix, allowing the flavors to penetrate the meat, enhancing its flavor as well as tenderizing it.
Dry Rub Ingredients
A fantastic dry rub for flank steak includes a mix of cumin, coriander, paprika, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, chili powder, whole peppercorns, coffee beans, smoked paprika, dark brown sugar, black pepper, kosher salt, onion powder, and oregano.
Rubbing these ingredients onto your steak before smoking will give it an extra layer of flavor that pairs perfectly with the smoky taste the cooking process imparts.
Tools and Equipment Needed for Smoking Flank Steak
Pellet smokers / pellet grills
Pellet smokers or pellet grills are excellent tools for smoking meat, including flank steak.
These smokers use wood pellets to produce smoke and heat.
They’re perfect for achieving that deep, smoky flavor and maintaining a consistent cooking temperature.
An offset smoker is another great choice for smoking flank steak.
The heat and smoke are generated in a separate chamber, which allows for more control over the cooking process.
It also lets you add more wood or charcoal without opening the main compartment, preserving the heat and smoke.
Along with the smoker, you’ll need a few other pieces of equipment to smoke your flank steak properly.
A good quality meat thermometer is essential to ensure your steak is cooked to the perfect temperature.
Other necessary tools include tongs for flipping and moving the steak, a cutting board, and a sharp knife for slicing the smoked steak.
Process of Smoking the Flank Steak
How to Smoke Flank Steak
Smoking a flank steak is a process that requires attention to detail.
It starts with your prepared and marinated steak.
Preheat your smoker to the recommended temperature, put your steak on the grill, and let the low, slow heat do its magic.
Choosing the Wood for Smoking Flank Steak
The choice of wood can significantly affect the final taste of your smoked flank steak.
Hickory is highly recommended due to its strong flavor that pairs well with the robust taste of the steak.
Other options like oak and mesquite also work well.
If you prefer a milder, sweeter flavor, cherry wood pellets are a great choice.
Smoking the Steak: Step-by-Step Guide
Start by smoking your flank steak at 225°F using hickory wood.
Maintain this temperature and let the steak cook for about 90 minutes.
This will allow it to reach an internal temperature of about 135°F, which is perfect for a medium-rare steak.
Turning the Temp Up / Reverse Searing
Turning up the heat or reverse searing is a method used to finish off the steak after smoking.
This process involves increasing the temperature of the grill for a short period to create a beautiful, flavorful crust on the steak’s exterior.
Determining the Cooking Time and Temperature
How Long Does It Take to Smoke Flank Steak at 225?
The length of time it takes to smoke a flank steak at 225°F depends on its size and thickness.
Typically, it can take anywhere between 1 and 2 hours.
Remember, the goal is to reach an internal temperature of 130°F to 135°F for a medium-rare finish.
Times & Temperatures
Recommended temperatures for smoking flank steak range from 180°F – 200°F, but most smoking enthusiasts prefer a stable 225°F.
It’s important to monitor your steak’s internal temperature throughout the smoking process.
The target internal temperature should be 130°F for medium-rare, going up to 150°F for medium-well.
Determining When It’s Finished Cooking
Understanding when your smoked flank steak is cooked to perfection requires more than just timing.
Using a meat thermometer is the most accurate way to determine if it’s done.
Remember, you should be aiming for an internal temperature between 130°F – 135°F for medium-rare.
After Smoking the Flank Steak
Resting the Smoked Flank Steak
Once your flank steak is beautifully smoked, it’s crucial to let it rest.
This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the steak, making it even more tender and flavorful.
A rest period of 10-15 minutes should do the trick.
Slicing the Smoked Flank Steak
When it comes to slicing your smoked flank steak, remember that this cut has long muscle fibers.
To get tender slices, cut against the grain.
This will shorten the fibers and make the steak easier to chew.
Serving Smoked Flank Steak
Serving smoked flank steak can be as simple or as extravagant as you want.
You can serve it as it is, with a side of roasted vegetables or mashed potatoes.
Alternatively, you could slice it up and use it in tacos, sandwiches, or salads.
The possibilities are endless!
Additional Tips and Tricks for Smoking Flank Steak
When smoking flank steak, remember to marinate it to break down the toughness, use a dry rub for extra flavor, and choose a good quality wood for smoking.
Don’t forget to let the steak rest after smoking, and always slice against the grain.
For an even better smoking experience, let the flank steak sit at room temperature for some time before cooking.
This allows the meat to cook more evenly.
Additionally, rotate your steak halfway through the smoking process to ensure even cooking.
Old Pro Tips
As an old pro, I would advise investing in a good quality smoker and meat thermometer.
Also, don’t rush the process.
Smoking is a low and slow cooking method – embrace it.
Meat Thermometer Recommendations
A reliable meat thermometer is a must-have for any barbecue enthusiast.
There are many excellent models available, but some top-rated options include the ThermoPro TP20 Wireless Remote Digital Meat Thermometer and the Lavatools Javelin PRO Duo Ambidextrous Backlit Instant Read Digital Meat Thermometer.
Side Dishes for Smoked Flank Steak
Perfect Side Dishes
Flank steak pairs beautifully with a variety of side dishes.
Some of my favorites include roasted vegetables, sweet potato fries, and a simple green salad.
Pair Your Smoked Steaks with These Side Dish Recipes
There are countless side dish recipes out there that pair beautifully with smoked steak.
A quick Google search will yield an overwhelming number of delicious options.
But to get you started, consider trying garlic butter roasted mushrooms or a simple homemade coleslaw.
Side Dish Ideas
If you’re after a more unique side dish idea, why not try serving your smoked flank steak with a refreshing watermelon and feta salad? The sweet and salty combination pairs perfectly with the smoky flavor of the steak.
Try Smoked Flank Steak Tacos
If you’re looking to switch things up a bit, try using your smoked flank steak in a taco recipe.
This allows for a wide range of complementary flavors and textures that will surely impress your guests.
What is smoked flank steak?
Smoked flank steak is a type of steak that has been cooked low and slow in the smoker. This cooking method imparts a smoky flavor to the meat, making it tender and juicy. The marinade usually consists of soy sauce, olive oil, red pepper flakes, and other spices or herbs.
How do you smoke a flank steak?
To smoke a flank steak you will need to marinate it first with your chosen ingredients for at least 2 hours but preferably overnight to maximize flavor. After your marinade time is up heat your smoker to 225-275°F depending on how hot you like it. Place the steak directly on the smoker grate and cook until desired doneness (generally around 145°F internal temperature). Once done let rest for 10 minutes before serving!
What is the best way to prepare a marinade for smoked flank steak?
The best way to prepare a marinade for smoked flank steak is to combine soy sauce, olive oil, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper in bowl or resealable plastic bag. Add the steaks and rub them with the mixture ensuring all sides are well coated. Cover or seal the container/bag and refrigerate for 2-8 hours turning once during this time if possible. Remove from marinade when ready to cook!
What cut of beef should be used when making smoked flank steak?
Flank steak or skirt steak are both excellent cuts of beef that work excellently when making smoked flank steaks as they are leaner meats which tend not over dry out while smoking due their natural fat content which helps keep them moist during cooking!
How do you prepare a marinade for smoked flank steak?
To make a marinade for smoked flank steak, combine Worcestershire sauce, lime juice, olive oil, garlic cloves, and kosher salt in a bowl. Mix all the ingredients together until they are well combined. Then add the thin sliced flank steaks to the marinade and toss them until they are evenly coated with the mixture. Finally, cover the bowl and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight or at least 4 hours before cooking.
What kind of grill grates should be used when making smoked flank steak?
When making smoked flank steak it is best to use stainless steel or cast iron grill grates that have been preheated to 500-550 degrees Fahrenheit. This will help ensure that your steak cooks evenly on both sides and won’t stick to the grates as you turn it over during cooking.
How hot should my pellet grill be when cooking a flank steak?
When cooking a flank steak on your pellet grill, you want to aim for an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit for medium rare and 155 degrees Fahrenheit for medium done. Make sure to monitor the temperature regularly so that you can pull off your steak once it reaches its desired temperature.