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This grilled flank steak taco recipe is easy enough for a busy weeknight and fun enough for a fiesta.
What is flank steak?
Flank steak is a boneless cut of beef located just below the belly of a cow under the loin. If you picture where the cow’s udder is, it lies just under that area.
It has a ton of great flavor, but it’s a lean cut of beef. The best way to tenderize it is to soak it in a marinade before grilling it.
This recipe is lower in fat than many other recipes because I don’t add any olive oil to the marinate. The beef has enough natural fat that it doesn’t need it.
Flank Steak: You should be able to find flank steak at your local butcher counter. It usually weighs 1 1/2 to 3 pounds. The steak is wide and flat and usually folded up in the packaging.
Flank Steak Marinade Ingredients
- Garlic: Fresh minced garlic is best.
- Soy Sauce: This adds the umami flavor to amplify the beefy flavor.
- Red Wine Vinegar: The acid helps to break down the lean beef.
- Lime Juice: Use 4 fresh limes.
- Honey: Honey balances out the acid and soy sauce.
- Dry Rub: I always use my award-winning brisket rub, which contains salt, pepper, garlic, guajillo pepper and cumin.
Tortillas + Taco Toppings: Enjoy the grilled flank steak with flour or corn tortillas. My favorite taco toppings include diced white onions, diced jalapeños, cilantro, diced tomatoes, cotija cheese, a squeeze of fresh lime wedges and a dash of hot sauce.
Substitutions: In place of the brisket rub, you can use a combination of kosher salt, black pepper, garlic or onion powder, cumin and chili powder or try my homemade taco seasoning.
See the full recipe card below for servings and a full list of ingredients.
How to grill flank steak
- STEP ONE: Before you light the grill, start by making the flank steak tacos marinade. Combine the ingredients in a zip-top bag or large bowl. Then, add the steak to the bag. Remove the air and seal it. Place in the fridge for 1-8 hours. The longer it marinates, the more flavorful it will be.
- STEP TWO: Heat the grill to high heat (400-425F degrees) with a direct heat zone. I like using Cowboy Charcoal Hardwood Briquets because they light quickly and provide great flavor.
To grill the steak on a pellet grill, light the grill to 400F degrees. On a gas grill, turn the burners on high to medium-high. For a Ninja Grill, set the function to grill and the heat to high.
- STEP THREE: Remove the flank steak from the marinade and pat it dry with paper towels. Discard the excess marinade.
- STEP FOUR: Place steak on the grill grate over the coals and grill 5 minutes per side. Use an instant-read thermometer to check the doneness. I shoot for an internal temperature of 130F degrees for medium rare.
- STEP 5: Remove the steak from the grill. Let the steak rest for 5-10 minutes. Using a sharp knife, slice it against the grain on a cutting board.
How to serve grilled flank steak
You can eat the grilled tender steak on its own or with any side dish, but my favorite way is to pile them into tortillas to make tacos. For added flavor, toast the tortillas on the grill for 15-30 seconds.
Just load them up with your favorite toppings. A 2-pound flank steak is enough to make 16 hearty tacos with the small flour tortillas.
Popular Taco Toppings
- pico de gallo
- shredded or cotija cheese
- a blend of diced white onions, jalapenos and fresh cilantro
- diced red onion or green onions
- sour cream
- mango salsa
- hot sauce
Leftover grilled flank steak can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. The meat can also be frozen for up to six months.
Save yourself some time by grilling the steak ahead of time and storing it. It can be enjoyed cold or reheated for the whole family any day of the week.
GCG Pro Pitmaster Tips
- Marinate the flank steak for 1-8 hours
- Grill over Cowboy Charcoal briquets for amazing flavor
- Pat the meat dry before grilling to create a nice char
- For the best tenderness, cut the meat against the grain
Frequently Asked Questions
When making tacos with beef, it’s best to use thin cuts of beef like skirt steak or flank steak. Skirt steak tends to be a little more tender, but it’s more difficult to find at your local grocery store.
Personally, I love skirt steak for beef tacos. Skirt is a steak cut that comes from the plate primal, which has a lot of marbling. Outside skirt is super tender followed by inside skirt.
When I can’t find skirt steak, then I use flank steak. It’s equally delicious, it just needs to be marinated a bit longer because it’s more lean.
When cutting flank steak, it’s very important to slice it against the grain. Look at how the muscle fibers naturally separate. When you see those lines, slice the steak in the opposite direction.
Some people prefer thin strips while others like thicker meatier slices. That comes down to personal preference.
Yes. While this recipe is designed for an outdoor grill, you can also make this recipe indoors using either a grill pan or Ninja grill. Follow the same marinade recipe and cook over high heat for 5 minutes per side.
More taco recipes
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Grilled Flank Steak Tacos
- 2 lb flank steak
Flank Steak Marinade
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- 4 limes, just the juice
- 1 tbsp honey
- 2 tsp Christie Vanover's Brisket Rub
To make the tacos
- small flour tortillas
- taco toppings
- Marinate: Mix all of the marinade ingredients in a zip-top bag and marinate the steak in the refrigerator for 1-8 hours.
- Grill: Heat the grill to high heat (400-425F degrees.) Remove the meat from the marinade. Pat dry. Grill for about 5 minutes per side.
- Rest and Slice: Remove the steak from the grill. Let it rest for 5-10 minutes. Slice the beef against the grain.
- Taco Time: Add the strips of sliced steak onto tortilla shells with your favorite toppings.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.