A Steak to Remember: Smoked Flank Steak

June 30, 2023
Written by Kristy J. Norton

I know that there is a greater focus on ribeye and sirloin steaks, but you can’t beat a good smoked flank steak. Steak is a personal favorite but considering the cost of most high-end cuts, it tends to be a rare option.

This is why I decided to see what I could do with the more affordable flank steak – here are the results!

Smoked Flank Steak

Smoked Flank Steak Recipe


  • 2lb flank steak
  • 1/4 cup of red wine
  • 1/4 cup of vegetable oil
  • 5 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 tbs. of soy sauce
  • 2 tbs. of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. of kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. of freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 limes, juiced
Grilled Flank Steak


Step 1

In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients – except for the flank steak – together. Set aside.

Step 2

Place the flank steak in a large enough Ziplock bag. Pour in the marinade. Make sure that the meat is well coated.

Push out as much air from the bag as possible and seal tightly. Place in the refrigerator and marinate for up to 8 hours.

Step 3

When ready to smoke, preheat the pellet grill to 275°F.

Step 4

Take the steak out of the marinade and place on the grill grates. Close the lid and smoke for 3 hours or until the internal temperature registers 120°F to 130°F, depending on your desired level of doneness.

Step 5

Remove the steak from the smoker and wrap in foil. Let it rest for up to 15 minutes.

In the meantime, raise the temperature of the pellet grill to 450°F. Let it preheat.

Step 6

Place the flank steak on the grill and cook for three minutes each or until grill marks appear.

Remove, slice, and serve.

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Tips for Prepping the Flank Steak

Here are some guidelines to follow for a great tasting smoked flank steaks:

Choosing the Right Steak

What I like about flank steak is that it is affordable – you don’t feel too bad making this on a weeknight for the family. Keeping this in mind, is it worth it to splurge on Prime or even Choice-grade beef?

Well, if it is a special event I would advise going for Choice. However, just with the family, Select will do well enough. After all, these steaks are typically marinated and this can be enough to induce great flavor and texture in this particular cut.

Just make sure to choose a cut that has an even and uniform shape. This way, it cooks more evenly. Oh, and it should go without saying but fresh is best!

Another note – if you are having trouble find flank steak, look for a cut of beef called London broil. These are the same thing.

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Flank Steak On The Smoker

Dry Rub vs. Marinated Flank Steak

If you have checked out a few smoked flank steak recipes, then you will have undoubtedly found a few that use dry rubs instead of marinades. So, what gives and which one should you be using?

Now, don’t get me wrong, I usually use a dry rub when it comes to grilling a steak. This way, I add flavor without adding liquid to the surface layer. In doing so, I am able to get a lovely sear fairly quickly.

Here, though, I am smoking. And, marinated smoked flank steak provides the best flavor and texture. Not to mention, as noted, flank steaks are often marinated and taste better this way.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that you can’t use a dry rub if you dont want to – you absolutely can! I would suggest keeping it simple, though:

  • 1 tsp. of kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. of garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. of coarse ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. of onion powder

Mix in a small bowl and liberally sprinkle this onto each side of the flank steak and then smoke.

This can be a good alternate for a marinated smoked flank steak if you are short on time as well. Here, you can make smoked flank steak immediately – no downtime at all.

If you are not sure which method to trust, I would suggest giving both a try – cut one large flank steak into two smaller ones and you can test out each theory.

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Smoking the Flank Steak

Here are some tips for getting that perfect smoky flavor each and every time:

Choosing Your Wood Chips

Flank steak is a sturdier, slightly tougher cut of meat. Due to this, I don’t mind using something with a bit of a stronger flavor like hickory. Remember to balance this out with lots of oak, though.

I know that some people can find hickory to be a bit too potent. If this is the case, go ahead and experiment with your own blend. I would stay away from anything too sweet, though.

The Smoker Temperature

While most people may have differing opinions at which temperature to smoke other foods at, I have found that it is general consensus when it comes to smoked flank steak.

As this meat can be a little tougher, low and slow is the way to go. This is why you shouldn’t go any further than 225°F – you will need to be patient but it will pay off in the end.

Smoked Flank Steak and Doneness

The last thing that you want to do is to overcook a flank steak. It can go from tender to tough in a matter of minutes.

Now, this steak works best when smoked to medium rare – this is when the internal temperature registers at 130°F to 140°F. Thus, it is important to monitor the internal temperature throughout the smoking process.

I would suggest using a meat thermometer that can remain in the steak at all times. This way, you will know precisely when to take it off the smoker.

Reverse Searing the Steak

Personally, I prefer my steak with grill marks and a nice seared surface. This is why I like to take the flank steak off the pellet grill before it is done. Then, I turn the temperature up and sear the meat.

This is something that you can choose to do or not, depending on your preference. If you don’t like a charred exterior, then continue to smoke until the steak is done.

Otherwise, take the steak out at around when the internal temperature hits the 120°F mark or even sooner if you want to cut down on the risk of overcooking the steak.

You have another option for reverse searing your steak – you can use a cast iron skillet and the stovetop or pellet grill.

Get the skillet nice and hot, and then when it is steaming, drop the flank steak in. As with the pellet grill, cook on each side for a few minutes.

Man cutting tasty steak with sauce, salad on the table

Slicing the Smoked Flank Steak

When it comes to the flank steak, the manner in which you cut or slice the steak can be as important as how you cook it. Not only should you thinly slice the smoked flank steak, you should also cut against the grain.

To identify which direction the grain is, look for the long muscle fibers that are all running in the same direction. If this is a little tricky to see, grab each end of the flank steak and pull in the opposite directions. This will make it easier to.

Now, cut in a perpendicular pattern, moving opposite to the direction of the grain. This will ensure that you meat remains as tender as possible!

How to Use Smoked Flank Steak?

I would argue that there really isn’t any limit to how you use and eat this steak. You can enjoy straight up with a side of mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, or coleslaw.

Or, you could go a more unusual path with corn tortillas, sour cream, and some smoked veggies. Feel free to get as creative as you want!

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Wrapping It Up

As you can see, this gorgeous steak recipe takes very little effort. All you need is a good marinade and some patience. Before you know it, you will be biting into the most exquisite cut of meat you have tried in a long time!

By Kristy J. Norton
I'm Kristy – a chef and connoisseur of all things BBQ! You can find me either in my kitchen (or someone else's) or at a big outdoor barbecue surrounded by friends and family. In both my professional and personal life I’ve picked up more than a few tips and tricks for turning out delicious food. I consider it a privilege to share it with others!
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