How to Dry-Rub and Grill Flank Steak

How to Dry-Rub and Grill Flank Steak. Perfectly seasoned flank steak, grilled to medium rare, ranks up there with the finest filet mignon and is much easier on your wallet. The trick to tender flank steak, after the dry rub and grilling, is cutting thin slices against the grain of the steak. If you look at the steak, you'll see that the meat fibers run lengthwise in one direction. Cut against that direction. Apply the dry rub at least two hours before grilling, but you can apply the dry rub to the steak the night before, if desired.

Create your own dry rub with spices.

Things Needed

  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. ground coffee
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp. paprika
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • Small bowl
  • Paper towels
  • Fork
  • Cutting board
  • Food storage bag
  • Spray bottle of water
  • Tongs
  • Plate
  • Long-handled spatula
  • Meat thermometer

Step 1

Combine the sugar, coffee, cayenne pepper, paprika and garlic in the small bowl. Mix well.

Step 2

Pat the steak dry if it has any juices on it from its packaging or from defrosting. Divide the dry rub mixture in half. Stab the steak about two dozen times on each side with the fork. This allows the rub's flavor to penetrate into the meat. Press one half of the dry rub into one side of the flank steak. Turn it over and press the other half of the dry rub onto the remaining side. Put the steak into a food storage bag, seal it and put it in the refrigerator.

Step 3

Take the steak out of the refrigerator about 60 minutes before grilling so the steak comes to room temperature.

Step 4

Light the grill to its highest setting, at least 450 F and up to 550 F. When hot, place the steak on the grill. Keep a spray bottle of water handy to wet down any flare ups from the fat dripping into the coals, if you're using a charcoal grill. Sear the steak on the first side for about three to five minutes. Turn the steak over and sear the other side.

Step 5

Take the steak off the grill and put it on a plate.

Step 6

Push the coals to one side of the grill. Put the flank steak on the other side away from the coals. The steak will cook over indirect heat. If you're using a gas grill, turn down the temperature to 350 F. Grill until your desired degree of doneness is reached. Check by inserting an instant read meat thermometer into the steak. Medium rare is 130 to 135 F.


  • Cover the steak with foil and let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes before carving.


  • Cooking the steak to medium or well done results in a tough flank steak.


  • What's Cooking America: Meat Temperature Chart
  • "License to Grill"; Chris Schlesinger; 1997