Low and slow smoked beef flank steak over the fire. Cooked in a citrus garlic marinade, this barbecue steak recipe is rich in flavor and easy to prepare.
Smoked flank steak is the perfect way to enjoy this subtle cut of beef. While most people choose to grill this gem of meat, smoking it when grilling takes the meat’s natural buttery flavor to a new level. The large grains that run through the meat become wonderfully tender when we cook it slow and low, giving you a steak that melts in your mouth and has an unparalleled crispiness on the outside.
So much quicker than other original cuts of meat, our easy smoked flank steak recipe takes under an hour in the smoker before quickly browning over high heat to lock in flavor. The steak can then be sliced and served plain or as a meat taco filling.
From tips on buying the best flank steak and grilling tips, discover how to smoke flank steak today.
What is skirt steak?
One of the tastiest cuts of meat, the flank steak , comes from the bull’s diaphragm region and is the muscle that helps the animal breathe. Because of this location, it’s a well-trained muscle that boasts large fibers, terrible grain, and incredible flavor.
The term flank steak refers to two different cuts of meat:
- The outer apron, which is the diaphragmatic muscle of the cow
- The inner skirt, which is the transversus abdominis muscle
The flank steak is one of the toughest cuts of meat due to its significant amount of connective tissue. However, when prepared properly, it can be a perfectly tender cut of meat, perfect for tacos or fajitas, or even enjoyed on its own.
How to smoke flank steak
Traditionally, flank steak is cooked quickly over high heat. However, as long as you are careful not to overcook your steak, a smoker can be the perfect tool for creating the perfect flavorful flank steak. The process imparts the distinctive smoky flavor that makes your food amazing.
- Prepare the steak without trimming excess fat along the surface. Pat the brine-packed meat dry with kosher salt and leave the meat in the fridge for 3-4 hours.
- Prepare the marinade and pour into a gallon-sized ziplock bag or airtight container. Add flank steak and dunk the meat. 30 minutes sailor.
- Set the smoker on at 250°F and smoke the flank steak for 45 minutes
- Finish the steak by searing it over high heat for a few minutes.
- Leave to rest in aluminum foil and slice against the grain to serve
How do I buy flank steak?
Although there are two cuts of skirt steak, chances are you’ll only find steaks simply labeled “skirt steak” at your grocery store or butcher.
Which side are you on?
Skirt steak could technically refer to either the outer breast or the inner breast, and chances are you’ll only find the inner breast at your local grocery store. The outer brisket is thicker and more uniform in size, making it desirable in restaurants and other commercial kitchens, with the inner brisket primarily available to home cooks.
Don’t get overwhelmed
Although flank steak and flank steak are similar, and their names are sometimes used interchangeably, they are two distinct cuts of steak. Your butcher should have these properly labeled. While the flank steak can range in size from one to four pounds, the flank steak weighs around two pounds.
Outer skirt versus inner skirt
If you can find a butcher that wears an outside breast, it will be more expensive than the inside breast. The outer mantle is covered with a membrane that must be removed prior to dissection. A good butcher WILL remove this membrane before selling the fillet.
The inner skirt is thinner and has a more irregular shape. Apart from the shape, the two steak cuts are very similar. You can use the outer brisket and inner brisket in recipes.
The best woods for smoking steaks are strong, durable hardwoods like oak, hickory, or mesquite. The dense smoke produced by these woods perfectly complements the deep meaty flavors of the steak and can last as long as the smoke lasts without the need for frequent, if ever, refilling.
- Because one side of a flank steak tends to burn more than the other, it’s important to test the temperature where the steak burns.
- Always cut your steak against the grain. This helps break up the tough fibers in the meat, leaving you with a wonderfully tender steak.