Check out this easy recipe for a smoky and spicy grilled chipotle adobo flank steak sauce marinade and compound butter you can make any night of the week!
Have you ever made a flank steak? If you have then you know how easy and versatile this cut of beef can be and if you haven’t then you came to the right place to learn all about it.
The beautiful thing about a flank steak recipe is that it is one of the only times I genuinely love to use a marinade on a steak (the only other exception in my world is when you grill a tri-tip). Grilled flank steak comes together in a few minutes, is a super lean and affordable cut, and pairs so well with these keto corn tortillas for tacos or even just paired with some roasted sweet peppers and onions, fajita style.
For this recipe, I was inspired by some old canned goods that have been sitting on my shelf in excess and needed to be cleaned out. Thus the use of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce as the base for this steak recipe and how addicted I am to now making chipotle pepper compound butter (I used it on this savory keto pumpkin cornbread and fell in love).
Grab all the tips and techniques I use to creating this simple steak recipe, understand the best cooking methods for grilling this cut of meat, and master the grill like a pro by reading all the details below. Let’s dive in!
- Baking dish
- Blender/ Food Processor
- Knife & Cutting Board
- Baking Sheet
Below I break down this recipe into two parts, the marinade and the cooking method. Both play a role in succeeding in creating a tender and delicious flank steak every time.
The Flank Steak Marinade:
The base of this recipe is to use canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. I follow the base for most marinades which need to include acidity, fat, and flavor. For this marinade I included:
- 1, 4.5 oz. can of Chipotle Peppers in Adobo
- 1 Lime, Juice (for the acidity)
- Olive Oil (helps as an added fat and for grilling)
- Salt and Pepper
This marinade is so simple and I prefer to keep it this way because the adobo and chipotle pepper mixture is the true stand out. These peppers are spicy and smoky and balance out nicely with some simple seasoning and lime juice.
To keep it easy, I use my small bullet blender to combine everything until it’s smooth and only slightly thinner than a paste. You can use an immersion blender or food processor as well to do this.
Pat your flank steak dry with a paper towel to remove any moisture and place it in a baking dish. Cover it in the marinade completely and make sure both sides are nicely coated. Wrap in plastic wrap and marinade for 30- minutes to 24 hours. Let it come to room temperature before grilling (about 30 minutes).
How to grill flank steak?
While I am usually a huge fan of a reverse seared steak, I love to use just a standard hot and fast method for cooking flank steak. This is a thin cut of meat, so be prepped and prepared to work and move quickly and don’t go from from the grill once you start.
Preheat your grill to high heat so it’s over 550 F. This ensures that the grates are not only hot, but the fire sears and doesn’t steam the meat. Use a high smoke point oil on a paper towel and wipe it with your tongs over the grates.
Once your grates are prepped and the grill is hot, place your flank steak over direct heat and close the lid. I cook my flanks steak about 2 minutes before flipping. The steak should easily come off the grates, if it’s sticking let it keep cooking until it naturally releases.
Flip the steak and repeat the process (close the lid and cook about 2 minutes). I repeat this so I cook it and flip it twice. I average about 1.5-2 minutes per side until it hits medium rare, around 125-130 F. Have a thermometer handy to remove it as soon as it hits this temperature or it can get easily overcooked (its thin and it’s lean).
Remove the steak from the grill and leave the grill on so it cooks off any of the marinade remaining on the grates.
Cutting and serving you flank steak:
Let the flank steak rest about 10 to 15 minutes on a cutting board covered lightly with foil to stay warm. This allows the juices inside the meat to come to temperature. Then using a sharp knife, slice against the grain by cutting thin 1/2 inch pieces that can be used to served family style to a crowd.
Plate it up and prep the chipotle compound butter by mixing room temperature butter with a diced chipotle pepper and a little adobo sauce. Season with minced chives or green onion, a splash of olive oil and sea salt.
You can roll the compound butter up like I did with this red wine compound butter recipe, or use a cookie scooper and scoop out free form balls and freeze for 5 minutes or so until set, then serve.
Easy Grilled Adobo Marinated Flank Steak
- 1, 2-3 lb. Flank Steak
- 1, 4.5 oz. can of Chipotle Peppers in Adobo
- 1 Lime juiced
- 1/4 cup Olive Oil
- 1 tsp Sea Salt
- Chipotle Compound Butter
- Start by removing the flank steak from the packaging and pat it dry with a paper towel.
- In a blender, combine the can of chipotle peppers in adobo, juice of one lime, olive oil, and sea salt and blend until a thin paste forms.
- Place the steak in a shallow dish and coat it completely in the marinade. Let it come to room temperature like this for at least 30 minutes or store in the fridge for up to 24 hours to marinade. The longer it’s on, the more the flavors will penetrate the meat!
- Preheat your grill to high heat, oil the grill grates if needed.
- Place your steak on the grill over direct heat and sear for 1.5-2 minutes with the lid closed and flip when it easily releases from the grates. Repeat this step so you flip a total of four times or until it comes up to the desired temperature (I pull mine around 125-130 F so it rests and reaches a temperature of about 135 F after resting for medium rare).
- Remove it from the grill, lightly tent with foil, and add the chipotle butter to the steak on top while it rests if desired. After 10 minutes, slice against the grain into thin strips and serve with roasted sweet peppers, corn tortillas, and desired sides!