Grilled Cuban Flank Steak
Flank steak is delicious when it’s marinated in Cuban flavors and grilled, and this tasty Grilled Cuban Flank Steak is a perfect idea for a low-carb meal.
PIN the Cuban Flank Steak to make it later!
In one of my previous lives, before I became a food blogger and a carb-conscious eater, I was president of my local teacher’s association, aka the teacher’s union. This was a demanding high-pressure job that I sometimes loved, sometimes hated, but one thing I did enjoy about the job was the chance to travel.
I went all over the U.S. for meetings, and it was in Miami Beach that I had my first experience with Cuban food. I loved the way beef and pork were marinated in lime juice in the Cuban cuisine, so a few years ago I tried to re-create that flavor in this flank steak, and it was a winner with the folks I tried it out on! Now this Grilled Cuban Flank Steak is one of my most-used ways to cook beef on the grill.
I’m featuring this favorite recipe as my pick for Friday Favorites this week, hoping I can entice you to try it soon! If you’re grilling for beef-lovers, I can promise this will be a hit.
What ingredients do you need for this recipe?
- flank steak
- fresh-squeezed lime juice, I used my fresh-frozen lime juice
- olive oil
- ground cumin (affiliate link)
- Dried Oregano (affiliate link)
- Onion Powder (affiliate link)
- Garlic Powder (affiliate link)
- soy sauce or Gluten-Free Soy Sauce (affiliate link)
- ground Chipotle chile pepper (affiliate link) (or use your favorite hot sauce)
- lime zest (optional)
What is flank steak?
Flank steak is actually a piece of meat from the abdominal muscles of the cow and it’s very lean, which is why this is a cut of beef that’s perfect to be marinated. It’s also best cooked quickly over high heat. When the flank steak is done, it should be sliced against the grain of the meat.
How can you tell when meat is done on the grill?
If you have one, I recommend using an Instant Read Meat Thermometer (affiliate link) to check the temperature of meat on the grill. Flank steak is best when it’s not cooked to more than medium; here are the recommended temperatures: Rare (Cool red center) 125 F/51C, Medium-Rare (Warm red center) 135F/54C, Medium (Rosy pink center) 145F62C.
What if you don’t have an outdoor grill?
If you don’t have an outdoor grill (or it’s not grilling weather) these tasty recipes for beef, flank steak can definite be cooked at high heat on a stove-top grill pan with ridges or George Foreman Grill. (affiliate links)
Want more ideas for beef cooked on the grill?
I know beef is more expensive these days, but if you still like a nice piece of beef cooked on the grill you can find ideas in my round-ups for Amazing Low-Carb and Keto Beef Steak on the Grill and Low-Carb and Keto Beef, Pork, and Lamb on the Grill.
How to make Grilled Cuban Flank Steak:
(Scroll down for complete printable recipe including nutritional information.)
- You can’t read the price, but this lean flank steak I got at my local market was a bargain.
- Combine fresh lime juice, olive oil, cumin, oregano, onion powder, garlic powder, soy sauce, Chipotle chile pepper (or hot sauce), and lime zest (if using).
- Put the steak in a Ziploc bag or plastic container with a tight-fitting lid, pour in marinade, and marinate in the refrigerator for 8 hours (or up to 24 hours.)
- When it’s time to cook, let meat come to room temperature while you oil the grill and preheat to medium high.
- Then grill to desired temperature, 125 F/51C for rare, 135F/54C for medium rare, or 145F62C for medium.
- Flank steak is best when it’s not cooked above medium. I use an Instant Read Meat Thermometer (affiliate link) to check the temperature.
- When meat is done, let it rest for 5 minutes before you slice it.
- Cut meat into thin slices and serve with fresh lime pieces on the side to squeeze over the meat when you eat it. (I could have cut mine a little thinner but that didn’t stop us from devouring it!)
Make it a Low-Carb Meal:
For a low-carb meal this Grilled Cuban Flank Steak would taste great with Marinated Fresh Mozzarella with Herbs, Grilled Zucchini Greek Salad, Summer Tomato Salad with Goat Cheese, Grilled Mushrooms, or Easy Grilled Vegetables.
Favorite Recipes for Beef on the Grill:
Grilled Flatiron Steak with Chimichurri Sauce
Low-Carb Marinated Beef Kabobs
Pan-Grilled Steak with Olive Sauce
Grilled Cuban Flank Steak
Flank steak is delicious when it’s marinated in Cuban flavors and grilled!
- 1 large piece of flank steak (this recipes makes enough marinade for 3 pounds of meat)
- 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 T soy sauce (see notes)
- 1/2 tsp. ground chipotle chile powder (or use your favorite hot sauce)
- 2 tsp. lime zest (optional)
- Combine marinade ingredients. Put flank steak into a ziploc bag and pour marinade in, seal bag, and marinate all day in refrigerator. (You can marinate up to 24 hours if desired.)
- Take meat out of refrigerator and let it come to room temperature before grilling.
- Oil the grill with a paper towel dipped in olive oil, then preheat gas or charcoal barbecue grill to medium-high (you can only keep your hand there for a few seconds.)
- Grill meat to desired doneness, approximately 4-5 minutes per side for rare to medium rare or 6 minutes for medium. I wouldn’t cook flank steak more than medium or it will be tough.
- Cooking time will depend on the thickness of your flank steak, the best way to judge the doneness is to use an Instant Read Meat Thermometer (affiliate link), cooking to 140-145 for medium rare or 155-160 for medium. (The meat in the photo was cooked about 5 minutes per side.
- Remove meat from grill and let rest about 5 minutes. (You can cover with foil to keep it warm if needed.)
- Slice across the grain and serve hot, with slices of fresh lime to squeeze on the meat.
You can sub coconut aminos for the soy sauce for a Paleo version of this.
Recipe created by Kalyn.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 117Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 156mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 4g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
This Flank Steak is a perfect main dish for any type of low-carb or Keto eating plan or any phase of the original South Beach Diet. If you’re making this for the South Beach Diet, remember the guideline to choose meat with less than 10% fat.
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Grilling Recipes to find more recipes like this one. Use the Diet Type Index to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest, on Facebook, on Instagram, or on YouTube to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.
Historical Notes for this Recipe:
This recipe was first posted in 2006, and I have been making it since that time. It was last updated with more information in 2022.
59 Comments on “Grilled Cuban Flank Steak”
This was excellent! I marinaded the meat for 24 hours. Family ate every bite and I received compliments from a few that are hard to please. I will be making this again. Thank You!
That’s great to hear! So glad everyone enjoyed it!
I made this recipe with grilled peppers & onions. I used some of the marinade in the peppers & onions too. We enjoyed steak Cuban fajitas.
I love that idea! So glad you enjoyed it!
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I love Cuban flavors and like to marinate beef, shrimp and even fish in the lime and cumin. Flank steak on the grill really is the best!
It wouldn't hurt to marinate flat iron steak in this marinade for a few hours, but flat iron doesn't really need to be marinated; it's much more tender than flank steak. Here is my favorite recipe for Flat Iron Steak.
Would this work well for a FLAT IRON Steak??
OMG Kalyn, that looks DELICIOUS! We do a lot of grilled meats and I'm always looking for interesting new marinades. This one fits the bill!
Thanks for posting this! I pinned this a few days ago on Pinterest & this morning was thinking about what to do with the flank steak sitting in my fridge. Can't wait to try out your recipe 🙂
So glad you enjoyed the recipe!
this recipe was awesome! i did mine with some shoulder steaks that i beat down with a meat mallet. also wrote a post about it and gave you credit for the recipe and a link to this page. thanks again! here's the link to my blog entry….
Thanks Kalyn! I couldn't find flank steak at my locally owned grocery store so I asked the workers in the meat department about it and they said skirt steak! I was surprised at that answer because I do use it for fajitas! I live in New Mexico so of course they were out of skirt steak! Must have been a lot of fajitas made yesterday! Thanks for the info!
Cristy, they are not exactly the same. I think skirt steak would work for this, but it might be a little thinner. Here's something I found on the difference between flank steak and skirt steak if you want to read it.
Is flank steak the same thing as skirt steak?
Sofia, so glad you enjoyed it!
This was so yummy! I made it with a mango-red onion salsa and a side of black beans. Love the marinade, so fresh and flavorful.
Jenn, that sounds like a yummy dinner. (And good to know that the marinade will still work with bottle lemon juice!)
Thanks for the recipe. Just made this tonight. Hubby and I enjoyed it.
I made a super big salad of romaine, cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots and blue cheese, and put the flank steak on top. It was delicious!
Also cheated on the marinade as I did not have any fresh limes at home…used lemon juice in a bottle instead.
It is definitely a repeat marinade!
Just finished marinating some chicken with your other marinade recipe(used the red wine vinegar instead, still have not had chance to go to the store to get me some white wine vinegar – will report back)!