If you’re looking for an easy and delicious way to cook flank steak, the air fryer will deliver. Air Fryer Flank Steak is a flavorful and juicy alternative to grilling or pan-searing.
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With the air fryer, you can cook your steak quickly and with minimal cleanup, making it a great option for busy weeknights or gatherings with friends and family.
To make air fryer flank steak, all you need is a few simple ingredients and a bit of prep work. Season your steak with your favorite dry rub or marinade, then cook it in the air fryer until it reaches your desired level of doneness.
The result is a juicy and flavorful steak that is sure to impress. Plus, cooking in the air fryer means you’ll have less mess to clean up than if you were to grill or pan-sear your steak.
Preparing air fryer flank steak requires a few simple ingredients that are easy to find. Here are the key ingredients you will need:
- Flank steak – Look for one that is approximately 1” thick all around (not thicker on one side and thinner on the other), so it will cook evenly.
- For the marinade: Olive oil, lime juice, orange juice, low sodium soy sauce, minced garlic
- Seasonings: salt, oregano, chili powder, cumin ground black pepper
PRO TIP: One time I made this I didn’t have any orange juice so I used Panda Express Orange Sauce instead. It was DELICIOUS! Now I use it all the time in place of the orange juice.
Other Marinade Options
Marinating the flank steak is essential to infuse it with flavor and make it tender. You can use a variety of marinades depending on your taste preferences. We’ve included our favorite marinade recipe below, but here are some popular options:
- Red wine marinade: Combine red wine, olive oil, and dry rub to create a rich marinade that imparts a bold flavor to the steak.
- Balsamic citrus marinade: Mix balsamic vinegar, orange juice, brown sugar, and citrus zest to create a sweet and tangy marinade that pairs well with the steak’s natural flavors.
You can prepare your marinade in a large zip top bag, then place the flank steak in the bag with the marinade over it. Seal the bag and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. Turn the bag a few times throughout the marinating period, to make sure it gets evenly flavored.
Dry Rub and Seasonings
In addition to the marinade, you can also use a dry rub or seasoning blend to add extra flavor to the steak. Here are some popular options:
- Garlic and paprika rub: Mix garlic powder, smoked paprika, and black pepper to create a smoky and spicy rub that enhances the steak’s flavor.
- Steak seasoning blend: Combine salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder to create a classic steak seasoning that adds a savory flavor to the steak.
Rub the seasoning blend onto the steak before cooking it in the air fryer. Even if you use a marinade, you can also put on the rub before cooking.
How to Make Air Fryer Flank Steak
Preparing the flank steak properly is crucial for achieving a delicious, juicy, and tender steak. Here are some tips to help you prepare your air fryer flank steak perfectly.
Before cooking your flank steak, it’s important to season it properly. Mix together all of the marinade ingredients in a shallow bowl or zip-top bag. Place the steak in the marinade, cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Take the steak out of the refrigerator around 20 minutes before you plan to cook it so it can come up to room temperature. This will ensure an even cook.
Preheating your air fryer is important to ensure that the steak cooks evenly and gets a nice sear on the outside. Preheat your air fryer to 400°F/200°C for 5 minutes before cooking the steak.
Remove the steak from the marinade (discarding the marinade) and place the steak in the basket.
Cook for 5 minutes per side for medium rare, turning the steaks over at the halfway point to ensure even cooking.
Check the meat with a meat thermometer to determine internal temperature and continue cooking in 2 minute increments until your desired doneness is reached. For medium rare, you want 130°F (54°C), for medium it’s 140°F (60°C), for medium well it’s 150°F (66°C), for well done it’s 160°F (71°C).
Letting the steak rest after cooking is crucial to allow the juices to redistribute and make the meat more tender. After cooking, remove the steak from the air fryer and let it rest on a cutting board for 5-10 minutes before slicing.
Slice Against the Grain
When slicing the steak, it’s important to cut against the grain. This means cutting perpendicular to the direction of the muscle fibers, which makes the meat more tender and easier to chew.
The cooking time for flank steak in the air fryer depends on the thickness of the steak and the desired level of doneness. As a general rule, thinner steaks will cook faster than thicker steaks. Here is a table to help you determine the cooking time for your steak:
|1/2 inch||400°F||5-7 minutes|
|1 inch||400°F||8-10 minutes|
|1 1/2 inch||400°F||12-15 minutes|
It’s important to note that these times are just a guide, and you should always use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the steak. For a medium-rare steak, the internal temperature should be 130°F, and for a medium steak, the internal temperature should be 140°F.
What to Serve It With
Flank steak is a versatile cut of meat that can be served with a variety of sides. Some popular options include roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, or a simple salad.
There are some really easy side dishes you can serve with your main dish cooked in the Air Fryer. In some cases, you can even cook them together in the air fryer to make it even faster.
Expert Tips for Perfect Flank Steak
When it comes to cooking flank steak in an air fryer, there are a few things you can do to ensure a perfectly cooked and delicious meal. Here are some expert tips to help you achieve the best results:
- Choosing the right cut of flank steak is crucial to the success of your dish. Look for a good quality cut of flank steak that is preferably cut on the same day or doesn’t have large chunks of fat. Skirt steak is also a good option for this recipe.
- Seasoning your flank steak is essential to enhance its flavor. You can use your favorite seasonings, but a simple blend of salt, pepper, and garlic powder works well. Sprinkle the seasonings onto both sides of the meat and rub it into the meat.
- Medium to medium-rare is the best temperature for flank steak so it’s not too dry and chewy. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the meat. The ideal temperature for medium-rare is 130°F.
- After cooking, it’s important to let the meat rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing it. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, making it more tender and juicy.
- When slicing the flank steak, be sure to cut against the muscle grain. This will result in more tender and easier to chew meat.
If you’re looking to add some extra flavor to your air fryer flank steak, consider serving it with a sauce. A classic barbecue sauce is always a crowd-pleaser, or you can try a chimichurri sauce for a tangy and herbaceous flavor. For a low-carb option, try a creamy horseradish sauce made with Greek yogurt.
No matter how you choose to serve your air fryer flank steak, be sure to let it rest for a few minutes after cooking before slicing it against the grain. This will help ensure that the meat stays juicy and tender. Enjoy!
Leftovers and Reheating
If you have any leftover air fryer flank steak, don’t worry, you can still enjoy it the next day. Proper storage and reheating can make all the difference in preserving the flavor and texture of your steak.
To store your leftover flank steak, let it cool down to room temperature first. Then, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place it in an airtight container. You can also use a zip-top freezer bag. Make sure to squeeze out as much air as possible before sealing it.
You can store leftover flank steak in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. If you want to keep it longer, you can freeze it for up to 2-3 months. When freezing, wrap it in an additional layer of plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn.
The air fryer is an excellent tool for reheating flank steak. Preheat your air fryer to 350°F, then place your leftover steak in the air fryer basket.
Cook for 3-5 minutes, depending on the size and thickness of your steak. A thicker cut may require an additional 1-2 minutes. Use a meat thermometer to ensure that the steak is heated thoroughly.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long should I cook flank steak in the air fryer?
Cooking time for flank steak in the air fryer depends on the thickness of the steak and how well-done you want it. Generally, for a 1-inch thick steak, you can cook it for 5-7 minutes on each side for medium-rare, or 7-9 minutes on each side for medium. However, it’s important to use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the steak to ensure it’s cooked to your liking.
What temperature should I set the air fryer to for flank steak?
Preheat your air fryer to 400°F for flank steak. This high temperature helps to sear the outside of the steak and lock in the juices.
How should I season my air fryer flank steak?
There are many ways to season your flank steak, but a simple mixture of salt, pepper, and garlic powder can work wonders. You can also try adding other seasonings like cumin, onion powder, or paprika for extra flavor.
Can I marinate my flank steak before cooking it in the air fryer?
Yes, you can marinate your flank steak before cooking it in the air fryer. A simple marinade of olive oil, soy sauce, and garlic can add a lot of flavor to your steak. Just be sure to pat the steak dry before cooking it to ensure it gets a nice sear.
How should I slice my air fryer flank steak?
After cooking your flank steak in the air fryer, let it rest for a few minutes before slicing it against the grain. This helps to ensure the steak is tender and easy to chew. You can also slice the steak thinly for things like salads or sandwiches.
What should I serve with air fryer flank steak?
Air fryer flank steak pairs well with a variety of sides, such as roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, or a simple green salad. You can also try serving it with a chimichurri sauce or a creamy horseradish sauce for added flavor.
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Easy Air Fryer Flank Steak
- 2 pound (907 g) flank steak approx 1” thick
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil
- 1 Lime juiced
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) orange juice
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) low sodium soy sauce
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon (6 g) salt
- 1/2 teaspoon (1 g) oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon (1 g) chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon (1 g) cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon (1 g) ground black pepper
- Mix together all of the marinade ingredients in a shallow bowl or ziptop bag. Place the steak in the marinade, cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
- Remove the steak from the refrigerator about 20 minutes before cooking.
- Preheat the air fryer to 400° F for 5 minutes. Remove the steak from the marinade (discard the marinade) and place the steak in the basket.
- Cook for 5 minutes per side for medium rare, turning the steaks over at the halfway point to ensure even cooking. If you have a smaller steak (around 1 pound), cook for just 3 minutes per side. Check the meat with a meat thermometer to determine internal temperature and continue cooking in 2 minute increments until your desired doneness is reached. For medium rare, you want 130°F (54°C), for medium it’s 140°F (60°C), for medium well it’s 150°F (66°C), for well done it’s 160°F (71°C).
- Remove the steak at the proper temperature and place it on a plate to rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing thinly against the grain.
- Every air fryer differs as does the thickness of your steak, so you will need to use a meat thermometer after 10 minutes of cook time to get the proper doneness you prefer.
All air fryers have different wattage and may cook at different rates. You may need to adjust the time or temp for the best results.
🥧 If you’re interested in more great recipes, I share all my favorite recipes over at A Food Lover’s Kitchen, and you’ll find Instant Pot recipes at A Pressure Cooker Kitchen, and cocktails and drinks at Savored Sips. Check it out today!
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Laura is a passionate foodie and owner of Air Fry Anytime She is dedicated to sharing delicious recipes and helpful tips for using air fryers at home. With years of experience in the kitchen and a love for healthy, flavorful cooking, Laura has become an expert at using air fryers to create amazing meals that are both nutritious and delicious.