Traditional recipes

Ancho Chile-Rubbed Flank Steak

Ancho Chile-Rubbed Flank Steak

  • Prep 5min
  • Total20min
  • Servings8

A really simple way to add some pizzazz to flank steak. Best of all you can have it on the table in minutes.MORE+LESS-

ByTBSP Geoff

Updated May 7, 2015



tablespoon ancho chili powder


flank steaks, about 1 1/4 pounds each


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  • 1

    Heat grill to medium-high. In small bowl combine chili powder, garlic, cinnamon, cumin, onion powder, salt and pepper.

  • 2

    Cut several small incisions against the grain along the surface of each steak. Rub chili mixture into both sides of steaks.

  • 3

    Grill steaks for about 5 minutes per side or until desired doneness. Remove and let stand for 5 minutes. Cut into thin slices across the grain.

Nutrition Information

No nutrition information available for this recipe

Recipe Summary

  • One 1 3/4-pound flank steak
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 Thai bird chiles, minced
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  • 1 cup white polenta or stone-ground white cornmeal (5 1/2 ounces)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup mascarpone
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Aged balsamic vinegar, for serving

In a large, shallow dish, coat the flank steak with the garlic and chiles. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and set aside at room temperature for 2 hours.

In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a boil over high heat. Gradually whisk in the polenta and bring to a simmer. Cook over moderately low heat, whisking often, until the polenta is thick and no longer gritty, about 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, light a grill. Season the steak with salt and pepper and grill over a hot fire until nicely browned on the outside and medium-rare within, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer the steak to a carving board and let rest for 5 minutes.

When the polenta is tender, stir in the mascarpone, Parmesan and the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season the polenta with salt and pepper.

Slice the flank steak against the grain 1/4 inch thick. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and serve with the polenta.

Ancho-Chile Flank Steak

Make the rub in a small bowl by combining the chile powder, cumin, espresso powder, Morton Coarse Sea Salt ® , smoked paprika, mustard, oregano and brown sugar.

Stir in tomato paste, olive oil and lime juice until well combined.

Rub the steaks with the ancho chile rub on both sides, wrap in plastic wrap and let rest in the refrigerator for 2-4 hours or overnight and allow to come to room temperature before grilling.

Brush a large grill pan or outdoor grill with vegetable oil and preheat to medium-high heat.

Place the marinated steak on the pre-heated and oiled grill and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side until the internal temperature reaches 125F degrees.

Remove steak from the grill, tent with tin foil and allow to rest 5 minutes before sprinkling with Morton Coarse Sea Salt ® .

Slice the steaks against the grain and top each steak with fresh cilantro.

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Dry Rub

Step 1

Combine brown sugar, chile powder, paprika, salt, pepper, cayenne, granulated garlic, mustard powder, coriander, and cumin in a small bowl.

Steak and Salsa

Step 2

Prepare a grill for medium-high heat oil grate. Grill corn, turning occasionally, until lightly browned all over, 8–10 minutes let cool. Cut kernels from cobs and place in a medium bowl. Add onion, jalapeño, tomatoes, cilantro, and lime juice to corn and toss to combine season with salt and pepper. Set salsa aside.

Step 3

Meanwhile, coat steak with all of dry rub, packing on more than once if needed, and drizzle with 2 Tbsp. oil to help rub adhere. Grill steak, turning occasionally and moving to a cooler spot on grill as needed to control flare-ups, until nicely browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 130°, about 4 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 10 minutes.

Step 4

Return steak to grill just to recrisp exterior, about 1 minute per side. Transfer back to cutting board and slice against the grain. Serve topped with salsa.

Step 5

Do Ahead: Salsa can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

Grilled Flank Steak

Ingredients US Metric

  • For the spice rub
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons kosher salt, or more to taste
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more to taste
  • For the steak
  • 1 (3-pound) flank steak*
  • Olive oil, for the grill


In a baking dish large enough to fit the steak, stir together all the ingredients.

Add the steak to the spice rub, turning to coat the meat thoroughly with the rub and pressing with your fingers to help the rub adhere to the meat. If you have the time, cover and toss the steak in the fridge for at least 1 hour and up to 6 hours.

When you’re ready to cook the steak, let it rest at room temperature while the grill is heating. Build a hot fire in a charcoal grill or preheat a gas grill to high. Using a grill brush, scrape the heated grill rack clean. Lightly coat a paper towel with oil and, holding it with long tongs, carefully rub the oiled towel over the grill rack.

Place the flank steak directly over the flame or heating element grill and let it cook, undisturbed, for about 3 minutes. Rotate the steak 90° and let it cook, undisturbed, for another 3 minutes. Flip the steak and repeat on the other side so it cooks another 3 minutes undisturbed, is rotated 90°, and then cooks 3 more minutes. If you like your steak medium-rare, it should be done at this point [an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest portion of the steak should read 130°F (54°C)]. If you like your steak medium or well done, move the steak to a cooler part of the grill for a few more minutes to cook to the desired doneness.

Move the steak to a cutting board, cover it loosely with foil, and let it rest for 10 minutes. Carve it against the grain into slices about 1/2 inch thick, pile them onto a platter, and serve immediately. Originally published June 10, 2013.

Recipe Testers' Reviews

This grilled flank steak cooks up perfectly. I did use the garlic powder and my paprika of choice was Spanish. The chile rub was great, as was the timing. My steak was done perfectly medium-rare and was quite nicely seasoned.

We found that 1/2-inch slices were a good thickness. The texture reminded me of a sirloin or a somewhat denser strip loin. Now, the amount of cayenne may seem like a lot, but I found it to be quite nice. However, if you have a sensitive palate, you could ease off somewhat, without affecting the final product.

What a flavorful grilled flank steak! The dry rub has a fantastic punch of flavor which tantalized all my taste buds. The rub can easily be doubled for keeping extra on-hand. Grilling the steak gave it an unmatched smoky flavor that further enhanced the seasoning.

The only thing that I might modify the next time I make it is reducing the amount of salt to 1 1/2 teaspoons. I also think that 3 pounds of flank steak could serve more people, perhaps even 6, although the 2 of us never tired of the leftovers.

I’m still salivating, 2 days later, just thinking about this delicious recipe for grilled flank steak. The spice rub creates a wonderful flavor, although, I’d cut down on the amount of salt next time. I grilled the steak in my Big Green Egg, adding soaked hickory chips to flavor the meat. So delicious and perfect dinner party fare.

Great learning moment: the technique used for seasoning the meat is brilliant. mix the spices together in a dish large enough to hold the piece of meat and press the meat on the spices, turning to coat. Why hadn’t I ever seasoned things this way before? Usually I rub the spices onto the meat and end up with more spices on my fingers than on the meat!

I loved this recipe. With the exception of coriander seeds, I use those same spices on a lot of my grilled items, including veggies. I used a Hungarian smoked paprika. I also used the garlic powder because I would never consider garlic to be optional.

My grill was extremely hot and left nice hatched grill marks. I find flank steak has a different “feel” for doneness than other meats, so using the meat thermometer is important to not overcook the steak. The next time I try this, I'll add the salt to the meat right before cooking. I’m curious to see if having the meat marinate without the salt for the time suggested will result in a more tender piece of meat.

I have a new favorite way to prepare steak that's as easy as can be. The chile spice rub comes together quickly with regular pantry ingredients, nothing special required. For the paprika I used a smoked hot paprika. The grilling technique needs nothing more than a hot grill and a reliable watch.

The aroma of the grilled flank steak was torture as we faithfully waited the required 10 minutes for it to rest. Although most of us thought the seasoning was just right one taster suggested that perhaps a small reduction in the amount of salt (I used a full tablespoon) or substituting onion powder for the garlic powder might be just as tasty.

The results of this simple rub and technique gave us a steak that we just could not stop eating. It was spicy, tender, juicy, and compelled us to keep reaching for the remaining pieces on the plate. The steak was gone in mere minutes with greedy requests for more. All in all, a real keeper recipe for both the novice and experienced griller in the family. This is one we will be having frequently over the spring, summer, fall and winter.

Flank steak has to be about the easiest possible thing to grill. You get a high reward for very little effort, and it’s easy on the wallet, as well. While the steak would be just fine seasoned with salt alone, the rub given in this recipe only takes a few seconds to mix up, and adds a lot of extra flavor.

I used a hot Hungarian paprika for the rub, which when combined with the cayenne, made for a fairly spicy steak. While the recipe works as written, I do have a few comments about the process that may help make it even more foolproof. I'd mix up the rub in a small bowl, instead of the baking dish, and then sprinkle it on the meat (both sides). It will be easier to get the ingredients evenly mixed in a bowl, and then you can make sure that most of the rub gets on the meat, instead of being scattered around a large pan.

The cooking time specified will give you a medium-rare steak if your cut is about 1-inch thick. With flank, it is usually going to be a bit thinner at one end, so that end will get a bit more done (about to medium).

This grilled flank steak recipe works very well as written, with the right balance of spices and the correct grilling times. (We grilled this recipe outdoors on a gas grill.) I used a smoky Spanish paprika in the spice rub. The cayenne pepper gave the spice rub quite a bit of heat, abit too much for my taste. I suggest adapting the amount of cayenne based on your own preferences and taste.

This simple recipe resulted in a mighty fine piece of beef. We cooked the steak on the grill and were very happy with the final product. Both my husband and 7-year-old daughter enjoyed the steak, even though it did have a pronounced kick.

A couple of ingredient notes: I used smoked paprika (one of my all-time favorite spices) and granulated garlic in place of the garlic powder. My steak was smaller than 3 pounds, so I adjusted the spice rub ingredient amounts accordingly. The directions for preparing the spice rub and coating the steak were straightforward and well-written. I let my spice-rubbed steak sit in the fridge for 2 hours before bringing it to room temperature. For us, the steak needed a couple more minutes on the grill than the recipe specified, but that may be because our fire wasn’t hot enough.

This is a simple dish to make and it sure packs a lot of flavor. I used smoked paprika, which paired well with the other ingredients. I mixed the spice rub in a bowl, applied it to the flank steak, and let it sit in the fridge for about 6 hours. Because of the lateness that evening, we didn’t bother getting the grill started. The steak didn’t suffer from being cooked in a cast-iron grill pan. Just 3 1/2 minutes on each side gave us a beautifully medium-rare steak.

I had questions as to how spicy this would be. It seems unusual for a rub to have as much cayenne as it does other spices such as cumin and paprika. The spiciness was apparent but not overbearing. I served this with oven-roasted potatoes and a salad with sliced fennel and orange segments. We had a Dry Creek Sonoma County Zinfandel with this meal. Zin, usually a big, bold, fruit-forward red wine, is a very good choice for pairing with spicy food. [EDITOR'S NOTE: Our tester did, indeed, try this recipe again. Here's what she thought: Just as I suspected, this steak was great with chimichurri sauce. No need to look any further for a recipe. This one is great.]

Although I’m a fairly experienced cook and baker, the grilling in my family has always been left to others, so I approached this recipe as a novice griller. This recipe is an excellent introduction to basic grilling techniques namely, don’t move the meat around except when you have a purpose, rotate it, and let it rest after it’s done.

It also gave me very specific instructions on timing and optimum temperature. I used the full amount of cayenne and will cut it in half the next time I make this recipe—and there will definitely be a next time. The flavor was great (I used smoked paprika) and the doneness was perfect thanks to the very specific instructions on timing and optimum temperature.

This recipe, with very specific and well-written instructions, easily turns a grill novice into a grill master. The dish requires a simple preparation but results in a perfectly cooked flank steak that has the most beautiful sear marks. The spice rub is definitely worth trying, but the seasoning is really up to you. The main takeaway is knowing how to prepare a lovely grilled flank steak in only 12 minutes.

NOTES: I marinated the steak for an hour and a half, wanting to see if this could be made on a weeknight. I wouldn’t have marinated it any longer. The spice rub was definitely spicy. It was really good on the thicker parts of the meat, but the end cuts tasted almost like jerky. The 3-minute technique works really well, and the criss-cross pattern was a very nice detail. All-in-all, I felt like this was a very successful recipe, and a technique that I will definitely use again.

All the ingredients are easy to find and, for a seasoned cook, would probably be on hand. I used a smoked paprika from Penzey Spices. Rubbing the spices into the steak insures the spices adhere to the meat and will be there through the grilling process. If I were to make this again I'd use less cayenne pepper, as the pepper continues to build in your mouth. Grilling added a nice flavor to the meat.

This is a simple way to bring a lot of flavor to a piece of steak, and a great quick dish for the oncoming summer season. The spice rub has good spice. You certainly noticed the cayenne pepper in the mixture. I used Hungarian hot paprika because that's what I had and I included the garlic powder, which I recommend. I used a gas grill and had it going at about medium heat. I cooked the steak to medium rare and I'd say the cooking times are correct. Next time I’ll try this on a charcoal grill.


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Way too much salt. A teaspoon of salt would have been much better. Otherwise this is a good recipe.

Pat, thanks for letting us know. We have noticed that some folks care for salt much less than others, and we do respect that. For example, 3 out of 12 of our recipe testers here told us they’d make it with less salt next time whereas everyone else loved it as-is. And so we had noted in the ingredient line for salt that you could use less to taste. But I just clarified that with a smaller amount of salt and said you could add more to taste. I hope this will be clearer and prevent others from having your same experience. I so appreciate you taking the time to let us know so that we can make the recipe more clear and more to everyone’s liking.

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Take a culinary jaunt to Jamaica with this jerk-spiced flank steak recipe. Use jerk seasonings in the flavorful marinade. A very hot pepper, the Scotch bonnet, is suggested, but you can use any chile pepper you prefer. Serve this jerk flank steak over rice, with tropical fruit.

Chili Lime Rubbed Steak Recipe

I love a good grilled steak, however it is a little intimidating to me. I usually have my husband grill the meats, because I get scared to burn or overcook meat on the grill.

However, I came across some tips and tricks to help you perfectly cook your meat, depending on how you like it.

Here are a few tips to remember as you grill your steak to your perfect preference of doneness.

  • Cutting into steaks while cooking them, should be illegal. It makes the steak dry out, cooks the steak longer than you want, and releases all those juices that have been cooking up in the steak, tenderizing it.

Here are a few ways to know when you steak is done cooking (from the outside), to know how it is on the inside.

I also cook all my steaks on medium low temperature. I am all about that low and slow method, to keep the juices inside, and cook it thoroughly, while keeping it tender and juicy.

  • Rare: Seared on the outside, with a slight pinkish red color in the middle of the steak, meaning the edges looked cooked, but the center of the steak isn’t quite a full brown color. The internal temperature should also be about 125 degrees F.
  • Medium Rare: Seared on the outside, with a slightly reddish pink middle. It should be a little firm to the touch in the middle. The internal temperature should also be around 135 degrees F.
  • Medium: Cooked until slightly firm, and hardened outside, with no pink or red center. Takes about 3 minutes on each side to cook. The internal temperature should be around 145 degrees F.
  • Medium Well: Internal temperature should be at about 150 degrees F. The edges should be slightly black, and the steak should be pretty firm to the touch. It shouldn’t squish or wiggle in the middle at all.
  • Well: Crisp edges with an internal temperature of 160+ degrees F.

Ancho Chili Rubbed Grilled Flank Steak Salad for Cinco de Mayo

After a very long winter here on the east coast, things are finally warming up! We celebrated by buying flowers at a neighborhood plant sale and planting them in our garden.

Then Denis whipped up the grill. With Cinco de Mayo just around the corner, I thought I would share a Mexican inspired steak salad recipe. It’s loosely based around my Asian one, which was a finalist in the 2006 Cooking Light Magazine Reader Recipe Contest and appears in the 2008 Cooking Light Annual Recipe Cookbook.

I first prepared the flank steak by rubbing it with an Ancho Chili Spice mix that I made and let the steak sit at room temperature for about an hour. I scored the surface of the flank steak diagonally, making a diamond pattern. This is to prevent the met from curling when it’s exposed to high heat. Then I inserted garlic slivers in the cuts.

While the meat was resting, I made a Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette and put together the salad.

Denis grilled the Ancho Rubbed steak on each side for about 4 minutes on a very hot grill, then 5 minutes over indirect heat. This is for medium well. If you want it to be more rare, cook in less time, and keep checking the resistance of the meat to touch.

After tenting the steak for about five minutes to let the juices redistribute, I sliced it on the bias and served with the salad and drizzled the vinaigrette on top.

Garnished with a bit of Cojito cheese and more cilantro, this healthy salad was the perfect meal to celebrate more warm, sunny days to come!

For more healthy recipes and inspiration similar to this salad, check out Aloha’s healthy recipes. I’ve been drooling over the recipes there!

Ancho Chili Rubbed Grilled Flank Steak Salad

1/2 teaspoon ground ancho chili powder (if you can’t find this, regular chili powder would work)

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 lb. flank steak, trimmed of fat

3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1. Mix salt, brown sugar, chili powder, ground cumin, and smoked paprika together in a small bowl. Set aside.

2. Score diagonal lines across both sides of flank steak. Rub with spice mixture on each side. Insert garlic slivers in cuts. Let rest for 30-60 minutes.

3. While meat is resting, prepare grill with the coals on one side. Brush one side of meat with olive oil. Sear about 4 minutes over direct heat. Flip and brush with more oil. Sear for another 4 minutes then move to the indirect heat side and let cook for about three to five minutes, depending on how cooked you like your meat.

4. Tent meat and let rest for five to ten minutes. Slice on the bias and serve.

For the dressing:

1 teaspoon finely minced garlic (about 1 clove)

1 teaspoon lime zest (from one lime)

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice

1/4 cup heaping tablespoons finely chopped cilantro

1/4 cup tablespoons olive oil

1. Mix garlic, zest, lime juice, vinegar, salt, sugar, and cilantro together. Slowly add olive oil to mixture while stirring. Set aside

1/4 red onion, thinly sliced

1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained

1 cup steamed frozen corn kernals

1/2 cup crumbled cojito cheese

Ancho Rubbed Grilled Flank Steak, sliced thinly on the bias

1. Toss greens, onion, avocado, tomatoes, black beans and corn together. Top with sliced grilled steak. Garnish with more cilantro and crumbled cojito cheese.


Recipe from Robin to the Rescue
Ancho chiles are dried poblano Chile peppers and they have a subtle, paprika-like flavor and mild to moderate heat. They make a great base for sauces and toppings.
Total Time: 30 minutes
Prep time: 10 minutes
Active cooking time: 10 minutes
Resting time: 10 minutes
Serves 4

• One 1¼-pound flank steak
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
• 1 teaspoon garlic powder

• 1/2 cup mayonnaise
• 2 tablespoons honey
• 1 teaspoon ground ancho chiles
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1. Preheat the broiler. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

2. Season the steak all over with salt and pepper and the garlic powder. Transfer the steak to the baking sheet and place under the broiler for 5 minutes per side for medium doneness. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before cutting crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices.

3. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, honey, and ground ancho.

4. Top the steak slices with the ancho-honey mayo and the cilantro just before serving.

Morph it: Make a double batch of the Ancho-Honey Mayo—it makes an amazing (and uplifting!) sandwich spread. It will keep in a scalable container for up to 7 days in the refrigerator.

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Watch the video: Ancho-Rubbed Flank Steak Recipe (January 2022).