This Trick Will Help You Cook Flank Steak Evenly

There are few summertime activities more fun — and yet somehow more complicated — than grilling. While you can't beat cooking meat over a hot, open flame — both in terms of entertainment value, as well as in the flavorful results — grilling can be challenging. As good as your cookout intentions are, sometimes the burger just comes out too dry, the BBQ chicken burns to a crisp, and the zucchini rounds turn to mush (if they don't fall through the grill grates first). 

Perhaps the most complicated item to grill is steak. The idea of it always sounds so good — who wouldn't salivate over a juicy T-bone, a tender ribeye, or a meaty sirloin? — but in practice, it can be hard to perfectly grill a steak, no matter the cut. When cooking red meat, it's important to nail the internal temperature — too low, and the steak will be fleshy and hard to cut and chew; too high, and the steak will be gamey and dry as a bone (via ThermoBlog). And when working with a cut of meat like flank steak, things get even trickier; because of the way it's cut, one end of a flank steak is almost always thicker than the other end, making it difficult to ensure that the entire piece of meat comes out perfectly cooked (via the Food Network). Want to know how to cook flank steak right? Read on.

Divide that steak into two -- or pound the whole thing out

Luckily, it's possible to ensure that the flank steak you lovingly picked out at the store will come off your grill — or out of your cast iron pan — tender and juicy. According to the Food Network, one method involves cutting the flank steak into two pieces. Looking at the meat, decide where one side looks drastically thinner than the other; then, using a sharp knife, cut the steak into pieces. Season as desired, then start cooking the thicker piece a few minutes before you add the thinner piece to your grill or pan. When the two steaks are done cooking — about six minutes per side for the thicker steak and four minutes per side for the thinner one — they will both be delicious.

If you'd rather cook the flank steak whole, the Food Network suggests busting out your meat mallet (a rolling pin or a cast iron skillet work well if you don't have one, according to The Kitchn) to pound the entire piece of meat to a uniform thickness. Place the steak between two layers of parchment paper or plastic wrap, then carefully use the weight of your chosen tool to even out the difference between the two ends of the steak. Once pounded out, go ahead and cook the meat to your desired doneness. And there you have it: perfectly cooked flank steak, without too much fuss.