Flank Steak Air Fryer Recipe: The Perfect, Tender, And Flavorful Meal

flank steak air fryer recipe

Are you looking for a hassle-free yet delectable way to cook a mouthwatering flank steak? Look no further! In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through every aspect of preparing a perfect flank steak using an air fryer. From understanding the food science behind the cooking process to selecting the best cut, cleaning, and marinating techniques, and even checking for doneness, this article has got you covered!

Understanding the Food Science

Before diving into the specifics of cooking a flank steak in an air fryer, it’s essential to understand the science behind it. Flank steak is a lean and fibrous cut of beef, known for its rich flavor and chewiness when cooked improperly. However, with the help of an air fryer, we can achieve a tender and flavorful outcome by harnessing the power of hot circulating air.

Selecting the Perfect Flank Steak

When it comes to any recipe, ingredient selection plays a vital role in determining the final result. When choosing a flank steak, opt for one with a rich color, minimal visible fat, and good marbling. These factors indicate that the steak is fresh and will yield the best flavor and texture.

Cleaning and Preparing the Flank Steak

flank steak

  1. Start by rinsing the flank steak under cold running water to remove any loose debris.
  2. Pat the steak dry using paper towels to ensure a crispier sear.
  3. Place the steak on a clean cutting board and inspect it for any excess fat or silver skin. Trim these off to improve tenderness and prevent potential flare-ups during cooking.

Marinating for Flavor Infusion

flank steak

Marinating a flank steak not only enhances its taste but also helps to tenderize the meat. Here’s a simple and flavorful marinade that will elevate your steak to the next level:

Marination Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  1. In a bowl, whisk together all the marinade ingredients until well combined.
  2. Place the flank steak in a ziplock bag or a shallow dish and pour the marinade over it.
  3. Ensure the steak is fully coated and marinate for at least 2 hours, or preferably overnight in the refrigerator. This allows the flavors to infuse deeply into the meat.

Tips for the Best Flank Steak in Your Air Fryer

close up view of air fried flank steak

Now that we’ve covered the basics let’s explore some expert tips that will take your flank steak from ordinary to extraordinary:

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1. Preheating the Air Fryer

Preheating the air fryer is essential to ensure even cooking and a nice sear on your steak. Set the air fryer to the desired temperature and allow it to preheat for approximately 3-5 minutes.

2. Temperature and Timing

For a perfectly cooked medium-rare flank steak, preheat the air fryer to 400°F (200°C) and cook the steak for 8-10 minutes, flipping halfway through. Adjust the cooking time based on your desired doneness and the thickness of the steak.

3. Avoid Overcrowding

To achieve optimal browning and crispiness, avoid overcrowding the air fryer basket. Cook the flank steak in a single layer without any overlapping. If cooking a larger quantity, consider cooking in batches for the best results.

4. Letting it Rest

After cooking, allow the flank steak to rest for a few minutes before slicing. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a juicier and more tender steak.

Checking for Doneness

close up view of air fried flank steak

To ensure your flank steak is cooked to perfection, it’s essential to check for its doneness. Here are a few methods you can use:

1. Meat Thermometer

Using a meat thermometer is the most accurate way to determine the internal temperature of your flank steak. For a medium-rare steak, aim for an internal temperature of 135°F (57°C).

2. Finger Test

If you don’t have a meat thermometer, you can also use the finger test method. Gently press the center of the steak with your index finger and compare the resistance to the following:

  • Rare: Soft and squishy, with no resistance
  • Medium-rare: Slightly firm and bounces back quickly
  • Medium: Firm with a gentle bounce back
  • Well-done: Very firm with no bounce back

Serving and Pairing Suggestions

Now that your perfectly cooked flank steak is ready to be savored, here are some serving and pairing suggestions to elevate your culinary experience:

  1. Slice the flank steak against the grain, cutting thin strips at a slight angle for maximum tenderness.
  2. Serve it as the star of a delicious steak salad, accompanied by fresh greens, colorful vegetables, and a tangy vinaigrette.
  3. For a heartier meal, serve the flank steak with roasted potatoes, grilled vegetables, or a side of creamy mashed cauliflower.

Recipe: Air-Fried Flank Steak

Finally, the moment you’ve been waiting for – the recipe! Follow these simple steps to create a mouthwatering air-fried flank steak:


  • 1.5 lbs (680g) flank steak
  • The prepared marinade from earlier
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  1. Preheat the air fryer to 400°F (200°C) for 3-5 minutes.
  2. Place the marinated flank steak in the air fryer basket in a single layer, without overlapping.
  3. Cook the steak for 8-10 minutes, flipping halfway through for even cooking.
  4. Once cooked to your desired doneness, remove the steak from the air fryer and let it rest for a few minutes.
  5. Slice the steak against the grain, at a slight angle, and enjoy the perfectly tender and flavorful results!

Variations to Explore

While the above recipe provides a tried and true method for cooking a delicious flank steak in an air fryer, don’t be afraid to get creative and experiment with different flavors and seasonings. Here are a few variations to inspire your culinary journey:

Asian-inspired Flair

  • Swap the Worcestershire sauce for soy sauce, and add ginger and sesame oil to the marinade for an Asian twist.
  • Serve the sliced flank steak over a bed of steamed jasmine rice and top with green onions and toasted sesame seeds.

Spicy Mexicana

  • Add a kick to your marinade by including chipotle chili powder, cumin, and a squeeze of lime juice.
  • Serve the thinly sliced steak in warm tortillas, accompanied by salsa, guacamole, and lime wedges for zesty tacos.


Cooking flank steak in an air fryer is a game-changer. With its ease of use and ability to deliver a perfectly tender and flavorful steak, it’s no wonder this cooking method continues to gain popularity. By following the tips, marinade recipe, and detailed instructions provided in this article, you’ll be well on your way to impressing family and friends with your culinary skills. So, fire up that air fryer and get ready to enjoy a delicious flank steak that will leave everyone asking for seconds!

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  • FAQS On Flank Steak Air Fryer Recipe

    What Is Flank Steak And Is It Suitable For Air Fryer Cooking?

    Flank steak is a cut of beef from the abdominal area of the cow and is known for its rich, beefy flavor and lean texture. It is a great option for cooking in an air fryer as it cooks quickly and evenly, making it a delicious and convenient meal option.

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    How Do I Prepare The Flank Steak For Air Frying?

    To prepare the flank steak for air frying, start by trimming off any excess fat and marinating the steak for at least 2 hours or overnight in the refrigerator. You can also season it with your favorite spices and herbs for added flavor.

    What Is The Recommended Cooking Time And Temperature For Flank Steak In An Air Fryer?

    The cooking time for flank steak in an air fryer can vary depending on the size and thickness of the steak. However, a general guideline is to cook it at 400°F for 8-10 minutes, flipping halfway through for even cooking.

    Do I Need To Preheat The Air Fryer Before Cooking The Flank Steak?

    Yes, it is recommended to preheat the air fryer for a few minutes before cooking the flank steak. This allows the air fryer to reach the desired cooking temperature and ensures that the steak cooks evenly.

    Can I Cook Frozen Flank Steak In An Air Fryer?

    It is not recommended to cook frozen flank steak in an air fryer. It is best to thaw the steak before cooking to ensure that it cooks evenly and to avoid any potential food safety issues.

    How Will I Know When The Flank Steak Is Fully Cooked In The Air Fryer?

    The best way to check if the flank steak is fully cooked is by using a meat thermometer. The internal temperature of the steak should reach 135-140°F for medium-rare, 145-150°F for medium, and 160°F for well-done. You can also use a knife to make a small cut in the thickest part of the steak to check for doneness.

    How Should I Serve The Cooked Flank Steak From The Air Fryer?

    Once the flank steak is cooked, let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing it against the grain into thin strips. This will help keep the steak juicy and tender. You can then serve it with your favorite side dishes and enjoy a delicious and easy meal.