Yes you can cook a steak in the air fryer! Air Fryer Flank Steak comes out perfectly browned, juicy and tender in only 10 minutes.
I love using the air fryer (I have this one) for so many things, like veggies (Air Fryer Asparagus), chicken, (Air Fryer Whole Chicken, and Air Fryer Orange Chicken), meatballs (Air Fryer Turkey Meatballs and fish (Air Fryer Salmon). But to be honest, I was pretty skeptical about using it for steak.
We love grilling steaks. To me, the grill has always been the only way to cook a steak. However, the booklet that came with my air fryer said it works great for steak and I was curious.
What is Flank Steak?
Flank Steak is a flat boneless cut from the underside of beef. (Here's a handy guide to the various cuts of beef: https://canadabeef.ca/cuts-by-colour/) Flank steak is very lean and it's super flavourful. Because flank steaks are so lean, if cooked incorrectly they can be tough, dry, and chewy.
Flank steaks should usually be marinated, and they need to be cooked briefly at high temperatures.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Flank steaks are one of the less expensive cuts, making it ideal for your first air fried steak experience.
- Flank steaks are one of the most flavourful cuts of beef.
- The red wine marinade adds even more flavour.
- The air fryer is the best way to cook steak indoors. It's perfect if you don't have a grill, or if it's too cold or too hot to cook outside.
- Air Fryer Flank Steak takes only 10 minutes for perfect medium rare.
- The steak comes out super tender and juicy with a nicely browned crust.
What You Will Need To Make It
- Flank Steak Try to find a steak that's as uniform in thickness as possible.
- Red Wine You don't have to use an expensive, premium red, but do always use a wine that you don't mind drinking. Bad wine will impact the flavour. And you'll have three quarters of a bottle left, so why not drink it?
- Fresh Herbs Fresh rosemary and time are always best, but if you don't have them, use a teaspoon each of dried herbs.
- Beef Stock and Butter These ingredients are optional and you can use them to make a serving sauce with the marinade.
How to Cook Flank Steak in the Air Fryer
Air fryer flank steak is very simple and quick to cook, but you will need to marinate it first, so plan ahead for the marinating time. You will need at least four hours marinating time and up to eight. I'm not recommending overnight, because you probably don't want steak for breakfast. But if you do, overnight it is.
- Start by using a sharp knife to score the surface of the steak in a criss cross pattern, first across the grain and then the other direction. Don't cut too deeply, just shallow cuts about ¼ deep. Do this on both sides.
- Sprinkle both sides of the steak with pepper.
- Whisk together the marinade ingredients.
- Add the flank steak, cover with plastic wrap, (or pour everything including the steak into a sealable freezer bag). Refrigerate and allow the steak to marinate at least 4 hours or overnight.
Then you simply remove the steak from the marinade and air fry for 5 minutes on each side.
- Remove the steak from the marinade and allow it to come to room temperature 15-30 minutes before cooking. Keep the marinade to make the optional red wine sauce, or discard it.
- Even if your air fryer manufacturer says there's no need to preheat it, you should preheat for the steak to cook perfectly.
- Score the meat before marinating it. This step severs the long fibers to help tenderize the meat, and it allows the marinade to penetrate for maximum flavour.
- Make sure to cover the steak completely in the marinade. If not, turn it frequently.
- Only turn the flank steak once, halfway through cooking, and do it quickly so as not to release too much heat.
- Cook flank steak to medium rare or medium. Well done flank steak, unless it's slow cooked, will be tough.
- Using a meat thermometer, internal temperatures should be: rare 125°, medium rare 135°, and medium 145°.
- Allow the steak to rest before slicing to allow the juices to redistribute.
- Thinly slice flank steak across the grain diagonally, for maximum tenderness.
Flank steak is a marinating steak, so although you don't have to, marinating will tenderize and flavour the meat, so it's best not to skip that step.
The key to tender flank steak is cooking it quickly on high heat, and slicing the steak thinly across the grain.
You won't have grill marks when cooking air fryer flank steak. But the high heat will turn the steak nicely brown.
Let the steak rest 5-7 minutes before slicing.
Flank steak and skirt steak are similar, but flank steak is leaner, more tender and has more flavor.
Flank steak is one of the least expensive cuts of beef.
Want to Use the Grill?
This marinated flank steak is just as perfect on the grill! For grilled flank steak, follow all of the instructions before and after the air fryer. Substitute "grill" for air fryer and that's it!
This air fryer steak recipe is perfect for tacos or these Flank Steak Lettuce Wraps. You can use it instead of chicken to make a Burrito Bowl. You can serve it with the optional red wine sauce, or drizzled with Chimichurri Sauce. Serve it with salads like Greek Pasta Salad, or Classic Potato Salad. Or with side dishes, for example: Air Fryer Carrots, Sautéed Green Beans With Garlic & Lemon, Air Fryer Rutabaga Fries or Sautéed Beet Greens. And leftovers are good for sandwiches, or in a Steak & Asparagus Stir Fry.
Air Fryer Flank Steak
- 2 lb flank steak
- 1 cup red wine
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 2 sprigs thyme
- pepper & salt
Red Wine Sauce
- 1 cup beef stock
- 2 tablespoon cold butter cubed
- Using a sharp knife, score the steak on both sides with shallow cuts (¼") across the grain in two directions. You will have a criss cross effect. (See photo in post)
- Season the steak on both sides with pepper.
- Whisk together all of the marinade ingredients.
- In a glass bowl or a re-sealable freezer bag, submerge the steak in the marinade.
- Refrigerate and allow the steak to marinate at least four hours or up to 8 hours.
- Remove the steak from the marinade and set the marinade aside if using it to make the optional red wine sauce. If not, discard the marinade. Pat the steak dry with paper towels and allow it to come to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
- Lightly oil the cooking surface in your air fryer.
- Preheat the air fryer to 400°
- Cook the steak 5 minutes on each side, flipping only once.
- Remove the steak and allow it to rest on a cutting board 5-7 minutes.
- Slice the steak diagonally, across the grain into thin slices.
- Serve with Red Wine Sauce (optional, see below)
Red Wine Sauce
- Pour marinade and beef broth into a skillet. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until sauce reduces and thickens. Stir in butter one piece at a time. Taste and add salt and pepper if necessary.