These EPIC grilled flank steak tacos are juicy, tender, and packed with savory goodness! You can also grill the corn tortillas. While other cuts of meat like skirt steak may be substituted, flank steak is affordable and perfect for grilling. The taco marinade packs a flavor punch from ingredients like garlic, lime juice, cumin, and chipotle.
We are having one hell of a heat wave this summer. I haven’t been able to get outside and grill nearly as much as I’d like to, which is why I’ve been going for it as soon as there’s a break in the weather.
This steak taco recipe has been a highlight so far. Not only are these tacos delicious, but this was my first time grilling the tortillas before serving. From now on, that is the only way I’m doing it if the weather will behave!
Not only do grilled tortillas taste better, but grilling really improves the texture and helps keep them from falling apart.
- Flank steak (skirt steak would also work)
- Lime juice
- Grapeseed oil (or a similar, neutral-flavored high heat oil)
- Chipotle powder or sauce
- Corn tortillas
- Optional accompaniments: red onion, jalapeños, cilantro, cheese, sour cream, hot sauce, limes
How to Make Steak Tacos
These come together easier than you might expect, since most of the prep time is inactive. Here’s what you do:
Step 1: Marinate the meat
I like using a resealable plastic bag for this step, but you can also use a shallow dish (pie and casserole dishes work well). Let the steak taco marinade do it’s job for at least one hour, or toss everything together in the morning and leave it until dinner time.
Step 2: Grill the steak
If you’re new to grilling, I’ve got plenty of tips below. In my opinion, flank steak is one of the easiest cuts to grill, so it’s great for learning! Aim for a nice char on the outside, medium rare in the center, and let it rest before slicing. My carving knife makes the job super easy.
Step 3: Assemble the tacos
Prep your fixins while the meat is marinating or resting. Then chow down on some tasty tacos. You’ve earned them!
- Make sure to give the steak at least an hour in the marinade so the flavors have time to absorb.
- If you’re not sure how to tell when steak is done, I highly recommend using a digital thermometer to ensure medium-rare (or whatever your preferred level of doneness is). Lately I’ve been eying some fancier grill thermometers, but for now my digital probe thermometer gets the job done.
- Let the meat rest for 10 minutes or longer before slicing! I know it’s hard, but you don’t want to lose the juices. If you’re worried about the meat getting cold, tent it with foil. Those juices are literally what make “juicy” meat. They’re the secret sauce.
- I highly recommend grilling the tortillas, if you have time. Store-bought corn tortillas are notorious for falling apart and lacking in flavor. Grilling adds a nice smokiness, and transferring them to a foil pouch adds steam, making them more pliable.
- When your grilling (or searing meat in general), don’t try to flip the meat if it’s stuck to the grates. This means it’s not ready, and you’ll lose the tasty grill marks. The steak will detach on it’s own once it’s ready. This is also true for the corn tortillas.
- If your tortillas keep sticking while you grill them, that means you need to turn up the heat.
Substitutions and Variations
- Skirt steak or flat-iron steak will also work in this recipe. You can also substitute chicken. Swapping out the cut or type of meat might alter the cooking times. The correct internal temperature for chicken is 165 degrees F.
- You can use either chipotle powder or sauce from a can of chipotles in adobo sauce. They’ll both give you similar results, so there’s no reason to buy the spice if you already have canned chipotles. However, since this recipe doesn’t use the rest of the can, the spice offers a way to get the same flavor without leftover chipotle peppers.
- The listed accompaniments are just recommendations. Use your favorite taco fixings, hot peppers, etc.
Homemade Corn Tortillas
Try this recipe with my homemade corn tortillas! You’ll be amazed by how much better they taste than store-bought versions. No tortillas press required!
More Tex-Mex/Mexican Recipes
Grilled Flank Steak Tacos
For the grilled steak
- 1 1/2 - 2 pounds flank steak, trimmed of excess fat
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1/2 cup grapeseed oil (or a similar high-heat oil), plus more for grill
- 1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lime juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon chipotle powder (see notes)
- Kosher salt and ground black pepper
- 8-10 corn tortillas (flour tortillas may be substituted)
Accompaniments for serving (pick and choose)
- Diced red onion
- Diced or sliced jalapeños
- Lime wedges
- Fresh cilantro leaves
- Shredded cheese: Mexican blend, mild cheddar, or Monterey jack/cheddar blend
- Sour cream or Mexican crema
- Hot sauce (I like Cholula)
- Marinate the steak: Place the steak and garlic in a resealable plastic bag (a shallow baking dish will also work). In a liquid measuring cup, whisk together the oil, lime juice, cumin, and chipotle powder. Add marinade to the bag and seal, turning the bag over a few times to coat evenly. Place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour (up to 8 hours). While the steak is marinating, prepare any accompaniments you'll be using.
- Grill the steak: Remove the steak from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- Preheat the grill to medium-high heat (approximately 400 degrees F). Remove the steak from the marinade and lightly pat dry to remove the excess liquid. Season both sides of the meat liberally with salt and pepper.
- Oil the grates (I use heat-resistant tongs and a folded up paper towel dipped in oil). With the lid closed, grill the steak over direct heat for 5-7 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature reads 130-135 degrees F for medium rare.
- Let the steaks rest for 10 minutes, then slice into thin strips against the grain. If the pieces look too big, slice them in half crosswise.
- Grill the tortillas (optional but recommended): While the cooked steak is resting, you can grill the tortillas over the same high heat. Scrape off the grates first, then use tongs to grill the tortillas on both sides. Cook for around 1 minute per side with the lid closed, then transfer to foil and wrap tightly to add steam and keep warm until ready to serve. If the grill isn't hot enough, the tortillas will stick. Alternately, you can heat them in a dry skillet or the microwave.
- Assemble the tacos: To serve, place a few slices of steak in the tortilla, then to with your desired accompaniments. Serve immediately. Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
Please read my full post for additional recipe notes, tips, and serving suggestions!
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