We are well into August, but cookout season isn't quite over and I'm intent on using these last couple weeks before Labor Day to spend as much time with my grill as possible. We've been covering grilling all summer, so today I want to focus on just one of the many things you can cook on an open fire: steak. Beef isn't always my first choice for a cookout, but there is something undeniably satisfying about a grilled steak, whether it's marinated or seasoned with just salt and pepper. From a basic grilled steak done right and Thai-style steak salads to a spicy skirt steak sandwich, keep reading for 20 of our favorite grilled steak recipes.
End up cooking too much meat? Don't worry, our roundup of leftover grilled meat recipes has some delicious ways to use up yesterday's steak.
The Food Lab's Perfect Grilled Steaks
If you only learn one grilled steak recipe, this should be it. The key takeaways: start with a thick slab of beef, salt it and let it sit at least 40 minutes (and up to a couple days), season heavily, cook it most of the way through on the cooler side of the grill, and finish right over the flame. Don't forget to rest the meat for at least five minutes before cutting into it.
Grilled Strip Steak With Creamy Yogurt Sauce and Tomato-Cucumber Salad
The problem with cutting steaks thick enough to grill properly is that each one can get too big for one person. Rather than cut your steaks thinner, simply get a thick steak and cut it crosswise into two healthier portions. Here we cook strip steak with our basic two-zone fire technique and serve it with a herbed yogurt sauce and simple tomato and cucumber salad.
The Best Carne Asada
Calling a carne asada recipe "the best" is bold when there are so many takes on the dish, but we think this recipe makes a pretty good argument for its superiority. We make our carne asada with a marinade of orange juice, lime juice, olive oil, soy sauce, fish sauce, garlic, cilantro, cumin seed, coriander seed, and brown sugar—that might sound like a lot, but by balancing out all the flavors, we make sure the beef still shines.
Grilled Skirt Steak Fajitas
Sticking with the Tex-Mex theme let's move to fajitas—grilled skirt steak marinated with soy sauce, lime juice, canola oil, brown sugar, cumin, black pepper, chili powder, and garlic. Skirt steak is a thin cut, so you need to get the grill as hot as you can to char the outside before it overcooks.
These fajitas pair mole-marinated skirt steak with an earthy ancho-raisin sauce. Making mole poblano from scratch takes an entire day and a couple dozen ingredients, so I definitely wouldn't blame you for using a premade version. We love skirt steak because its loose texture lets it soak up marinades wonderfully, but flap, flank, or hanger would also work here.
Easy Steak Tacos With Charred Corn and Sriracha
This dish of cumin-, coriander-, chili powder-, and oregano-rubbed skirt steak tacos can be made entirely on the stove, but you can't beat that extra hit of smoke you get from pulling out a bag of charcoal. We top the steak with charred corn (one of my favorite summer ingredients), spicy-sweet Sriracha, and tangy Greek yogurt.
Skirt Steak With Warm Spicy Corn-and-Peach Salsa
This recipe combines corn with peaches (another one of my favorite pieces of summer produce) to make a summery salsa to pair with grilled skirt steak. The meat is flavored with a simple spice rub made with cumin, oregano, and cayenne. Like the last recipe, this one can be made entirely indoors if you don't feel like firing up the grill.
Grilled Garlic- and Herb-Marinated Hanger Steak
Skirt steak is a great choice for grilling, but don't sleep on hanger steak—it has a similarly loose texture and a super beefy flavor with a mineral note that will please eaters who want their beef to be a little more assertive. Here we marinate it with peppercorns, garlic cloves, parsley, and shallot before cooking it on a hot grill. Hanger steak gets inedibly rubbery past medium, so be sure not to overcook it.
Grilled Mojo-Marinated Skirt Steak
The garlic and herbs in the last recipe might have gotten you thinking of mojo, and the citrusy, cilantro-scented Cuban sauce is in fact a great steak marinade. After taking the meat out of the mojo we reduce the marinade into a sauce on the stovetop so as not to waste anything.
Dijon-Marinated Grilled Skirt Steak
For this recipe we turn to a French-inspired marinade made with spicy Dijon mustard, tart Champagne vinegar, and aromatic rosemary. The mustard and vinegar are both acidic enough to tenderize the steak nicely. If you feel like you need a side dish to round out your steak dinner, serve with with a raw kale salad, maybe with some oven-dried grapes and walnuts and creamy, salty-sweet blue cheese.
Santa Maria-Style Barbecue Tri-Tip
Despite the name, Santa Maria-style barbecue is really just grilling—no low-and-slow cooking here. For the most authentic flavor start with tri-tip, season it with a garlicky rub, and serve it with a tomato- and celery-based salsa. Tri-tip has a tapered shape that makes it hard to cook evenly, so if you like your steak medium-rare you should invite over some friends who prefer it medium or well-done.
These kebabs give you a steakhouse on a stick by flavoring beef sirloin tips with a robust marinade of Worcestershire, soy sauce, lemon juice, mustard, and garlic and skewering it with mushrooms and onions. We like sirloin for kebabs because of the way the cut balances flavor, tenderness, and value.
Isan-Style Sliced-Steak Salad
In America we typically think of salads as being made with greens, but in Thailand a salad can be so much more than that. This Northeastern Thailand-inspired salad pairs sliced grilled steak with onions and tomatoes and tosses it all in a fiery dressing made with pounded garlic and chilies, lime juice, and fish sauce. Making the dressing with a mortar and pestle might seem like too much work, but it is the absolute best way to get as much flavor from the aromatics as possible.
Thai-Style Marinated Flank Steak and Herb Salad
Another Thai-style steak salad, this one is flavored with a mixture of palm sugar (or brown sugar, if that's all you have), dried Thai chili flakes, fish sauce, garlic, and lime juice. We use the mix as both a marinade and a sauce for maximum flavor. Aside from the meat,d we make the salad with mung bean sprouts, shallots, and tons of fresh herbs: mint, cilantro, basil, and chives.
Grilled Stuffed Flank Steak With Roasted Chilies and Pepper Jack Cheese
Flank steak takes well to the grill, but the lean cut is arguably a little light on flavor. One way to fix that is to roll it up with bolder ingredients. We have several recipes to choose from, but my favorite uses roasted Poblano or Hatch chilies and pepper jack cheese. Butcher's twine and skewers help the rolls stay intact as they cook—start them on a hot fire so that any cheese that drips out chars into a tasty crust.
Grilled Jalapeño-Marinated Steak Sandwiches With Charred Onions and Cotija Mayo
If you're going to make a sandwich out of grilled steak, why not grill the rest of the ingredients while you're at it? Here we use the fire not just to cook the beef, but to char the sweet onions and toast the baguette. Raw cilantro adds a little freshness and a spicy elotes-inspired cotija mayo adds a creamy kick.
Grilled Steak, Avocado, and Spicy Crema Sandwiches
This comforting sandwich pairs grilled steak with creamy avocado (mashed with cilantro, lime juice and zest, scallions, and garlic) and hot sauce-spiked crema. The steak is seasoned with nothing more than salt and pepper and charred on a hot grill—it should only take about 8 minutes total to cook the meat.
The Steak Bomb With Flap Steak, Scallions, and Salami-Cheese Crisps
If you're not from New England you might not be familiar with the steak bomb, so allow me to introduce you to this gut-busting cheesesteak-hero sandwich mashup. As much as we like the steak itself, our favorite part of the steak bomb is actually the salami you slide into the roll. To highlight that flavor, we bake salami right into the buns and make salami-cheese crisps to put inside it.
Tender Grilled Short Ribs
Short ribs most often show up on American menus braised, but ask anyone from Argentina or Korea and they'll tell that this cut belongs on the grill. Because of their high fat content short ribs are fairly forgiving to cook, but you should aim for medium-rare so that the fat gets hot enough to start melting but not so hot that it melts out of the meat and into the fire.
Argentinean-Style Grilled Short Ribs With Chimichurri
To take your grilled short ribs in an Argentinean direction serve them with chimichurri, a bright sauce made with parsley, garlic, and olive oil. For this recipe you want "flanken-style" short ribs, which are cut across the bone so that each piece contains about four or five bone segments.