How to Grill Thin Steak: Easy Techniques for Perfect Results

Discover the art of grilling perfect thin steaks with our easy-to-follow guide, ensuring juicy and tender results every time.

Steak lovers, gather around! There’s nothing quite like the sizzle of a juicy steak on the grill. But what about those thin cuts of beef that can easily dry out or become overcooked? Don’t worry, because today we’re going to talk about how to grill thin steak perfectly every time.

Whether you’re a seasoned griller or just starting out, these tips and tricks will have your taste buds dancing with delight. So grab your tongs and let’s get cooking!

Selecting the Right Steak Cut

how to grill thin steak easy techniques for perfect results

When it comes to grilling thin steaks, selecting the right cut of meat is crucial. Not all cuts are created equal, and some will work better than others on the grill.

The best options for thin steak cuts include flank steak, skirt steak, sirloin tip side or top round steaks.

Flank and skirt steaks are both flavorful and relatively inexpensive compared to other beef cuts. They also have a loose texture that makes them perfect for marinating before grilling.

Sirloin tip side or top round steaks are leaner but still tender enough when cooked properly. These two types of beef can be sliced thinly against the grain after cooking which makes them ideal for sandwiches or salads.

It’s important to note that while filet mignon may be a popular choice at restaurants due to its tenderness; it is not recommended as a good option for grilling because it lacks flavor when grilled quickly over high heat like in this case with thin cut meats.

Preparing the Steak for Grilling

First things first, take your thin cut of steak out of the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before cooking. This will help ensure even cooking throughout the meat.

Next, pat both sides of the steak dry with paper towels to remove any excess moisture that could prevent a good sear on the grill. If there is any silver skin or excess fat around the edges of your cut, trim them off with a sharp knife.

For added flavor and tenderness, you can also score both sides of your steak in a crosshatch pattern using a sharp knife. This will allow marinades or seasonings to penetrate deeper into each bite.

Marinating for Added Flavor

A marinade is a mixture of oil, acid, herbs, spices and other ingredients that can help break down the tough fibers in meat while infusing it with delicious flavors.

To prepare your steak for marination, start by placing it in a large resealable plastic bag or shallow dish. Then mix up your desired marinade recipe and pour over the steak until fully coated.

Seal or cover tightly with plastic wrap then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes up to overnight.

When you’re ready to grill your thin steaks remove them from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before cooking so they can come closer to room temperature which will ensure even cooking throughout.

Pro tip: Avoid using too much salt in your marinades as this could draw out moisture from the meat making it dry when grilled instead use kosher salt which has larger crystals that won’t penetrate deep into meat fibers like table salt does.

Setting Up the Grill

First, make sure your grill is clean and free of any debris from previous use. Next, arrange the charcoal or gas burners in a way that creates two heat zones: one for direct high heat and another for indirect low heat.

For a charcoal grill, pile the coals on one side of the grate to create a hot zone while leaving an empty space on the other side for indirect cooking. For gas grills with multiple burners, turn on all burners to preheat then turn off one or more burner(s) depending on how many you need for indirect cooking.

By setting up your grill this way, you’ll be able to sear your steak over high direct heat before moving it over to cook indirectly until done without burning it. This technique ensures even cooking throughout and prevents flare-ups that can cause charring or uneven doneness.

Choosing the Right Grilling Temperature

The right temperature is crucial when cooking thin steaks as they can easily overcook or dry out if not cooked properly.

For thin steaks, a high heat grill is recommended to sear the outside while keeping the inside juicy and tender. Preheat your grill to around 450-500°F before placing your steak on it.

If you’re using a gas grill, turn all burners up to their highest setting and close the lid for about 10 minutes before placing your steak on top of them.

On charcoal grills, spread hot coals evenly across one side of the grate while leaving an empty space on another side so that you can move thinner cuts away from direct heat if needed.

Remember: every grill is different so keep an eye out for flare-ups or burning spots during cooking process by adjusting temperatures accordingly.

Grilling Techniques for Thin Steaks

With the right grilling techniques, you can achieve juicy and tender results every time.

One of the most important things to keep in mind when grilling thin steaks is to use direct heat. This means placing the steak directly over the flames or hot coals on your grill.

You want to sear each side of your steak for about 2-3 minutes per side until it reaches an internal temperature of 130°F for medium-rare doneness.

Another technique that works well with thin steaks is using a two-zone fire setup on your grill. This involves creating one area of high heat (direct heat) and another area with lower heat (indirect).

Start by searing both sides of your steak over direct high heat for about 1-2 minutes per side before moving it to indirect low heat until it reaches its desired doneness.

Lastly, avoid flipping your steak too often while cooking as this will prevent proper browning from occurring which adds flavor and texture to grilled meats.

Monitoring Steak Doneness

Overcooking can result in a dry and tough piece of meat, while undercooking can lead to foodborne illness. The easiest way to check for doneness is by using an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the steak.

For medium-rare steaks, aim for an internal temperature of 130-135°F (54-57°C), while medium steaks should reach 140-145°F (60-63°C). Keep in mind that thinner cuts will cook faster than thicker ones, so be sure to keep a close eye on them as they grill.

Another method is by touch: gently press down on the center of your steak with tongs or a spatula; if it feels soft and squishy like raw meat then it’s still rare; if there’s some resistance but still springy then you have achieved medium-rare; firm with slight give means that you’ve cooked up something closer towards well-done territory.

Remember that carryover cooking occurs after removing from heat source which means even when removed from heat source such as grilling or pan-searing ,the internal temperature continues rising about another five degrees Fahrenheit before starting cool down process. So always remove your thin cut grilled steak off heat at least five degrees below desired final temp.

Seasoning During the Grilling Process

Seasoning during the grilling process is a great way to enhance the taste of your steak and take it up a notch. There are many ways to season a steak, but one of the simplest methods is using salt and pepper.

Before placing your steaks on the grill, sprinkle both sides with salt and freshly ground black pepper. This will help bring out their natural flavors while also creating that delicious crusty exterior we all love.

If you’re feeling adventurous, try experimenting with different seasoning blends or rubs for added depth of flavor. Some popular options include garlic powder, onion powder, paprika or cumin-based spice mixes.

Creating Grill Marks On the Steak

To create those perfect grill marks, you need to follow some simple steps. First, make sure your grill grates are clean and well-oiled before heating them up.

Once the grill is hot enough, place your thin steaks diagonally across the grates at a 45-degree angle for about two minutes without moving them.

After two minutes have passed, rotate each steak 90 degrees using tongs (not a fork) to create crosshatch marks and cook for another minute or so before flipping it over onto the other side. Repeat this process until both sides of your thin steaks have beautiful charred lines that will impress any guest.

Remember not to move or flip too often as this can cause uneven cooking and prevent those coveted sear lines from forming properly.

Resting the Steak After Grilling

Resting allows the juices in the meat to redistribute and settle, resulting in a more tender and flavorful steak.

To rest your grilled thin steak, remove it from the grill and place it on a cutting board or plate. Tent loosely with foil or another piece of parchment paper for about 5-10 minutes depending on its thickness.

This will allow time for the internal temperature of the meat to rise slightly while also preventing any loss of moisture.

Resist temptation during this resting period as cutting into your juicy hot-off-the-grill steak too soon can cause all those delicious juices you worked so hard for evaporate away leaving you with dry chewy meat instead!

Serving Suggestions for Thin Grilled Steak

There are many ways you can enjoy a delicious grilled steak, and the possibilities are endless. One classic option is serving the steak with a side of roasted vegetables or potatoes for a hearty meal.

You could also slice up the grilled meat and use it as an ingredient in salads or sandwiches for added protein.

For those who prefer lighter fare, thinly sliced grilled steaks can be served on top of fresh greens with some crumbled cheese and vinaigrette dressing for an easy yet satisfying salad.

Another popular way to enjoy thin-grilled steaks is by pairing them with flavorful sauces such as chimichurri sauce or garlic butter sauce that complement their natural taste without overpowering them.

Pairing With Side Dishes

When it comes to pairing sides with thin grilled steak, there are plenty of options that can enhance the flavors and textures of your meal.

For a classic combination, consider serving your thin grilled steak alongside some roasted vegetables such as asparagus or Brussels sprouts. The charred flavor from grilling will pair perfectly with these earthy veggies.

If you’re looking for something more filling, try serving up some garlic mashed potatoes or sweet potato fries on the side. These hearty dishes will balance out the lightness of a thin cut steak while adding an extra layer of flavor.

Another great option is to serve up a fresh salad filled with seasonal greens and topped off with tangy vinaigrette dressing for added zing.

Proper Cleaning and Maintenance of Grill

Not only does this help extend the life of your grill, but it also ensures that you’re cooking on a safe and hygienic surface.

To start, make sure the grill has cooled down completely before cleaning. Use a wire brush or scraper to remove any leftover food debris from the grates.

For tougher stains or buildup, use warm soapy water and scrub with a sponge or cloth.

Next, check for any clogs in the burners by using a pipe cleaner or small wire brush to clear out any blockages. This will ensure even heat distribution during future grilling sessions.

Inspect all parts of your grill for wear and tear such as rusted areas or loose screws. Replace damaged parts as needed to keep your grill functioning at its best.

Grilling Safety Tips

Here are some grilling safety tips that you should always follow:

  1. Keep your grill at least 10 feet away from your house or any other structures.
  2. Never leave the grill unattended while it’s on.
  3. Use long-handled tools to avoid burns and splatters.
  4. Wear heat-resistant gloves when handling hot items on the grill.
  5. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby in case of emergencies.

Tips for Juicy and Tender Thin Steak

First, make sure to let the steak rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes before grilling. This will allow it to cook more evenly and prevent it from becoming tough.

Another tip is to avoid overcooking the steak. Thin steaks cook quickly, so be sure not to leave them on the grill for too long or they will become dry and chewy.

Consider using a meat thermometer to monitor doneness instead of relying solely on visual cues such as color or texture. For medium-rare doneness (which is recommended), aim for an internal temperature of around 135°F (57°C).

After removing your thin grilled steaks from the heat source let them rest under foil tenting loosely over top of them with edges sealed tightly together with no gaps between foil & plate surface this allows juices inside meat fibers time redistribute throughout entire cut making every bite moist & flavorful.

Equipment and Materials for Grilling

First and foremost, you’ll need a grill that can reach high temperatures quickly. Gas grills are ideal for this purpose because they heat up faster than charcoal grills.

Next, make sure you have a good set of tongs for flipping your steak without piercing it and losing precious juices. A meat thermometer is also crucial to ensure that your steak reaches the desired level of doneness.

In terms of materials, use hardwood lump charcoal or briquettes made from natural ingredients rather than lighter fluid-soaked ones as they can impart an unpleasant taste on your food. Invest in quality cooking oil with a high smoke point such as vegetable or grapeseed oil to prevent sticking while searing.

A Step By Step Guide On How to Grill a Thin Steak

Step 1: Select your preferred cut of steak and ensure it is at room temperature before grilling.

Step 2: Preheat your grill to medium-high heat (around 400-450°F).

Step 3: Season the steak with salt and pepper or any other desired seasoning.

Step 4: Place the seasoned steak onto the preheated grill grates. Cook for approximately two minutes per side, flipping only once.

Step 5: Use tongs to move the steaks around on different parts of the grate if necessary, ensuring even cooking throughout.

Step6: Check for doneness by using an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of meat without touching bone or fat. For rare cook until internal temperature reaches about 120°F; medium-rare should be cooked until internal temp reaches about 130°F; medium should be cooked until internal temp reaches about 140°F.

Step7: Once done remove from heat and allow it rest for few minutes before serving.

Things to Remember When Grilling a Thin Steak

First and foremost, remember that thin cuts of steak cook quickly. This means you’ll need to keep a close eye on them while they’re on the grill.

Overcooking can result in tough and dry meat, so be sure not to leave your steak unattended.

Another important thing to remember is that thinner cuts of beef tend to have less fat than thicker ones. This means they can easily become dry if not cooked properly or seasoned well enough before grilling.

To prevent this from happening, consider marinating your steak for at least 30 minutes before cooking it on the grill. A good marinade will help tenderize the meat and infuse it with flavor.

Lastly, don’t forget about resting time! After removing your grilled thin steaks from heat source let them rest for at least five minutes before slicing into them; this allows juices inside the meat redistribute evenly throughout making every bite juicy and delicious!

Thin Cut Grilled Steak Recipe

This simple yet flavorful recipe is perfect for those who want a quick and easy meal without sacrificing taste.


  • 4 thin-cut steaks (sirloin or flank)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil


  1. Preheat your grill on high heat.
  2. Season both sides of each steak generously with salt and pepper.
  3. Drizzle olive oil over each side of the steaks, rubbing it in gently.
  4. Place the steaks on the hot grill at an angle to create diamond-shaped grill marks.
  5. Grill for about 2 minutes per side until they reach medium-rare doneness (or longer if desired).
  6. Remove from heat and let rest for about 5 minutes before serving.

This grilled steak pairs perfectly with roasted vegetables or a fresh salad, making it an ideal summer dish that will leave everyone satisfied!


What is the best way to grill thin steak?

The best way to grill thin steak is to cook it for about 3-4 minutes on each side until cooked through but still pink in the middle, followed by resting it for at least 8 minutes covered in foil for a medium-rare result.

How do you grill a 1 2 inch thick steak?

To grill a 1/2 inch thick steak, place it on the grill for 4-5 minutes until golden brown and slightly charred, then turn over and cook for 3-5 minutes for medium-rare (135°F), 5-7 minutes for medium (140°F), or 8-10 minutes for medium-well (150°F).

What are the ideal temperature settings for grilling thin steak to various levels of doneness?

Ideal temperature settings for grilling thin steak to various levels of doneness are: rare at 125°F (51°C), medium-rare at 135°F (57°C), medium at 145°F (63°C), medium-well at 150°F (65°C), and well-done at 160°F (71°C).

Can you recommend a marinade or seasoning specifically for thin cuts of steak before grilling?

For thin cuts of steak before grilling, a recommended marinade or seasoning consists of olive oil, soy sauce, minced garlic, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, and salt and pepper.

Are there any specific grilling techniques to prevent thin steaks from drying out or becoming overcooked?

To prevent thin steaks from drying out or becoming overcooked, use high heat for a short amount of time and avoid over-flipping the meat.