It's our old friend marinade to the rescue, once again. 

Photo: Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Victoria Cox and Elise Mayfield; Prop Styling: Claire Spollen

Grills and steaks are a perfect match in so many wayys. You get the crusty outside char while maintaining the pink center thanks to the blistering heat on the grill. You don't need much more than that for a summer night to feel like a holiday. But steak is expensive, particularly when it comes to cuts like a T-bone or a filet mignon.

You're likely to get a much better deal if you look for a cut that's a little bit tougher naturally, like a flank steak. You won't get as nice a result if you throw it straight on the grill without any manipuation, but turns out that you don't have to do all that much to it for the steak to turn from tough to tender. Yep—we're talking again about a marinade.

Marinating steak helps infuse flavor into it as well as tenderize it slightly, a very good two-for-one combo for the price of a little time, some acid, and some oil. Once you're fluent in the ratio for a marinade you can add whatever you like into them—rosemary, samba olek, a whole heck of a lot of garlic, that kind of thing.

If you're just starting out, this recipe for Simple Grilled Flank Steak is a good entry point. All it requires is salt, pepper, and Worchestershire sauce, for an incredibly simple, minimalist marinade. You rub the steak in those ingredients and let it chill out in a pan for about half an hour. This not only helps flavor and tenderize the meat, it helps the steak come up to room temperature if you've pulled it straight from the fridge, something that will help your steak cook more evenly.

Once you have your steak rested and marinated, just sear it on the grill on both sides until it reaches your desired level of doneness. Remember to let it rest so that the juices in the meat can restribute, slice it, and serve. That's it. If you have leftovers, throw them into a great steak sandwich or salad the next day. But odds are, leftovers are not going to be a problem.

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