Slow Cooker Flank Steak
This ultra tender slow cooker flank steak recipe could not be easier to make, and yields the most delicious, tender flank steak for tacos, sandwiches and more! A super simple dump-and-go slow cooker recipe + no chopping or pre-browning required!
5 star review
“Another winner from Robyn! This recipe could not be more simple or delicious. We made it and had it in some tacos, and then used the leftovers in eggs, sandwiches, and eating it plain. Go make this recipe now — you won’t regret it!”– Chelsea
About this Recipe
Yes, flank steak can be cooked low and slow!
I personally think it’s the BEST way to cook flank steak, as it gets more tender the longer you cook it and helps you avoid overcooked, chewy steak (which let’s be honest, nobody wants that!).
The beauty of this dinner is that it is a simple dump-and-go crockpot recipe and there’s no precooking or searing required.
And the simple, yet oh-so flavorful spice rub is made with common pantry staples like smoked paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, and a touch of brown sugar.
And like this wildly simple slow cooker Mexican-inspired shredded beef, it’s no wonder this flank steak in the crock pot has quickly become one of our family’s favorite, beyond easy weeknight dinner recipes.
Since we can use the tender meat to make steak & potatoes, sandwiches, savory bowls, or to use as a taco filling, we find ourselves making this one again & again.
Flank Steak Tip: Alternative Cuts
This versatile recipe will also work with hanger-steak and flat-iron steak, so don’t worry if you can’t find flank steak – you’ve got lots of options that’ll work great with the simple homemade spice rub.
Process & Tips
This easy slow cooker recipe couldn’t be simpler to throw together.
All you have to do is set your steak in the crockpot, press in your spice rub, and let your slow cooker do all the work for you – that’s seriously it!
Yes, that’s right, you don’t need to pre-brown the meat nor do you need to chop a single thing for this recipe!
Then, just like that you’ll have a delicious steak dinner ready to enjoy, and, if you’re lucky, some leftovers for the rest of the week too.
I found that 3 hours on high was the best way to cook the flank steak so it was tender, yet not completely falling apart.
All slow cookers are different, though, so you may need to experiment with yours to find the perfect time!
Tip: The little bit of sugar called for in this flank steak crock pot recipe helps tenderize the meat and adds flavor without being overly sweet. For a low-carb, no-sugar option, however, feel free to leave it out.
How to Cook Flank Steak: Preparation Notes & Troubleshooting
If you want to know how to cook flank steak so it’s tender, juicy, and not the slightest bit dry, this recipe is for you.
For this recipe you don’t need to add extra liquid!
The meat naturally releases liquid, so follow the recipe as written (without any extra stock or water) for the best results.
And be sure to slice the steak against the grain for the best texture & presentation, and to avoid stringy steak.
Tip: You’ll likely have about 2 cups of liquid remaining after the cooking process. You can serve some of the liquid along with the steak as a dipping sauce, or store, refrigerated to use as a stock for soups and stews.
How to Serve Flank Steak
Flank steak sandwiches: Serve the flank steak piled into buttered, toasted buns with extra sauce, arugula, and pickled hot peppers.
Flank steak bowls: Serve the sliced flank steak over cooked white or brown rice (or quinoa), with cooked vegetables like fire-roasted corn, slow cooker cabbage or crockpot carrots. Top with bbq sauce for a yummy barbecue steak bowl!
Flank steak and salad: Serve the sliced flank steak on top of a fresh salad like this chopped kale salad with citrus dressing, or if you want a heartier option serve it alongside sun dried tomato pasta salad.
Ingredients & Modifications
Flank steak: I used flank steak, which is a very lean cut of beef, for this recipe. But you can also use hanger-steak or flat-iron steak if you can’t find flank steak.
Mild chili powder: Mild chili powder doesn’t add much heat but does add lots of flavor. It pairs so well with the other ingredients in the spice rub (like the smoked paprika, brown sugar, cumin and garlic powder).
Smoked paprika: The smoked paprika adds (you guessed it) some smokey flavor to this beef dish.
Ground cumin: I love the earthy flavor that cumin adds to the spice rub, and it pairs particularly well with the hearty flank steak.
Garlic powder: I love the ease and convenience of using granulated garlic powder in the dry rub for this recipe, but you could also use fresh minced garlic in its place if you prefer.
Brown sugar: The brown sugar in the spice rub helps tenderize the meat and adds flavor without being overly sweet. For a low-carb, no-sugar option, however, feel free to leave it out.
Olive oil: I like the flavor of olive oil in this recipe but you could also use another cooking oil in its place – like avocado, coconut, canola or vegetable oil.
Kosher salt: Look for kosher salt with the regular iodized salt at the grocery store (it has a subtler flavor). Use less iodized salt if that’s what you have on hand.
Tips for Storing & Freezing Leftovers
This is one of those recipes that tastes even better the next day, and leftovers make a great lunch!
It keeps well in the fridge for up to 3-4 days, in a sealed container.
This slow cooker flank steak also freezes beautifully, either in a gallon ziplock bag, or individually in mason jars.
You can store it in a sealed freezer friendly container for up to 2-3 months.
Slow Cooker Flank Steak
For the Spice Rub
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
For the Flank Steak
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 pounds flank steak
- In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, garlic powder, and salt until well combined.
- Sprinkle half of the spice rub on one side of the flank steak, pressing it in with your fingers so the mixture coats the entire side. Turn the steak over and sprinkle on the remaining half of the spice mixture, pressing it in with your fingers.
- Add the olive oil to a 6-quart slow cooker, rubbing it around until the inside is coated.
- Place the flank steak in the slow cooker and cover.
- Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low on 4-5 hours, or until very tender. Do not uncover during this time.
- Uncover and carefully remove the flank steak to a cutting board. Slice against the grain, and serve with strained accumulated juices.