Tropical marinated flank steak to grill at home or at the campsite

Tropical Flank Steak

Tropical flank steak, September 2013

Because friends and family know I love all things related to food, I’m sometimes asked to help with meal planning for campouts and picnics. Between my over-the-top menus and others’ suggestions to simplify, we eat well and without too much fuss.

One recipe that’s became a favorite started as Polynesian flank steak, and with a few of my own tweaks has become Tropical Flank Steak. This marinated steak is ideal for transporting because you can place the pineapple, garlic, and ginger marinade in a zip top bag and add the still-frozen meat. This helps keep the other foods cold, and as it thaws it becomes flavorful and tender in the marinade. In addition, when you’re ready to eat it’s thawed and cooks quickly, so it’s a good first-night-at-the-campsite dinner for after the tents are set up.

And not just for camping: Place the meat (frozen or not) and marinade in a zip-top bag and freeze for a quick dinner you can thaw in the refrigerator during the day and grill in the evening. Whether it’s camping, a picnic, or an anytime grilled dinner, this steak is smoky, caramelized, and easy.

Flank steak is long and flat and flavorful. I like it at least as well as some of the more expensive cuts. It tends to be tough, so it’s best marinated, and it should be thinly sliced across the grain. London broil, hanger steak, and skirt steak are similar and would also work well in this recipe.

My changes from the original recipe include leaving out honey (pineapple juice makes it plenty sweet), using chives instead of green onions, and replacing soy sauce with coconut aminos. Coconut Secret coconut aminos are gluten- and soy-free and have a salty flavor similar to soy sauce.

If you can only find large cans of pineapple juice, you’ll have a lot left over. You can freeze it in ice cube trays, pop out the cubes, and store in a labeled plastic bag in the freezer. Drop a cube or two into a glass of sparkling mineral water, optionally with a splash of coconut water, for a refreshing, low-sugar “cocktail.”

Tropical Flank Steak
5.0 from 2 reviews
Recipe type: Main Dish
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
  • 1/3 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/3 cup coconut aminos
  • 1/4 cup chopped chives or thinly sliced green onions
  • 1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds flank steak (allow about 3 ounces per person)
  • Oil or cooking spray for grate
  1. In a gallon-sized zip-top plastic bag, place the pineapple juice, soy sauce or coconut aminos, chives or green onions, ginger, and garlic. Add steak (frozen if you wish) to bag. Seal and place in a bowl, dish, or in your camp cooler and marinate for at least 3 hours, turning once if possible.
  2. Heat grill to high.
  3. Remove steak from bag, reserving marinade. Coat or spray grate with oil. Grill 16 to 20 minutes or to desired doneness, turning a few times and basting with reserved marinade.
  4. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing. Slice thinly across the grain.
  5. For a make-ahead meal, freeze meat and marinade in the bag. Defrost in refrigerator before grilling.
Serving size: 3 ounces. Calories: 249; Fat: 10g; Saturated fat: 4g; Carbohydrates: 6g; Sugar: 3g; Sodium: 1262mg; Fiber: 0g; Protein: 33g; Cholesterol: 62mg.


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18 Responses to “Tropical marinated flank steak to grill at home or at the campsite”

  1. […] Tropical Flank Steak served with grilled […]

  2. Kathy says:

    Thanks for a great recipe! I was searching for something for a lake weekend that would accommodate a family member on a restricted diet (auto-immune protocol, AIP). The flank steaks turned out perfect–juicy, tender, and flavorful! Two big flank steaks for 8 people, and almost no leftovers! I will definitely use this recipe again even without the dietary restriction.

  3. […] Anything tropical always seems appealing to me. […]

  4. […] Tropical Flank Steak with grilled vegetables; mushrooms, a red onion, zucchini and sweet peppers, cut into chunks, tossed in olive oil and a bit of salt, then grilled in a grill basket. The veggies were awesome as always. I made a huge batch, because I wanted plenty leftover. The flank steak was good, but next time, I’ll add a tablespoon of fish sauce to the marinade. It needed something. […]

  5. Colleen says:

    This marinade and your instructions (I’ve only ever done flank steak maybe 3 times in my life and none of the results was stellar) produced a wonderful meal for us! It was amazingly flavorful and tender… very refreshing for a summertime BBQ. Thanks 🙂

  6. […] Tropical marinated flank steak  […]

  7. […] but certainly not least, last night, we really enjoyed Tropical Grilled Flank Steak – Possibly the easiest and best tasting recipe we’ve tried yet. Instead of adding […]

  8. Hi Eileen. I just started a weekly Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable, and I would love it if you linked up this recipe (and any others from your archives that fit the protocol). I’m trying to expand resources for the AIP community. Here’s the link:

    • Eileen Beran says:

      Eileen L, Thanks for the invitation–I will definitely be sharing my recipes and finding others’ recipes on your Roundtable. Readers, this site is a treasure trove of great information about Paleo and autoimmune diets and has great recipes anyone will love!

  9. Martha says:

    Hi Eileen, I saw your recipe on a paleo food site, Chowstalker. I love these ideas! I am going to definitely make this next. My son, the other cook in the family, will also like this, as he can marinate a day before, then grill after he gets home from work. Nice and simple, thank you!

  10. This looks great, Eileen, and I love the idea of freezing the leftover pineapple to pop into drinks!

    Thanks so much for sharing this on Waste Not Want Not Wednesday, I’ve pinned it 🙂

  11. This sounds amazing! Sometimes I just crave a good steak and I love the tropical twist on this one.

  12. Wow, what a good camping feast. I love that it freezes well and cooks quickly.

    The coconut aminos sound very interesting. I’ve been more and more wary of using soy sauce (not the best use of soybeans), so I’ll definitely check out the aminos. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    • Eileen Beran says:

      I’m honored to have a vegan comment on my steak post. 🙂 Thanks Miachel!

      We started using coconut aminos when we went on a paleo diet last January. I like that we don’t have to search out a gluten-free version, like we did with soy sauce.

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