Foodies might flinch when you call a flank steak a "London broil," which is technically a steak recipe rather than a cut of meat. But however you know this type of steak, a smoked London broil is special — not to mention faster to cook in a smoker than brisket or ribs.
Gathering Your Materials
Aside from your trusty smoker, there isn't much more that you need to create a just-right smoked London broil steak.
- London broil steak: Cuts often sold as London broil include flank, top blade or top round steak. Steaks that are at least 1.5 pounds do best in a smoker.
- Optional marinade: Recommended, especially if you are going with a smaller London broil that would otherwise toughen in the smoker. Marinade recipes for steak abound, but consider the American Council on Exercise's (ACE) coffee-based one, to emphasize the earthiness of the smoker.
- Salt and pepper: Use these, or a dry spice rub, if not using a marinade.
- Hardwood chips, hardwood coal or charcoal briquettes: Great if you are using a non-electric or non-gas smoker.
- Optional hardwood chunks: These are for flavoring. Applewood, maple or hickory are perennial favorites, notes the Michigan State University Extension Service.
- Digital meal thermometer: Required to check the internal temperature during cooking and before serving.
Read more: What is the Healthiest Meat?
Preparing Smoked London Broil
If you have a gas or electric smoker, follow the instructions that came with your smoker. For more traditional smokers, saving hardwood chunks for flavoring, rather than the main cooking fuel, can keep your steak from tasting more like smoke than meat.
- Prepare a marinade at least 8 hours before smoking, if you're using one. ACE's combines 3 parts coffee to 1 part each olive oil, balsamic vinegar and brown sugar.
- Place the steak in a bowl with the marinade, and set it in the refrigerator. Turn it once or twice while it marinates, for at least 8 hours.
- Soak your hardwood chips, if you will be using them. They need to soak for at least 10 minutes, according to the MSU Extension.
- Set up your smoker with a small pile of briquettes, coal or hardwood piled to one side of the bottom of the smoker, if you're using a non-gas or electric smoker.
- Light the pile you've made to one side of the bottom of the smoker, or turn on the burners to Low at just one end of the smoker for gas or electric.
- Add hardwood chunks for flavoring once the coals are hot (unless gas or electric).
- Place the steak on the smoker rack once the coals are ready or the smoker is preheated. The London broil steak should be set on the opposite side of the smoker from the heat source, rather than directly over it.
- Close the lid and allow to smoke for about 2 hours. Maintain the temperature so that it stays between 250 and 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer. It should register at least 145 F, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
- Remove the smoked London broil onto a clean platter. Make a tent of aluminum foil to keep it warm, while it rests for about 20 minutes.
Make a Meal of it
Steak can fit into a healthy lifestyle if you plan around it. A 3-ounce serving of London broil contains about 175 calories, and 3 grams of fat, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. Keep in mind that if you have a more generous portion, the fat and dietary cholesterol will be at least doubled. A 6-ounce portion, for example, represents about one-third of the fat, and one-half of the dietary cholesterol, that you should have for the entire day.
Of course, London broil also delivers plenty of nutritional benefits. A 3 ounce serving gives you half of your daily protein needs, with 60 percent of the calorie count coming from protein. It's also a good source of vitamin B12, iron and zinc. You'll also get at least 4 percent of the recommended amounts of potassium and magnesium for the day.
To round out your smoked London broil dinner, add a complex carbohydrate and a serving or two of vegetables for a nutritious, filling dinner. Our Guacamole-Loaded Sweet Potato is both nutrient-rich and a good source of complex carbohydrates. Or consider the Mayo Clinic's suggestion of brown rice and mixed vegetables to round our your steak smoked London broil entree.
- American Council on Exercise: "Flank Steak with Coffee-Peppercorn Marinade"
- Michigan State University Extension Service: "How to Use a Smoker Safely"
- Centers for Disease Control: "How to Grill Safely"
- USDA: "London Broil"
- Mayo Clinic: "Planning Healthy Meals"
- California Barbecue Association: "Using Smokers"
- Texas A & M University: "Beef Cuts"
- Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences: "What is the Difference Between Grilling and Smoking?"