I bought a marinated flank steak that I’ll be grilling on a gas grill. When I purchased it, the butcher suggested I use aluminum foil while grilling it to avoid the marinade potentially causing huge flames as it drips.

When I researched this later, I found articles saying it’s dangerous to use foil while grilling.

Do I actually need to worry about fire or giant flames when grilling a marinated steak? If so, what can I use instead of foil?

2 Answers 2


Yah aluminum foil is considered a bad thing on grills, from what I have heard.

They sell grill grates for such things if you like, me, I just turn the flame on the grill down a touch and deal with the occasional flame-ups. They actually do no harm. And if you have a grill brush to apply the marinade while cooking with a l o n g handle (what I use) you can keep your hands farther away from the (potential) flame.

Anyway a little bit of char from the flame is a good thing and adds flavor to the meat!


You can use aluminum foil on your grill.

I do all the time. It is really hard to cook bacon without it, or white fish that will flake out and fall thru. Maybe if you line the whole grill with foil you could damage it with its own heat. But foil is fine for food.

That said, you don't need the foil. Cook it on the grate as usual. A fatty steak can flare up. Hamburgers too. Even if you marinated the steak in oil the amount of extra grease is trivial compared to a burger or sausage. Watch the steak. Move it if it flares up. It will turn out better because on the foil you are basically frying it. Grilled steak is good. A flare up or 2 will give it character.

Flank steak tip: after you sear it on high turn the heat way way down. You might actually want to wrap the steak in foil completely after you sear it. It is easy to dry out a flank steak on the grill.

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