Lime-Chili Rubbed Steak

This is a quick and easy wet rub that’s great on steaks. Wet rubs are great because you can whip it up last minute. Intense flavor infuses the meat quickly, so if you forgot to make a marinade, this is your answer. This is kind of a steak version of this beloved Taco chicken, and you can use it in a lot of similar ways. We love it with black beans and lime-cilantro rice, served with mango pico de gallo, or sliced thin in soft tacos or on salad.

Sliced Steak on a white plate

Ingredient Needed

  • Dry Ingredients – chili powder, garlic, cumin, coriander, oregano, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper.
  • Wet Ingredients – lime juice and olive oil
  • Steak – This recipe is for flank steak, so that’s what I generally use this on, but it’s also great on other cuts of meat. Some of our favorites are tenderloin, NY strip, and tri-tip.

How To Make Lime-Chili Rubbed Steak

1. Juice the lime into a small bowl. Add oil and spices and stir to combine.

2. Place the steak in a shallow dish and pour the spice mixture on top, massaging into all sides. Let it sit for at least 15 minutes.

3. Place meat on hot grill (bbq is best, but an indoor grill pan or broiler will work just fine too). If you’re using flank steak it should take about 5-7 minutes on each side. I like to remove my steak at about 135 degrees in the thickest portion. This provides medium-rare meat in the center, but pieces that are more well done on the ends. Here’s a great tip for testing meat doneness in other cuts.

When steak is finished, remove from grill and cover with foil and let sit for 5 minutes before slicing against the grain.

flank steak sliced on plate

This is great with a side of Quick and Easy Black Beans and a quick salad, or Lime-Cilantro Rice with Pineapple, or in soft tacos or on Chili-Lime Steak Salad.

Here are some other favorites to consider:

Homemade Flour Tortillas
Chipotle Chicken Salad
Sweet and Savory Flank Steak
Steak and Mango Salad

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make this ahead? The beauty of this recipe is that it’s perfect for last minute. If you want to plan ahead, feel free to measure out and mix up your dry ingredients ahead of time. If you plan to make salads, you could absolutely grill up the meat the day before and slice and serve cold, if desired. 

sliced steak on plate

Lime-Chili Rubbed Steak

5 from 10 votes
Your choice of steak needs minimal time to marinade in this flavorful wet rub. Perfect to serve with rice and side salad, or in a tortilla.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon oil extra virgin olive, vegetable, avocado oil, all good choices
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon coriander
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1-2 lb flank steak *For flank steaks close to 2lbs or more, double marinade


  • Juice the lime into a small bowl. Add oil and spices and stir to combine.
  • Place the steak in a shallow dish, a 9×13 baking pan usually works well, and pour the spice mixture on top. Use clean hands to massage on all sides (I love food safe gloves for this task!) Let sit for a minimum of 15 minutes and up to several hours if you like.
  • Place meat on hot grill (bbq is best, but an indoor grill pan or broiler will work just fine too).Flank steak it should take about 5-7 minutes on each side. I personally like my flank steak removed from heat at about 135 degrees. It provides medium-rare steak in the center, with options of more well-done pieces on the ends.
  • When steak is finished, remove from grill, cover with foil,  and let sit for 5 minutes before cutting into it. Slice in strips against the grain.
Author: Our Best Bites
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Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. 5 stars
    Made this steak with mango pico, cilantro lime rice and black beans and my family all LOVED it! “10 out of 10” and “this tastes like 5-star restaurant food” were my two favorites. Day one was best, but leftovers were also incredible. Definitely adding this to the regular rotation!

  2. In your cookbook you show it topped with something but I cannot find a note on what the topping is. Can you direct me to the recipe?

    1. It’s the Black Bean and Mango salsa (also in the book) it is noted on that page of the book, I believe it’s on the side bar of the page with the tips and serving suggestions!