Buy a flank steak at the store and not sure what to do with it? Let us give some great ideas on how to use this versatile cut of beef.
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Selecting beef is the grocery store can be an overwhelming task.
So many different names? What do they all mean?
And if you do muster up the strength to purchase something, then you are left with more questions at home. How do I cook this hunk of beef I just bought?
Hopefully I can decrease your anxiety today by giving you some ideas of what to do with at least one beefy option - the flank steak.
🥩 What is a Flank Steak
A flank steak is a long and flat cut of meat. It comes from the abdominal area of the cow, located underneath the short loin. It can be a tough piece of meat if not cooked properly.
If cooked right and then sliced against the grain, then it can be one of the best things you ever ate!
The nice thing about it too is that is it lean, so if you are looking for a leaner beef than trying flank is a great place to start.
📛 Other Names
Some places will call flank steak, London Broil, which is actually a name of a dish not a cut. Just like a tenderloin steak is called Filet Mignon, after the dish it's commonly used it.
Skirt steak is the cut that is most similar as it come from the same part of the cow. However, skirt steak is more fatty than flank steak, and can be a bit tougher.
🍽️ Things to Do With It
There are several ways you can cook and eat flank steak. Here are some of them
- Broil it
- Grill it
- Roll & Stuff it
- Sous Vide
- Make Fajitas
- Carne Asada
- Stir Fry
- Serve with Chimichurri Sauce
- Serve with Garlic Butter
- Beef & Broccoli
- Mongolian Beef
- Put it in a sandwich
Now that you have some inspiration, let's go through some of the basics.
♨️ How to Broil in the Oven
The most common thing that I do with flank steak is broil it. I think the broiler is underused in most American kitchen. Everyone has one that has an oven. How many of us ever turn it on? A broiler in a way is an upside down grill.
Flank steak is the type of meat that needs to be cooked fast if you are using a dry cooking method. In your oven's broiler all you need is 3-4 minutes per side and it's dinner time. As said above it's important to slice it against the grain (which is why I am saying it twice!). This makes it easier to chew, so more tender in your mouth.
☀️ Throw Them on the Grill
You can take your flank steak outside and throw them on the grill. Really just follow the same instruction as you would for the broiler. Make sure to get that grill nice and hot before you throw on your flank steak.
🛒 Marinade Ingredients
Before I broil or grill a flank steak, I always marinate first. Because of the way a flank steak is designed it makes for one of the best cuts of beef to marinate.
I like to always include these ingredients in my marindae
The flavors get into the meat so easily and provide a burst of flavor in your mouth. It will leave your guests saying "wow"!
🧂 Dry Rub
If a dry rub is more your thing or you don't have time to do a marinate here are some suggestions to include in your rub (homemade rubs are the best!)
- Mustard powder
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Kosher salt
- Garlic powder
- Cumin seeds
- Smoked paprika
- Onion powder
🌮 Make Fajitas
Flank steak is also an option for fajitas. Slice thin against the grain (third time!) along with all of your favorite fajitas fixings is a great way to go.
Fajitas might actually better with the fattier skirt steak but I think flank steak is easier for most of us to find. Often at places like Costco, skirt steak is only available already seasoned, which isn't great if you wanted to do the seasoning yourself.
🛁 Sous Vide
Cooking flank steak in a sous vide style is a great way to make for a tender flank steak. You can cook the flank steak longer and still be at the right temperature. And your flank steak will be more tender than ever.
I have seen people try cook times between 90 minutes to up to 5 hours. If you have the time go on the longer end of that range to break down the meat's connective tissue. As for temperature something between 125-135 is good. Don't go beyond 140 or your flank steam will be too tough.
I recommend still doing a marinade to get that awesome flavor.
🔪 How to Slice
For the best flank steak eating experience it's important to cut against the grain. This makes the meat fibers shorter, thus less chewing it required.
Look at the photo below as an example on how to slice it.
🍖 Related Posts
- How to Make Chuck Eye Steak
- How to Make a Flavorful Bottom Round Roast
- Flat Cut vs. Point Cut Brisket
- Buying Whole Cuts of Meat
- What is a Sierra Steak
Need more help figuring out what different cuts of beef are good for? Check out the entire collection of posts on the different beef cuts and how to cook them.