Flank steak is a long, narrow cut of meat from the abdomen of the animal. The meat is flavorful, but relatively tough. Flank steak is best when marinated and grilled, then carefully sliced against the grain to maximize tenderness.
Take as many steps as you can to make this cut tender before, during, and after cooking.
Before cooking, marinate the steak. This hardy cut can handle flavorful, acidic marinades, and some cooks like to marinate for as long as 48 hours. During cooking, be sure not to overcook the cut. After cooking, be sure to slice thinly against the grain, which will make every bite a little more tender.
On a Traeger, a marinade followed by a reverse-sear will give you a tender steak with exceptional flavor. Smoke the flank steak for three hours at 225 degrees Fahrenheit, then sear for three minutes per side at 450 degrees. Aim for an internal temperature of 135 degrees for medium-rare.
Flank steak is a good cut for marinating, grilling, and slicing thin. Because it’s relatively tough, it isn't the best for serving rare or in thick pieces like you might with a ribeye.
Expect to pay between $8 to $12 for flank steak. Generally, it's less expensive than more tender steaks like ribeye, but more expensive than braising cuts like chuck steak.
A perfectly cooked steak will have a sear on the outside, and tender meat on the inside. Aim for an internal temperature of 135 degrees for medium-rare.
This cut is best for absorbing flavors over a long period of marinating, then being grilled hot and fast. It is the most popular cut for making fajitas.
Skirt steak and flank steak are such similar cuts that it's hard to say which one is better. Every animal is different, so a skirt steak from one animal could be more tender and flavorful than a flank steak from another, and vice versa. If you aren't sure which one to buy, ask the butcher for a recommendation. The two can be used interchangeably in recipes.
Skirt steak and flank steak usually cost about the same. Sometimes, they are even labeled the same though they are from different parts of the animal. The difference may be where you buy it — one could be more expensive than the other based on the local popularity of each cut.
Yes, flank steak can be cooked from frozen. However, we'd recommend thawing and marinating the steak for maximum tenderness.
Flank steak is the only whole cut that comes from the flank primal — basically, the abs of the animal. The steak must be trimmed away from the cut as it is sheathed in a layer of fat. The flank primal also contains some longer, tougher muscles which are used to make ground beef.
The muscle that makes up flank steak is the 19th most tender on the animal. It is one of the toughest cuts that is still recommended for grilling.
The French call this cut "bavette de flanchet." Bavette means bib. In Spain and some other Spanish-speaking countries, the cut is called "bife de vacio." Vacio means empty or gap.
Carne asada, a popular Mexican-style preparation for taco or burrito meat, is made with flank or skirt steak.
The National Cattlemen's Beef Association identifies the cut with UPC number 1581. You may see this number in the UPC code on the beef package label at the supermarket.
According to the USDA, a 6-ounce portion contains 326 calories, 47 grams of protein, and 14 grams of fat.
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