Have you ever eaten a fajita with meat so tender every bite was a miracle? Ever been to a steakhouse and eaten meat that’s bulky, but not too chewy? Fan of meat that fills you up and brings intense flavor? Let’s talk about Flank Steak. It's a flavorful cut that is essential in Mexican
and Chinese Cuisine
. It’s a excellent and tender piece of meat- if you cut it right.
Many people don’t know or even forget how to cut this steak correctly and end up serving an overly chewy and unpleasant dish. Cutting it incorrectly can even make the texture seem like it’s overcooked. We don’t want you to make that mistake. So read this article to know all there is to the flank and how to serve up with mastery! So read up to learn all there is to flank steak, how to cut, and how to cook it up.
What is Flank Steak?
Flank steak is chunky. It’s meaty. A cut that packs a punch in its bulky and grainy texture. This meat comes right from below the cow’s belly and carries the weight of the cow during all of its grazing from fields. That means it’s a well-worked muscle, and it builds up strength from all that exercise. And that strength becomes grain. The grain makes flank steak what it is, bulky and chewy, but delicious and unique. And if you cut it up real smooth with our tips, it’ll be an awesome experience.
This unique flavor is why we consider flank steak an essential meat cut for griddle cooking
How to buy the best Flank Steak - without breaking the bank
When you’re going to buy a flank steak, we recommend always going to the butcher’s. The meat is fresher and brings out more flavor when it hits the griddle plate. Simply because it hasn’t been frozen multiple times and left for ages on a supermarket shelf. And when you get to the butcher’s pay close attention to the color. Is it deep and red?
Then, observe its bulk. Is it the same thickness throughout (no lumps)?
Also, ask the butcher to give it a prod. Is it firm? Are the sides smooth?
All these questions must be a total YES
- don’t accept anything worse. Now when it comes to delicious flank steak, keep an eye on its grain. Grain is what makes this steak what it is - meaty, chunky, and packed with flavor. The Grain is the long lines of muscle fibers.
So when you’re going to buy, make sure the lines are clearly defined and go from side to side
. Flank steaks also have fat
, but it should stay concentrated on the sides
. The best flank steaks are lean - the flavor comes from the grain, not the fat. Now, in case you can’t go to the butcher’s, buy a flank steak from the supermarket that has all the things we described above. That means deep red color, firmness, smoothness, and defined grainy lines
. Pay attention to the fat, and don’t buy any meat that has juices in the packaging.
How to Cut Flank Steak
You can choose to cut up Flank Steak while it’s raw or after cooking. Either way, the cutting is the same. And when it comes to cutting, it’s against the grain.
What is grain?
Grain is the muscle fiber of the meat. Those lines that run clearly from side to side on your steak? That’s the direction of the muscle fiber. That means muscle fibers are like strong rubber bands that moved around massive groups of muscle. Now imagine chewing on a rubber band - not nice, right? That’s why the way you cut is essential for tenderness.
How to Cook Flank Steak
When it comes to cooking Flank Steak, you’ve got to make it tender. Marinades are a great way to tenderize and flavor your flank steak. We have these marinade recipes for you:
Dijon and Worcestershire delish: Vegetable oil (½ cup), soy sauce (⅓ cup), vinegar (¼ cup), lemon juice (2 tablespoons), Worcestershire sauce (1 and ½ tablespoons), dijon mustard (1 tablespoon), garlic (2 cloves, minced), and ground black pepper (½ teaspoon)
Honey n’ wine: red wine (2 tablespoons), honey (3 tablespoons), and vegetable oil (¾ cup)
Hot and spicy: sesame oil (½ cup), rosemary (½ teaspoon), garlic (2 cloves, minced), chili pepper sauce (½ tablespoon)
What you pick is up to you! Any of these marinades will be an excellent choice. Now, once you mixed up your marinade in a bowl, put your flank steak in it for at least four hours
. This is essential to tenderize the meat and soak it in flavor. Now it’s time for the real cooking! Follow these steps:
- Pre-heat your Blackstone Griddle. Bring it up to high heat (if you need help with temperature, read up on this).
- Oil up the surface
- Put your flank steak (one piece or sliced) onto the griddle.
- Cook up until medium rare - need help checking doneness?
- Once it’s seared and cooked on the bottom, flip the steak over
- Cook the other side until medium rare
- Once the steak is finished, remove it from the griddle and let it rest for at least 5 minutes before cutting.
How to cut against the grain - step by step
Here’s the rundown:
- Once your Flank steak is perfectly cooked, grab your cutting board and slab the flank steak on it. You can also cut it directly on your griddle - you won’t damage it, that’s one of its benefits!
- If your cut came with silverskin, slice under it on a corner of the steak. Then, grab the membrane and pull it out with your hand. Be gentle, and slice away with the knife as you pull
- Cut off any large slabs of fat on the sides
- Now, check the direction of the grain. They are the long lines that run from side to side of steak. A grain line is easy to notice; it’s a groove on the meat cut
- Hold the steak in place. You can use a carving fork or kitchen tongs
- It’s time to cut! Remember the direction those grain lines went? Now you cut against them! That means if the grain lines go from up to down, you’ll be cutting left to right. The goal is to make those muscle fibers as short as possible
Don’t cut straight! Cut with your knife on an angle. Go on, twist that wrist and keep the knife bent diagonally. This makes the slices more tender
Make the slices thin. The thinner each cut, the easier to chew. Remember that flank steak is naturally grainy, so you need to make those cuts bite-sized to make the perfect meal. Think slices of ¼ - ½ inch thick
Done! Now it’s time to enjoy some steak!
And if you love this meat cut, we’ve got a flank steak with chimichurri sauce recipe