Flank steak is a popular cut of beef that is known for its rich flavor and relatively lower price point. However, it can be tough and Chewy if not cooked properly.

This leads many people to wonder – can flank steak be tenderized? In this article, we’ll explore the answer to this question and provide tips on how to make your flank steak as tender as possible.

What is Flank Steak?

Before we dive into the topic of tenderizing flank steak, let’s define what it is. Flank steak comes from the abdominal muscles of the cow and is a long, flat cut with a pronounced grain. It’s typically less expensive than other cuts such as ribeye or sirloin but requires some extra attention to ensure it’s cooked correctly.

Why is Flank Steak Tough?

Flank steak tends to be tougher than other cuts because of its location on the cow. The muscles in this area are used frequently for movement, which means they have more connective tissue than other cuts. This tissue can be tough and Chewy if not broken down properly during cooking.

Can Flank Steak Be Tenderized?

The short answer is yes – flank steak can be tenderized! There are a few different methods you can use to help break down the connective tissue and make your flank steak more tender.


One of the most popular ways to tenderize flank steak is by using a marinade. A good marinade should contain an acid, such as vinegar or citrus juice, which helps break down the connective tissue. You can also add flavorings like herbs, spices, or soy sauce to enhance the taste of your meat.

To use a marinade, simply place your flank steak in a shallow dish and pour the marinade over it. Make sure your meat is fully coated and then cover the dish with plastic wrap. Allow your steak to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, but preferably a few hours or overnight.

Tenderizing Tools

Another option for tenderizing flank steak is to use a meat mallet or tenderizing tool. These tools have small blades or spikes that pierce the meat and break down the fibers. To use a tenderizing tool, simply place your flank steak on a cutting board and gently pound it with the tool until it’s evenly tenderized.

Cooking Method

Lastly, choosing the right cooking method can also help make your flank steak more tender. Flank steak is best cooked quickly over high heat, such as on a grill or in a cast-iron skillet.

Cook your steak for just a few minutes on each side until it reaches your desired level of doneness. Overcooking can cause the meat to become tough and Chewy.


In summary, yes – flank steak can be tenderized! Whether you choose to use a marinade, tenderizing tool, or cooking method, there are several ways to make this cut of beef more enjoyable to eat. Keep these tips in mind next time you’re cooking flank steak and enjoy its rich flavor without sacrificing tenderness.