Are you running out of flat iron steak but have flank steak in your freezer? Or maybe you stumbled upon a mouth-watering recipe that calls for flat iron steak, but you only have flank steak on hand. The question arises, can you substitute flank steak for flat iron steak?

What is Flat Iron Steak?

Before we dive into the substitution game, let’s first understand what flat iron steak is. Flat iron steak, also known as top blade steak, is a cut that comes from the shoulder of the cow.

It is a relatively new cut and gained popularity in the early 2000s. It is known for its marbling and tenderness.

What is Flank Steak?

Flank steak comes from the abdominal muscles of the cow and has long muscle fibers. It has a rich flavor profile but can be tough if not cooked properly.

Can You Substitute Flank Steak for Flat Iron Steak?

The short answer is yes, you can substitute flank steak for flat iron steak. However, there are some things to keep in mind before making the switch.

Cooking Method
Flat iron steaks are more tender and cook faster than flank steaks due to their marbling. If your recipe calls for grilling or broiling, you may need to adjust your cooking time when using flank steak.

Marinade
Since flank steaks have longer muscle fibers, they benefit from being marinated before cooking. If your recipe calls for marinating the flat iron steak before cooking, it would be best to do so with the flank steak as well.

Slicing
Flat iron steaks are best served sliced against the grain to ensure maximum tenderness. Flank steaks should also be sliced against the grain since it helps break down those long muscle fibers and makes it easier to chew.

  • Tip: To identify the direction of the grain, look for the lines running parallel to each other on the meat’s surface. Slice perpendicular to those lines.

Flavor
Although both cuts have a beefy flavor, flat iron steaks are known for their marbling and tenderness, making them a popular choice for steak lovers. If your recipe calls for flat iron steak and you substitute it with flank steak, the flavor profile may differ slightly.

Recipes that Work Well with Flank Steak

If you’re still unsure about substituting flank steak for flat iron steak, try these recipes that work well with flank steak:

  • Grilled Flank Steak with Chimichurri Sauce
  • Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry
  • Citrus Marinated Flank Steak Tacos
  • Korean BBQ Flank Steak

In Conclusion..

While flat iron steak and flank steak are two different cuts of meat, they can be substituted in some recipes. Keep in mind the cooking method, marinating, slicing, and flavor profile differences when making the switch. With these tips in mind, you can confidently cook up a delicious meal using either cut of meat.