Flap steak and flank steak are both popular choices for grilling and cooking. They are both flavorful, versatile, and relatively affordable cuts of beef.

However, if you don’t have flank steak on hand, can you substitute it with flap steak? Let’s find out.

What is Flank Steak?

Flank steak is a long and flat cut of beef that comes from the lower abdominal muscles of the cow. It is a lean cut with a pronounced grain, making it perfect for marinating and grilling. Flank steak is often used in dishes like fajitas, stir-fries, and sandwiches.

What is Flap Steak?

Flap steak, also known as sirloin tip or sirloin flap, comes from the bottom sirloin primal cut. It is a thin and triangular-shaped cut with a coarse texture that makes it great for marinating and grilling. Flap steak is often used in dishes like carne asada, tacos, and stir-fries.

Can You Substitute Flap Steak for Flank Steak?

Yes, you can substitute flap steak for flank steak in most recipes. Both cuts have a similar texture and flavor profile that make them interchangeable in many dishes. However, there are some differences between the two cuts that you should keep in mind.

  • Thickness: Flap steak is thinner than flank steak, which means it cooks faster. If you’re using flap steak instead of flank steak in a recipe, reduce the cooking time accordingly.
  • Tenderness: Flank steak is slightly more tender than flap steak due to its lower fat content. To make up for this difference, consider marinating your flap steak before cooking to help tenderize it.
  • Price: Flap steak is often less expensive than flank steak, making it a great budget-friendly alternative.

How to Cook Flap Steak

If you’re substituting flap steak for flank steak in a recipe, here’s how to cook it:

  1. Preheat your grill or oven to high heat.
  2. Season your flap steak with salt, pepper, and any other desired seasonings. You can also marinate it in your favorite marinade for added flavor.
  3. Place the flap steak on the grill or in the oven and cook for 3-4 minutes per side, or until it reaches your desired level of doneness.
  4. Remove the flap steak from the heat and let it rest for a few minutes before slicing against the grain.


In conclusion, flap steak is a suitable substitute for flank steak in most recipes. Both cuts have a similar texture and flavor profile that make them interchangeable.

However, keep in mind that flap steak is thinner and less tender than flank steak, so adjust your cooking time accordingly. With this knowledge, you can confidently substitute flap steak for flank steak in your favorite recipes without sacrificing flavor or quality.