If you’re a fan of steak, you might be familiar with tri-tip and flank steak. But what if you have a recipe that calls for flank steak but all you have is tri-tip?

Can you substitute one for the other? Let’s take a look at the differences between these two cuts of meat and whether or not they can be used interchangeably.

What is Tri-Tip?

Tri-tip comes from the bottom sirloin of the cow. It’s a triangular-shaped cut that’s known for being lean and flavorful.

Tri-tip is often grilled or roasted and is popular in California cuisine. It’s also sometimes called a Santa Maria steak because it originated in Santa Maria, California.

What is Flank Steak?

Flank steak comes from the abdominal muscles of the cow. It’s a long, flat cut that’s known for being tough but flavorful. Flank steak is often used in dishes like fajitas or stir-fry where it’s marinated and then quickly cooked at high heat.

Can You Substitute Tri-Tip for Flank Steak?

While tri-tip and flank steak are both beef cuts, they have some differences that make them better suited for certain dishes. For example, tri-tip is leaner than flank steak which means it can dry out if overcooked. Flank steak, on the other hand, has more fat marbling which makes it more forgiving when cooked.

That being said, there are some recipes where you can substitute tri-tip for flank steak and still get good results. For example, if you’re making carne asada tacos or grilled skewers, using tri-tip instead of flank steak will work just fine.

Tips for Substituting Tri-Tip for Flank Steak

If you do decide to substitute tri-tip for flank steak in a recipe, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Marinate the meat for at least a few hours to help tenderize it.
  • Don’t overcook the tri-tip as it can dry out quickly.
  • Cut the tri-tip against the grain to help make it more tender.

Conclusion

While tri-tip and flank steak have some differences that make them better suited for certain dishes, there are some recipes where you can substitute one for the other and still get good results. Just keep in mind that tri-tip is leaner than flank steak and can dry out if overcooked, so be sure to marinate it and cook it carefully.