Flank steak is a favorite cut of meat for making fajitas. It is known for its bold flavor and tender texture, but it can be tough if not cooked properly.

One question that often arises when preparing flank steak for fajitas is whether or not to tenderize the meat before cooking. Let’s explore this topic in detail.

What is Flank Steak?

Before we dive into the topic of tenderizing flank steak, let’s first talk about what it is. Flank steak comes from the abdominal muscles of the cow and is a long, thin cut of meat with a pronounced grain. It has a rich beefy flavor and can be quite Chewy if not cooked correctly.

Why Tenderize Flank Steak?

Flank steak is one of the toughest cuts of beef, so tenderizing it can make a big difference in terms of texture and flavor. Tenderizing involves breaking down the connective tissues within the meat to make it more tender and easier to eat.

Ways to Tenderize Flank Steak

There are several ways to tenderize flank steak:

  • Marinating: One way to tenderize flank steak is to marinate it in an acidic mixture overnight before cooking. The acid in the marinade helps to break down the tough muscle fibers, resulting in a more tender piece of meat.
  • Pounding: Another way to tenderize flank steak is by pounding it with a meat mallet before cooking.

    This method physically breaks down the muscle fibers and can result in a more even texture throughout the meat.

  • Cutting Against The Grain: When slicing cooked flank steak for fajitas, it’s crucial to cut against the grain. This means cutting perpendicular to the natural lines of the meat, which helps to break up the muscle fibers and make it easier to chew.

To Tenderize or Not To Tenderize?

Now that we’ve covered some ways to tenderize flank steak, let’s answer the question at hand – do you need to tenderize flank steak for fajitas?

The answer is no, you don’t need to tenderize flank steak for fajitas. Flank steak can be cooked without tenderizing and still be delicious if cooked correctly. However, if you prefer a more tender texture, then marinating or pounding can be beneficial.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, flank steak is a great cut of meat for making fajitas. While it can be tough if not cooked correctly, there are several ways to tenderize it, including marinating and pounding.

However, it’s not necessary to tenderize flank steak for fajitas – it all comes down to personal preference. Just remember to slice against the grain when serving for optimal texture.


  • https://www.bonappetit.com/story/how-to-cook-flank-steak
  • https://www.seriouseats.com/2015/06/how-to-slice-flank-steak.html
  • https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/bobby-flay/grilled-marinated-flank-steak-recipe-1944346