Flank steak is a popular cut of beef that is known for its great flavor and texture. However, it can be tough and Chewy if not cooked properly.

One way to combat this is by tenderizing the meat before cooking. In this article, we will discuss different ways to tenderize flank steak.

Why Tenderize Flank Steak?

Flank steak comes from the abdominal muscles of the cow. These muscles are lean and contain little fat, which makes them tougher than other cuts of beef. Tenderizing the meat helps break down the muscle fibers, making it easier to chew and more flavorful.

1. Marinating

Marinating is one of the most common ways to tenderize flank steak. A marinade usually contains an acidic ingredient like vinegar, citrus juice, or wine, which helps break down the protein in the meat.

To marinate flank steak, start by choosing your marinade ingredients. You can use a pre-made marinade or create your own using ingredients like olive oil, soy sauce, garlic, and herbs.

Once you have your marinade ready, place your flank steak in a ziplock bag and pour in the marinade. Make sure that all sides of the meat are coated with the marinade. Seal the bag and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.


  • Don’t marinate for too long as it can turn your meat mushy.
  • If you’re using an acidic ingredient like vinegar or citrus juice in your marinade, don’t use metal containers as they can react with the acid.

2. Using a Meat Mallet

Another way to tenderize flank steak is by using a meat mallet. This tool has small spikes on one side that helps break down the muscle fibers in the meat.

To use a meat mallet, place your flank steak on a cutting board and cover it with plastic wrap. Use the spiked side of the mallet to pound the meat evenly, focusing on the thicker parts of the steak.


  • Don’t overdo it with the mallet as it can turn your meat into mush.
  • Make sure to use a clean cutting board and mallet to avoid contamination.

3. Salting

Salting is another simple way to tenderize flank steak. Salt helps break down the muscle fibers, making it easier to chew.

To salt your flank steak, sprinkle both sides of the meat generously with coarse kosher salt and let it sit for at least an hour before cooking. Rinse off any excess salt before cooking.


  • Don’t use table salt as it has smaller grains and can make your meat too salty.
  • Don’t let your meat sit in salt for too long as it can turn your meat into cured beef.


Tenderizing flank steak can make a big difference in how enjoyable your meal is. There are several ways to tenderize this cut of beef including marinating, using a meat mallet, and salting. Try these methods out to see which one works best for you!