Flank steak is a popular cut of beef that is known for its rich flavor and versatility in cooking. However, there is a debate about whether flank steak is tough or tender. In this article, we will explore the characteristics of flank steak and determine whether it is tough or tender.

What is Flank Steak?

Flank steak comes from the lower abdominal muscles of a cow and is long, flat, and thin in shape. It is a lean cut of meat with little marbling, making it an excellent choice for dishes that require quick cooking times. Flank steak has a distinct grain that runs across the meat, which can make it difficult to slice if not cut against the grain.

Is Flank Steak Tough?

Flank steak can be tough if not cooked properly. It has long muscle fibers that can become Chewy if overcooked or not sliced against the grain. Additionally, flank steak should be marinated before cooking to help break down its fibers and make it more tender.

How to Cook Flank Steak

To cook flank steak, it should be seasoned generously with salt and pepper before being seared on high heat for 3-4 minutes per side. It should then be removed from the heat and rested for 5-10 minutes before being sliced thinly against the grain.

Is Flank Steak Tender?

When cooked correctly, flank steak can be very tender. The key to achieving tenderness in flank steak is to cook it quickly over high heat and slice against the grain. Marinating the meat beforehand also helps to break down its fibers and make it more tender.

  • To make a simple marinade for flank steak:
    • Mix together olive oil, soy sauce, garlic, honey, salt, and pepper.
    • Marinate the steak for at least 30 minutes before cooking.

Other Tips for Cooking Flank Steak

To ensure that your flank steak is cooked to perfection, here are some additional tips:

  • Let the meat come to room temperature before cooking.
  • Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the steak. It should read 130-135°F for medium-rare and 140-145°F for medium.
  • Let the meat rest before slicing to allow the juices to redistribute.


In conclusion, flank steak can be tough if not cooked properly, but it can also be very tender when cooked correctly. To achieve tenderness in flank steak, it should be cooked quickly over high heat, sliced against the grain, and marinated beforehand. With these tips and tricks, you can enjoy a delicious and tender flank steak every time.