Have you ever been to a butcher shop and found yourself confused by the different cuts of beef? Two cuts that often cause confusion are top round steak and flank steak.

While both are popular choices for grilling and stir-frying, they are not the same. In this article, we’ll explore the differences between these two cuts of beef.

What is Top Round Steak?

Top round steak comes from the upper part of the cow’s hind leg. It is a lean cut with little fat marbling, making it a healthier option. Top round steaks are typically tough and not as flavorful compared to other cuts of beef.

What is Flank Steak?

Flank steak comes from the abdominal muscles or lower chest of the cow. It is also a lean cut, but it has more fat marbling than top round steak, making it more tender and flavorful. Flank steak is known for its long grainy structure that runs along the length of the meat.

Differences Between Top Round Steak and Flank Steak

While both top round steak and flank steak are lean cuts of beef, there are some significant differences between them.

Tenderness: Flank steak is more tender than top round steak because it has more fat marbling.

Flavor: Flank steak has a richer flavor because of its higher fat content.

Cooking: Top round steaks are best cooked using moist heat methods like braising or slow cooking to make them tender. On the other hand, flank steaks can be cooked with dry heat methods like grilling or broiling because they are already tender.

Texture: Top round steaks have a firm texture, while flank steaks have a loose texture due to their long grain structure.

Which One Should You Choose?

The choice between top round steak and flank steak depends on your personal preference and the recipe you are making. If you are looking for a lean cut of beef, top round steak may be a better option. However, if you want a more flavorful and tender cut of beef, flank steak is the way to go.


In summary, top round steak and flank steak may look similar, but they are different cuts of beef. Flank steak is more tender and flavorful due to its higher fat content, while top round steak is leaner and has a firmer texture. When choosing between the two, consider your personal preferences and the recipe requirements to make the best choice for your meal.