Tenderizing meat is a common practice among many home cooks and professional chefs. Flank steak, a lean and flavorful cut of beef, is often used in grilling and barbecuing recipes.

However, many people wonder whether it is necessary to tenderize flank steak before grilling. In this article, we will explore the benefits of tenderizing flank steak and whether it is worth the effort.

The Importance of Tenderizing Flank Steak

Flank steak is a tough cut of beef that comes from the abdominal muscles of the cow. These muscles are heavily used during the cow’s life, which results in dense fibers that can be difficult to chew. Without proper preparation, flank steak can be tough and Chewy when cooked.

Tenderizing flank steak helps break down these dense fibers, making it more tender and easier to chew. This improves the overall texture and flavor of the meat, making it a more enjoyable dining experience.

Methods for Tenderizing Flank Steak

There are several methods for tenderizing flank steak before grilling:

  • Marinating: Marinating involves soaking the meat in an acidic liquid such as vinegar or citrus juice for several hours. The acid helps break down the muscle fibers, resulting in a more tender piece of meat.
  • Pounding: Pounding involves using a meat mallet to physically break down the muscle fibers. This method should be done carefully to avoid tearing or damaging the meat.
  • Using a Meat Tenderizer: A meat tenderizer tool uses small blades or spikes to puncture the surface of the meat, breaking down its fibers.

Is Tenderizing Flank Steak Worth It?

While tenderizing flank steak can improve its texture and flavor, it is not always necessary. Flank steak is a popular cut of beef for grilling because of its robust flavor and relatively low cost. If cooked properly, flank steak can be delicious and tender without the need for tenderizing.

The decision to tenderize flank steak ultimately depends on personal preference and the specific recipe being used. If you are looking for a more tender and flavorful piece of meat, then tenderizing is worth the effort. However, if you prefer your steak with a firmer texture or are short on time, then skipping the tenderizing step is perfectly fine.


In conclusion, whether or not to tenderize flank steak before grilling is a matter of personal preference. Tenderizing can improve the texture and flavor of the meat, but it is not always necessary.

If you decide to tenderize your flank steak, there are several methods available including marinating, pounding, or using a meat tenderizer tool. With proper preparation and cooking techniques, you can enjoy a delicious and satisfying meal with this flavorful cut of beef.