Flank steak is a fairly lean cut of beef that comes from the abdominal muscles of the cow. It’s a popular choice for grilling, pan-searing, or broiling, and it’s often used in Mexican and Asian cuisine.
But what makes flank steak tender? Let’s take a closer look.
What Makes Flank Steak Tender?
Flank steak is not naturally very tender because it comes from a heavily exercised muscle group. However, with proper cooking techniques, it can be tenderized and turned into a delicious and juicy cut of meat.
One of the most important factors in making flank steak tender is marinating. A marinade is a mixture of acidic ingredients (such as vinegar, citrus juice, or wine), oil, spices, and herbs that helps to break down the tough fibers in the meat. To marinate flank steak properly, place it in a large resealable plastic bag with the marinade and let it sit in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours (or up to 24 hours for maximum flavor).
Another way to make flank steak more tender is by using a meat mallet or a rolling pin to pound it before cooking. This helps break down some of the connective tissue and results in a more uniform thickness throughout the meat.
Finally, when cooking flank steak, it’s important not to overcook it. Flank steak should be cooked quickly over high heat (such as on a grill or in a hot skillet) to medium-rare or medium doneness. Overcooking will cause the meat to become tough and Chewy.
How to Cook Flank Steak
Now that we know how to make flank steak tender let’s talk about how to cook this tasty cut of meat.
Here are some easy steps:
- Preheat your grill or skillet over high heat.
- Remove your flank steak from the marinade and pat it dry with a paper towel.
- Season the steak with salt and pepper or your favorite steak seasoning.
- Place the flank steak on the hot grill or skillet and cook for 4-6 minutes per side for medium-rare or 6-8 minutes per side for medium.
- Remove the steak from the heat and let it rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing it against the grain.
Flank steak may not be naturally tender, but with a little love and attention, you can turn it into a delicious and juicy cut of meat. The key is to marinate it properly, pound it if needed, and cook it quickly over high heat. So next time you’re at the grocery store, don’t be afraid to pick up a flank steak and give it a try!