Flank steak is a popular cut of meat that is known for its rich flavor and tough texture. While it can be cooked in a variety of ways, many people struggle with tenderizing the meat to make it more palatable. In this article, we will explore the best ways to tenderize flank steak and achieve a delicious and juicy result.

Why Does Flank Steak Need to be Tenderized?

Flank steak comes from the abdominal muscles of the cow, which are heavily used during the animal’s lifetime. This makes the meat tough and Chewy if not prepared properly. However, with a few simple techniques, you can turn this tough cut into a delicious meal.

1. Marinating

One of the most effective ways to tenderize flank steak is through marinating. A marinade is a mixture of acidic ingredients such as vinegar, lemon juice, or wine that helps break down the connective tissue in the meat.

To marinate flank steak, start by combining your desired ingredients in a large plastic bag or container. Place the meat in the marinade and let it sit for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours in the refrigerator.

Some popular marinade ingredients include soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, honey, and olive oil. Be creative with your marinade recipe and adjust it according to your taste preferences.


  • Use a shallow dish or ziplock bag.
  • Ensure that all parts of the meat are covered in marinade.
  • Don’t use metal containers for acidic marinades as they can react with metal.

2. Mechanical Tenderizing

Mechanical tenderizing involves physically breaking down the muscle fibers in flank steak using tools such as a meat mallet or a tenderizing machine. This process can be time-consuming but can produce great results.

To tenderize flank steak using a meat mallet, place the meat on a cutting board and use the flat side of the mallet to pound it until it is evenly thin. This method also helps to flatten the steak, making it easier to cook evenly.


  • Use a meat mallet with pointed teeth for better results.
  • Cover the steak with plastic wrap or parchment paper before pounding to prevent it from sticking to the mallet.
  • Use uniform force while pounding for even thickness across the steak.

3. Slow Cooking

Slow cooking is another effective way to tenderize flank steak. By cooking the meat at low temperatures for an extended period, you allow enough time for the connective tissues in the meat to break down, resulting in a tender and juicy cut.

To slow-cook flank steak, season it with your desired spices and place it in a slow cooker along with vegetables and other ingredients of your choice. Cook on low heat for 6-8 hours or until the meat is easily shredded with a fork.


  • Ensure that there is enough liquid in the slow cooker to avoid burning the meat.
  • Add acidic ingredients such as tomatoes or vinegar to help break down connective tissue.


Flank steak can be tough and Chewy if not prepared correctly, but with these techniques, you can achieve a delicious and juicy result. Marinating, mechanical tenderizing, and slow cooking are all effective ways to tenderize flank steak and turn it into a mouth-watering meal. Try out these methods and experiment with your favorite ingredients to find the perfect recipe for your taste buds.