Flank steak and flat steak are two cuts of beef that are commonly used in a variety of dishes. While they may look similar, they have distinct differences that can affect how you cook and use them.
What is Flank Steak?
Flank steak is a long, thin cut of beef that comes from the abdominal muscles of the cow. It has a bold, beefy flavor and a slightly grainy texture. Flank steak is often used in dishes like fajitas, stir-fries, and tacos.
What is Flat Steak?
Flat steak, on the other hand, comes from the shoulder blade area of the cow. It’s a thicker cut with more marbling than flank steak, which makes it more tender. Flat steak is often used in dishes like London broil and Swiss steak.
Differences Between Flank Steak and Flat Steak
Cut: The most obvious difference between these two cuts is where they come from on the cow. Flank steak comes from the abdominal muscles while flat steak comes from the shoulder blade area.
Texture: Flank steak has a slightly grainy texture due to its muscle fibers running in one direction. Flat steak has more marbling which makes it more tender and juicy.
Cooking Method: Due to their differences in texture, these two cuts require different cooking methods to achieve optimal results. Flank steak benefits from quick cooking methods such as grilling or broiling to prevent it from becoming tough. Flat steaks can be cooked using slower methods such as braising or roasting to break down its connective tissues.
How to Cook Flank Steak
- Preheat grill to high heat.
- Season flank steak with salt and pepper.
- Grill steak for 4-6 minutes on each side for medium-rare.
- Let the steak rest for 5 minutes before slicing it against the grain.
- Preheat broiler to high heat.
- Broil steak for 4-6 minutes on each side for medium-rare.
How to Cook Flat Steak
- Brown both sides of the flat steak in a hot skillet with oil.
- Add onions, garlic, and beef broth to the skillet and bring it to a boil.
- Cover and simmer for about an hour or until tender.
- Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Rub flat steak with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Place flat steak in a roasting pan and roast for about an hour or until internal temperature reaches at least 145°F (63°C).
Flank steak and flat steak have some similarities, but they are also quite different. Understanding their differences can help you choose the right cut of meat for your dish and cook it perfectly. Whether you’re grilling or braising, these two cuts of beef can be a delicious addition to any meal.