If you’re a fan of steak, chances are you’ve come across the terms “flank steak” and “London broil” at some point. These two cuts of meat are often used interchangeably in recipes or at the butcher, but they are actually quite different. Let’s take a closer look at the characteristics and differences between flank steak and London broil.

Flank Steak

Flank steak is a long, flat cut of meat that comes from the abdominal muscles of a cow. It’s a lean cut with very little marbling, which means it can be tough if not cooked properly.

Flank steak is best when marinated for several hours to help tenderize the meat. When cooked to perfection, it has a rich, beefy flavor and a Chewy texture.

Characteristics:

  • Long, flat shape
  • Lean with little marbling
  • Best when marinated to tenderize
  • Rich, beefy flavor
  • Chewy texture

London Broil

Contrary to popular belief, London broil is not actually a cut of meat – it’s a cooking method that involves marinating and broiling or grilling a variety of cuts (usually top round or flank steak). The term “London broil” originated in America in the early 20th century and has since become synonymous with this particular cooking method. The result is a flavorful and juicy piece of meat that’s perfect for slicing thinly.

Characteristics:

  • A cooking method rather than a cut of meat
  • Involves marinating and broiling or grilling
  • Cuts used are usually top round or flank steak
  • Flavorful and juicy
  • Best sliced thinly

Differences:

While both flank steak and London broil can be delicious when prepared correctly, they have some notable differences. Flank steak is a specific cut of meat, while London broil refers to a cooking method that can be applied to various cuts.

Flank steak is leaner and can be tough if not properly marinated and cooked, while London broil (when made with the right cut) can be more tender and flavorful. Additionally, flank steak is best served as a standalone dish, while London broil is often sliced thinly for use in sandwiches or salads.

In conclusion, knowing the difference between flank steak and London broil can help you choose the right cut of meat for your next recipe. Whether you’re grilling up a flank steak or broiling a London broil, both cuts have their own unique qualities that make them worth trying. Just remember to marinate your flank steak to ensure it’s tender and full of flavor!