Flank steak is a popular cut of beef that is known for its rich flavor and versatility in a variety of dishes. However, when it comes to tenderness, there is often some debate about whether flank steak is more tender than other cuts. In this article, we will explore the characteristics of flank steak and compare its tenderness to other popular cuts of beef.

What is Flank Steak?

Flank steak is a long and flat cut of beef that comes from the lower abdominal muscles of the cow. It is lean and flavorful but can be tough if not cooked properly due to its location in the cow’s body.

Factors That Affect Tenderness

There are several factors that can affect the tenderness of beef, including the cut, age, and cooking method. The type of muscle fibers in the meat also plays a role in how tender it will be.


The location of the cut on the cow can greatly impact its tenderness. Muscles that are used more frequently, such as those found in the legs or shoulders, are typically tougher than those found in less active areas like the loin or rib.


The age of the cow at slaughter can also impact tenderness. As cattle get older, their muscles become tougher due to increased connective tissue.

Cooking Method

The cooking method used can also make a big difference in how tender beef turns out. Slow-cooking methods like braising or stewing are great for tougher cuts like flank steak because they break down the connective tissues and result in a more tender finished product.

Comparing Flank Steak to Other Cuts

When it comes to tenderness, flank steak falls somewhere in between tougher cuts like chuck roast and more tender cuts like filet mignon. However, with the right cooking method and preparation, flank steak can be just as tender and delicious as more expensive cuts.

Chuck Roast

Chuck roast is a tougher cut of beef that comes from the shoulder area of the cow. It is best cooked using slow-cooking methods like braising or stewing to break down the connective tissues and make it more tender.

Filet Mignon

Filet mignon is one of the most tender cuts of beef and comes from the tenderloin area of the cow. It is best cooked quickly over high heat to maintain its tenderness and flavor.

Tips for Cooking Flank Steak

To ensure that your flank steak is as tender as possible, consider these tips:

  • Marinate your flank steak for at least 30 minutes before cooking to add flavor and help break down some of the tougher fibers.
  • Cook your flank steak quickly over high heat, either on a grill or in a hot skillet, until it reaches your desired level of doneness.
  • Let your cooked flank steak rest for a few minutes before slicing it against the grain to maximize tenderness.

In Conclusion

While flank steak may not be as tender as some other cuts of beef, it can still be incredibly delicious when prepared properly. By understanding the factors that impact tenderness and using the right cooking methods, you can enjoy a flavorful and tender meal with this versatile cut.