Sous vide cooking has become increasingly popular in recent years, and for good reason. The technique involves vacuum-sealing food in a plastic bag and cooking it in a precisely controlled water bath. The result is perfectly cooked meat that is tender, juicy, and full of flavor.

But what about tough cuts of meat like flank steak? Can sous vide really tenderize them? Let’s take a closer look.

What Makes Flank Steak Tough?

Flank steak comes from the lower chest of the cow and is known for its rich beefy flavor. However, it is also one of the toughest cuts of meat due to its high levels of connective tissue. These tough fibers can make the steak Chewy and difficult to eat.

The Benefits of Sous Vide Cooking

Sous vide cooking can be an effective way to tenderize flank steak. By cooking the meat at a low temperature for an extended period of time, the connective tissue breaks down and becomes more tender. This process also allows the flavors to fully develop without losing any moisture.

  • The ideal temperature for sous vide flank steak is around 130-135°F.
  • Cooking time can vary depending on the thickness of the steak, but generally ranges between 2-4 hours.
  • Adding herbs, spices, or marinades to the bag can enhance flavor even further.

Other Tips for Tenderizing Flank Steak

While sous vide cooking can certainly help tenderize flank steak, there are other techniques you can use as well.


Marinating flank steak before cooking can help break down some of the connective tissue and add additional flavor. Acidic ingredients like vinegar or citrus juice work particularly well.


Using a meat mallet to pound the flank steak before cooking can help break down the fibers and make the meat more tender.

Slicing Against the Grain

When cutting flank steak, it’s important to slice against the grain. This means cutting perpendicular to the direction of the muscle fibers, which helps break them up and make the meat more tender.

The Verdict

So, will sous vide tenderize flank steak? The answer is yes!

Sous vide cooking is a great way to get perfectly tender and flavorful flank steak. However, there are other techniques you can use as well to further enhance tenderness and flavor. Give it a try and see for yourself!