What Is Flank Steak? [Everything You Need To Know]

Flank steak is one of those steaks often overlooked as a good quality meat, even though it offers some of the juiciest and most flavor-packed cuts of steak on the market today. It might be time for more people to realize what this steak can bring to the grill and the table. It is time to utilize the flank steak and see what it is all about. So let’s see what a flank steak is.

Flank steak is a non-fatty cut of meat that comes from the belly of the cow. The underbelly (where flank steak comes from) is a hard-working muscle, making the flank steak one of the toughest steaks and one that is full of flavor. The flank steak is also known as London broil or Bavette.

What Is Flank Steak

Flank steak is a very thin and cheap cut of meat. These are two of the main reasons why it’s so often overlooked. After all, thin cuts are easily overcooked, which leads to a loss of flavor and tenderness. 

But these assumptions are only half true. Flank steak might be thin, but it has a few surprises up its sleeves. So here are the answers to any questions you might have about flank steak.

Where Does Flank Steak Come From?

The flank steak is a thin cut of meat that comes from the cow’s underbelly, found right behind the meat from the chest. The cow’s flank is a hard-working muscle, making the meat tough and chewy, but when grilled to perfection, the flank steak will be one of the best steaks you will ever put in your mouth.

Flank steak is so flavorful and, in some cases, incomparable to any other steak. 

This is because of all the blood that flows through that muscle of the cow. It adds an unexpectedly beefy flavor to the meat that most other steaks lack.

Other Names For Flank Steak

Flank steak is also often referred to as London broil or Bavette. 

London Broil

Even though London broil is actually a method of cooking a flank steak, some butchers or supermarket meat departments in the United States often call the flank steak the London broil. 

London broil is the term that describes one of the best ways to cook flank steak:

  • Marinating the lean and tough meat
  • Cooking it to medium-rare
  • Slicing it thinly

Even though “London broil” refers to broiling rather than grilling, a flank steak is ideally at home with either.


The flank steak is called Bavette by the French, which simply means “bib” and refers to the particular shape of the cut of steak. Many butchers worldwide refer to the flank steak as the “bavette steak” because of this association.

The Butcher’s Cut

Flank steak is also often called the “butcher’s cut.” The flank steak was traditionally a favorite among butchers because they knew the value that this steak had to offer that everyone else seemed to overlook. 

It is rich in beefy flavor and juiciness while still being as tender as can be expected from a lean flat cut of meat. 

Is Flank Steak A Good Steak?

The flank steak is regarded as the butcher’s cut for a reason, so yes, of course, flank steak is a good steak. 

Some people would discard it or not think highly of this cut because it doesn’t have the distinctive signs of a regular steak. 

However, this thin, flat-cut steak has all the flavor you want from any other steak.

How To Choose The Best Flank Steak?

The flank steak that is cut from behind the rib cage usually weighs between one and two pounds. This cut is a single, thin steak cut from the cow’s rib cage. 

When shopping for a cut, opt for a piece between five and six inches wide and about one inch thick. These are the best cuts because they are easier to cook. 

Other things to look for when you’re looking for the best flank steak:

  • You want this steak to be uniform in its thickness.
  • The steak should not be wet but should be a little bit moist.
  • The meat must be cold and firm to the touch.
  • Avoid torn packages, ones with liquid at the bottom of the tray.

The Best Way To Grill Flank Steak

The best way to cook a flank steak is to grill it for 12 to 14 minutes. This steak does exceptionally well if you like it rare to medium, though it will be forgiving if you overcook it. 

However, if you still want lots of beefy flavor and juiciness in your mouth, your tastebuds will thank you for respecting the flank steak and the short amount of time it needs on the grill.

A flank steak also does well with any marinades or rubs. In fact, it will be advantageous to let this steak marinade for a while since the marinade will help the meat to tenderize before putting it on the grill.

The Benefits That Flank Steak Has To Offer

You can get a few benefits from choosing flank steak for your next BBQ:

  • Flank steak is one of the cheapest cuts of steak, which is beneficial for your pocket.
  • The beefy flavor of flank steak is incomparable. It is something that you have to experience for yourself. Otherwise, you won’t believe how much of a difference the flavor can make.
  • If grilled correctly, this can be one of the juiciest and most flavorful steaks you can ever experience.
  • The flank steak is juicy and very tender when cooked and prepared correctly.
  • Flank steak is very versatile. It can be prepared in several ways and combined with numerous meals and foods. Flank steak has so much to offer to any home chef’s dinner plate.

Disadvantages Of Flank Steak?

Just as there are benefits to the flank steak, it also has a few distinct disadvantages.

  • Flank steak can be tough if not cooked properly.
  • It’s lean, meaning it doesn’t have a lot of fat. (Depending on who you ask, this could also be an advantage.)
  • It is a thin cut of steak, and because of this, we do not often recognize it as a steak.
  • Flank steak always needs to be cut against the grain. Otherwise, you will have shards of meat and literally no steak, only pieces of meat that may be good enough for sandwiches.

As you can see, the advantages of flank steak far outweigh the disadvantages. It truly is an exceptional cut of meat.

Final Word

Next time you have a BBQ or you’re entertaining, and you want to bring some of the best flavors that a steak has to offer, maybe it is time for you to stop overlooking the flank steak and the benefits that it can bring to your grill and your table. 

Of course, none of your friends will believe that you got this much flavor out of your steak.

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