How Long Can I Marinate Chicken: [Complete Beginner's Guide]   

How to cut Flank Steak? (COMPLETE BEGINNER’S GUIDE)

How you cut flank steak highly determines how tender and soft it will turn out. Whether you cut it raw or after cooking, you should always follow the proper procedure. So how do you cut your flank steak?

The best and most recommended way to cut flank steak is against the grain to guarantee a tender and soft beef. Cutting against the grain ensures that you cut through some of the tough fibers in the steak, making them shorter, easy to chew, and tender. 

This article explains every detail you need to understand about flank steak. Continue reading through to learn more.

What is Flank Steak?

A flank steak is beef meat cut from the lower abdominal muscles of a cow. It is also called London broil because it is famous in the city. The cut is long and flat and runs from the rib end to the rump of a cow. Flank steak has a very long grain, making it a little tougher than other beef meat cuts. However, it can be tender through marinating and cooking in low and slow heat.

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Flank steak contains high amounts of proteins but is very low in fats. That is another reason for it being tough. Marinating flank steak ensures that it is juicy, more flavorful, and tasty. If you are looking for an excellent source of vitamin B, iron, zinc, and phosphorus, flank steak is rich in these minerals and vitamins. Further, Flank steak is ideal for stir fry, fajitas, casseroles, and stews. When cooking this steak, ensure that the internal temperature does not get lower than 145 degrees F.

How to Cut the Flank Steak Against the Grain

Here are the essential steps you should follow when cutting flank steak:

  • Prepare your flank steak and prepare the right tool – place the meat on a cutting board, then get a carving fork with a sharp serrated knife.
  • Find the meat grain – this is an essential step. You should ensure that you identify the grain on the steak and cut it against these connective tissues. 
  • Cut the meat against the grain – use the carving fork to hold the meat in place, then start cutting using the serrated knife and ensure that you cut against the grain. Try carving slices about half an inch thick and ensure you balance both sides.

Tips For Efficient Flank Steak Cutting

When cutting flank steak, you should be mindful of some things that will determine how better your meat will turn out. Here are three tips to always remember before and when slicing your flank steak:

  • Leave some fat – if you are preparing the meat yourself, ensure that you slice off any excess fats but always leave some fats attached to the meat. This fat is essential as it melts when the meat is cooking, enhancing its flavor and juiciness. If you do this, expect your meat to have a great taste and flavor.
  • Get a thermometer – this is essential, especially for beginners. You will need to closely monitor the internal temperature before removing it from heat. Ensure the temperature reads 120 degrees F for rare, medium rare 130, and medium 140. However, remember that this temperature rises by about 5 degrees when the meat rests.
  • Let the meat rest – before cutting your cooked flank steak, let it rest for at least five minutes to allow the meat juices to distribute evenly.

How to Cut Flank Steak for Fajitas

Fajita flank steak is well-marinated and grilled before sliced into strips. The best way you can cut your steak for fajita is always cutting against the meat grain or, in simple terms, across the grain. 

However, sometimes the grain looks different because it is not straight across the meat piece. Here is where the challenge might be, but you can overcome the challenge by identifying the grain of the meat before you start cutting.

A meat grain is an actual direction where the connective muscles of the meat are aligned on that piece of meat. It is easy to identify the grain in flank steak, which is why you should not be worried, unlike when dealing with tenderloins.

The following two steps can help you cut your flank steak for fajitas perfectly:

  • Identify the grain of the meat. They look like tiny lines running across the meat.
  • Use a sharp serrated knife to slice your meat perpendicularly. This is an angle of 90 degrees to the grain. This way, you will cut through the lines, not slice with the lines.

How to Cut Flank Steak for Stir Fry

When preparing flank steak for stir fry, you should start by trimming off the white membrane, then cutting your flank steak against the grain into 2-inch strips. Identifying the grain is easy; thus, ensure that you cut perpendicular across the grain once identified.

Cut slices that are a quarter inch thick. This will ensure that your meat remains tender and easy to bite. Keep your knife at about 45 degrees, and then make your slices wider. Then marinate your sliced flank steak.

How to Store Flank Steak

You can store cooked flank steak in the refrigerator at about 35 degrees. Here it can stay for up to three days or even more if you carefully wrap it in butcher paper or supermarket paper, mainly known as a modified atmosphere package and contains carbon dioxide, which is essential in meat preservation.

On the other hand, cooked flank steak can be stored and preserved in the fridge for up to four days. The two options are for primary storage. However, flank steak can also be frozen for as long as one year. Nonetheless, to ensure that it remains in good condition for all this time, ensure that you vacuum seal it before freezing it to prevent freezer burns.

Where Can You Buy Flank Steak?

You can buy flank steak in grocery stores, butcheries, or supermarkets. They are usually sold by the pound, and the price will always vary based on the location and scarcity. 

Final Thoughts

Flank steak can be served with many other different dishes. However, the preparation and cutting always determine what you will get in the end. It is good to ensure that you always cut the flank steak against the grain to make it tender, soft, and easy to chew. 

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