What is Flank Steak?

Flank steak is a versatile cut of meat often used in popular recipes such as fajitas, stir-fries, and sandwiches. While it is a bit tougher than other beef cuts, it’s lean and has a robust flavor that makes it perfect for marinating. In this article, we’ll cover the basics of flank steak, including where it’s cut from on the cow, its alternative names, and the unique characteristics that distinguish it from other cuts of beef.

What is Flank Steak?

Flank steak is a lean and fairly tough cut of meat taken from the abdominal muscles of a cow. Despite its name, it does not resemble traditional steaks in appearance. Instead, it has a long, flat shape with a significant grain and thickness ranging from 1/4 inch to 1.5 inches. 

Flank steak has a strong beef flavor but requires proper cooking to become juicy, tender, and full of flavor. Remember to slice the cooked flank steak against the grain, which is crucial for maximizing tenderness.

raw flank steak
Raw flank steak

Other Names for Flank Steak

Below are the most popular alternative names for flank steak:

  • Beef Flank,
  • Flank Steak Filet,
  • Jiffy Steak,
  • London Broil,
  • Plank Steak,
  • Bavette in French,
  • Sobrebarriga in Colombia,
  • Fraldinha in Brazil.

It’s important to note that some of these names may vary regionally or in different countries. Nevertheless, flank steak is the most frequently used name for this cut in the United States.

Where is the Flank Steak on a Cow?

Flank steak comes from the flank area of the cow, located just behind the plate and below the sirloin and loin. The heavily used muscular tissues in this part of the cow result in tougher meat.

Flank Steak Nutrition

NutritionPortion size: 3 oz = 85 g
Calories165 kcal
Total Fat7.07 g
Protein23.6 g
Zinc4.34 mg
Potassium287 mg
Vitamin B-60.492 mg
Vitamin B-121.48 µg

Nutrition facts based on cooked 3-oz flank steak (choice-grade).

Data source: USDA.

Buying Flank Steak

Flank steak might be harder to find, particularly in smaller local stores. Fortunately, you can purchase flank steak online with home delivery. Nowadays, many butcher shops specialize in selling steak online. Most reputable online vendors master the shipping of perishable goods like a flank steak by vacuum-sealing their products and ensuring fast delivery. 

Remember to choose a vendor with great reviews and an established business for the highest quality. Here are some of the most popular options to consider:

  • Snake River Farms
  • Porter Road
  • Crowd Cow
  • Holy Grail Steak

Flank Steak FAQs

Is flank steak good?

Flank steak is a highly versatile cut of beef known for its strong, beefy flavor. Though it may be tough, proper marination can make it tender and juicy. This cut offers an excellent alternative to standard steaks with rich marbling and can also serve as a great ingredient in various dishes (fajitas, tacos, nachos, and much more).

What is flank steak good for?

Flank steak is suitable for grilling, slow cooking, broiling, and roasting. You can use it to make stir-fry, tacos, fajitas, and even sandwiches. It is an excellent cut of meat for marinating as it enhances the flavor and, most importantly, tenderizes the meat. 

Is flank steak expensive?

Flank steak falls within the mid-price range. While it is not a premium cut like filet mignon, ribeye, or porterhouse steak, its surge in popularity in recent years has placed it above the cheapest cuts. It’s important to remember that the price of the steak can vary depending on the region, the grade of beef, and the store where it is purchased. For instance, Japanese Wagyu flank steak ranks among the most expensive cuts as a premium cut.

Is flank steak the same as skirt steak?

No. Sometimes, people use the names “flank steak” and “skirt steak” interchangeably – this is a colossal mistake. In reality, these are two different cuts of beef. Although you can use them interchangeably in some recipes, it’s crucial to remember their differences. For a detailed comparison, check out our article on Flank Steak vs. Skirt Steak.

Is flank steak the same as flat iron steak?

No, flank steak and flat iron steak are two completely different cuts of beef. For a detailed comparison, check out our article on Flank Steak vs. Flat Iron Steak.

Discover Other Beef Cuts

While flank steak is a popular cut of beef, there are many other delicious cuts to discover. Please take a closer look at each of these cuts to find their unique characteristics.

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Written by: Adam Wojtow

Adam is the founder of Steak Revolution. He loves sharing his knowledge of steaks with everyone, ensuring you get the perfect steak every time.