Flap Steak: Its Names, Location, Flavor Profile, and Size

Many people confuse flap steak with cuts like hanger steak, flank steak, or skirt steak. Though they share similarities in taste, tenderness, and preparation, they’re different cuts of steak. While many recipes allow you to use them interchangeably, it’s important to remember their differences. Another thing to note: If you come across the name “bavette steak” on a menu or in a store, just know it’s another name for flap steak.

What is Flap Steak?

Flap steak, also known as flap meat, is a cut of beef from the bottom sirloin. It’s a pretty fatty and long cut, and what stands out is its rich beefy flavor. Flap steak, cooked and sliced correctly, offers a juicy, beefy taste and medium tenderness with just a bit of chewiness. The best methods for cooking flap steak include using a grill or skillet. I recommend cooking flap steak to medium-rare or medium doneness for optimal flavor and texture. Going too rare might leave you with a texture that feels too raw, and anything past medium will make it tough and chewy. Remember always to cut flap steak against the grain to keep it as tender as possible. 

Grainy texture of flap steak
The grainy texture of flap steak

What Are The Other Names for Flap Steak?

Flap steak is also known as bavette steak, sirloin bavette, bottom sirloin flap, bistro steak, flap meat, bottom sirloin butt, and sirloin flap steak in the United States.

Where Does Flap Steak Come From on the Cow?

Flap steak comes from the bottom sirloin butt. You’ll find this cut in the abdominal area of the cow, close to the bottom. This part helps the cow walk and twist, making it an active muscle.

flap steak location on cow

What is Flap Steak Good For?

Flap steak is one of those beef cuts that offers both versatility and affordability. Flap steak’s coarse texture is perfect for absorbing marinades, which boosts its flavor and tenderness. You can cook it whole on the grill or in a skillet, then slice it thinly to reveal its deliciousness. It shines in many recipes, especially in Mexican and Asian cuisines. Dishes like fajitas, stir fry, or various steak salads highlight the versatility of flap steak.

How to Cut Flap Steak?

Flap steak is known for its coarse and pronounced grain that runs the length of the meat. You’ll have a tough and chewy bite if you cut along this grain. Always cut flap steak against the grain to enjoy a more tender bite. I’ve included a photo to guide you on the direction of the grain in flap steak and the best way to slice it.

cut flap or bavette steak against the grain
Cut flap steak against the grain: The yellow line indicates the grain direction, while the red line shows the cutting direction with the knife

Considering the length of the flap steak, it’s a good idea first to divide the cooked steak into several smaller portions and then cut against the grain.

The Bottom Line

In this article, I’ve touched on the basics of flap steak. Curious to know more about the flap steak? Check out my other article, “What is Bavette Steak: Its Location, Size, Names, and Flavor Profile” – Bavette is just another term for flap steak. That’s why I suggest that article – it has all the deeper details, so I don’t have to double up on the info here.

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Written by: Adam Wojtow

Adam Wojtow is a Polish entrepreneur and writer who founded Steak Revolution in 2020 because of his passion for steaks. Adam has been cooking steaks for over 5 years, so he understands well all aspects of steak, from the types of steaks and their cooking times to choosing the best cooking technique for any steak.