What is Flap Steak?

If you love the deep beefy flavor and an extraordinary taste, flap steak should be on your list of favorite cuts. It is one of the toughest yet tastiest cuts of meat you will ever try. For those unfamiliar with it or have never tried cooking it at home, you are in for a treat.

What is Flap Steak?

Flap steak is an inexpensive beef cut from the bottom sirloin, it is tougher than other cuts, but you can tenderize it by proper cooking and marinating it. The cut is sold as a whole, long muscle or is cut into several individual steaks.

People love flap steak because you can prepare it in various ways. Whether you want it roasted, grilled, seared, or broiled, the steak won’t lose its tasteful beefy flavor.

Don’t confuse flap for a hanger steak. Although both look thin and long, with fat between the muscles, they are different cuts.

raw flap steak
raw flap steak

Other Names for Flap Steak

In the United States, flap steak is also known as bistro steak, flap meat, bottom sirloin butt, sirloin flap steak, flap, and sirloin flap. In Spain, they call it “Arrachera,” and in France, flap steak is known as “Bavette.”

Where Does Flap Steak Come from on the Cow

The flap steak comes from the bottom sirloin butt (below the sirloin tip and the loin). It sits in the abdominal area of the cow, near the bottom. It helps the animal walk and twist, meaning it is an active muscle.

Flap Steak vs. Flank Steak

Flap steak and flank steak are close to each other in terms of beef flavor, while they differ in marbling and price. Both are fine steaks and good for cooking high and fast to medium rare. You can use a flap steak in almost any recipe that calls for a flank steak because it is cheaper. 

Buying Flap Steak

You would assume that because flap steak is a good-quality cut and cheaper than others, it will be easier to find. However, not many supermarkets and butchers offer this steak. The best way to get it is to place an online order and have it delivered to your home address.

How to Cut Flap Steak Against the Grain

Slicing with the grain into pieces is easier than you think. All you need to do is cut the steak into pieces as long and wide as you want. Then, slice the pieces thinly across the grain and, if necessary, flip each piece onto another for better results. The point is for those coarse grain pieces to cook evenly and be easier to chew.

Flap Steak FAQs

What Does Flap Steak Taste Like?

Flap steak has an intensely beefy flavor; if you are a fan of it, you will love it. However, for some, it can be a little tough. The way you cook the flap steak impacts the overall taste. For example, some add more salt, pepper, and seasonings to minimize the beefy flavor.

What is flap steak good for?

Flap steak is often used to make fajita strips or marinated steaks. It is also excellent for bistro steaks, Mexican grilled meats, and Asian stir-fries recipes.

How many calories are in flap steak?

On average, a 4-ounce portion of flap steak has around 160 calories.

Is flap steak tender?

Cooked well flap steak is very tasty and tender. Of course, it is not as tender as, for example, ribeye or new york strip. To maximize tenderness, cook the steak only to medium rare and, once cooked, cut it against the grain.

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Written by: Adam Wojtow

Adam Wojtow, the founder of Steak Revolution, is a true steak enthusiast. His primary goal is to help others perfect their steak-cooking skills.