Cooking is a fun pastime and something we all have to do at some point. There are simple methods of cooking along with more complicated methods as well.
However, not all of these things are done during the cooking process. Some need to be done before, which includes a process known as tenderizing.
People will tenderize all types of meat, which includes flank steak. In this article, we will go into what flank steak and tenderizing are before finally going into the top three ways to tenderize your meat.
By the end of the article, you will know exactly how to tenderize flank steak.
What Is Flank Steak?
Flank steak is a type of cut. To be specific, this cut comes from the cow’s lower chest area. More often than not, the abdominal muscle is what is being cut, so flank steak is going to be very tough.
Other names for this type of cut are jiffy steak, London broil, and bavette, as it is known in French.
The best part about this cut of meat is that it is very inexpensive, so consider going down to your local deli or butcher and buying a pound or two of it.
Your wallet will be thanking you for splurging on this cheaper cut of meat.
What Is Tenderizing?
To be able to tenderize meat, you first need to understand what it is and why it is done. If you are tenderizing your meat, then you are breaking down the connective tissue to make it easier to eat and cut.
This is not something for people who like to eat tough meat, so if that sounds like you, avoid tenderizing your meat at all costs.
How to Tenderize Flank Steak
We found three proven methods of tenderizing flank steak. In this section, you will learn about using a meat mallet, marinating it, and finally, using some salt on the flank steak.
One of the best ways to tenderize flank steak is by using a meat mallet. It is pretty easy to get your hands on a meat mallet.
They are available in most stores and are on the cheap side. So, once you have your meat mallet, the next step is to start tenderizing the meat itself.
- Before you start pounding away, you will want to wrap the flank steak in some wax paper, a plastic bag, or something similar.
- Place the steak on the cutting board and reach for your meat mallet. It is time.
- Start pounding away on the meat. At some point, flip it over and start on the other side. Once you are happy with how tender it is, you can stop.
- Finally, take the meat out of the plastic bag and start cooking your flank steak however you desire!
This is all there is to tenderize your meat with a meat mallet. It is the quickest way by far out of all the three methods, so if you are short on time, it is best to go with tenderizing your meat with a mallet.
Fear not, though, because there are other methods available if you do not want to use a meat mallet.
When you marinade flank steak, you are taking an acid marinade of some sort and soaking the meat inside it.
By doing this, the acid breaks down the connective tissue and makes it more tender. Common marinades are lemon, wine, vinegar, beer, and lime, to name a few.
- Put your flank steak in some kind of container, and then pour the marinade over it. Make sure both sides soak in it.
- Place the container in the fridge and leave it there for a minimum of 30 minutes and a maximum of 24 hours. A popular amount of time is usually 8 hours, but just go with whatever you prefer.
- After the period is over, take the steak out of the fridge and start cooking it up with your preferred method.
This method does take some time when compared to the pounding method with a meat mallet. Still, when you soak your flank steak in a marinade, you end up infusing that flavor into the meat.
If you have time, then definitely consider using the marinade method. You, your guests, and your taste buds will thank you for the attempt.
Tenderizing your meat with salt is pretty simple and quicker than marinating it. All you need is salt—though not just any salt.
You could technically use table salt, but it is not the best option. Either use coarse kosher or sea salt instead if you plan to tenderize your meat with this method.
- Lay out your steak on some surface like a cutting board or plate.
- Sprinkle the salt over both sides of the steak. Leave it to sit for about an hour.
- Rinse off the extra salt and dry the steak with a paper towel.
- The final step involves seasoning your meat and then cooking it however you like to cook your steak.
Remember, it is best not to use typical table salt because the steak will end up tasting strange. Kosher salt or coarse salt is the best salt to use because it will not cause your meat to taste too salty or to taste strange.
Still, do not overdo it, even with these salts. There is too much of a good thing, and salt does, unfortunately, fall into this category.
And there you go, all you flank steak lovers out there! Once we explained what flank steak and tenderizing were, we went into the top three ways to tenderize flank steak in the first place.
There are pros and cons to all three of the tenderizing methods listed above, so just go with whatever you feel would work best for you.
So, what are you waiting for? Get to tenderizing your flank steak so you can begin to cook it up and enjoy a delicious meal by yourself or with your guests.
You might also be interested in the following:
- How to Tenderize Steak?
- How Do You Tenderize Chicken?
- How Do You Tenderize Stew Meat?
- How Do You Tenderize Skirt Steak?
- How Do You Tenderize Sirloin Steak?
- How Do You Tenderize Ribeye Steak?
- How Do You Tenderize Pork Chops?
- How Do You Tenderize Cube Steak?
I have been smoking and grilling meat from an early age and enjoy sharing my knowledge and expertise through the hundreds of articles I have written about BBQ. I hope to make everyone’s BBQ journey that little bit easier.