Best flank steak substitutes - crumbs please (2023)

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Discovering the perfect flank steak replacement can be crucial for those looking to spice up their cuisine or accommodate dietary restrictions. For those looking for an alternative to the classic flank steak, the three-end steak offers a comparable flavor profile and lean cut at a more affordable price.

In this blog post, I will look at the various substitutes that can still provide a delicious and filling dining experience. I'll look at the best beef alternatives, like the three-end steak, which offer similar qualities while being easy on the wallet.

For vegans and vegetarians (or just those who don't want to eat beef) I also have beef-free options for you! I'll cover high-protein vegan options like tofu, which can be marinated and cooked like a fillet steak.

Additionally, I share valuable tips on tenderizing meat before seasoning and choosing the right cooking method - hot and fast or long and slow - to get the best results from your chosen flank steak substitute.

Jump to:
  • Understand the flank steak
  • Where does flank steak come from?
  • The best beef substitute for flank steak
  • Flank steak alternatives without beef
  • Tips for replacing flank steaks
  • Frequently Asked Questions about Flank Steak Substitutes
  • Which flank steak substitute is your favourite?
  • Recipe

Understand the flank steak

Flank steak is a lean, oblong cut of cow belly beef that has gained popularity for its rich flavor and versatility of cooking methods. Flank steak is commonly used in recipes such as fajitas, stir-fry, and London Broil.

Cooking this cut requires high heat (grilling or frying) or slow simmering to tenderize the meat properly.

Where does flank steak come from?

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Flank steak comes from the belly muscles of the cow. There is not much movement in this area, resulting in a leaner cut with less marbling than other cuts such as ribeye steaks or New York strip steaks.

Though leaner than other cuts of meat, flank steak still offers a hearty flavor and is a good choice for those looking for a healthier option at the butcher's.

Methods of cooking flank steaks

  • Grill: A common method of preparing flank steaks is high-temperature grilling. The intense heat creates a delicious crust on the outside while the inside stays juicy and tender.
  • stinging: Another option is to fry the flank steak in an oil with a high smoke point, such as avocado oil or grapeseed oil, over medium heat. Fry on all sides until brown, then put in an oven preheated to 200°C (400°F).
  • suffocation: For a more tender result, you can slow cook flank steak in a flavorful liquid such as beef broth or red wine. This method allows the meat to be as tender as a fork while absorbing all the delicious flavors from the suffocating liquid.

Tips for tenderizing tenderloin steaks

Since a flank steak is a lean cut with minimal marbling, it's important to tenderize it before cooking. One way to do this is to use aMeat malletor even just using the back of a heavy spoon to knock out the tough fibers in the meat.

Another option is to marinate the steak in an acidic marinade that includes ingredients like lemon juice, vinegar, or pineapple juice—these acids help break down the muscle fibers and cook the steakJunk food.

By understanding flank steak, you can gain knowledge about the different cuts of beef and how they can be used in dishes. To find out what substitutes you can use for your flank steak, read on and discover the best alternatives.

The best beef substitute for flank steak

If you can't find flank steak at your local market or prefer another option, there are several alternatives with similar characteristics but varying degrees of tenderness and marbling.

These substitutes can be used in a variety of recipes and make a delicious meal without sacrificing flavor or texture.

1. Rocksteak

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Like flank steak, skirt steak comes from the belly area of ​​the cow, but is slightly more tender due to its higher fat content. It has a strong beef flavor and works well when marinated and cooked quickly over high heat (grilled or pan fried).

Skirt steaks can also be thinly sliced ​​across the grain after cooking to maximize tenderness.

2. Flat iron steak

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A good substitute for flank steak is flat iron steak, which comes from the top of the shoulder. This cut offers a similarly slim profile, but may require extra attention before cooking.

Use a meat tenderizer to really tenderize the meat before seasoning and cook using hot and fast methods such as grilling or pan frying.

3. Tri-Tip-Steak

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Tri-Tip-Steak, sometimes called a triangular steak, comes from the lower part of a cow's tenderloin. It has a similar beef flavor to flank steak, but is often cheaper. Tri-Tip can be marinated and cooked hot and fast or slow cooked for tender, flavorful results.

4. Rack steak

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Another option is the hanger steak, which comes from the belly area of ​​the cow. This cut offers a rich, meaty flavor and a tenderness that rivals a flank steak if prepared properly.

Hanger steaks are best marinated before cooking quickly over high heat (broiler or skillet), then cut into thin slices across the grain after resting.

5. Cutting Bavette

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Bavette steak, also called lapel meat or tenderloin tip, comes from the bottom of the tenderloin near the tri-tip. While not as well known as other cuts, bavette offers a flank steak-like texture, with long muscle fibers and a lean profile. For optimal flavor and tenderness, marinate before grilling or frying over high heat.

When it comes to beef replacements for flank steak, Tri-Tip is an excellent choice that has similar qualities but can be easy on the wallet. For those looking for an alternative to beef, tofu is a good option as it provides protein and can be marinated and cooked much like flank steak.

Flank steak alternatives without beef

For those who want a beef-free option, there are suitable substitutes that still provide a delicious dining experience while maintaining a healthy diet.

From poultry dishes like chicken breasts to vegetarian-friendly ingredients like portobello mushrooms, these alternatives cater well to a variety of food preferences without sacrificing flavor profiles or textures.

1. Tofu

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As a high-protein vegan alternative, tofu is a great substitute for flank steak in a variety of recipes. Thanks to its compact consistency, it perfectly absorbs marinades and spices, and when properly prepared, it imitates the distinctive flavor of flank steaks.

For best results, choose very firm tofu and squeeze out any excess liquid before marinating. You can then prepare the tofu using methods such as pan frying or grilling - just like you would with a steak.

2. Skinless chicken breasts

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Another lean cut similar in texture to flank steak is skinless chicken breasts. This popular poultry variety can be marinated, grilled or fried for a delicious and tender result.

To ensure your chicken stays juicy and flavorful, avoid overcooking it by checking it with a meat thermometer. Chicken breast goes well with dishes such as fajitas and stir-fry as an alternative to flank steak.

3. Portobello mushrooms

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If you're looking for a vegetarian option that still offers the meaty flavor of a flank steak, portobello mushrooms are a great choice. These large mushrooms have a firm texture that tolerates high-temperature cooking (such as grilling or pan-frying) well.

Marinate them the same way you would cut beef before cooking to further enhance their hearty flavor. Portobello are great substitutes for recipes such as stuffed mushrooms or vegetable-based sandwiches, where they add both substance and depth of flavor.

By substituting non-beef steaks, you can add delicious and varied flavors to your meals. With the right techniques, you can be sure that these substitutes will be just as tender and delicious as their beef counterparts.

Now let's look at some tips on how to replace flank steak in any recipe.

Tips for replacing flank steaks

Whichever substitute you choose, proper preparation is key to achieving the desired flavor and tenderness. Tenderizing meat prior to seasoning helps improve its flavor profile while reducing cooking time.

Also, understanding different cooking methods, such as B. hot and fast (grilling/frying) or long and slow (braising), always for delicious results.

It is important to soften the meat before seasoning

For a juicy and flavorful dish, the tenderness of the meat you choose is key, whether it's a flank steak alternative like skirt steak or a non-beef option like chicken breast. Using a meat tenderizer can help break down the hard fibers in the protein, making it more tender and easier to chew.

Another popular method is to marinate the meat with acidic ingredients such as lemon juice or vinegar to soften the muscle fibers without affecting the texture.

  • Hit the selected piece with a meat mallet to break up tough fibers.
  • Create an acidic marinade with ingredients such as citrus juices or vinegar to add even more tenderness to your chosen substitute.
  • Avoid over-marinating the egg whites as this can result in a mushy texture instead of the desired tenderness.

Cooking methods - hot and fast vs. long and free

The ideal cooking method depends on both personal preference and the specific characteristics of each cut of beef or alternative protein source:

  1. hot and fast: Short cooking at high temperatures is ideal for lean cuts of meat such as flank steak, skirt steak or chicken breast. This method helps retain the juices and flavors while preventing the meat from drying out. Grilling or pan frying are popular hot and quick techniques.
  2. long and slow: For tougher cuts of meat, such as a rack steak or triangle steak, slow cooking methods such as braising can help break down the connective tissue and produce tender results without sacrificing flavor. Braising involves frying the egg white for a rich crust before cooking it in liquid over low heat until tender.

Frequently Asked Questions about Flank Steak Substitutes

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What's a good substitute for flank steak?

A suitable substitute for flank steak would be skirt steak, hanger steak, or flat iron steak. These cuts have similar characteristics and can be prepared in the same way as flank steaks. For non-beef alternatives, consider using tofu or portobello mushrooms.

What meat is better than flank steak?

In terms of tenderness and taste, a entrecote steak or filet mignon can be considered superior to a flank steak. However, these cuts tend to be more expensive. If you're looking for a cheaper option with similar characteristics to a flank steak, try a tri-tip or sirloin steak.

What is the best substitute for a skirt or flank steak?

The best substitute for skirt and bacon steaks would be rack steaks due to their comparable texture and flavor profile. Flat bar steaks are also a great alternative, as they have a similar grain structure, which allows them to absorb marinades well.

Which flank steak substitute is your favourite?

Overall, there are many great flank steak substitutes that can be used in a variety of recipes. Whether you prefer beef or plant-based dishes, there is a perfect alternative for your taste buds and dietary restrictions.

Exploring different meats and ingredients can create delicious dishes that are both nourishing and enjoyable. If you're looking for more recipe ideas, cooking tips, or want to improve your cooking skills, have a look hereCrumbs, please. We offer a range of resources and tips to help you master the art of flank steak substitutes in no time!


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The best flank steak substitutes

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Looking for a tasty and affordable alternative to flank steak? Whether you're grilling, pan-frying, or slow-cooking, these options will satisfy both your taste buds and your wallet.


An alternative to beef: skirt steak

  • Skirt steak is a good substitute for flank steak because it has a similar texture and flavor profile, cooks quickly, and is usually less expensive.

Substitute without beef: tofu

  • Tofu can be used as a good substitute for flank steak by marinating it in a flavorful sauce and then grilling, baking, or pan-frying it to mimic the texture and flavor of meat. Choose extra firm tofu.

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What is the best substitute for flank steak? ›

The best meat to use instead of flank steak is skirt steak, flat iron steak, flap (sirloin tip) steak, tri-tip steak, and hanger steak (in that order).

What meat is the same as flank steak? ›

Skirt steak can be substituted in place of flank steak, and vice versa, though. Skirt steak is shaped much the same, but tends to have a beefier flavor. But, this cut comes from the diaphragm muscles of the animal, making it a tougher piece of meat.

What is flank steak alternative name? ›

Flank Steak (aka London Broil, Plank Steak, Jiffy Steak, Bavette in French and Arrachera in Spanish) Flank steak is a cut taken from the underbelly, or the flank, of the cow. It is sometimes used interchangeably with skirt steak but they are different cuts (though the textures are similar).

What is a non beef substitute for flank steak? ›

📝 Alternatives
Portobello MushroomsDense texture holds together well
TofuEasily seasoned
Cauliflower Steaks¾” slices are cooked similar to steak
Veggie SteaksSeveral brands sell these. More expensive
8 more rows
Mar 29, 2022

What is flank steak called at Walmart? ›

One of the most common names for flank steak is London Broil. You'll sometimes see it written that way in the grocery store or on a menu.

Is top round similar to flank steak? ›

Top round steak is also a lean cut of beef just like the flank steak. But since it has almost no fat in it, it's still a healthier option than flank steaks as well as other cuts. The absence of marbling means this steak cut is more affordable and easier to buy for budget-conscious people.

Is flank steak similar to filet mignon? ›

Flank Steak So Tender They'll Think It's Filet Mignon

Well, not exactly, because it does not have all the fat of a filet, but so flavorful and so tender, some say it's even better than filet.

Is London broil the same as flank steak? ›

Flank steak is cut from the lower section of the cow or the abdominal muscles, while London broil refers to a cooking method rather than a cut of beef. Although the traditional cut of meat for London broil is flank steak, other cuts like top rounds or blade roast are sometimes used.

What is a cheaper alternative to skirt steak? ›

Skirt steak has become so popular that it's now a very expensive cut, according to Ray. So in this case, the boneless short rib is cheaper — about half the price, he says. "When you take the boneless short rib piece of meat and you slice it the long way across, they call that flanken," the butcher explains.

What is skirt steak called in grocery store? ›

Skirt steak is sometimes known as Romanian tenderloin, Romanian steak, Philadelphia steak, or Arrachera, but these names are most commonly used outside of the US.

Is tip steak the same as flank? ›

The two cuts also differ in shape. Tri-tip is naturally triangular while flank steak isn't. Flank steak is better cooked as thin slices if you want it cooked through properly and often be used as stuffing or folded or rolled up. Flank steak is a long and flat steak, whereas tri-tip is triangular and thicker.

What is the best steak for stir fry? ›

What Cut of Beef is Best for Stir-fry? Flank steak is by far the most popular cut of meat used by Chinese restaurants in all of their stir-fry dishes. It also happens to be the most recommended cut of beef we use in our stir-fry recipes. Flank steak is flavorful, relatively reasonably priced, and readily available.

What kind of steak is good for fajitas? ›

Skirt steak is the traditional cut used for fajitas. It used to be inexpensive, but now it's not so cheap; oftentimes flank steak costs less. Either will be a good choice. Log in or sign up to save this recipe.

What is leaner than flank steak? ›

The flavor: Flank steak and skirt steak have strong beefy flavors, though skirt steak is slightly more intense due to the coarser muscle fibers. The fat content: Skirt steak is fattier and has more marbling than flank steak, which is a leaner cut of meat.

Is flat iron steak similar to flank? ›

Whenever I mention flat iron steak to people, they often ask if it is similar to flank steak. It's not. Flat iron is cut from a chuck roast — the neck and shoulder of the animal. Flank steak is from the lower back or hindquarter of the animal.

Is rump steak similar to flank steak? ›

The flank is what butchers usually trim of excess fat and use for cheaper beef mince. Skirt refers to various muscles near the flank, rump and inner thigh. It is very lean and tasty but also tough, so requires long, slow cooking. The rump is a very lean, tender cut that is always sliced into steaks.

What is flank steak in USA? ›

Flank steak is a cut of beef steak taken from the abdominal muscles of the cow, located just behind the plate and in front of the rear quarter. It is a long, flat cut with a significant grain, and is known for its bold flavor and chewiness.

What steak is considered flank steak? ›

Flank steak is a beef steak cut from the abdominal muscles of the cow. This cut is also called the London Broil due to its popularity in that city. It is a long, flat cut that runs from the rib end of the animal to the hip or rump.

What is flank steak in the store? ›

Flank steak is technically not a steak at all. Instead, this popular cut of beef comes from the cow's belly muscles. It's a flavorful piece of meat, but is very lean, containing almost no fat. Despite its toughness, it can be a tasty and tender if you learn how to prepare it properly.

What is more tender sirloin or flank? ›

The descriptions tell us where the cut is from (loin and rib cuts are more tender, flank and belly cuts are tougher) and a bit about the kind of flavor and texture we can expect.

Is sirloin more tender than flank steak? ›

SIRLOIN FLAP, also known as Bavette steak, has strong directional muscle grains and great beefy flavor. This cut is best seared. It's not as tender as the skirt or flank, but who minds a little more chew on their steak if the flavor is there?

What's the difference between chuck steak and flank steak? ›

As opposed to the abdominal region flank and skirt steaks are cut from, the chuck is a more relaxed area of the cow which correlates to a more tender bite. Additionally, flat iron steaks are cut from a more fatty part of the chuck, known as the top blade roast.

What cut is the poor man's filet? ›

Shoulder Petite Tender

It is nicknamed butcher's steak because it requires some skill to extract, and is (deservedly) popular among true beef aficionados. This lean, juicy cut looks like a small tenderloin, and tastes like one, too — so it's also sometimes known as the poor man's tenderloin.

What is the most flavorful steak? ›

The rib eye is the ultimate steak-lover's steak. It's the most flavorful cut of the animal, and comes with very rich marbling, which provides superior taste when cooked. The cut itself comes from the rib section, where it gets its name.

What is the most Flavourful steak? ›

The Ribeye is generally considered to be the most flavourful steak. These steaks are cut from the ribs and contain a lot of marbling throughout. The muscle from where the Ribeye is cut, isn't used often so the meat is very tender.

What do British call flank steak? ›

flank steakskirt steak
ground meatminced meat
liverwurstliver sausage
pig's footpig's trotter
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How should flank steak be cooked? ›

Grilling is perhaps the best way to cook Flank steak, but you can also pan-sear it in a skillet, broil it in your oven, or even use a specialty cooking method like an instant pot.
Temperatures are as follows:
  1. Rare: 115°F.
  2. Medium-Rare: 125°F.
  3. Medium: 135°F.
  4. Medium-Well: 145°F.

What is better for fajitas skirt or flank steak? ›

Skirt Steak

This steak cut tends to have a heartier beef flavor than flank steak, making it a good option for tacos or fajitas with lots of ingredients that could overwhelm a milder steak. Use a marinade to tenderize the steak and add even more flavor before the cooking process.

Which cut of meat is good for cheap steak? ›

Ask the butcher behind the counter for a cheap cut, and you'll hear about oyster steaks, Denver steaks, the shoulder tender, the tri-tip, or the culotte. These are all great, cheap steaks, with fat structures and textures you might not be familiar with.

What is skirt steak called in USA? ›

Skirt steak is a cut of beef steak from the plate. It is long, flat, and prized for its flavor rather than tenderness.
Skirt steak.
Beef cuts
Alternative namesRomanian tenderloin; Romanian steak; Philadelphia steak; Arrachera (Mx).
TypePlate cut of beef

What do butchers call skirt steak? ›

The skirt steak comes from below the ribs running back toward the leg. Butchers sometimes call it a hanging steak because of how the meat hangs off the ribs.

What is a good substitute for skirt steak for carne asada? ›

Skirt steak is the cut of choice for carne asada throughout Southern California and it's my favorite too. But if you can't find it, you can substitute flap, flank, hanger, or top round (London broil). Skirt is the flattest of the cuts, so it doesn't take long to marinate or cook. Increase both times for thicker cuts.

What is the most tender steak? ›

Considered the most tender cut of all, a filet mignon is taken from the center of the beef tenderloin. It is lean yet delivers a melt-in-your mouth, buttery succulence. Perfect for grilling, pan-searing and broiling in the oven. Available in several weights, a filet is perfect for 1 person.

What is flank steak best used for? ›

Flank steak is one of the "flat" steaks and is a versatile and flavorful cut of beef. The flank steak comes from the abdominal muscles or lower chest of the cow. It is often the cut used in London broil, Mexican fajitas, and Chinese stir-fried beef.

What cut of steak do chefs prefer? ›

The chef, author and broadcaster's preference is for the rib cuts, the perfect balance of fat and meat he says, followed by the sirloin, and then the slightly tougher, but flavour-packed parts of the animal, such as chuck and flank.

What is the softest steak for stir-fry? ›

Most tender beef cuts, such as sirloin, tri-tip, ribeye, top loin (strip), tenderloin, shoulder center (Ranch Steak), shoulder top blade (Flat Iron) and shoulder petite tender, can be cut into strips for use in stir-fry recipes.

What oil is best for stir-fry steak? ›

The best oils for stir frys are the oils with the higher smoke points. These tend to be the “thinner” oils such as peanut, grapeseed or canola.

What is the best cheap steak for fajitas? ›

Flank steak, rump steak, or skirt steak are the best kinds of beef for fajitas. I chose to use flank steak because it does well with marinades and is typically a low-cost option. Beef Fajitas Seasoning.

What is the most tender meat for fajitas? ›

What Is the Best Cut of Beef to Use for Steak Fajitas? You can use either skirt steak or flank steak for fajitas. Although the two cuts come from different parts of the cow, both skirt and flank steak soak up marinades well, cook quickly, and, when sliced thinly against the grain, taste tender and flavorful.

Is skirt steak better than flank steak for tacos? ›

Flank steak is better than skirt steak for tacos. How Do You Cut a Flank Steak for Tacos? Flank steak tends to be a tough cut of meat (even with an awesome marinade) because of its long, lean muscle fibers. Cutting the meat against the grain shortens these muscle fibers and effectively tenderizes the steak further.

Are flank steak and top round the same? ›

As previously mentioned, flank steak is taken from the abdomen, while round steak is taken from the hind legs. Visually, the flank steak is much wider at one end of the meat and narrower on the other end.

Can you use top round instead of flank? ›

Top Round

Both top round and flank steaks are sometimes called London broil steak, so it's no surprise that top round is considered a flank steak alternative. This thick cut comes from the top of the rear leg.

Is London broil and flank steak the same thing? ›

London broil and flank steak are lean cuts of beef that can be used interchangeably in recipes. Though traditionally, the flank steak is used for London broil, some cooks and butchers may also use other cuts such as top rounds or sirloin tip roast.

What is the toughest cut of beef? ›

Shank. Shank is arguably the toughest, cheapest cut of beef. Located in front of the brisket at the cow's forearm, this beef cut is notable for its sinewy dryness. Due to its lack of popularity, shank is not typically found in retail stores.

Why is flank steak so expensive? ›

The fact that the flank steak is more expensive doesn't automatically make it the best cut. Butchers intentionally make it more expensive due to its commercialization and the higher demand by fajita chefs. So, if you're not making this recipe, go for the cheaper skirt steak.

Why is flank steak so tough? ›

The critical reason for this is because flank steak, although lean and flavorful, is tougher than other cuts of beef due to the many long thin fibers running through it. To help tenderize flank steak, it is often marinated and cooked by grilling, stir-frying, broiling, or smoking.

What is the best method to cook flank steak? ›

Grilling is perhaps the best way to cook Flank steak, but you can also pan-sear it in a skillet, broil it in your oven, or even use a specialty cooking method like an instant pot. The real trick is to keep your Flank steak grill time to a minimum.


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