Flank steak is genuinely a luxurious and delicious kind of meat. Chances are, you sometimes can’t get your hands on this cut even if it isn’t that expensive.
Most fine dining restaurants and normal ones understand the importance of having an enormous amount of flank steak on hand for any meal that calls for it.
If it is impossible for you to have flank steak when you want some, you should look for a less expensive flank steak substitute that is also simpler to get.
Below is not only information about this lovely kind of meat cut but also 12 alternatives you should be searching for whenever you need flank steak to work with.
What Is Flank Steak?
What is the flank steak that everyone falls in love with? It is cut from the bottom of the steer’s flank, under the loin and the sirloin. It is found towards the bottom of the animal’s abdomen.
One end ends up being slightly bigger and thicker than the other end. Although the muscle is surrounded by fat, the flank steak itself is usually quite lean and muscular. It can be a very tough cut of beef if you do not prepare it correctly.
What else is flank steak called? Flank Steak Fillet, Jiffy Steak, and Bavette Steak are a few of the less common names for this particular cut.
Preparing a Flank Steak
A flank steak would be a very tough meal if you would simply take it out of the package and throw it on the grill.
When we get a flank steak, I first trim the excess fat off of the cut of beef. There may be some silverskin that needs to be removed as well. Silver skin is a tough membrane that covers part of the steak like plastic wrap.
After trimming, I will pound out the full steak using the sharp angled side of a meat pounder. The flat side should be used for chicken, and will not work as well as the angled side. It will be hard to over-pound this steak.
After that, I marinate it at least 6 hours in the fridge – but ideally overnight – in what we have locally as a black diamond marinade. The powdered stuff we have here is best, but in a pinch, I’ve used this recipe.
About 40 minutes before dinner is needed, get your grill screaming hot – as hot as it’ll go – and grill the flank steak for about 15-20 minutes, or 7-10 minutes each side. I turn the steak 180 degrees to get the perfect cross-hatch grill marks halfway through each side’s cooking time. This should give you a steak with a little pink inside, but not yet well done.
Tip: One side of the flank is always thinner than the other. As the steak is getting to be about halfway done, I’ll turn down the burners on one side of the grill and place the thin part of the steak facing it. This should slow down the cooking on the thin part of the flank.
To serve, slice it thin and against the grain (like with all steak), and spoon chimichurri sauce over it. You will be hard-pressed to find any steak that outperforms this quick meal.
12 Flank Steak Substitutes
This has become a very popular cut of meat over the last couple of years, so while most supermarkets may have it, it may end up being sold out. Here we discuss the best substitutes for a flank steak.
#1. Skirt Steak
Because the flank and skirt steaks look similar, many people confuse the two. While they are very similar and make great substitutes for each other, there are a few differences.
Like flank, skirt steak has a rich, beefy flavor. Skirt steaks are usually more tender, and a thinner cut than flanks. Skirt steaks are typically more marbled than flank steaks as well.
There are two different types of skirt steaks, inside and outside cuts. Inside cuts tend to be tougher than the outside skirts. The problem – at least here in the US – is that you ususally can’t tell which is which. Usually at the supermarkets, skirt steaks are labeled as “skirt”, without the designation of whether it is from the inside or outside.
#2. Hanger Steak
The lower rib is another part of a cow that is positioned near the flank. The final rib, which links the diaphragm and the kidney, is used to cut the hanger steak.
Hanger steaks have a taste that is very comparable to skirt steak. You will find good marbling on a good piece of hanger steak, which indicates there’s enough fat to give the steak a rich taste and keep it moist and tender.
Hanger steak has muscle fibers that are similar to flank steak, making it an ideal replacement. Because the area where hanger steak is sliced is still near the flank, their tastes are comparable enough to use as a substitute.
#3. Flat Iron Steak
The flat iron steak is derived from the primordial cut known as the chuck, specifically the shoulder clod and the top blade.
As a part of the shoulder, the chuck gets activated a lot for a steer to move, so the meat is typically really lean.
The top blade preserves its leanness without much connective tissue, resulting in a soft and delicious steak. So switching between this cut and flank steak won’t cause a noticeable change in texture.
The steak’s intense flavor makes it ideal as a key ingredient for a variety of recipes, including tacos and sandwiches. Try some marinating and grilling, or use a spice rub, or top it off with some tasty garnish to eat it plain.
#4. Flap Steak
The flap steak is thin, fibrous, chewy, and flavorful. It’s commonly mistaken with other cuts of meat such as skirt and hanger steak.
You can replace this cut with the original ingredient in any recipe, but we recommend grilling to enjoy it to the fullest. You will find it tastes best when carefully marinated, cooked at high heat, and served at medium rare in order to keep it tender.
#5. Tri-tip Steak
When it comes to flank steak replacements, the amount of fat is a crucial consideration. Because flank steak is usually sliced so thin, it will not contain a lot of fat.
The tri-tip roast is a wonderful stand-in for flank steak since it’s just as lean and doesn’t have as much fat or connective tissue.
The main problem with this cut is that you may have a hard time finding it at any old supermarket. You would only likely be able to find a tri-tip steak at an actual butcher.
#6. Top Round Steak
The Top Round, or London Broil, looks pretty similar to a flank steak and if careful, it is OK to use them interchangeably.
Top round steaks, like other varieties of steaks, require marinating before broiling or grilling to make the meat tender enough to eat comfortably.
#7. Top Sirloin
Top sirloin steak is such a wonderful alternative if you want an intense flavor with a similar texture to flank steak.
This cost-effective cut originates from the cow’s hip region, close to the round primal. As the cow uses this muscle a lot, it will almost always be extremely lean.
3 Non-Beef Flank Steak Substitutes
Occasionally, you’re either not in the mood for red meat, or you simply can’t get it where you are at. Here are three substitutes for flank steak that are not beef.
#8. Chicken Breast
Chicken breast won’t give you the same beefy taste. But trust us; it’ll be a perfect replacement for a burst of flavors. Also, those who are on a diet will benefit from this ingredient since chicken breasts are lower in calories and fat compared to beef.
This substitution for flank steak may be used in a wide range of dishes. Marinade the chicken breast before cooking in the same way that you would tenderize steaks. You can cook the chicken in various ways with whichever veggies you choose.
#9. Portabello Mushrooms
Mushrooms with meaty characteristics can be used as a cheaper alternative to flank steak.
Portobello or shiitake mushrooms, to name a few, are good examples, especially if you are on a diet or you are a vegetarian. For your information, portabello also works as a substitute for Cremini mushroom.
Portobello mushrooms have a really meaty taste, making them an excellent choice for anybody looking to increase their intake of plant-based cuisine. It’s also simple to lower total calorie consumption by substituting mushrooms for beef.
Tofu tastes quite sour and bland before getting cooked or seasoned. This particular dish, on the other hand, is a fantastic taste absorber, making it a favorite of everyone who loves cooking. Tofu can taste all different flavors depending on how it’s prepared.
Tofu may be prepared in a variety of ways, much like meat. If you’re going for a meaty flavor, crumble the tofu and stir-fry it until it’s golden and crispy. To get the finest results, use extra-firm tofu.
If you or the vegans in your house have been seeking a meat alternative, you will enjoy tofu served this way once you try it.