Beef can vary dramatically in terms of flavor, texture, and even how you cook it. When it comes to grilling, flank steak and London broil can be confusing. Knowing how they differ will ensure that you can work with the beef cuts properly to get the best possible meal.
Are Flank Steak and London Broil the Same Thing?
Yes and no. It gets to be confusing when you look at flank steak vs. London broil simply because they are often discussed as interchangeable.
The reality is that they are the same cut. However, the flank steak refers to the specific area of the cow from which the beef is cut. The London broil is a method of cooking that is popular with lean cuts of beef, such as the flank steak. You can also create London broil with other lean cuts like a top round or sirloin tip.
What is the Flank Steak?
The flank steak is commonly referred to as skirt steak, jiffy steak, as well as London broil. It comes from directly under the loin of the cow.
It is very lean as it is comprised mostly of abdominal muscles. Since the cut tends to be leaner than many other cuts, it is also very tough. It’s why it is critical to know how to cook the cut properly so that it is both tender and well-flavored.
Description, Preparation, and Uses of the Flank Steak
A flank steak is a long cut that generally runs from the rib end of the cow to the hip. You will find that the grain is long, so it can be tough when it’s not prepared correctly.
In order to avoid the flank steak being too chewy, you should plan to marinate and/or slow cook the beef.
There are quite a few uses for flank steak, including:
– Stir fry
Flank steak is considered a great all-purpose beef cut that is affordable. By taking the time to marinate it for at least 20 minutes, you can help to break down the fibers so that it is not chewy.
For more information and comparisons please see:
What is the London Broil?
The London broil was named such because of how popular the cut and preparation was in London. Although the name indicates that it would be British, it’s actually a term that was coined in North America.
Modern butchers will identify many cuts of beef as a London broil, including not only the flank steak but also the top round and coulotte (a marbled cut of beef that comes from the triangle-shaped muscle over the sirloin tip).
Description, Preparation, and Uses of the London Broil
The London broil is a cooking method in which the meat is marinated (overnight, in most instances) and broiled. The beef is, then, cut against the grain into thin strips to be served.
The best way to tenderize a London broil is to marinate it overnight with an array of ingredients. You can choose from plenty based on the flavor you want to achieve. Popular options include salt, pepper, and olive oil. You can also add various spices, lemon juice, and even Worcestershire Sauce.
Once the steak has been marinated, you will want to put the London broil into a baking dish and broil for 5 to 6 minutes on each side. An internal temperature of 125 degrees Fahrenheit should be achieved for medium-rare. Then, let it rest before you slice.
Since London broil is a preparation method, you can choose to use it in various ways:
– As a roast, served over mashed potatoes
– Turned into fajitas alongside onions and peppers
The ingredients you choose to marinate the beef in will determine how it can be used.
To help clear up some of the misconceptions between flank steak and London broil, there are a few frequently asked questions for you to read through.
Is London broil the same as tri tip?
Tri-tip is one of the many cuts of beef that is often labeled as London broil because it is thick and lean. For more information please read the following:
Is London broil and sirloin the same?
Sirloin is another cut of beef that is identified as a London broil due to its leanness.
Does London broil have another name?
The London broil was the nickname given to a broiled flank steak. Today, a London broil is a name that butchers will use for many different cuts, including a top round and other thick, lean cuts of beef.
Can you substitute London broil for flank steak?
Any of the lean types of beef that are cut from the underbelly of the cow can be used in place of flank steak. This includes such options as the top round, bottom round, sirloin, and tri-tip.
Which is better: Flank steak or London broil?
This is all a matter of preference. If you choose to marinate and broil your flank steak, you have created a London broil. Otherwise, you can choose to work with the flank steak in many other ways based on the flavor profile you want to achieve. Consider grilling, roasting, or searing the flank steak to see what cooking method you prefer.