While it isn’t technically a steak, flank steak is one of the most popular cuts of beef. It is from the abdominal or lower chest muscle, a part of the cow that is often used. It is also lean, which makes it quite difficult to chew if it isn’t cooked right. It is best to use this meat in slow braised recipes or when cooking in high heat.
List of 10 Flank Steaks Substitutes for 2021
1. Skirt Steak
One of the most popular substitutes for flank steak is skirt steak. It may not be as lean as the former, but it can be an equally great option, especially if your choice of cooking methods includes cooking in high heat, grilling, and broiling. This meat is a thin and long cut with grains that are highly visible. It is from the diaphragm area or short plate, which you will find below the rib section. It has two main types – outside skirt and inside skirt. Between the two, outside skirt is a better option because of its tenderness.
2. Top Round
Also known as inside round, top round is a lean and mild beef cut, which is a common option when cooking roast beef. It is lean and tough, which also makes it one of the most affordable cuts. Because of this, you need to pay attention to proper cooking, which will make it easy to eat. It is a great substitute to flank steak in recipes that require marinades. The latter will not only help infuse robust flavors, but it can also make the meat more tender.
3. Hanger Steak
While it is usually a thin cut like flank steak, one of the main differences between the two is that hanger steak has a higher fat content. This way, it is not only juicier, but it is also tenderer. This cut of meat is from the underside of a cow, almost next to the loin. Like top round, this flank steak substitute is also best in recipes that require marinades, such as for beef fajitas. If you will grill this cut, see to it that you do not go over two minutes each side. Otherwise, the meat will be tough.
4. Tri-Tip Steak
A triangular and boneless beef cut, this is another affordable substitute when flank steak is not available. Also called triangle steak, it is a flavor-packed meat that originated from Santa Maria, a town in California. It is from the bottom sirloin sub-primal. This lean and tender meat usually has a thickness of one inch. It is a great choice for quick cooking, such as pan-searing, grilling, and broiling. More so, since it is lean, marinading is a must, which will help reduce its toughness.
5. Flap Steak
This thin and lean meat cut is often interchanged with flank steak in many recipes. More than being tender and versatile, it is well-loved by many because it is inexpensive. It is from the belly of the seer, a part that is near where the flank steak is from. Since they are almost next to each other, they exhibit the same qualities. It has a coarse grain, which allows it to hold marinades well, so you can expect explosive flavors with this beef cut.
6. Flat Iron Steak
Also called top blade steak, flat iron is from the cow’s chuck primal or shoulders. It is a category of blade steak. It connects to the top blade roast through fatty connective tissues. When these tissues are removed, you will have two cuts – the top blade and flat iron. While it can substitute a flank steak, the two have many differences, such as the part of the cow where they are from. Flank steak is also leaner, but there is no doubt that they are both flavorful.
7. Top Sirloin
While there are two types of sirloin cuts, if your goal is to find a suitable flank steak substitute, then you should go for top sirloin. Located beneath the tenderloin, it is more tender compared to the bottom sirloin. Like with the others that are included in this list, it also works well in recipes that call for marinades. If you will opt for grilling as the cooking method, make sure that you do not overdo it as the meat can end up being frustratingly tough.
8. Beef Fajita Strips
Flank steak is the most common cut of meat that is used in beef fajitas. You will find commercially available beef fajita strips. They have already been cut, flavored, and ready to cook. Hence, they will make a great alternative if you cannot find flank steak. While most already come pre-seasoned, you can still add various flavorings depending on how you would like the taste to be.
9. Chicken Breast
When most people look for flank steak substitutes, it is common to limit the options to beef. However, you might want to consider expanding the possibilities and use chicken breast instead. It is more readily available. Not to mention, it is also cheaper. It can be great for flank steak recipes like stews and stir-fries. It is also delicious when you sauté it with your choice of vegetables.
Preparing a vegan or vegetarian recipe? If you cannot use flank steak, then you can go with mushrooms. Honestly, this is the last on our least because it is also our least favorite. From flavor to texture, it is an entirely different world from flank steak. However, the biggest similarity with flank steak is that it can quickly absorb marinades, so you can experiment with different flavorings or adjust its taste accordingly. While you will find different kinds of mushrooms, one of the best options is Portobello.
#Video: Making The Perfect Flank Steak!