Flap steak may not be as popular as cuts like ribeye or New York strip, but it’s a delicious and affordable steak option. With its rich, beefy flavor and tender texture when grilled or pan-seared, flap steak is an underrated cut worthy of attention.
This article will cover everything you need to know about flap steak, from what it’s called, how to cook it, and recipe ideas to showcase this flavorful cut of beef. Let’s dive in and learn all about flap steak!
What is Flap Steak?
Flap steak goes by many different names including flap meat, sirloin tips, bavette steak, and flap fillet. Knowing all the names for flap steak helps when shopping for this cut at the grocery store or butcher shop.
It comes from a portion of the sirloin primal cut near the flank. Flap steak is a long, thin cut with a lot of fat marbling that results in tons of beefy flavor.
Is Flap Steak the Same as Skirt Steak?
It’s easy to confuse flap steak and skirt steak, but they are different cuts of beef. Skirt steak comes from the plate primal, while flap steak is from the sirloin primal section.
Skirt steak has a more robust beef flavor and chewier texture. Flap steak is more tender than skirt steak and has a slightly milder flavor. Both are great for grilling, marinating, or using in fajitas or tacos.
What is Flap Steak Good For?
Traditionally, butchers would keep flap steak for themselves rather than sell it because of its exceptional flavor. This cut is excellent for grilling, broiling, pan searing, or using in stir fries.
The rich, beefy flavor pairs well with bold seasonings and marinades. It does well with fast, hot cooking methods and benefits from marinating to help tenderize the meat. Flap steak works nicely in Mexican dishes like tacos or fajitas. It also makes delicious sandwiches when sliced thin.
How to Cook Flap Steak
Cooking flap steak is easy, especially if you take time to marinate it first. Marinades with acid ingredients like lemon juice or vinegar will tenderize the meat. You can also use wet rubs or dry seasoning blends before cooking.
For grilling flap steak, preheat your grill to high heat. Pat the steak dry and rub with oil to prevent sticking. Grill for 4-7 minutes per side based on thickness. Check for doneness by nicking the meat with a knife.
Broiling and pan searing over high heat also work well. Look for an internal temperature of 145°F for medium doneness. Let the steak rest 5 minutes after cooking. Thinly slice across the grain before serving.
Flap Steak Recipe Ideas
Flap steak is extremely versatile for recipes. Here are a few ideas to inspire you:
- Flap Steak Tacos – Marinate thinly sliced flap steak in lime juice, garlic, and cumin. Quickly grill or pan sear. Serve in corn tortillas with pico de gallo, avocado, cotija cheese, and cilantro.
- Lemongrass Beef Satay – Marinate flap steak cubes in lemongrass, ginger, and soy sauce. Thread on skewers and grill. Serve with peanut dipping sauce.
- Mustard Grilled Steak Panini – Brush flap steak with mustard, then grill. Add to toasted bread with caramelized onions, smoked gouda, and arugula.
- Teriyaki Bourbon Steak Tips – Marinate flap steak tips in soy sauce, bourbon, ginger, and garlic. Grill and serve over rice.
Flavorful Marinades for Flap Steak
Marinating is key for tenderizing flap steak and infusing flavor. Here are a few easy marinade ideas:
- Lemon Garlic Marinade – Combine 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 4 minced garlic cloves, 2 Tbsp parsley, and salt and pepper.
- Balsamic Soy – Whisk 3/4 cup soy sauce, 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, 2 Tbsp honey, 2 minced garlic cloves, and 1/4 tsp black pepper.
- Spicy Sriracha – Mix 1/4 cup soy sauce, 2 Tbsp sriracha, 2 Tbsp brown sugar, 2 tsp sesame oil, 1 Tbsp lime juice, 1 minced garlic clove, and a pinch of red pepper flakes.
Flap steak is a lean source of protein with around 104 calories and 22g protein per 100g. It has slightly fewer calories than ribeye steak, which has 216 calories per 100g. Both are excellent sources of protein and nutrients like zinc, selenium, and B vitamins.
Give This Underrated Cut a Try
For an affordable steak that’s full of flavor when marinated and grilled perfectly, look no further than flap steak. With its zesty, beefy flavor and tender texture, flap steak is ideal for fajitas, tacos, sandwiches, and more. The next time you’re shopping for steak, pick up a flap steak and experiment with marinades and cooking methods. This underrated cut won’t disappoint!