How Do You Tenderize Flank Steak

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Do you want your flank steak to be as tender as a cloud? In this article, we will explore various techniques to help you achieve that melt-in-your-mouth texture.

From marinating to using a meat mallet, we will guide you through the process of tenderizing your flank steak.

With these tips and tricks, you’ll be able to elevate your cooking game and impress your dinner guests with a perfectly tender and flavorful dish.

So, let’s get started on your journey to tenderize that flank steak!

Key Takeaways

  • Tenderizing breaks down tough muscle fibers
  • Marinating in acidic liquid helps tenderize
  • Using a meat mallet or tenderizer can aid in tenderization
  • Incorporating acidic and enzymatic ingredients in marinades enhances tenderness

The Importance of Tenderizing Flank Steak

To ensure a juicy and tender flank steak, you’ll want to understand the importance of tenderizing it. Tenderizing techniques are crucial in breaking down the tough muscle fibers of the flank steak, resulting in a more tender and flavorful meat.

One effective method is using a meat mallet or tenderizer to pound the steak, which helps to break down the connective tissues and fibers.

Another technique is marinating the steak in an acidic liquid, such as vinegar or lemon juice, which helps to tenderize the meat by breaking down proteins.

The benefits of tenderizing flank steak are numerous. It improves the texture, making it easier to chew and enjoy. Additionally, tenderized flank steak absorbs marinades and seasonings more effectively, enhancing the overall flavor of the dish.

Marinating Techniques for Flank Steak

Marinating techniques can help make flank steak more tender. By allowing the meat to sit in a flavorful marinade, you can enhance its tenderness and infuse it with delicious flavors.

To create the perfect marinade, consider using a combination of acidic and enzymatic ingredients that will break down the tough muscle fibers in the steak. Some popular choices include citrus juices, vinegar, and pineapple juice. Additionally, incorporating flavor pairings like garlic, soy sauce, and herbs can add depth and complexity to your marinade.

Once your flank steak has marinated for at least a few hours or overnight, you can then proceed to grill it using techniques such as direct or indirect heat. This will result in a tender and juicy steak that is bursting with flavor.

Remember to let it rest before slicing to maximize its tenderness.

Using a Meat Mallet for Tenderization

Using a meat mallet can help make the steak more tender and break down the tough muscle fibers. Here are three benefits of tenderizing your steak using a meat mallet:

  1. Enhanced tenderness: By pounding the steak with a meat mallet, you are physically breaking down the tough connective tissues and muscle fibers. This results in a more tender and juicy steak that is easier to chew and enjoy.

  2. Improved flavor absorption: Tenderizing the steak using a meat mallet creates tiny channels and grooves on the surface. This allows marinades and seasonings to penetrate deeper into the meat, resulting in a more flavorful and well-seasoned steak.

  3. Reduced cooking time: Tenderizing the steak with a meat mallet can help to shorten the cooking time. The flattened meat cooks more quickly and evenly, ensuring that you achieve a perfectly cooked steak without overcooking or drying it out.

While using a meat mallet is a common and effective method for tenderizing steak, there are other alternatives available such as using a meat tenderizer tool or marinating the steak for a longer period of time.

Other Tenderizing Methods to Try

Another effective way to make your steak more tender is by using a meat tenderizer tool. However, if you’re looking for alternative methods, enzymatic tenderizers can be a great option. These tenderizers work by breaking down the connective tissues in the meat, resulting in a more tender and flavorful steak. There are different types of enzymatic tenderizers available, such as papain and bromelain, which are derived from papaya and pineapple, respectively. These enzymes help to break down the proteins in the meat, making it more tender. To use enzymatic tenderizers, simply sprinkle them onto the steak and let it sit for a recommended period of time before cooking. Be sure to follow the instructions on the product packaging to achieve the best results.

Enzymatic Tenderizer Source
Papain Papaya
Bromelain Pineapple

Tips for Cooking Tender Flank Steak

To achieve a tender flank steak, it’s important to cook it to the proper internal temperature. Follow these tips to ensure a perfectly cooked and flavorful piece of meat:

  1. Use a meat thermometer: Cooking times for flank steak can vary depending on the thickness. The ideal internal temperature for medium-rare flank steak is 130°F (54°C). Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the steak to check for doneness.

  2. Let it rest: After cooking, allow the flank steak to rest for about 5 minutes before slicing. This will help the juices redistribute and result in a more tender and juicy steak.

  3. Season it well: The best seasonings for flank steak include a combination of salt, pepper, garlic powder, and your favorite herbs or spices. Marinating the steak in a mixture of soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and olive oil can also enhance its flavor and tenderness.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use a tenderizing marinade without a meat mallet?

Yes, you can tenderize meat without a mallet by using a tenderizing marinade. Some cuts that respond well to marinades include flank steak, sirloin, and skirt steak. The marinade helps break down the proteins, resulting in a more tender and flavorful meat.

How long should I marinate flank steak to achieve maximum tenderness?

To achieve maximum tenderness, marinate flank steak for at least 4 hours, but no longer than 24 hours. Marinating techniques such as using acidic ingredients or enzymatic marinades help break down muscle fibers and enhance tenderness.

Are there any alternative methods to tenderize flank steak if I don’t have a meat mallet?

If you don’t have a meat mallet, there are alternative tenderizing methods for flank steak. You can use a rolling pin, a heavy skillet, or even score the meat with a knife to break down its fibers and increase tenderness.

Can I use a meat tenderizer powder instead of using a meat mallet?

Investigate the truth: using a meat tenderizer powder instead of a meat mallet. Meat tenderizer alternatives can be effective, but the benefits of using a meat mallet include better meat fiber breakdown and texture enhancement.

What cooking techniques should I avoid when cooking tenderized flank steak to prevent it from becoming tough again?

To prevent your tenderized flank steak from becoming tough again, avoid certain cooking techniques. These include overcooking, high heat grilling, and using a dry cooking method. Opt for low and slow cooking methods instead.


In conclusion, tenderizing flank steak is crucial to achieving a succulent and flavorful dish. By marinating the steak and using a meat mallet, you can break down the tough fibers and enhance its tenderness.

Additionally, trying alternative tenderizing methods such as using acidic ingredients or natural enzymes can further improve the texture. Remember to follow these techniques when cooking your flank steak to ensure a mouthwatering and satisfying meal.

Happy cooking!