How To Cut Flank Steak In 5 Easy Steps

Close-up shot of a freshly cooked flank steak dish on a white plate.

Quick Overview: How To Cut Flank Steak In 5 Easy Steps 

  1. Begin by stripping the flank steak of any excess fat or silver skin. This will ensure that the meat is tender and flavorful.
  2. Look for the grain of the meat. The grain means the direction where muscle fibers run. Cutting against the grain is vital for tenderizing the meat.
  3. Then, slice the flank steak against the grain into thin, even pieces. The thickness of the slices should be no more than 1/4 inch.
  4. Use a sharp knife to make the cuts. A dull knife can tear the meat, causing it to become tough and less flavorful.
  5. After cutting the steak, you can marinate it or season it with spices to enhance the flavor. To ensure even cooking, let the steak come to room temperature before cooking.

    Did you know that there is a specific way to properly cut a flank steak? Yes, just like most things, the way you slice your flank steak will greatly affect the tenderness of your dish. I bet nobody wants a tough and hard-to-chew steak, right? Read on to learn the right way to cut your flank steak at home in just 5 easy steps!

    1. What Is A Flank Steak? 

    Perfectly cooked juicy sliced steak on a wooden cutting board

    Flank steak is a type of beef that comes from a cow's underbelly. It's a long, flat cut of meat that's lean, flavorful, and relatively affordable. It is typically used for dishes like fajitas, stir-fry, or thinly sliced sandwiches. Flank steak has a tight grain, which makes it ideal for slicing against the grain for maximum tenderness. However, it can become tough and chewy if it's not cooked properly. This is why it's important to slice it thinly, marinate it, or cook flank steak on high heat for a short period of time.

    2. How To Choose A Flank Steak

    A photo of a person putting sliced flank steak on a tortilla

    Choosing a high-quality flank steak is key to making your favorite flank steak recipes more flavorful and tender. Below are some helpful tips to guide you in selecting a good flank steak:

    Look for a bright red color

    Choose a flank steak that has a bright red color, as this indicates that it's fresh and hasn't been exposed to too much oxygen.

    Check the firmness

    The steak should be firm to the touch, indicating that it's fresh and not too tough.

    Look for marbling

    Marbling refers to the thin veins of fat that run through the meat, and it's a good sign when choosing a flank steak.  More marbling means a more flavorful and tender steak.

    Avoid grayish-brown color

    Steer clear of flank steaks that have a grayish-brown color, as this can indicate that they are not fresh.

    Check for an unpleasant odor

    Smell the steak to make sure it doesn't have a strong, unpleasant odor, as this can indicate spoilage.

    Consider thickness

    Choose a flank steak that is the right thickness for your cooking method, as thinner steaks will cook faster and can be prone to overcooking.

    3. How To Cut Flank Steak Properly At Home

    A side shot of the Dalstrong Gladiator Series 8-Piece Steak Knife Set in Red handles on a wooden table.

    8-Piece Steak Knife Set Red ABS Handles with Storage Block | Gladiator Series | Knives NSF Certified | Dalstrong ©

    There is definitely a right way when cutting flank steak. Although rich in flavor, flank steak can be tough. But cutting it in a certain way will decrease its toughness, maximize its taste, and make it easier to enjoy.  Here are the steps to cut flank steak properly at home:

    1. Place the steak on a cutting board. Turn the flank steak so the grain of the meat runs from left to right.
    2. Slice against the grain. Slice the flank steak against the grain with a sharp knife, which means cutting perpendicular to the long muscle fibers. This helps to shorten the muscle fibers, making the steak more tender.
    3. Cut into thin strips. Cut the steak into thin strips, about 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch wide. You can cut the strips at an angle if you prefer a wider surface area for searing or grilling.
    4. Remove any excess fat. Trim off excess fat as you cut it into strips.
    5. Serve and enjoy. Once the flank steak is cut into strips, you can use it in your favorite recipes, such as stir-fries, tacos, or salads.

      By following these steps, you can now cut flank steak properly at home, resulting in tender and delicious slices that are perfect for a variety of dishes.

      4. Expert Tips On How To Cut Flank Steak

      A close-up photo of the Gladiator Series 8-Piece Steak Knife Set with Storage Block on a wooden table.8-Piece Steak Knife Set with Storage Block Gladiator Series | Knives NSF Certified | Dalstrong ©

      Here are some expert tips you can use to help you cut flank steak:

      • Freeze the steak for a short period of time: If you find the flank steak difficult to slice, try freezing it for 30 minutes to an hour before cutting. This will firm up the meat, making it easier to slice thinly and evenly.
      • Sharpen your knife: Use a sharp knife to make clean, even cuts. A dull knife can tear the meat, making it less tender.
      • Cut the meat at a 45-degree angle: Cutting against the grain is crucial, but slicing at a 45-degree angle can also help to maximize tenderness.
      • Use a meat mallet to tenderize: If you don't have a lot of time to freeze the steak, you can use a meat mallet to pound the flank steak before slicing. This will help to break down the muscle fibers and tenderize the meat.
      • Rest the steak before cutting: Let the flank steak rest for a while after cooking to allow the juices to redistribute. This helps the flank steak easier to cut and keep its moisture.

        5. Dalstrong Products You Will Need To Cut A Flank Steak

        1. Chef's Knife 8" Shadow Black Series | NSF Certified | Dalstrong ©

        Chef's Knife 8" Shadow Black Series | NSF Certified | Dalstrong ©

        A sharp knife like the Dalstrong Shadow Black Series 8" Chef knife is the first thing you will need to ensure even cuts of flank steak. This sleek black knife made from high carbon 7CR17MOV-X vacuum-treated steel is a kitchen workhorse featuring a fine tip that maximizes its versatility. 


        • Has a broader belly blade that allows transferring of prepared cuts from the board to the plate a lot easier.
        • Its unique geometric handle inspired by the F-117 Nighthawk Stealth Fighter allows a comfortable and optimal grip that tucks snugly into your palm. 
        • Features a sleek deep-black non-reflective Titanium Nitride coating that enhances its non-stick properties, and makes the blade  last longer.


        • Its unique black design may not be suitable for chefs who prefer a more classic look like the knife below.

          2. Carving Knife & Fork Set 9" Gladiator Series | NSF Certified | Dalstrong ©

          Carving Knife & Fork Set 9" Gladiator Series | NSF Certified | Dalstrong ©

          Cutting deliciously grilled flank steak is such a breeze with Dalstrong's 9" Carving knife and fork set from the Gladiator Series. This high-carbon German ThyssenKrupp Steel carving knife is matched with a full tang carving fork for an effortless transfer of food from the platter to your dinner plates.


          • Features full tang Military grade G10 handle for maximum durability.
          • Comes with a honing rod to ensure you're always ready for some cutting action.
          • Has a tall blade height that gives perfect knuckle clearance.


          • If you’re on the lookout for a carving knife to use on pre-cooked meats, you may opt for a slicing and carving knife instead

          3. 8-Piece Steak Knife Set with Storage Block Gladiator Series | Knives NSF Certified | Dalstrong ©

          8-Piece Steak Knife Set with Storage Block Gladiator Series | Knives NSF Certified | Dalstrong ©

          Enjoy your favorite flank steak dishes with premium steak knives like this 8-Piece Steak Knife Set from the Gladiator Series. This stunning steak knife set comes with a stunning convertible Oak Storage Block & Stand that displays the knives aesthetically.


          • Made of imported high-carbon German steel honed to perfection, and hand-sharpened to 14-16 degrees per side.
          • Features an ergonomic military-grade G-10 handle that gives maximum comfort and grip.
          • The  5" razor-sharp blades features rock-hollow dimples to ensure that the meat easily falls off the blade.


          • For those who aren't fond of the black handles, you may want the same steak knife set but with stunning red handles which you can check here.
          • If you prefer steak knives with serrated edges, then you might like the 4-Piece Serrated Steak Knives from the Gladiator Series below.

          4. 4-Piece Serrated Steak Knife Set | Gladiator Series | NSF Certified | Dalstrong ©

          4-Piece Serrated Steak Knife Set | Gladiator Series | NSF Certified | Dalstrong ©

          This classic 4-piece knife set made of high-carbon ThyssenKrupp German stainless steel features a serrated blade, which gives clean straight cuts with no tearing, perfect for sawing through your flank steak.


              • Full tang Military grade G10 handle that will last a life-time.
              • Ultra-sharp blade at 56+ Rockwell, and hand sharpened to 16-18° per side. Giving incredible sharpness and maximum resilience.
              • Perfect gift to family and friends with it's affordable price.


                • The serrated edges might be a little harder to maintain and sharpen compared to straight-edged knives.

                5. Teak Cutting Board Medium Size | Dalstrong ©

                Teak Cutting Board Medium Size | Dalstrong ©

                Perfect for assisting your everyday cutting needs, this Dalstrong Medium-sized Cutting board is made of 100% sustainably sourced Tropical Teak wood. It features a stunning laser-edged Dalstrong logo in the center and two Dalstrong lion head pins on the sides. This cutting board not only serves its purpose as a kitchen tool but is also a perfect statement piece for your kitchen counter.


                • Features lasered measurement lines to ensure they remain visible, allowing you to create more precise cuts.
                • Has a long juice groove that helps to minimize the mess when food prepping.
                • This teak board is easy to use and clean.


                • If you're working on larger cuts of meats, this medium-sized board might not work well. In that case, you might need a larger size cutting board like the one below.

                  6. Frequently Added Questions

                  What's the best way to cut a flank steak?

                  The best way to cut a flank steak is to slice it against the grain, which means cutting perpendicular to the long muscle fibers. 

                  Why do you cut flank steak against the grain?

                  Flank steak is a popular lean cut of beef that's flavorful but can be tough if not cooked and sliced properly. When you cut against the grain, it means cutting through the muscle fibers, which are long and tough. Slicing against the grain means that the fibers are cut into shorter pieces, making the meat more tender and easy to eat.

                  How do you cut flank steak against the grain for stir fry?

                  By using a sharp knife, make a shallow cut across the grain at one end of the steak to create a starting point. Slice the flank steak into thin strips across the grain and cut them into more bite-sized pieces for your stir fry. You can also marinate the meat before cooking for extra flavor. By having sliced flank steak against the grain, you'll end up with tender and flavorful meat that's perfect for stir fry. 

                  Does flank steak need to be trimmed?

                  Yes, flank steak should be trimmed before cooking to remove any excess fat or gristle. This lean cut of meat can have tough connective tissue that runs along the edges. Trimming the steak helps to remove any unwanted parts, making the meat more tender and easier to eat.

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                  How To Cut Flank Steak In 5 Easy Steps

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