When you’re at the grocery store looking at all the different cuts of beef, it can be confusing to know which one to choose.
If you’re in the mood for steak, there are dozens of different types to choose from, each with its distinct flavor and texture.
Flank steak and Round steak are both popular cuts of beef, but they are pretty different.
These two types of meat often get lumped together because they are both relatively lean and budget-friendly.
However, some crucial distinctions set them apart.
Keep reading to find out more about how these two delectable types of meat are different!
Table of Contents
What is a Flank Steak?
A long, flat beef cut, a flank steak, is taken from the cow’s abdomen muscles.
Since it’s a tough cut of meat, it’s typically best prepared by braising or marinating it in liquid before cooking.
It has a lot of flavors but can also be tough and chewy if not cooked properly.
When cooked correctly, flank steak should be tender and juicy.
Flank steak is best suited for quick cooking at high temperatures, such as stir-fries, London broil steak, fajitas, carne asada, and kebabs.
It’s also a good choice for making homemade beef Jerky.
You can find flank steak pre-cut into thin strips at most supermarkets.
What is a Round Steak?
Round steak is another popular cut of beef that comes from the hindquarter of the cow.
It’s generally a tougher cut of meat because it gets more exercise than other parts of the animal.
That said, you can tenderize it through cooking methods like braising or stewing.
It’s a leaner cut of meat than flank steak, which means it’s not as tender or juicy.
However, it’s still a flavorful cut of beef that can be used in various dishes.
One popular way to cook a round steak is to pound it thin and then bread and fry it-this results in a Swiss steak dish.
It is also used in dishes like Salisbury steak and Philly cheesesteaks.
You can usually find it sold as whole steaks or pre-cut into thin slices.
What are the differences between Flank steak and Round steak
While both flank steak and round steak are excellent choices for a delicious, hearty meal, there are some essential differences between the two that you should be aware of before you choose one or the other.
Here’s a quick rundown of the key distinctions between flank steak and round steak.
Flank steak is the way to go if you’re looking for a tender steak.
This meat cut comes from the cow’s abdomen, which is not a heavily exercised area.
As a result, the muscle fibers in flank steak are shorter and more tender than those in round steak.
That said, flank steak can sometimes be tough if not cooked properly.
On the other hand, round steak comes from the hindquarters of the cow-an area that gets a lot more exercise.
This means that the muscle fiber in round steak is longer, which makes the meat less tender than flank steak.
However, round steak can be made tender through “tenderizing.”
Tenderizing involves pounding or slicing the meat to break up the muscle fiber.
Once tenderized, round steak can be just as delicious as flank steak!
2. Cooking Methods
Because of their different textures, flank steak and round steak should be cooked using other methods.
Flank steak is best when grilled, broiled, or pan-fried quickly over high heat.
This helps to prevent it from becoming tough and chewy.
On the other hand, round steak does best when we slow cook it, using moist heat methods like braising or stewing.
This helps to break down the tough connective tissues and makes for a more tender final product.
Flank steak and round steak also differ in terms of flavor.
Flank steak has a rich, beefy flavor amplified by adding a marinade or rub.
On the other hand, Round steak has less flavorful on its own.
However, it absorbs flavors well, so it’s an excellent choice for dishes cooked with sauces or other tasty ingredients.
Flank steak is typically dark red, while round steak is usually a lighter red.
5. Fat Content
Another important difference to keep in mind is the fat content.
Flank steak tends to be much leaner than round steak, which means it’s healthier if you’re watching your fat intake.
However, the higher fat content in round steak also gives it more flavor, so it’s a matter of personal preference.
6. Which is healthier?
If you’re trying to watch your saturated fat intake, round steak is the better option since it contains less marbling than flank steak.
However, if you’re on a low-carb diet, you’ll want to go with flank steak since it contains fewer carbs than round steak.
Both kinds of steak are relatively high in saturated fat and calories, so they should be enjoyed in moderation.
Finally, flank steak and round steak differ in terms of price.
Flank steak is typically more expensive than round steak because it is a more tender cut of meat.
Round steak is less expensive, but remember that you may need to spend a bit extra time tenderizing it before cooking.
Flank steak is typically used in grilled, pan-fried, or stir-fried dishes.
It’s also a popular choice for fajitas and other Mexican-inspired dishes.
Round steak is often used in stew, chili, and other slow-cooked dishes.
It can also be thinly sliced and breaded to make cutlets or cooked as a roast.
Here are some delicious flank steak recipes and round steak recipes:
Flank Steak Recipe:
– Grilled flank steak with chimichurri sauce
– Broiled flank steak with balsamic glaze
– Pan-fried flank steak with mushrooms and onions
Round Steak Recipes:
– Braised beef stew with carrots and potatoes
– Beef stroganoff with egg noodles
– Philly cheesesteak sandwiches
Flank steak vs Round steak: Are they the same?
Flank steak and round steak are two of the most popular types of beef on the market today.
So, what’s the difference between them?
Flank steak is a long, flat cut of beef with a lot of tough connective tissue.
It can be difficult to cook without making it tough and chewy.
For this reason, flank steak is best when it is thinly sliced against the grain.
Round steak is a more rounded cut of beef that is also fairly tough.
It delivers a good flavor but can be slightly less tender than some other cuts of steak.
Both kinds of beef are high in saturated fat and calories, so they should be enjoyed in moderation as part of a healthy diet.
Both cuts can be good choices when selecting flank steak or round steak, depending on your needs.
Flank steak may be the better option if you’re looking for a flavorful steak that can be cooked quickly.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option, then round steak may be the way to go.
Once you’ve selected your cut of beef, it’s time to prepare it for cooking.
As mentioned above, flank steak should be thinly sliced against the grain to help prevent it from being tough and chewy.
Round steak can also benefit from thinly sliced, but it’s less critical since this beef cut is a bit more forgiving.
Once your steaks are prepared, you can cook them using any method you like.
Grilling, pan-frying, and broiling are popular options for cooking flank steak or round steak.
Just be sure not to overcook either type of meat since they can both become tough quickly.
Picking out the best cut of beef can be tricky-but armed with this information, you’ll be able to choose the right one for your needs next time you’re at the grocery store.