Even though a cow is one, different parts of its body produce beef cuts of varying quality. Two of the most common cuts are the round steak and flank steak. While these two types of beef cuts are similar in many ways, they also have marked differences.
The whole purpose of this article is to take the flank steak vs round steak a little further by providing a detailed comparison between the two. Read on to learn more about these beef cuts.
What Is Round Steak?
Round steak is a lean cut of beef closer to a cow’s hind limbs. It is a challenging cut requiring special preparation. That section of the cow has more muscle than any other area, making the meat tough. Round steak can be divided into four cuts of beef and sold as roasts or steaks. The four groups are sirloin tip, the eye of round, bottom round, and top round.
Benefits of Round Steak
Round steak comes with many benefits, resulting from its location on a cow, including the following:
1. High Nutrition Value
Round steak is the best for people trying to limit their calorie and fat intake. It is one of the leanest cuts of beef, with three ounces of the steak containing 5.3 grams of total fat and 1.9 grams of saturated fat. With such low-fat content, round steak can help individuals trying to lose weight or live healthily. It also contains protein, zinc, and iron.
One of the main advantages of round steak is its affordability. Its location on a cow isn’t one of the places you would find expensive steak. However, it’s still as nutritious, if not better, than some of the most expensive beef cuts.
3. Different Cooking Methods
Round steak is versatile when it comes to cooking methods. It is best for making stir-fry, deli meat, steaks, roasts, ground beef, jerky, and so on.
Disadvantages of Round Steak
Round steak has several disadvantages despite its benefits, which could dissuade you from buying it. The following are the demerits of round steak:
- Tough: Round steak can be tough, mainly because it comes from hindquarters, where the cow has exercised ligaments, tendons, and cartilages. Therefore, it’s not as lean as you would expect.
- Lacking Flavor: Also, round steak is not as flavorful as other types of steak. It is composed mainly of overworked tendons, ligaments, and cartilages. Therefore, it requires marinating to make it delicious.
What Is Flank Steak?
Flank steak is a beef cut from the cow’s lower abdominal and chest muscles. It is famous for its flavor and leanness. The entire chunk of flank steak measures one inch thick and one foot long, quite large.
It is inexpensive and best cooked whole rather than as smaller pieces. Flank steak is also known as, bavette (French), or jiffy steak. To identify flank steak, you need to look for visible cross-grain in the meat.
Benefits of Flank Steak
Since it’s part of a cow’s belly muscles, flank steak can be pretty tough. However, that doesn’t make it a completely useless piece of meat. The following are some of the benefits of flank steak:
1. Lean Meat
Flank steak is usually lean and low fat. For example, a flank steak cut could have half as much fat as a similar cut of another type of meat. Four ounces of flank steak has 9 grams total fat and 89 milligrams of saturated fat. It is, therefore, great for individuals looking to lose weight or maintain healthy living. It also has protein, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, phosphorus, zinc, selenium, and sodium.
2. Different Ways of Cooking
It’s possible to cook flank steak in different ways, including stir-fries, fajitas, and meat rub. Since it comes from a cow’s belly muscles, flank steak requires marinating and additional tenderizing. That means seasoning the meat using salt, pepper, meat rub, acidic marinade, and low and slow cooking. Even though muscle meat can lack flavor, cooking it the right way can ensure the preparation of a sumptuous meal.
3. Extra Tenderness
Even though coming from a cow’s belly muscles, flank meat is more tender than other types of beef. But that doesn’t mean you should neglect to marinate it before cooking. Besides, it is one of the best beef cuts for barbecue since it doesn’t have very little fat. Therefore, it won’t drip into the fire and cause unnecessary flare-ups.
Disadvantages of Flank Steak
- Flat Flavour: Due to its low-to-moderate fat content, flank steak tends to have a flat flavor. Therefore, it requires marinating in spices to bring out a better flavor.
- May Require Tenderizing: With round steak, you have to take time to tenderize. That means that cooking some types of flank steak requires time, part of which is consumed by the tenderizing process. However, that shoudn’t be a major problem, should it?
Comparison Table – Round Steak and Flank Steak
The flank steak vs top round debate will not be complete without a comparison table. See side by side how they differ
|Cut||size||Meat content||Fat content||Average weight||Average servings||Location on cow|
|Round steak||Moderate||Moderately meaty||Low-fat content||Two pounds||Four||Hindlimbs above a cow’s legs|
|Flank steak||Large and squat||Very meaty||Low to moderate fat||Two pounds||Four||Flank primal, below the loin in the rear belly|
People Also Asked
What are the Best Cuts of Steak?
The best cuts of steak include eye fillet, scotch fillet, sirloin, T-bone, rump, skirt, and flank.
What are the Other Names of Round Steak?
Round steak is also called top round, bottom round, and sirloin tip.
What is the Most Tender cut of Round Steak?
The most tender cut of round steak is top round, a boneless steak with fat on its surface.
From the discussion above, it’s clear that the most significant difference between round steak and flank steak is their location on a cow. Otherwise, the round steak vs flank steak debate can conclude that both cuts are low fat, lean, and healthy.
However, flank steak seems to be a tenderer than round steak for its location. Cooking both of them in different ways can result in a genuinely flavorful meal.