What Is Flap Meat? And How to Cook It

This cut of steak is just like skirt steak - only much less expensive.

February 02, 2022
Grilled Skirt Steak With Shallot-Thyme Butter

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Grilled Skirt Steak With Shallot-Thyme Butter

Photo by: Kraus, Michael/Getty Images

Kraus, Michael/Getty Images

By Fraya Berg for Food Network Kitchen

Fraya is a chef and a contributing writer at Food Network.

Historically, flap meat was one of the cuts of beef that butchers kept out of the meat case for a reason: they were saving it for themselves. Much like skirt steak and hanger steak, it's becoming more widely known and popular, and therefore easier to find in markets everywhere. Here's what you need to know.

Raw Fresh Steak Sirloin Flap Served with Rosemary, garlic and spices on Wooden cutting Board. Black Angus Beef Meat. Close up.

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Raw Fresh Steak Sirloin Flap Served with Rosemary, garlic and spices on Wooden cutting Board. Black Angus Beef Meat. Close up.

Photo by: Irrin0215/Getty Images

Irrin0215/Getty Images

What Is Flap Meat?

Flap meat, also known as bottom sirloin butt, is a cut of steak from the same area of the cow as flank steak, only farther back and closer to the round and shank.

Flap steak has a similar texture and grain to flank, hanger and skirt steaks, meaning you can cook it in the same way and should slice it across the grain when serving.

Flap steaks tend to come to the market at 3 to 4 pounds, whereas skirt and flank steaks average around 2 pounds. Price-wise, flank and flap steaks are about the same. Skirt tends to be more expensive due to higher demand (since it's popular with restaurants).

Churrasco in the Grill

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Churrasco in the Grill

Photo by: THEPALMER/Getty Images

THEPALMER/Getty Images

How To Cook Flap Meat

Marinate it. With the same texture as flank, skirt and hanger steak, flap meat takes quite well to marinades. Marinades tenderize flap meat's grain and infuse it with flavor. Prick the steak all over with a fork and then submerge it in marinade for up to 6 hours.

Leave the steak in one big piece. It's a long cut of meat so you might be tempted to cut it into a few smaller pieces. Resist the urge: leaving it as one piece makes it easier to flip.

Cook quickly over high heat. Flap steak is a very think cut, so it'll cook in a matter of minutes on the stovetop or on the grill. High heat ensures the outside will get a good char but the inside won't overcook. The coarseness of the grain lends itself to taking the steaks a bit past medium rare for the best flavor and texture.

Rest the steak. Let the steak rest for 5 minutes covered in foil.

Slice against the grain. First, cut the long piece of steak into several smaller pieces by slicing with the grain. Then, slice each piece against the grain to achieve tender results.

Substitute for Flap Meat

We’ve already talked about skirt, flank and hanger steaks: they are the best substitutes for flap meat. The opposite is also true: flap meat steaks can also stand in for them. This is good information to keep in mind when any of them are on sale.

Flap Meat Steak Recipes

Yep, these recipes call for skirt steak. But you can use flap meat instead if you find it.

Photo by: Armando Rafael

Armando Rafael

A thirty-minute marinade infuses flap meat or skirt steak with zesty lime flavor. The steak cooks for less than 10 minutes, making it perfect for a weeknight dinner.

Food Stylist: Anne Disrude
Prop Stylist: Marina Malchin

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Food Stylist: Anne Disrude Prop Stylist: Marina Malchin,Food Stylist: Anne DisrudeProp Stylist: Marina Malchin

Loosely inspired by bulgogi, this steak is marinated for several hours in cola and then quickly grilled. Expect big flavor and tender results.

Food stylist: Jamie Kimm 
Prop Stylist: Marina Malchin

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Food stylist: Jamie Kimm Prop Stylist: Marina Malchin ,Food stylist: Jamie Kimm Prop Stylist: Marina Malchin

Photo by: Antonis Achilleos

Antonis Achilleos

Oregano, mint, garlic and olive oil bring the flavors of Greece to the skirt or flap steaks you grill for these gyro sandwiches.

Photo by: Armando Rafael

Armando Rafael

Flap and skirt steak are like blank slates: they can take on the flavors of cuisines from around the world. With pesto you’re in Italy – tomorrow you can be in Mexico, Greece or Korea.

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Photo by: Christopher Testani ©2013, Christopher Testani

Christopher Testani , 2013, Christopher Testani

Peppers, potatoes and onion come together in a saute that cooks as quickly as the steaks.

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