What Is a London Broil?

While London broil steaks are carried in most supermarkets, many do not know anything about this cut of meat. This is actually a lower grade of steak and can be tougher than average. But understanding what London broil is and how to cook it will make this a favorite meal in any household.


In the U.S., London broil is not a single cut; it is a section of a tough roast, or the castoff from the good part of the roast, or a thick top round steak. In Canada, London broil refers to ground meat or sausage wrapped with a flank steak. Sometimes a ground veal mixture will be packed on the outside of the London broil before cooking. Ironically, a London broil is unheard of in London.


London broil steaks are usually priced less than other cuts of beef because of its scrap nature. In spite of this though, when prepared correctly, London broil makes an excellent beef dish for the dinner table and can be cooked in as little as 30 minutes.


Flank steak that was broiled quickly was once believed to be a London broil, but that is not the case according to today’s cooks. Today, the preferred method for London broils are marinating and then either broiled, grilled, baked or fried.


It’s better to choose a thinner cut of London broil because of the tough nature of the meat. The thicker the cut, the longer it takes to cook, increasing the toughness. One of the best ways to help the steak become more tender is to cook quickly only to medium rare. Then allow the London broil to rest for at least 10 minutes for the meat to soak the juice back into it. Also, cutting across the grain of the meat is essential for tenderness.


Just about any marinade will work on this cut of meat; however, those that have lemon juice in them will help tenderize the meat quickly. Other marinades will work also if left to marinate in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight prior to cooking. London broil steaks are a good choice for slicing thinly to use in fajitas or Chinese food. When cooked appropriately and sliced thin, the meat is very tender.