Brisket Or Flank Steak: Which Cut Of Beef Is The Ultimate Winner? Find Out Now!

flank steak vs beef brisket

Are you eating a steak, do you choose beef brisket or flank steak? This is no trivial question: these cuts of meat offer different levels of tenderness and flavor.

Why trust me?

I'm an experienced food writer and passionate cook. My website,, features accessible, informative, and engaging content with quality recipes and articles that are thoroughly researched and enjoyable to read. You can trust my expertise with 8 years of experience in the field. Learn more about me and my work on this website, and check out my featured articles on TastingTable, Mashed, and 5-Minute Crafts. Read more about me HERE.

In this article, I’ll compare these two cuts in appearance, color, marbling, taste, and texture. We’ll also look at how they differ in terms of cooking methods so that you can decide which one is right for your next grilling project.

SimilaritiesBoth beef brisket and flank steak are cuts of beef from the lower abdominal area of the cow and are considered to be less tender cuts of meat. They are both popular in grilling and slow cooking methods such as barbecue and braising.
DifferencesBeef brisket comes from the cow’s chest, while flank steak comes from the abdominal muscles. Brisket has more fat and connective tissue, which makes it less tender and more flavorful. Flank steak is leaner and has a stronger beef flavor. Brisket is typically cooked low and slow, while flank steak is best cooked quickly over high heat. Brisket is also typically larger and heavier than flank steak.


If you’re looking for a steak that will look good on your plate, I don’t have to tell you that beef brisket is the way to go. Just look at it—it’s so nice and dark! The deep red beef brisket is enough to make any meat lover drool.

In contrast, flank steak doesn’t quite match up in this department. Flank steaks are lighter in color than their counterpart and tend to be more consistent in texture and appearance throughout each cut of meat than beef brisket.

This makes them perfect for slicing into strips or cubes because they won’t end up with big chunks of fat or gristle here and there like some other cuts might (sorry, we’re talking about you).

So, if you’re looking for something that’s a little more uniform in appearance and texture, then flank steak is the way to go. Beef brisket has a lot more fat than flank steak does.

You probably don’t want to have to deal with slicing through a big hunk of fat to get at the meat when making your dinner! The leaner cut means it’s easier to cook and doesn’t take as long as beef brisket.


Beef brisket is generally dark red or brown, while flank steak is generally light red. The darkness of the meat you choose to cook will be determined by how long it has been aged and what cut it came from.

For example, if your beef was dry-aged for over 10 days, it would likely be darker than a piece that was dry-aged for less than one week. The best way to tell apart these cuts is by looking at their fat content: brisket has more fat than flank steak and won’t shrink as much when cooked (meaning your yields will be lower).

The cut of meat you choose will also determine how well it absorbs marinades. Brisket is a tougher cut of meat, so it needs more time to absorb the flavors of your marinade.

It will also take longer for brisket to cook than flank steak, so if you’re planning on making two dishes with different cooking times, you’ll want to choose accordingly.


If you’re unfamiliar with the term, marbling is the fat that runs through meat. It’s often used in reference to beef because, as a general rule, the more marbling there is—and the smaller and finer it is—the better.

The fat helps keep your brisket or flank steak juicy and flavorful because it melts during cooking and seeps into the meat. More importantly for home cooks: it also makes your favorite cut look more attractive!

Marbling has nothing to do with fat content, which is the amount of total fat in your cut. Instead, it refers to the pattern of fat within the meat itself.

So why do we care? Because the more marbling there is, the more flavorful and tender your meat will be. When shopping for beef, look for cuts with a fine white pattern of fat running through them—this means that it was well-marbled when it was butchered.


In terms of taste, flank steak is far more tender than brisket. It’s also stronger in flavor and slightly less versatile, but these qualities make it a better option if you’re looking for a steak that will stand out on its own.

Brisket tends to be milder in flavor and has more versatility with marinades and rubs, making it an ideal candidate for fajitas or tacos.

If you want something that will stand up to bold sauces and rubs without competing too much with them, go with the brisket; if you want something that makes your mouth sing just from eating it (and maybe even before), go with the flank steak!

Both are great options, but they’re also quite different. If you’re unsure which one to go with, consider what you plan on doing with the steak after cooking it; if it’s going into a taco or fajita, go with brisket; if it’s going straight onto the grill or into a marinade, go with flank steak!

Flank steak is a cut from the abdominal area of the cow. It runs along either side of the spine and has a thin layer of fat that helps keep it moist and flavorful during cooking. The cut has long been popular in Mexican cuisine due to its flavor and tenderness, which makes it an excellent choice for fajitas or tacos.


If you’re looking for a meal that will make your jaw drop, flank steak is the way to go. The texture of this lean cut of meat is very similar to tenderloin or filet mignon, making it a fantastic choice for grilling.

Brisket might be right up your alley if you prefer your beef to be as tender as possible and full of flavor. Brisket has more fat than flank steak and requires extra treatment before cooking (or smoking).

The secret to cooking a great steak is simple: high heat and plenty of smoke. You can create an incredible steak by getting the right cut, seasoning it well, and then cooking it over indirect heat with some wood chips.


While flank steak may not be as tender as brisket, it has a lot more flavor. You can tell that by just looking at the two slices of meat: while both are reddish-brown, only flank steak has any marbling—that is, streaks of fat running throughout the meat.

Brisket doesn’t have any marbling because it’s so fatty already that there’s no room for more fat cells. Flank steak’s rich flavor comes from its higher concentration of myoglobin and iron than brisket.

Myoglobin makes muscles redder (think about how your muscles get red when you work out), while iron gives them their color. This means that flank steak will taste better—and look better too! The difference between the two is stark when cooked properly: brined brisket has a light pink tint when cooked medium rare; meanwhile, brined flank steaks turn brown with some grill marks on top.

As far as cooking goes, flank steak is also much easier to handle than a thick slab of brisket. Since it doesn’t have much fat content (unlike brisket), you don’t have to worry too much about overcooking it or getting those dreaded “steakhouse” grill marks everywhere on your meat before serving up your meal.

Flank steaks can also be sliced crosswise into thin strips after they’ve been cooked through thoroughly—great news if you love tacos!