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London Broil - What it is and how to cook it

Contributed by: Craig Meyer of Ask The Meatman

Let's get it straight, London Broil is a Cooking Method - NOT a cut of beef!! But, many grocery store meat departments and butcher shops sell a cut of beef labeled London Broil. What cut of beef is it usually?

It is usually either Top Round Steak (or Top Round Roast) or Flank Steak.

Most often it is a Top Round Roast. Often I have seen recipes calling for a London Broil using a Top Round Steak - posted as a 2 inch thick, 5 to 6 lb. steak!! This is not a Top Round Steak, but a Top Round Roast.

When I have a customer who requests a London Broil, I cut them a large Top Round Roast.

Now that we have that clarified, what is the cooking method that makes a London Broil?

The characteristics common to most London Broil Recipes call for:

  • Marinating the beef
  • Broiling the beef to medium rare in a oven or
  • Grilling the beef to medium rare in a bar-b-q grill
  • Slicing the finished dish thinly, across the grain, at a 45 degree angle
  • Sometimes it is stated before cooking to score the beef cut in a diamond pattern

That's basically it. It is not a very unusual cooking method. The recipe first appeared in print in the U.S. in the early 1930's, and consisted of marinated flank steak. Today the recipe more often calls for a Top Round Steak (or Top Round Roast).

Cooking Times and Temperatures for London Broil

Broil 3 inches from heating element for 5 to 6 minutes, flip the meat over (with tongs) and broil for another 5 to 6 minutes. This would be done rare to medium rare.

To Grill

Preheat the grill to high heat and grill for 10 to 15 minutes, turning the meat over at least once. 10 minutes would be rare and 15 minutes would be medium.


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