London broil is not a steak dish you’ll typically find in a local steakhouse, but it’s a fun and simple dish to cook at home. Grab your favorite steak marinade, fire up the grill (or stove, oven, air fryer, or slow cooker!), and learn how to cook a London broil the whole family will be excited to try.
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What is London Broil?
London broil is not a specific cut of beef but rather a method of preparing and cooking beef. It typically involves marinating a thick cut of beef, such as top round or flank steak, and then broiling or grilling it. The name “London broil” can be a bit misleading because it doesn’t refer to a specific dish or cut of meat that is popular in London. Instead, it’s an American culinary term that has been used since the early 20th century.
What to Look for When Buying London Broil
Because the process of cooking London broil leads to impressively tender steak, there’s no need to spend a lot of money on a pricey cut. Instead, most people stick with cheaper cuts, like top round steak or flank steak. If you don’t mind spending a little more, choose flat iron steak, which is a bit thicker than flank steak and tenderizes well when marinated.
The most important thing to look for when buying London broil is uniformity. Try to find a cut that’s about the same thickness across, allowing all parts of the steak to cook and marinate evenly.
How to Tenderize London Broil
Tenderizing London broil is mostly the responsibility of its marinade, which we’ll get to in a moment. However, you can also help tenderize a tough cut by using a meat tenderizer or asking your butcher to tenderize the meat for you before packaging it. A tenderizer thins the meat and breaks up tough fibers, effectively making the meat softer and easier to chew.
The cooking process can also tenderize London broil, especially when you use low and slow cooking, like roasting it in the oven or cooking it in the slow cooker. London broil needs plenty of time for the cooking process to soften the meat with its natural juices, and reduced heat prolongs the cooking time, resulting in tender London broil.
Best Seasonings and Marinades to Use
A good rule of thumb for London broil is to add the seasonings you’d like to use to the marinade to let their flavors soak in as the meat marinades. In addition to those spices, like black pepper, garlic powder, or smoked paprika, a successful marinade for London broil includes an acid and a fat, like balsamic vinegar and olive oil. The acid helps break down the meat for tenderizing while the fat permeates into the meat to infuse the marinade’s flavor into it. Try our flank steak marinade.
Of course, there’s also the option of using a dry rub or seasoning the meat after you marinate London broil. If you want to try this method, be sure to pat the steaks dry and brush a light layer of oil on both sides before seasoning the steak on each side. Have fun experimenting with your favorite seasonings, like ground mustard, cayenne pepper, or Italian seasoning, as many work well with London broil. Just be careful not to overseason, or you’ll risk masking the natural flavors of the meat.
Different Methods of Cooking London Broil
As mentioned, there are several potential ways to cook a delicious London broil. We’ve outlined the top methods below. With each method, marinate the steak beforehand in your choice of marinade for at least two hours or, preferably, overnight. Then, pat the steak dry and let it rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes before cooking.
London Broil in the Oven
Turn on the oven’s broiler to allow it to preheat for about 10 minutes. Place the steak on a baking sheet and transfer it to the oven directly under the broiler. Broil for 5-7 minutes, then flip the steak over and broil for another 4-5 minutes. The internal temperature should read 130 degrees for medium rare. Rest the steak at room temperature for 5-10 minutes, after which the temperature should read 135 degrees. Finally, slice and serve.
London Broil on the Grill
Preheat the grill to high for about 10 minutes. Grill the London broil for 3-4 minutes on one side until golden brown. Then, flip it to the other side to sear it for 3-4 minutes. Move the steak to a low-heat area of the grill to continue cooking for another 5-10 minutes or until it reaches an internal temperature of 130 degrees for medium rare. Rest the London broil for 5-10 minutes before slicing.
London Broil on the Stove
Cooking London broil low and slow is usually the best way to keep it tender, but in a pinch, cooking it on the stove can work. Consider marinating the steak for at least eight hours or overnight for the best results with this cooking method.
Start by heating a skillet over medium-high heat with about one tablespoon of olive oil. Sear the steak on one side for 3-4 minutes. Then, flip the steak to the other side to sear for another 3-4 minutes. Turn the heat to low and cover the skillet, cooking for another 5-10 minutes or until it reaches an internal temperature of 130 degrees if cooking to medium rare. When finished, move the steak to a clean cutting board and rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing.
London Broil In the Crock Pot
Sear London broil on both sides in a hot skillet with a drizzle of oil before transferring it to your slow cooker. Add 1 cup of beef broth and 1 tbsp of butter to the slow cooker, too. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Allow the London broil to rest at room temperature for 5-10 minutes before you slice it. If desired, drizzle the cooking broth over the meat to serve.
London Broil in Air Fryer
Another method for cooking London broil when you’re short on time is air frying. Again, a long marinating period is recommended for this method.
Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees for 5 minutes. Then, transfer the steak to the basket, ensuring that it lays flat. Cut it into two pieces if needed. Cook for 7 minutes before flipping the steak to the other side to cook for another 5-10 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 130 degrees.
Remove the steak from the air fryer and let it rest at room temperature for 5-10 minutes before slicing.
How to Slice and Serve London Broil
After resting London broil for 5-10 minutes, place it on a clean cutting board. Use a sharpened slicing knife to cut the meat against the grain, or in the opposite direction of the lined fibers in the meat. Slice the meat thinly with your knife at a slight angle.
When finished slicing and plating the meat, drizzle leftover cooking juices over the meat if you’d like.
In Summary: How to Cook a London Broil
Remember that London broil is a dish, not a steak cut, so you won’t find meat marked as London broil at the supermarket. Despite its fancy name, London broil is relatively easy to cook; the key to its success lies in its marinade. Fortunately, you now have all the knowledge you need to venture on your own and cook a tasty London broil at home in the oven, in a slow cooker, or however else you feel compelled to do so.
If you’re not finding steak options you want for London broil at your local grocery store or don’t have time to go shopping, consider buying steak online from Chicago Steak Company. We have premium aged flat iron steaks that are ideal for London broil, and they can ship to your home in just a few days.