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London Broil

By Cook's Illustrated Published May 2006

What does the term "London broil" really mean?

Coined in the early 1930s at Keen's Chophouse in New York City, the term "London broil" doesn't refer to a particular cut of meat at all. Rather, it's a generic label bandied about by butchers to sell large, cheap, unfamiliar steaks that might otherwise be ignored by customers. Over the years, a number of different steaks have been called London broil. For a while, flank steak was the most common, but flank's popularity on the grill and in stir-fries bumped its price into the $6.99-a-pound range—a bit too rich for London broil territory. Nowadays, you'll mostly see the still-cheap (roughly $3.99 a pound) chuck shoulder steak, top round steak, and bottom round steak labeled as London broil.

FLANK: Good and beefy, but its recent popularity has inflated prices.

CHUCK SHOULDER: Great flavor, but multiple muscle groups make for "gristly," unattractive slices.

TOP ROUND: Though "mineral-y" with a "tire-like toughness," top round is appealingly beefy.

BOTTOM ROUND: Similar to top round, but its uniform shape makes it even better for grilling: our favorite.

Done in 281 ms! 61.385 KiB - 7.5% = 56.776 KiB