The Ultimate Guide to Making Perfect London Broil

London Broil is a classic American dish that has nothing to do with London. It is a cooking method that involves marinating and broiling a cut of beef, typically flank or top round steak, to achieve a tender and flavorful meal. This article will provide a comprehensive guide to making the perfect London Broil, from selecting the right cut of meat to serving it on your dinner table.

Understanding London Broil

London Broil is often misunderstood as a specific cut of meat, but it is actually a method of preparation. The term originally referred to flank steak, but over time it has come to include other cuts like top round and sirloin. The key to a successful London Broil lies in the marinade and cooking technique, which enhances the natural flavors of the meat and ensures tenderness.

Selecting the Right Cut of Meat

The first step in making London Broil is choosing the right cut of beef. Traditionally, flank steak is used because it has a good balance of flavor and tenderness. However, top round steak is also a popular choice due to its affordability and availability. When selecting your meat, look for a cut that is about 1 to 1.5 inches thick, with minimal marbling and a deep red color.

Ingredients for London Broil

To create a delicious London Broil, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 2 pounds of flank steak or top round steak
  • 1/2 cup of soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes (optional)

Marinating the Meat

Marinating is a crucial step in preparing London Broil, as it infuses the meat with flavor and helps to tenderize it. Follow these steps to marinate your steak:

  1. Combine Ingredients: In a medium bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, minced garlic, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, brown sugar, black pepper, oregano, thyme, and red pepper flakes (if using).
  2. Prepare the Steak: Place the steak in a large resealable plastic bag or a shallow dish. Pour the marinade over the steak, ensuring it is well coated. Seal the bag or cover the dish with plastic wrap.
  3. Marinate: Refrigerate the steak for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight. This allows the flavors to penetrate the meat and break down tough fibers, resulting in a tender and flavorful steak.

Cooking the London Broil

There are two primary methods for cooking London Broil: broiling and grilling. Both methods produce excellent results, so choose the one that suits your preference and equipment availability.

Broiling Method:

  1. Preheat Broiler: Preheat your oven’s broiler to high heat. Place the oven rack about 6 inches from the heat source.
  2. Prepare the Broiling Pan: Line a broiling pan with aluminum foil for easy cleanup. Remove the steak from the marinade and let any excess marinade drip off. Place the steak on the broiling pan.
  3. Broil the Steak: Place the pan in the oven and broil the steak for about 5-7 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the steak and desired doneness. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature; it should read 130°F (54°C) for medium-rare, 140°F (60°C) for medium, and 150°F (66°C) for medium-well.
  4. Rest the Steak: Remove the steak from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute, ensuring a juicy and flavorful steak.

Grilling Method:

  1. Preheat Grill: Preheat your grill to high heat, about 450-500°F (232-260°C).
  2. Prepare the Grill: Clean and oil the grill grates to prevent sticking. Remove the steak from the marinade and let any excess marinade drip off.
  3. Grill the Steak: Place the steak on the grill and cook for about 5-7 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the steak and desired doneness. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature.
  4. Rest the Steak: Remove the steak from the grill and let it rest for 10 minutes.

Slicing and Serving London Broil

Proper slicing is essential for a tender and enjoyable London Broil. Always slice the steak against the grain, which shortens the muscle fibers and makes the meat easier to chew. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Identify the Grain: Look for the lines running across the steak. These lines indicate the direction of the muscle fibers.
  2. Slice Thinly: Using a sharp knife, slice the steak into thin strips, cutting perpendicular to the grain.
  3. Serve: Arrange the slices on a serving platter and garnish with fresh herbs if desired. London Broil pairs well with a variety of sides, such as roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, or a fresh green salad.

Tips for the Perfect London Broil

  • Marinate Longer: For maximum flavor and tenderness, marinate the steak for at least 12 hours or overnight.
  • Use a Meat Thermometer: To achieve the perfect doneness, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature.
  • Rest the Meat: Allow the steak to rest after cooking to retain its juices.
  • Experiment with Marinades: Feel free to experiment with different marinade ingredients to create your unique flavor profile.

Variations and Serving Suggestions

London Broil is a versatile dish that can be customized to suit your taste preferences. Here are a few variations and serving suggestions:

  • Spicy London Broil: Add extra red pepper flakes or a dash of hot sauce to the marinade for a spicy kick.
  • Herb-Crusted London Broil: Rub the steak with a mixture of fresh herbs, such as rosemary, thyme, and parsley, before broiling or grilling.
  • London Broil Salad: Slice the cooked steak thinly and serve it over a bed of mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, red onions, and crumbled blue cheese, drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette.
  • London Broil Sandwich: Serve thin slices of London Broil on a crusty baguette with caramelized onions, arugula, and a dollop of horseradish sauce.

Storing and Reheating London Broil

If you have leftovers, London Broil can be stored and reheated for future meals. Here’s how:

  1. Storage: Place leftover slices in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
  2. Reheating: To reheat, place the slices in a single layer on a baking sheet and cover with aluminum foil. Heat in a preheated oven at 300°F (150°C) for 10-15 minutes, or until warmed through. Alternatively, you can reheat the slices in a skillet over medium heat.


London Broil is a classic and versatile dish that, when prepared correctly, offers a flavorful and tender dining experience. By selecting the right cut of meat, marinating it properly, and using the appropriate cooking technique, you can create a delicious London Broil that will impress your family and friends. Whether you broil or grill, the key to success lies in careful preparation and attention to detail. Enjoy your homemade London Broil with your favorite sides, and don’t be afraid to experiment with different marinades and serving suggestions to make this dish your own.