London broil: What is It?

by Joost Nusselder | Last Updated:  May 28, 2022

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This beef concoction has nothing to do with London or England at all – it’s one of the earliest meat dishes served at America’s first restaurants a long time ago.

Many people are unsure about what London broil refers to – no, it’s not just any beef steak cut into thin strips.

Instead, London broil refers to a way of broiling beef and specific beef cuts.

Traditionally, London broil refers to lean and thick beef cuts taken from the bottom round muscle on the cow’s backside.

Some butchers will use the name for top round steak or top blade steak but these refer to the same cuts as London broil.

These days you can also use the belly muscles of the cow and this is called flank steak. This is a tougher cut of meat that benefits from a liquid marinade.

The meat is marinated overnight and then cooked medium rare and cut into thin slices.

What makes this type of beef steak unique is that the top round steak or the flank must be marinated before it’s cooked.

You can cook it in the oven, on the grill, or smoke it but the marinade is essential for flavoring the lean beef.

However, London broil also refers to a beefsteak that is cut diagonally into thin slices and served that way.

Traditional London broil is made by broiling the meat in the oven on high heat.

However, we’re smoking the London broil here and I’ve talked about which wood chips to use when smoking this cut of beef.

Smoked London broil is the type of dish that requires some prep time – you need to marinate the meat, preferably overnight.

Since you cook it on indirect heat, it takes a longer time to smoke.

But, once ready, the bold wood smoke flavors, marinade, and the dry rub combine for pit boss level flavors.

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Lakeside Smokers is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with BBQ Smoking (& Japanese food!) at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.