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.

What is London broil

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 (here’s how to).

London Broil: A Guide to Choosing, Preparing, and Serving the Perfect Cut of Meat

Marinating is a crucial step in preparing London broil. A good marinade will help to tenderize the meat and add flavor. Here’s a quick guide to marinating London broil:

  • Mix together soy sauce, sugar, and a little bit of hot sauce in a bowl.
  • Pour the mixture over the meat and let it marinate for at least an hour, but preferably longer.
  • Make sure to turn the meat occasionally to ensure that it is evenly coated with the marinade.

Cooking the Meat

The key to cooking London broil is to grill it quickly over high heat and then slice it thinly against the grain. Here’s a step-by-step guide to cooking London broil:

  • Preheat your grill to high heat.
  • Remove the meat from the marinade and pat it dry with a paper towel.
  • Grill the meat for 4-5 minutes per side, or until it is cooked to your liking.
  • Let the meat rest for a few minutes before slicing it thinly against the grain.

Serving London Broil

London broil is a popular dish that can be served in a variety of ways. Here are some tips for serving London broil:

  • Slice the meat thinly against the grain to ensure that it is tender.
  • Offer a variety of side dishes to complement the meat, such as roasted vegetables or a simple salad.
  • London broil is also a great addition to sandwiches or wraps.
  • A nice red wine can be a perfect pairing with London broil.

London Broil: A Flavorful and Beefy Piece of Meat

London broil has a mild beefy taste that is very flavorful. The flavors of the meat complement many different sauces and marinades, making it a versatile cut of meat that can be used in a variety of recipes.

When cooked properly, London broil is tender and juicy. The original London broil cut was made from flank steak, which is a tough and lean cut of meat that can become very tender if cooked properly. To tenderize the meat, it is often marinaded in an acidic mixture to help retain its juiciness.

Where Did London Broil Originate?

Despite its name, London broil actually originated in the Philadelphia area. The term “London broil” originally referred to the method of cooking the meat, which involved broiling it in the oven. Over time, the term began to be used to refer to the cut of meat itself.

How Can You Make London Broil Taste Even Better?

To enhance the flavor of your London broil, try marinading it in a mixture of acidic ingredients like vinegar or citrus juice. This will help to tenderize the meat and infuse it with additional flavor.

When cooking London broil, be sure to let it rest for a few minutes before slicing it. This will help to retain its juiciness and ensure that it stays tender.

There are many different recipes that call for London broil, so don’t be afraid to experiment with different marinades and cooking methods to find the one that works best for you.

Choosing the Best Cut of Beef for Your London Broil

London broil is a dish that needs a specific cut of meat to produce the best results. While supermarkets may label beef as London broil, there is no actual piece of meat with that name. The best London broil is cut from the top round, which is relatively tender and has great flavor. Here are some things to keep in mind when selecting the right cut of beef for your London broil:

  • The round is a tough piece of meat, but the top round is the most tender and flavorful cut for London broil.
  • Other cuts of beef that can be used for London broil include flank steak, sirloin tip, and shoulder steak, but they may require more tenderizing and marinating to achieve the desired tenderness.
  • Chefs recommend using a single, clean cut of meat that is about 1 1/2 inches thick and weighs around 2-3 pounds.
  • Look for beef that is fresh and has a bright red color. Avoid meat that has excess fat or is discolored.

Preparing the Meat for London Broil

Once you have selected the right cut of beef, it’s time to prepare it for your London broil dish. Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Remove any excess fat from the outside of the meat.
  • Score the meat by making shallow cuts across the grain on both sides. This will help the marinade penetrate the meat and make it more tender.
  • Marinate the meat for at least 4 hours, or overnight, in a mixture of soy sauce, sugar, and other ingredients of your choice. This will add flavor and help tenderize the meat.
  • When it’s time to cook the meat, remove it from the marinade and pat it dry with paper towels. Discard the marinade.
  • Grill the meat over high heat for about 5-6 minutes per side, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 135°F for medium-rare.
  • Let the meat rest for a few minutes before slicing it thinly against the grain. This will help ensure that the meat is tender and easy to chew.

How to Make London Broil Tender and Juicy

London broil is usually made with flank or top round steak, which are known to be tougher cuts of beef. However, there are a few things you can do to make sure your London broil comes out tender and juicy:

  • Look for a thicker cut of meat, around 1 1/2 inches thick. This will make it easier to cook the meat to the proper temperature without overcooking it.
  • Choose a piece of meat with some marbling or fat. This will help keep the meat moist during cooking.

Marinating the Meat

Marinating the meat is an important step in making London broil tender. A marinade helps to break down the tough fibers in the meat and infuse it with flavor. Here are some tips for marinating your London broil:

  • Use a coarse marinade that contains acid, such as vinegar or citrus juice, to help tenderize the meat.
  • Let the meat marinate for at least 6 hours, but preferably overnight, to allow the flavors to penetrate the meat.
  • Remove the meat from the marinade and pat it dry with paper towels before cooking. This will help create a nice crust on the outside of the meat.

Adding Flavor

While London broil is a great dish on its own, there are a few things you can do to add some extra flavor:

  • Make a traditional London broil sauce by mixing together soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, and black pepper.
  • Add some spice to your London broil by including ingredients like cayenne pepper, chili powder, or red pepper flakes in your marinade.
  • Serve your London broil with a side dish that complements the flavors of the meat, such as roasted vegetables or a creamy potato dish.

Storage and Leftovers

If you have any leftovers, make sure to store them properly to keep them fresh and tasty:

  • Slice the meat into thin pieces and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • To reheat the meat, place it on a baking sheet and warm it in a 350°F oven for 5-10 minutes.
  • If you prefer, you can also use the leftover meat in other dishes, such as stir-fries or sandwiches.
  • Using a sharp knife, thinly slice the meat against the grain
  • Serve the sliced meat on a platter or individual plates
  • Provide a side dish that complements the flavors of the London broil, such as roasted vegetables or a fresh salad

London broil is a simple dish to prepare, but the right technique can make all the difference. By following these easy steps, you can transform a tough cut of meat into a delicious and tender steak that is sure to impress.

London Broil Recipes: A Delicious Main Dish for Dinner

Looking for an easy and simple London broil recipe? This marinated London broil is a great option! Here’s how to make it:


  • 1 London broil steak (about 2 pounds)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

1. Mix soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, canola oil, brown sugar, black pepper, and garlic powder in a bowl.
2. Place London broil in a large resealable plastic bag and pour marinade over it. Seal the bag and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight for best results.
3. Preheat grill to high heat.
4. Remove London broil from the marinade and discard the marinade.
5. Place London broil on the grill and sear for 5-6 minutes on each side for medium-rare.
6. Let the steak rest for 5-10 minutes before cutting it against the grain into thin slices.
7. Serve with your choice of sides and enjoy!

London Broil with Potatoes Recipe

This London broil recipe is a great option for a hearty and filling dinner. Here’s how to make it:


  • 1 London broil steak (about 2 pounds)
  • 4-5 large potatoes, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Season London broil with garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper.
3. Heat a heavy skillet over high heat and add 1 tablespoon of oil.
4. Sear London broil for 2-3 minutes on each side until browned.
5. Remove London broil from the skillet and set it aside.
6. Add sliced potatoes to the skillet and season with salt and pepper.
7. Cook potatoes for about 5 minutes until they start to brown.
8. Place London broil on top of the potatoes and transfer the skillet to the oven.
9. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the internal temperature of the steak reaches 135°F for medium-rare.
10. Let the steak rest for 5-10 minutes before cutting it against the grain into thin slices.
11. Serve with your choice of sides and enjoy!

What Goes Well With London Broil?

London broil is a popular grilled beef cut that can be served with a variety of sides depending on your preferences. Here are some classic sides that go well with this dish:

  • Grilled onions and potatoes: A staple for any grilled meat dish, grilled onions and potatoes are an excellent choice to consider. They add a smoky, sweet flavor that complements the rich meat perfectly.
  • Rice: A simple and easy addition to any meal, rice is a great choice to serve with London broil. Depending on your preferences, you can add different ingredients like chopped ginger or fresh herbs to create a more complex flavor.
  • Red wine sauce: If you’re looking to add a special touch to your London broil, consider making a red wine sauce. This sauce contains red wine, sugar, and finely chopped onions, and creates a balanced kiss of sweet and complex flavors.

Quick and Easy Sides

If you’re short on time or looking for a quick and easy side dish to serve with London broil, here are some options to consider:

  • Stir-fried vegetables: A quick stir-fry of your favorite vegetables with soy sauce and a little bit of sugar is an excellent choice to add some extra flavor to your meal.
  • Apple and onion salad: A quick and easy salad made with thinly sliced apples, chopped onions, and a simple dressing of olive oil and vinegar is a great choice to add some freshness to your meal.
  • Bowl of rice: If you’re looking for a simple side dish, a bowl of rice is always a good choice. You can add some soy sauce or finely chopped ginger to the rice for some extra flavor.

Where to Find the Perfect London Broil

London Broil is a specific way of cooking a cut of meat, not a specific cut of meat. Traditionally, London Broil was made using flank steak, but nowadays, it can be made using any lean cut of meat, such as top round or sirloin. When buying London Broil, it’s important to choose the right cut of meat to ensure a good meal. Here are some tips on buying London Broil:

  • Look for packages labeled “London Broil” in the grocery store or supermarket. These packages will typically contain a thick cut of meat, around 1 inch or more.
  • If you’re unsure about which cut of meat to choose, ask your butcher for a specific recommendation. They will be able to guide you in the right direction.
  • London Broil can be marketed as a specific cut of meat, but it can also be a mixture of cuts. Don’t be afraid to ask the butcher what cuts are included in the London Broil you’re considering.
  • London Broil can be marinated or sold plain. If you’re buying a marinated piece, make sure to check the label for the ingredients used in the marinade.
  • London Broil can be expensive, but it’s a great way to serve a delicious meal without breaking the bank. The price can vary depending on the store and the cut of meat, so it’s always a good idea to shop around for the best deal.

How to Store London Broil

If you’re not planning on cooking your London Broil right away, it’s important to store it properly to ensure it stays fresh:

  • If you’ve purchased a marinated piece of London Broil, it should be stored in the refrigerator and used within a few days.
  • If you’ve purchased a plain piece of London Broil, it can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • To store London Broil, place it in an airtight container or wrap it tightly in plastic wrap.
  • If you’re storing London Broil for a long period of time, it can be placed in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Storing Your London Broil: Tips and Tricks

Properly storing your London broil has several benefits, including:

  • Maintaining the flavor and texture of the meat
  • Preventing the growth of harmful bacteria
  • Allowing you to prepare the meat ahead of time for a dish
  • Providing a quick and easy protein source for meals

Important Note

When storing London broil, it’s important to note that the size and thickness of the cut will affect the storage time. Additionally, the way the meat is prepared and cooked will also impact its storage time. Always use your best judgment and follow food safety guidelines when storing meat.


So there you have it- everything you need to know about London broil. It’s a delicious and versatile cut of beef that’s perfect for grilling, and it’s a great way to enjoy a hearty and healthy meal.

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.