Watch the Food Lab Video Series Spice-Rubbed Grilled Flap Meat (Sirloin Tip)

[Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

About the author: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is the Chief Creative Officer of Serious Eats where he likes to explore the science of home cooking in his weekly column The Food Lab. You can follow him at @thefoodlab on Twitter, or at The Food Lab on Facebook.

Spice-Rubbed Grilled Flap Meat (Sirloin Tip)

About This Recipe

Yield:serves 4
Active time:20 minutes
Total time:45 minutes
Special equipment:grill
This recipe appears in: The Best Inexpensive Steak For The Grill Part 4: Flap Meat (Sirloin Tip)


  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns, toasted
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seed, toasted
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed, toasted
  • 1 teaspoon cumin pods, toasted
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 2 taspoons)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 whole flap meat steak, 2 to 2 1/2 pounds
  • Kosher salt


  1. 1

    Combine pepper, coriander, fennel, cumin, red pepper flakes, and oregano in a mortar and pestle and grind until coarsely crushed. Alternatively pulse in a spice grinder or food processor until coarsely crushed (not powdered). Transfer to a small bowl. Add garlic and oil and mix with a fork to combine. Rub spice paste over all surfaces of meat, massaging it to work mixture into crevices.

  2. 2

    Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and arrange the coals on one side of the charcoal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Alternatively, set half the burners on a gas grill to the highest heat setting, cover, and preheat for 10 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate.

  3. 3

    Season steak liberally with salt. Place over hot side of grill and cook, turning frequently, until an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 125°F and a charred crust has formed on the surface (if threatening to burn, cook over middle of grill or over cool side of grill as necessary), about 8 to 10 minutes total. Transfer to a cutting board and tent with foil. Let rest for 5 minutes.

  4. 4

    Cut steak into quarters cross-wise (with the grain), then rotate each quarter by 90°F and slice thinly against the grain. Serve immediately.

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