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What Is Bavette Steak?

bavette steak

Bavette steak is a flat, highly flavored, loose textured cut of steak, often called the “butcher’s cut” because butchers used to save it for themselves.

The name comes from French, who call it bavette, meaning “bib”. Bavettes are great in many recipes, especially fajitas, steak salad, steak enchilada, Asian steak stir fry, or on its own with a delicious pan sauce! 

Bavettes also make excellent homemade steak jerky. Most commonly, grilling, pan frying, broiling, or baking will increase the tenderness of this steak.

If you’re cooking a meal for people who prefer their steak cooked differently, bavette steaks should be your top choice as they work well on all levels. 

Where Does It Come From ?

Bavettes are made from the bottom of the rib cage or underbelly of the beef cow. These muscles are often referred to as the ‘flank steak’ because they run down the side of the animal. Bavettes are very lean cuts of meat but they do tend to be quite hard and chewy. 

What To Look For 

Despite having a tough exterior,  when cooked properly bavettes become incredibly soft and melt in the mouth. If you wish to tenderise them, try pounding them with a meat mallet before cooking.

For chemical tenderisation, a brine or rub is recommended. Rubs are best if made using a combination of salt, sugar and spices.

Brining is a method of cooking meat that involves soaking the meat in a solution of salt and water for several days before cooking. By doing this, the meat becomes more tender and flavoursome.

Brining is particularly useful when cooking tougher cuts of meat such as steaks, because it will help them cook more evenly.

You can also add additional flavourings to your brine. For example, you might add herbs or other seasonings to give a different taste to the meat.

Choosing The Best Steak 

There is not really any debate about what kind of meat is healthier and tastier. All studies point to grass fed beef coming out ahead when it comes to taste and health benefits.

We won’t get into the details of why grass fed beef is better here, but it’s undeniable grass-fed beef has a richer flavor than grain-fed beef.

In addition, Grass-fed beef contains more iron, zinc, vitamin B12, omega 3 fatty acids, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), and other nutrients.

Grass fed beef also tends to have less saturated fats and cholesterol, making it healthier for you. Grass-fed beef is leaner and lower in calories than grain-fed beef, and it still tastes great. So when on the look out for bavette steak be sure to go with a grass fed option. 

Buying Bavette 

Bavette steak isn’t always readily available compared to others, but this is dependent upon where you go for your meats. Good butchers will usually be able to offer it, if you call ahead.

What Is Bavette Steak

However, supermarkets won’t necessarily have it in the exact same way that they would stock skirt or flank steak.

This is because bavettes aren’t very popular, which may be because it’s called flap steak, which isn’t really a great marketing name!

However, some people have managed to get over that and  It’s been rising in popularity over the years, and should soon be more readily available.

The easiest way to get around this lack of availability is to buy beef online.

Here are a few amazing options:

  1. Snake River Farms American Wagyu Flank Steak
  2. CrowdCow Bestsellers – Search for Bavette

You can also ask friends or family members if they know someone who raises cattle. If you’re lucky, they’ll even let you come visit them so you can get an insght into cattle farming as well as a handy discount (maybe). 

Aged Bavette 

A lot of research has gone into perfecting the art of bavette steak aging. There are many different factors that affect how well the meat ages. For example, if the beef is cooked at high heat, then the protein will break down quicker.

But if the beef is cooked low and slow, the proteins will form crosslinks and become tougher. So there are many variables that go into making sure the beef ages perfectly.

We recommend using an airtight container to store your bavettes, since oxygen affects the aging process. It’s also mandatory to store them in the refrigerator at the proper conditions, because otherwise the meat will simply spoil.

How To Cook It 

This steak requires great care and attention. Start cooking it on high, then turn down the heat and let it rest for about 10 minutes.

Then slice it thinly against the grain, starting at the thickest part of the meat and working your way down. Always serve the beef immediately.

Steak is usually cooked on a cast iron pan, oven, or grill. Grilling steak is great because you can get a great sear on the outside while keeping the meat perfectly medium rare on the inside.

This is done by placing the steak on a cooler side of the grill after searing the surface. If you don’t have a cooler side, then place the steak on top of a piece of foil or another piece of metal that won’t burn.

If you are cooking on a gas grill, try searing the meat first. Gas grills tend to heat up very fast, so if you sear the meat first, it will not burn. When searing, place the steak on top of the grate closest to the flame.

Make sure that there is enough space between the steak and the fire for proper airflow. Cook until the internal temperature reaches 120°F. Get a meat thermometer if you are unsure about the temps. Remove the steak from the grill and let it rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

To avoid excessive smoking, the meat should be seasoned before cooking. A well-seasoned steak does not need any oil. If you season the steak before cooking, then add oil when the steak is almost done. Oil helps the steak brown properly and distributes flavor.

In Summary 

Bavette steak is certainly becoming more popular and thus more available especially at local butchers. With some creativity can be made into a delicious and nutritious meal. Happy cooking!



Richard is the founder of SteakBuff. He manages the team of expert writers on the site and is a foodie who loves eating steaks

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