How to Butterfly a Steak

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Things You'll Need

  • Cutting board

  • Kitchen knife, 8 inches or longer

Turn butterflied steaks over frequently when grilling or sauteeing.
Image Credit: Hemera Technologies/ Images

Butterflying is the quickest way to get a thick, juicy slab of beef from the grill to the table. Butterflying, or slicing meat horizontally so it opens up like a book, is sometimes the only way you can get a 1 1/2-inch-or-thicker steak to cook evenly on a grill. But it also allows you to saute steaks normally too thick for the stovetop, and add fillings to steaks then roll and tie them into cylinders for pinwheel preparations. You can cut cooking times in half when preparing a butterflied steak, but cook at the same temperature you normally would.


Step 1

Pat the steak dry on both sides with a paper towel. Place the steak on the cutting board with the thickest side facing you.

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Step 2

Place the palm of your non-knife hand on top of the steak. Position the knife blade horizontally against the side of the steak.

Step 3

Slice through the center of the steak using short strokes. Continue slicing through the center of the steak until you can open it up like a book. Leave the two halves of the steak connected by at least 1/4 inch of meat.

Step 4

Season the steak to taste on both sides and cook as desired.


You can add a filling, such as mushroom duxelle or sauteed onions and spinach, to the interior of a butterflied steak. Add the filling, roll the butterflied steak into a cylinder and secure it crosswise with pieces of kitchen twine.


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