The Ultimate Guide to Flat Iron Steak
WHAT IS FLAT IRON STEAK?
Flat iron steak is a relatively new cut of beef that is thinner and rectangular in shape, and has become a popular choice among steak lovers due to its tender texture and rich flavor. The flat iron is not as well-known as cuts like the New York strip, ribeye, or filet mignon. In fact, it is considered a “butcher’s cut” because it’s a long-standing favorite of butchers and other meat lovers. You’ll learn why in the next section.
This under-the-radar cut is thinner than your average steak, but delivers rich marbling and a surprisingly-to-many, tender texture that some compare to a juicy piece of ribeye.
OTHER NAMES FOR FLAT IRON STEAK
Like other lesser-known cuts of beef, the flat iron often goes by alternative names depending on what region of the country you’re in or even just who you’re talking with. Residents of the UK call it a butler’s or feather blade steak, while those in Australia and New Zealand call it an oyster blade steak.
Other names for the flat iron include:
- Top blade roast
- Top blade filet
- Shoulder top blade steak
- Top boneless chuck
- Book steak
- Chuck clod
- Lifter roast
- Triangle roast
WHAT CUT OF STEAK IS FLAT IRON?
Each flat iron is cut from the chuck shoulder primal portion of the cow. The cow’s shoulder is an area that gets exercise, making it more muscular and less fatty than other prime areas. This requires butchers to cut away that connective tissue, allowing for the tender, flavorful steak we love. There are just two top blade roasts in every cow which makes them sought-after by steak aficionados.
WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO COOK A FLAT IRON STEAK?
Each Snake River Farms American Wagyu flat iron is generous in size—averaging 1.5 pounds—making it perfect for sharing with a partner. Cooking the perfect flat iron steak is easy using well-known cooking techniques you probably already use for your other favorite cuts of beef.
Don’t forget that the flat iron cooks quickly, so keep an eye on it.
HOW TO GRILL A FLAT IRON STEAK
The grill is a perfect method to cook the flat iron steak. Whether grilling as a standalone dish or as part of a delicious recipe like marinated, grilled flat iron steak tacos, the process is simple and takes just minutes.
We recommend a charcoal grill for the best grilling experience, but a gas grill works well, too. The key is to set up your grill with 2-zone cooking. For charcoal grills, simply arrange the lit coals on one side of the grill, leaving a ‘cool’ side on the other.
HERE ARE THE EASY STEPS TO GRILL YOUR FLAT IRON WITH A 2-ZONE SET-UP:
- Allow your flat iron steaks to come to room temperature (usually about 30 to 40 minutes after removing from the refrigerator).
- Set up and preheat your grill with 2 zones – a hot zone and a cool zone.
- Season the flat iron steak generously with kosher salt.
- Place it on the hot zone of the grill.
- Grill the steak for 4 to 5 minutes on each side for medium rare (130 F).
- Let sit on the cool side of the grill if you notice any flare ups.
- Use a meat thermometer to check the steak’s internal temperature.
- When your steak has reached the desired temperature, remove it from the grill and place it on a cutting board.
- Loosely cover the steak with foil and let it rest for 5 minutes.
- Slice your flat iron steak against the grain and serve with your favorite side dish or as part of a recipe.
HOW TO COOK A FLAT IRON STEAK IN THE OVEN
Cooking your flat iron in the oven is another great technique and helps ensure the steak will be tender, moist, and bursting with flavor.
HERE ARE THE SIMPLE STEPS TO BROIL YOUR FLAT IRON IN THE OVEN:
- Remove your steak from the fridge and let it come to room temperature.
- Set your oven rack about 6 inches below the broiler.
- Use foil to line a rimmed baking sheet.
- Once the steak is room temperature, blot it dry with paper towels to remove any moisture.
- Season liberally with kosher salt on all sides.
- Place the steak on the baking sheet and into the oven.
- Broil your flat iron for 6 minutes.
- Carefully turn over the steak to its other side and broil for approximately 6 more minutes.
- Check the temperature with a meat thermometer to ensure its medium-rare (130 F).
- Remove the baking sheet and place the steak on a cutting board.
- Loosely place foil over the steak and let it rest for 5 minutes, ensuring the juices have time to sink back into the meat.
- Slice your flat iron against the grain and serve!
CUTTING A FLAT IRON STEAK
There’s good news and then more good news. First, the butcher does the hard part in terms of cutting the flat iron out of the cow and removing the unwanted, tough connective tissue that could make it chewy. Once you’ve procured the beef and have cooked it to perfection, there’s not much instruction needed for slicing a flat iron steak for serving.
As with other steak cuts, you want to cut against the grain. This is because all those fibers in the steak hold in the juices. To ensure you get a delicious, tender bite of beef, those fibers need to be broken down into smaller pieces. Cutting with the grain doesn’t properly break down those fibers, leading to tougher and chewy bites.
So, depending on how you’re using your flat iron steak, simply slice it against the grain and cut the steak into your desired shape and size.
OUR FAVORITE RECIPES FOR FLAT IRON STEAK
Flat iron steak is a tender, versatile cut with a huge flavor profile that can be used in almost any way you can imagine.
To help get you started, Snake River Farms has put together some of the best recipes for flat iron steak that will showcase your potential new favorite cut of beef.
AMERICAN WAGYU FLAT IRON STEAK FROM SNAKE RIVER FARMS
Think of the flat iron as the unofficial Swiss Army Knife of steaks. Its versatility makes it the ideal candidate to enhance any steak dish, from tacos and fajitas to stir fry, or simply on its own as the star of your next get together with friends.
Whether you want to impress at your next dinner party or need something to throw on the grill for a quick dinner for two, our Snake River Farms American Wagyu flat iron steak delivers rich marbling and a delectable beefy flavor you won’t soon forget.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT FLAT IRON STEAK
Flat iron is steak is very tender, as it comes from the top blade roast, a muscle that is rarely stressed by the cow. Many consider the flat iron steak to be the 2nd most tender cut of beef, right behind the filet mignon.
Flank steak is not the same as flat iron steak. Flank steak is a long, thin cut of beef from the abdominal muscles of the cow, while the flat iron is wider, slightly thicker cut from the top blade, or shoulder region.
Since flat iron steak is a newer cut of beef, it can be difficult to find at regular grocery stores. Your best bet is to find it at a local butcher, or to get it delivered directly.
Snake River Farms delivers wagyu flat iron steak directly to your door.
Flat iron steak works well with fajitas as it is a thinner cut of beef that can be cut into fajita style strips. The traditional cut of choice for fajitas is typically skirt steak, but flat iron is a good substitute, as is flank steak or hanger steak.