What is flat iron? Is grilled flat iron steak easy to cook? If you’re new to the world of flat iron steak, what it’s used for, and how to cook it, this guide will set you on the right track. We’re going to dive into all the details, from the reasons we love to grill flat iron steak to the best tips for ensuring a perfectly grilled flat iron steak every time.
What is Flat Iron Steak?
Flat iron steak is a part of the chuck cut, which comes from the shoulder area of a cow. It’s also known by many other names, like flank steak, hanger steak, or skirt steak, but those are actually separate (albeit similar) cuts of beef.
Flat iron is full of flavor, but it still works well with marinades, sauces, and other additions. Because it’s such a thin cut of beef, though, flat iron steak can become dry and chewy if not cooked properly. That’s one reason we love grilled flat iron steak, which cooks quickly and easily without a big learning curve.
What is Flat Iron Steak Used For?
This cut is sliced thinly and used for dishes like fajitas, gyros, and noodle-and-beef combinations. It also works great for beef sandwiches where thin cuts of steak can fit neatly into a roll. Some people prefer to have flat iron on its own rather than in other dishes, which is perfectly fine, too! It’s perfect topped with a light red wine sauce or chimichurri sauce. In other words, it’s incredibly versatile and underappreciated!
How to Find Flat Iron Steak
Your local grocery store or butcher may not have flat iron steaks readily available, so it could be something you need to ask for specifically. And in some areas, the name may not be well-known, so you might need to explain a bit. If that’s the case, try asking for a boneless top chuck or shoulder top blade steak.
You can also skip the store or butcher and order flat iron steak online from Chicago Steak Company. Our flat iron is aged between four and six weeks for maximum flavor and texture, and then flash-frozen to preserve its freshness before shipping straight to you. It’s simple, convenient, and takes the guesswork out of ordering flat iron!
Flat Iron Steak Pricing
Flat iron steak generally ranges from between $8 and $15 per pound in grocery stores, so your local butcher might charge a bit more for this cut. This is a similar price as sirloin steak, skirt steak, flank steak, and strip steak. If you’re partial to USDA Prime flat iron steaks, expect to pay more per pound for the rated quality you’ll get.
Why Grill Flat Iron Steak?
Grilling is almost always one of the best options for cooking steak of any kind. Unlike pan-frying steak, grilling doesn’t require the steak to cook in its own fat, so it’s actually a healthier option (presuming you’re not adding a bunch of fattening sauces or marinades to the steak while you grill). Grilling also gives steak a tasty, smoky flavor that roasting and pan-frying in a skillet can’t do.
We love a good flatiron steak on the grill for the same reasons! Additionally, flat iron steak has excellent marbling (fat content) throughout the meat. On the grill, this fat renders down nicely, keeping the steak tender, juicy, and flavorful, bite after bite.
Should I Use a Charcoal or Gas Grill for My Flat Iron Steak Recipe?
Honestly, either one will do. There’s technically not one type of grill that’s always better than another, so use the kind of grill you prefer and feel comfortable with. Gas grills can be easier to operate and offer smoother temperature controls to prevent overcooking. But charcoal grills can add extra flavor that you don’t usually get from the gas grill.
How to Make Grilled Flat Iron Steak
Now, let’s get into grilling flat iron steak. To grill like a real pro, there are some details you’ll want to follow to make sure your flat iron steak comes out perfectly every time. Remember: This meat is a thinner cut than many others you might be used to cooking on the grill, so it takes a little bit of tweaking to get the process right.
Step 1: Gather Ingredients and Materials
Get everything you need to start grilling before you fire it up and get your steak ready. Have salt, pepper, olive oil, and any sauce you might want to add to the meat, ready to go. Grab a pair of grilling tongs or spatula and a plate to set the steak on when you’re done. Don’t forget the meat thermometer! You’ll want to have it handy to check the temperature of your steak before removing it from the grill.
If you’re going to have any sides or toppings, like caramelized onion or a Dijon mustard sauce, with your flat iron steak, go ahead and prepare it before you preheat the grill. Flat iron cooks fast on the grill, and it can be difficult to manage different cook times simultaneously.
Step 2: Prepare the Grill
It’s always a good idea to oil up your grill racks before placing the steak on them. This keeps the steak from sticking and helps it brown up while cooking. Alternatively, you can use a grill pan, but you won’t get the grill marks that give steak that tell-tale grilled flavor. Preheat the grill to medium high heat on a gas grill. If you’re using a charcoal grill, you should feel a good amount of heat when you hover your hand above the preheated grill.
Step 3: Prepare the Steak
Next, it’s time to get your steak ready to grill. Remove the steak from the fridge and pat it dry with a paper towel. Drizzle olive oil on it, and sprinkle salt and black pepper on all sides. You can also use a dash of steak seasoning or add your preferred rub for extra flavor. Don’t slice it into thin strips just yet; we’ll do that when it’s done cooking.
Step 4: Get to Grilling!
First, you’re going to sear both sides of the steak. Put it on the grill’s high-heat portion and let it sear for 3-5 minutes until a golden-brown crust forms. Flip the steak with your tongs and do the same to the other side. Now, move the flat iron steak to the grill area without a direct flame to finish cooking it internally. Leave it alone and let it cook for 2-10 minutes until it reaches the temperature for your desired doneness level. For a medium-rare steak, you should remove it when it comes to 125 to 130-degrees.
Step 5: Let It Rest
Remove the flat iron steak from the grill and put it on a clean cutting board. Let it rest for five minutes or so to allow the meat to soak up all the juices again. After the resting time, you are free to slice the steak into thin strips to enjoy.
Step 6: Enjoy
Now for the best part, eating your grilled flat iron steak! This steak is a good one for adding light sauces to, like a garlic butter drizzle or an Asian-inspired soy sauce dressing. But you can also enjoy it atop a salad, in a sandwich, or on its own.
Grilled Flat Iron Steak Tips
Now you know how to make flat iron grilled steak, we’ll introduce you to a few grilling tips that can have you perfecting the process in no time.
Tip #1: Use a Steak Marinade
Flat iron steak is one of the most perfect cuts for a marinade. Because it’s so thin, the steak can easily become dried out if it’s cooked a little too long. A marinade can help prevent that because it tenderizes the meat for as long as you leave it in the bag. Try adding your flat iron steak to a vinegar-based marinade for several hours in the refrigerator before grilling it for extra tenderness and flavor.
Tip #2: Use Chilled Flat Iron Only
We usually tell you to pull steak from the refrigerator to sit for 20-30 minutes before cooking it. This process helps the steak come closer to room temperature so that it cooks more evenly throughout. However, the thinness of flat iron steak doesn’t require it to go through the same process. Pulling the steak right from the fridge or letting it rest for a quick five minutes before grilling is okay.
Tip #3: Add Some Wood for Extra Flavor
For a more smokey and rustic steak, try adding some wood chips to your grill. There are several types you can try to add different flavors to flat iron steak. Fruity woods, like applewood and cherry, add bright, fruity flavors, while other woods, like hickory and oak, add bolder tastes.
Tip #4: Keep Your Grill Clean
We can’t stress enough the importance of cleaning your grill after every use. Clean the grates thoroughly while they’re still warm to make it easier to scrape food off. The more diligent you are about doing this, the less you’ll need to worry about food sticking later, especially with thinner steaks like grilled flat iron.
Tip #5: Serve with a Side
Some sauces and sides work perfectly with flat iron. Try a homemade salsa or chimichurri for fresh flavors. Or, make a creamy blue cheese dressing to drizzle onto your steak. Flat iron is super tasty already, but this steak only gets better with the right pairings.
Make Restaurant-Quality Grilled Flat Iron Steak at Home
Are you ready to show off your flat iron steak-grilling expertise? You can shop for USDA Prime flat iron steaks online with Chicago Steak Company! We also carry authentic American Wagyu flat iron if you want to kick up the luxury a notch. We guarantee your satisfaction and individually register each steak to commit to our quality standards. Soon, you’ll be cooking up restaurant-quality flat iron steak from your own grill.