Beef Flat Iron Steak: A Cut Above the Rest

Written by: Imran Shaikh



Time to read 4 min


When indulging in a mouthwatering steak experience, few cuts can rival the sheer visual appeal and exquisite flavor of the Tomahawk steak. This colossal, bone-in ribeye steak commands attention with its long, frenched bone resembling a tomahawk axe handle, giving it its unique name and distinctive appearance. As a true carnivorous delight, the Tomahawk steak has gained immense popularity among steak enthusiasts and has become a must-try delicacy in upscale restaurants and backyard grilling sessions. In this blog post, we will dive deep into the world of Tomahawk steaks, exploring their origin, unique features, cooking techniques, and tips for serving and enjoying this decadent cut of beef.

What is Flat Iron Steak?

Flat iron steak, also known as shoulder top blade steak, is a tender and flavorful cut of beef. It is derived from the shoulder area of the cow, specifically from the top blade muscle. The flat iron steak got its name due to its shape, which resembles an old-fashioned iron used in the past. Traditionally, this particular cut was considered tough and less desirable. However, in the early 2000s, meat scientists discovered a way to separate the connective tissue running through the flat iron steak, making it more tender and enjoyable. 

The flat iron steak is known for its exceptional marbling, which refers to the intramuscular fat that runs through the meat. This marbling contributes to its rich, beefy flavor and helps keep the steak moist and tender during cooking. It is often likened to more expensive cuts like ribeye or New York strip in terms of taste and tenderness. While the flat iron steak is similar to a tenderloin or a strip steak, it is typically more affordable, making it an attractive choice for steak lovers on a budget. 

What is Flat Iron Steak

Cooking Techniques of Flat Iron Steak

To fully appreciate flat iron steak's qualities, it's crucial to employ suitable cooking techniques. Here are some popular methods for cooking flat iron steak:

1. Grilling:

Flat iron steak is well-suited for grilling due to its relatively even thickness. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat and lightly oil the grates. Season the steak with your desired seasonings or marinade, then grill it for 4-6 minutes per side, depending on the thickness and desired doneness. Let the steak rest for a few minutes before slicing and serving.

2. Pan-Searing:

Pan-searing is an excellent method for cooking flat iron steak indoors. Heat a skillet or cast-iron pan over medium-high heat and add a small amount of oil. Season the steak and sear it for 3-4 minutes on each side until a golden-brown crust forms. Reduce the heat to medium and continue cooking until the desired level of doneness is achieved. Allow the steak to rest before slicing.

3. Broiling:

Preheat the broiler in your oven and place the seasoned flat iron steak on a broiler pan or a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Position the steak about 4-6 inches below the broiler element. Cook for approximately 4-6 minutes per side or until it reaches the desired doneness. Remember to flip the steak halfway through cooking.

4. Sous Vide:

Sous vide is a precise and gentle cooking method that ensures even doneness throughout the steak. Season the flat iron steak and vacuum-seal it in a plastic bag. Cook it in a water bath set to the desired temperature (typically around 130-135°C / 54-57°F) for 1 to 2 hours. Once done, sear the steak briefly in a hot skillet or grill to develop a crust.

No matter which cooking technique you choose, it's important to monitor the internal temperature of the flat iron steak using a meat thermometer to ensure it reaches your preferred level of doneness: 120-125°F for rare, 130-135°F for medium-rare, 140-145°F for medium, and 150-155°F for medium-well.

Cooking Techniques of Flat Iron Steak

Affordable Alternative

Flat iron steak is more affordable than other premium cuts like ribeye or New York strip steak. It provides a similar taste and tenderness at a fraction of the price, making it an attractive choice for those looking for high-quality beef without breaking the bank.

Increased Availability: As the popularity of flat iron steak has grown, its availability in grocery stores and restaurants has also increased. It is now more commonly found on menus and in butcher shops, making it easily accessible for consumers to try and enjoy.

Discovering an Underrated Cut: The flat iron steak was once considered an underutilized and less desirable cut of beef. However, as meat scientists developed techniques to enhance its tenderness, the flat iron steak's potential was discovered and celebrated. This journey from obscurity to prominence has intrigued food enthusiasts, prompting them to explore and appreciate this previously overlooked cut.

Affordable Alternative Flat Iron Steak

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In conclusion, the flat iron steak has rightfully earned its place in the hearts and plates of steak lovers worldwide. Its rise in popularity can be attributed to its exceptional flavor, tenderness, affordability, versatility, increased availability, and exposure through cooking shows and influencers.With its rich marbling, the flat iron steak offers a delicious and satisfying dining experience comparable to more expensive cuts like ribeye or New York strip steak. Its tenderness makes it a joy to bite into, while its robust beefy flavor leaves taste buds craving for more. So, if you're looking for a flavorful, tender, and budget-friendly steak option, join the craze and give the flat iron steak a try. Whether you're a seasoned steak lover or a curious foodie, its exceptional qualities will impress your palate. Embrace the flat iron steak and savor the unforgettable dining experiences it has to offer.

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