5 Tips for the Best Flat Iron Steak + Recipe

Last Updated on December 13, 2023

If you’ve got ButcherBox Flat Iron Steaks on the menu tonight, get ready for a tender, luscious cut that’s sure to be a crowd pleaser. 

Cut from the shoulder, which is a very muscular part of the cow, it’s finely marbled and it tends to be fairly dense. Flat iron is usually pretty square in shape and has an even thickness, which makes it easier to cook it to the temperature you like throughout.

Because it has such delicious flavor and texture, flat iron is fantastic cooked simply, seasoned with just salt and pepper. A light sprinkling of flaky sea salt (such as Maldon) just before serving makes it feel special. If you want to flavor it further, try topping it with slices of compound butter, like this garlic-herb butter.

Here are 5 tips for cooking flat iron steak

1. Flat iron is generally considered to be the second most tender cut (filet is the first). It’s one of the few steaks that you can cook past medium rare and it remains fairly tender (though we don’t recommend going past medium).

2. If you’re grilling or pan-searing, make sure your grill or pan is very hot before cooking. Sear on both sides for 3 to 4 minutes, or until a meat thermometer stuck into the center reads 120ºF to 125ºF for medium rare. 

3. If the steak needs more time to cook, lower the heat or move it to indirect heat on the grill. Check it again after another minute–it likely won’t need more than a minute or two to finish cooking.

4. Flat iron also works well in stir-fries, which is a quick-cooking method over high heat. Be sure to slice the steak thinly and add it at the very end. Cook it, stirring constantly, until it’s just cooked–this may take as little as 1 minute.

5. To thinly slice raw flat iron for stir fry, wrap it tightly and freeze it for 20 to 30 minutes. It won’t freeze completely through; it will just firm up enough to make it easy to cut very thin slices. Using a sharp chef’s knife, slice the steak against the grain as thinly as you can. (Pro tip: While the steak is in the freezer, prep your vegetables and stir-fry sauce.)

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Easiest Flat Iron Steak

3.72 from 14 votes
Print Pin
Protein: Beef
Cut: Flat Iron
Diet: Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Low carb, Paleo, Whole30
Course: Main Course
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Servings: 2

Ingredients

  • 2 ButcherBox flat iron steaks (about 6 ounces each)
  • fine sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp high-heat cooking fat, such as avocado oil or ghee
  • flaky sea salt (optional)

Instructions

  • Remove the steaks from the fridge and let them stand on the counter until they reach room temperature, about 30 minutes.
  • Place a cast iron or other heavy bottomed skillet over medium heat until very hot, 3 to 4 minutes. While the skillet is heating, pat the steaks dry thoroughly with paper towels. Season generously on both sides with fine sea salt and lightly with pepper.
  • Cook undisturbed until the bottom is nicely seared and releases easily from the pan, 3 to 4 minutes. Carefully flip and cook until the other side is seared and a meat thermometer stuck into the thickest part reads 120º to 125ºF for medium rare, 2 to 4 minutes longer.
  • Transfer the steak to a cutting board, tent with foil and let rest for at least 5 to 10 minutes (up to 20). Slice the steak against the grain and serve, sprinkling with flaky sea salt, if desired.
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Beth Lipton is a Brooklyn-based recipe developer and writer specializing in food and wellness. Her work has appeared in Clean Eating, Paleo magazine, FoodNetwork.com, Well+Good, Outside, Sleep.com and more. Beth's latest cookbook, Carnivore-ish, featuring 125 animal protein-forward recipes, is available now.