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How to Cook

Cooking Flat Iron Steak

How to Cook Flat Iron Steak

Have you heard about flat iron steak? This innovative, affordable cut delivers intense beef flavor, and, properly prepared, is considered by many to be the second most tender steak cut; only filet mignon is more tender. That makes learning how to cook flat iron steak a win for any beef lover.

 

Flat iron steaks come from a cut you may be more familiar with: the top blade. Top blade is blessed with a lot of flavorful marbling, but it also has a line of very tough sinew running through the middle of it. Inventive butchers are slicing off the meat on either side of that sinew and dividing those halves into individual steaks – flat iron steaks.

 

So what's the best way to cook flat iron steak? Like filet mignon, flat iron steaks are great on the grill, broiled in the oven, or pan-seared in a skillet. The intense flavor and reasonable price of flat iron steak also make it an excellent choice for stir frying or any recipe that calls for thin slices of beef.

 

The instructions below share everything you need know about cooking flat iron steak. We've also included a chart that will tell you how long to cook flat iron steak, depending on the cooking method you choose. Be sure to use a meat thermometer for best results.

 

A great flat iron steak recipe, whether grilled, broiled, or pan-fried is perfect for quick get-togethers and weeknight dinners. Easy to prepare, easy on the wallet, filled with flavor and meltingly tender, flat iron steak is sure to become a favorite!

How to Grill Flat Iron Steak

  • Be sure your flat iron steak is completely thawed.
  • Bring the meat to room temperature. Remove your steak from the refrigerator 30-40 minutes before grilling.
  • Season your flat iron steak as desired; we recommend Kansas City Steak Original Steak Seasoning.
  • To cook on a charcoal grill, place steaks over the hottest part of the grill, and sear both sides for 1-2 minutes. Then move to medium, ash-covered coals and continue to grill for the times listed in the chart below. Turn about 1 minute prior to the halfway point.
  • To cook on a gas grill, preheat on high. Sear both sides for 1-2 minutes, then reduce to medium heat and continue to grill for the times listed in the chart below. Turn about 1 minute prior to the halfway point.
  • For the perfect medium-rare flat iron steak, grill 12-14 minutes for a 1½ inch steak, turning about 1 minute before the halfway point. A meat thermometer should read 130°F.
  • Rest your flat iron steak for 5 minutes before serving, covering lightly with foil. The temperature of the meat will continue to rise about 5°F during this time (this is called "carryover cooking"). The final temperature will read 135°F.
  • Resting steak is also important because the heat of cooking pulls the juices in the meat toward the surface; if you slice into it immediately after cooking, those flavorful juices will end up on your plate, not in your steak. Allowing the steak to rest will give the juices time to sink back in and throughout the meat, keeping it moist and flavorful.

How to Cook Flat Iron Steak in the Oven

  • Be sure your flat iron steak is completely thawed.
  • Bring the meat to room temperature. Remove your steak from the refrigerator 30-40 minutes before grilling.
  • Season your flat iron steak as desired; we recommend Kansas City Steak Original Steak Seasoning.
  • Set oven for broil and preheat 10 minutes. During broiling, the door of an electric oven should be left ajar; the door of a gas oven should remain closed (consult your owner's manual).
  • Place flat iron steak on the rack of a broiler pan. Position broiler pan in oven so that the surface of the beef is 3 to 4 inches from the heat. Broil to desired doneness; use the chart below to determine how long to cook flat iron steak under the broiler. Turn about 1 minute prior to the halfway point.
  • For the perfect medium-rare flat iron steak, broil in the oven for 12-14 minutes for a 1½ inch steak, turning about 1 minute before the halfway point. A meat thermometer should read 130°F.
  • Rest your steak for 5 minutes before serving, covering lightly with foil. The temperature of the meat will continue to rise about 5°F during this time (this is called "carryover cooking"). The final temperature will read 135°F.
  • Resting steak is also important because the heat of cooking pulls the juices in the meat toward the surface; if you slice into it immediately after cooking, those flavorful juices will end up on your plate, not in your steak. Allowing the steak to rest will give the juices time to sink back in and throughout the meat, keeping it moist and flavorful.

Pan-Seared Flat Iron Steak on the Stove

  • Be sure your flat iron steak is completely thawed.
  • Bring the meat to room temperature. Remove your steak from the refrigerator 30-40 minutes before grilling.
  • Season your flat iron steak as desired; we recommend Kansas City Steak Original Steak Seasoning.
  • Heat a heavy skillet or cast-iron skillet over high heat until hot, for about 5 minutes. A very hot pan delivers the best sear.
  • Add a 1-2 tablespoons of vegetable oil or butter to skillet (enough to coat the bottom) and immediately place steak in the hot skillet.
  • For the perfect medium-rare flat iron steak, sear in a skillet for 13-15 minutes for a 1½ inch steak, turning about 1 minute before the halfway point. A meat thermometer should read 130°F.
  • Rest your steak for 5 minutes before serving, covering lightly with foil. The temperature of the meat will continue to rise about 5°F during this time (this is called "carryover cooking"). The final temperature will read 135°F.
  • Resting steak is also important because the heat of cooking pulls the juices in the meat toward the surface; if you slice into it immediately after cooking, those flavorful juices will end up on your plate, not in your steak. Allowing the steak to rest will give the juices time to sink back in and throughout the meat, keeping it

Pan-Seared Pre-Sliced Flat Iron Steak on the Stove

  • Be sure your flat iron steak is completely thawed.
  • Season your flat iron steak as desired; we recommend Kansas City Steak Original Steak Seasoning.
  • To pre-slice your flat iron steak, place it back in the freezer for just 15 minutes; this will firm up the meat and make it easier to slice.
  • Make sure your carving knife is sharp (See our Expert Tips for How to Sharpen a Knife and Expert tips for How to Carve a Steak).
  • Now, take a good look at your flat iron steak and note which direction the muscle fibers are running. Slide your knife back and forth across those fibers - across the grain - cutting your steak into slices. Keep each slice no more than 1/4" thick.
  • To make each bite extra tender, hold your knife blade at a 45° angle; this is called "cutting on the bias." Cutting against the grain this way exposes more surface area in each fiber and keeps the fibers from being stacked directly on top of each other in each slice of meat, further weakening the bonds that hold them together.
  • Heat a heavy skillet, a cast-iron skillet, or wok over high heat until hot, for about 5 minutes. A very hot pan delivers the best sear.
  • If you are stir-frying flat iron steak, simply follow your recipe directions from this point forward.
  • For the perfect pan-fried flat iron steak slices to top pasta, rice, potatoes or a salad, add a 1-2 tablespoons of vegetable oil or butter to skillet (enough to coat the bottom) and immediately place flat iron steak slices in the hot skillet.
  • Sear the slices for 4-7 minutes, turning frequently with tongs, until you see each slice is cooked to the desired level of doneness. Remove and serve immediately.

Cooking Times

for Flank Steak

Remember to fully thaw your steaks. Sear on high heat for 1 - 2 minutes each side, then move to indirect heat. Turn them 1 minute before the halfway point of the cooking time. For perfect doneness, we recommend you use a meat thermometer and use the Measuring Doneness chart below.

The Grill
Gas Grill Charcoal Grill
Rare1 1/2 inches
11-13 mins

11-13 mins
Medium-Rare1 1/2 inches
12-14 mins

12-14 mins
Medium1 1/2 inches
13-15 mins

13-15 mins
Medium-Well1 1/2 inches
15-17 mins

15-17 mins
The Stove Or Oven
Skillet Broil
Rare1 1/2 inches
12-14 mins

11-13 mins
Medium-Rare1 1/2 inches
13-15 mins

12-14 mins
Medium1 1/2 inches
14-16 mins

13-15 mins
Medium-Well1 1/2 inches
15-17 mins

15-17 mins

Measuring Doneness

    Remove when your steaks are 5 degrees less than the temperatures listed. The centers will continue to warm as they rest.

  • 1 Rare

    125°F - Center is bright red; pinkish towards the outside

  • 2 Medium-Rare

    135°F - Center is very pink; slightly brown towards the outside

  • 3 Medium

    145°F - Center is light pink; outer portion is brown

  • 4 Medium-Well

    155°F - Center is slightly pink; outer portion is brown

  • 5 Well

    165°F - Uniformly brown throughout

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Select The
Perfect Steak
How to
Carve a Steak
How to
Sharpen a Knife