Cooked Flat Iron Steak

How to Cook Flat Iron Steak

Flat Iron steak is an innovative, affordable cut that delivers intense beef flavor, tenderness and is incredibly well marbled. Flat Iron steaks come from the second most tender muscle in the body — the first being the Tenderloin (or Filet Mignon). These facts make 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. The Top Blade muscle comes from the chuck and contains a lot of flavorful marbling. However, the Top Blade has a line of very tough sinew running through the middle of it. Inventive butchers seam out the meat on either side of that sinew and divide those halves into individual, tender, well marbled steaks — Flat Iron steaks. This cut is great on the grill, broiled in the oven, pan-seared in a skillet, or even air fried. The reasonable price of Flat Iron steaks also makes it an excellent choice for recipes that include marinades and seasonings!

For perfect doneness, we recommend using a meat thermometer.


How to Cook Flat Iron Steak on the Grill

Grilling a Flat Iron steak with a simple marinade and selecting the perfect side or drink to go with your dinner will make for an excellent meal. Choose a favorite Flat Iron steak recipe for the grill and select one of two main approaches:

  • Charcoal Grilling
  • Gas Grilling

Regardless of which method you choose, be sure your steaks are completely thawed before cooking. We recommend thawing in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours. Once thawed, remove your steak from the refrigerator approximately 30–40 minutes before cooking to allow the steak to come to room temperature. Lastly, season your steak as desired. Grill your Flat Iron steak and season your meat to taste with Kansas City Steak Original Steak Seasoning, which will enhance the flavor.

How to Cook Flat Iron Steak on a Charcoal Grill

Preheat your grill on high. 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 Cooking Times Chart below. Turn about 1 minute prior to the halfway point.

How to Cook Flat Iron Steak on a Gas Grill

Preheat your grill on high. Sear both sides for 1–2 minutes, then reduce to medium heat and continue to grill for the times listed in the Cooking Times Chart below. Turn about 1 minute prior to the halfway point.

  • Grill for 12–14 minutes for a 1–1½ inch steak, turning about 1 minute before the halfway point. A meat thermometer should read 130°F.
  • Rest your steaks 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 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 your steak to rest will give the juices time to sink back in and throughout the meat, keeping it moist and flavorful.
  • To check the degree of doneness, use a meat thermometer to measure the internal temperature of your steak.
  • Prior to serving, add a Kansas City Steak Finishing Butter for an additional flavor boost.

How to Cook Flat Iron Steak in the Oven

When you cook Flat Iron steak in the oven, the result will highlight the flavor and tenderness of the cut. Just as in the grilling method, be sure your steak is completely thawed before cooking. We recommend thawing in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours. Once thawed, remove your steak from the refrigerator approximately 30–40 minutes before cooking to allow the steak to come to room temperature. Lastly, season your steak as desired and choose your favorite recipe for preparing Flat Iron steak in the oven. With your choice, we recommend using plenty of our Kansas City Steak Original Steak Seasoning.

Set your oven to “broil” and preheat for 10 minutes.

Once you have seasoned your steaks to taste, broil your Flat Iron steak in the oven, baking it to your desired cook time:

  • Place your steaks on the rack of a broiler pan and position the broiler pan in oven so that the surface of the steak is 3–4 inches from the heat. Broil to desired doneness, according to the Measuring Doneness and Cooking Times Chart listed below.
  • For the perfect medium-rare Flat Iron steak (recommended) broil in the oven for 12–14 minutes for a 1–1½ inch steak, turning about 1 minute before the halfway point. A meat thermometer should read 130°F.
  • After removing from the oven, rest your steaks for 5 minutes before serving, covering lightly with foil. The temperature of the meat will continue to rise for as much as 5°F during this time (this is called "carryover cooking"). The final temperature will read 135°F.
  • Resting the steak is 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 your steak to rest will give the juices time to sink back in and throughout the meat, keeping it moist and flavorful.
  • To check the degree of doneness, use a meat thermometer to measure the internal temperature of your steak.

How to Pan Fry Flat Iron Steak on the Stove

Pan-seared Flat Iron steak on the stove uses a method that will give your steaks a rich golden-brown color and enhanced flavor. It is perfect for both whole and pre-sliced cuts.

Be sure your steak is completely thawed before cooking. We recommend thawing in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Once thawed, remove your steak from the refrigerator for 30–40 minutes before cooking to bring it to room temperature. Season your steak as desired; we recommend a generous serving of our Kansas City Steak Original Steak Seasoning.

For a medium-rare Flat Iron steak, follow these steps for best results:

  • Preheat a heavy non-stick skillet over medium heat until hot, for about 5 minutes. A very hot pan delivers the best sear for your Flat Iron steak in a skillet.
  • Add 1–2 tablespoons of vegetable oil or butter to the skillet (enough to coat the bottom) and immediately place the steak in the hot skillet (do not overcrowd). Do not add oil or water and do not cover.
  • For the perfect medium-rare Flat Iron steak on the stove, sear in a skillet for 13–15 minutes for a 1–1½ inch steak, turning about 1 minute before the halfway point. A meat thermometer should read 130°F.
  • Rest your steaks for 5 minutes before serving, covering lightly with foil. The temperature of the meat will continue to rise for as much as 5°F during this time (this is called "carryover cooking"). The final temperature will read 135°F.
  • Resting steak is 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 your steak to rest will give the juices time to sink back in and throughout the meat, keeping it moist and flavorful.
  • Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of your Flat Iron steak to ensure it is cooked to the perfect level of doneness, from rare to medium-well.

For pan-seared, pre-sliced Flat Iron steak on the stove, use the following directions:

  • 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 ¼ inch 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 1–2 tablespoons of vegetable oil or butter to the 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.

There are many great Flat Iron steak recipes for cast iron skillets, and this method provides you with a deep brown crust and an excellent finish for your steak. Follow the same set of directions as you would if cooking a Flat Iron steak on the stove in a non-stick skillet.


Specialty Flat Iron Steak Cooking

Enjoy a little adventure for dinner by selecting a specialty method for cooking this tender cut. Choose a flavor-filled marinade for your Flat Iron steak or add seasonings and butters to prepare your meat in a sous vide machine, a smoker, or even an air fryer. With each method, your steak should be completely thawed in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours. Remove the steak from the refrigerator 30–40 minutes before cooking to bring it to room temperature. Season your steaks to your liking; we recommend using our Kansas City Steak Original Steak Seasoning.

Using a sous vide to cook your Flat Iron steak removes the guesswork from the cooking process and enhances the flavor of your meat with herbs and seasonings if you choose. When you follow the directions for how to cook Flat Iron steak sous vide, you will be able to perfectly prepare your steak to your desired doneness every time. Sous vide uses a low-heat, long-time cooking process which allows for evenly cooked steaks from end to end and guarantees every bite is as tender and juicy as the first.

Note: Steaks cooked under 130°F should not be cooked longer than 2½ hours at a time due to food safety concerns.

Here are the steps to follow when using the sous vide method:

Prepare It

  • Preheat your water bath: Fill your sous vide container up with warm water and set the sous vide device to the appropriate temperature for the desired doneness. The sous vide device should be set as follows:
    • Rare: 122°F
    • Medium-Rare: 129°F
    • Medium: 135°F
    • Medium-Well: 145°F
  • All our products arrive vacuum-sealed in sous-vide-ready, heat-stable packaging, allowing you to simply add them to the water bath and cook to your desired degree of doneness. However, if you have the means to repackage your steaks into sous vide heat-stable bags at home, we recommend seasoning your steaks with Kansas City Steak Original Steak Seasoning for an enhanced flavor, prior to cooking in the sous vide. Another option is to add fresh herbs and a Kansas City Steak Finishing Butter, along with your raw steak, into the heat-stable vacuum seal bag before sealing.
  • After thawing, bringing to room temperature, seasoning, and preheating the sous vide; you're ready to start cooking.

Cook It

  • Make sure the water bath has fully reached the desired temperature for cooking before adding in the steak.
  • Place the packaged steak in the water bath and allow it to cook for the recommended amount of time, based on your desired degree of doneness.
    • Rare: 1–2½ hours
    • Medium-Rare: 1–4 hours
    • Medium: 1–2½ hours
    • Medium-Well: 1–3½ hours
  • Once your steaks are finished cooking, remove them from the sous vide and take the steaks out of the packaging.
  • Preheat a skillet over high heat for about 5 minutes (this can be done on a grill or in your kitchen). A hot skillet delivers the best sear.
  • Lightly coat the bottom of your skillet with high smoke point oil such as avocado oil, canola oil, or grapeseed oil. Place your steaks on the skillet and sear for approximately 2 minutes on each side. Sear until the steaks reach the final desired internal temperature, according to the Measuring Doneness Chart below.
  • The sear will give your steaks the rich golden-brown color and enhanced flavor that is typically associated with grilled steaks.
  • Serve immediately. Unlike other methods of cooking steak, the low-heat and long-time cooking technique used in sous vide does not draw the juices of the meat to the surface so additional resting time is not needed.
  • We recommend adding an additional savory flavor by topping your steak with a Kansas City Steak Finishing Butter (even if you added butter during the sous vide).

Smoking a Flat Iron steak gives this cut of meat an exceptional boost of flavor. If you are wondering how to smoke a Flat Iron steak, you will begin by using the smoker and finish by searing on skillet. Smoking time varies greatly depending on the cut of meat, thickness of the cut, quality of smoker, smoke and smoke retention, wind, etc. It is best to use a meat thermometer and base doneness off internal temperature.

Note: Steaks cooked under 130°F should not be cooked longer than 2½ hours at a time due to food safety concerns.

To begin, fire up your smoker and preheat it to 225°F.

  • Place your well-seasoned steak onto the grates of your smoker, close the lid, and smoke the meat until the steaks reach about 10°F below the desired internal doneness temperature (see our Measuring Doneness Chart below).
  • You can check for smoking doneness by internal temperature. Temperatures are as follows:
    • Rare: 115°F
    • Medium-Rare: 125°F
    • Medium: 135°F
    • Medium-Well: 145°F
  • Next, preheat a skillet over high heat (this can be done on a grill or in your kitchen). Once hot, lightly coat the bottom of your skillet with a high smoke point oil such as avocado oil, canola oil, or grapeseed oil.
  • Place the steaks in the skillet and sear them for approximately 2 minutes on each side. Cook until the steaks reach approximately 5°F less than your final desired internal temperature.
  • Remove steaks from the skillet and allow them to rest for 5–10 minutes, covering lightly with foil. The temperature of the meat will continue to rise about 5°F during this time (this is called "carryover cooking").
  • Resting steak is 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 your steak to rest will give the juices time to sink back in and throughout the meat, keeping it moist and flavorful.
  • To check the final degree of doneness, use a meat thermometer to measure the internal temperature of your steak.
  • Prior to serving, expand upon the delicious taste by topping with Kansas City Steak Finishing Butters for full flavor.

Flat Iron steak in an air fryer may not seem like the most conventional method of cooking, but it is a fast and easy way to prepare your meal.

Here's how to cook Flat Iron steak in an air fryer:

  • Preheat your air fryer. Set temperature to 400°F. Allow your air fryer to preheat for approximately 2–3 minutes.
  • Place your steak in the center of the air flyer and begin frying. We recommend using the grill rack option if available.
  • Flip your steak halfway through your cooking time listed in the Cooking Times Chart below).
  • Remove the steak from the air fryer and allow it to rest for 5 minutes, covering lightly with foil. The temperature of the steak will continue to rise about 5°F during this time (this is called "carryover cooking").
  • Resting steak is 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 your steak to rest will give the juices time to sink back in and throughout the meat, keeping it moist and flavorful.
  • To check the degree of doneness, use a meat thermometer to measure the internal temperature of your steak.
  • Prior to serving, apply Kansas City Steak Finishing Butters for an additional flavor-filled experience.

Flat Iron Steak Cooking Times

Select a cooking method that works for you and follow the recommended cooking times for the best results. For perfect doneness, we recommend you use a meat thermometer and the Measuring Doneness Chart, below.

 

Flat Iron Steak On the Grill
Gas Grill
Charcoal Grill
Rare
1-inch
11–13 mins
11–13 mins
1½ inches
11–13 mins
11–13 mins
Medium-Rare
1-inch
12–14 mins
12–14 mins
1½ inches
12–14 mins
12–14 mins
Medium
1-inch
13–15 mins
13–15 mins
1½ inches
13–15 mins
13–15 mins
Medium-Well
1-inch
15–17 mins
15–17 mins
1½ inches
15–17 mins
15–17 mins
Flat Iron Steak On the Stove or Oven
Skillet
Broil
Rare
1-inch
12–14 mins
11–13 mins
1½ inches
12–14 mins
11–13 mins
Medium-Rare
1-inch
13–15 mins
12–14 mins
1½ inches
13–15 mins
12–14 mins
Medium
1-inch
14–16 mins
13–15 mins
1½ inches
14–16 mins
13–15 mins
Medium-Well
1-inch
15–17 mins
15–17 mins
1½ inches
15–17 mins
15–17 mins
Flat Iron Steak in an Air Fryer
Temperature
Air Fry
Rare
1-inch
400°F
8–10 mins
1½ inches
400°F
8–10 mins
Medium-Rare
1-inch
400°F
10–12 mins
1½ inches
400°F
10–12 mins
Medium
1-inch
400°F
12–14 mins
1½ inches
400°F
12–14 mins
Medium-Well
1-inch
400°F
14–16 mins
1½ inches
400°F
14–16 mins