Flat iron steak is an excellent cut for cooking in an air fryer. It has a rectangular shape that fits nicely in an air fryer basket and is about an inch thick. It doesn’t take long to cook and requires only a few ingredients, as you will see later in the article
Flat iron steak is a beef cut carved from the chuck primal. It’s a well-exercised area of the cow that has a bold, beefy flavor. Despite being from a well-exercised top muscle blade, flat iron steak is the second most tender steak cut. It does contain a decent amount of marbling which makes this steak incredibly flavorful.
Flat iron steak is a newer cut discovered in 2002; therefore, it can be hard to buy one. Try to look for it at your local butcher shop. Flat iron steaks are also known as oyster blade steak, butler’s steak, shoulder top blade steak, top blade steak, and top blade filet. If your butcher has difficulty understanding what you are asking for, try one of the names above. You can usually find flat iron steak at a specialized online store such as snake rivers farm. Alternatively, you can use flank steak or skirt steak instead. Both cuts are similar in flavor and shape but slightly different in texture. They can be used interchangeably for the same recipes.
How to make air fryer flat iron steak
It’s best to prepare flat iron steak before air frying. It doesn’t matter which flat iron steak cooking method you’re using; preparation in advance can determine how tasty and tender the steak is. One of the simplest ways to prepare steak is to season it with kosher salt. It’s best to dry brine steak for at least 4 hours before cooking steak. Salt will draw moisture out of the flat iron steak and form a salty brine. The same salty brine will soak back into the steak and break down tough muscle fibers making it tender and juicy. At the same time, it allows the steak to brown much better.
Flat iron steak is perfect for marinating. You can use one of your favorite marinade recipes to add flavors to the meat and tenderize it. Marinated air fryer flat iron steak is perfect for steak fajitas or salads.
Even though flat iron steak is tender as is, there are six different ways to tenderize steak even more.
- Flat iron steak.
- Kosher salt.
- Freshly ground black pepper.
- Light olive oil (best to use oil with high smoke point).
Step 1: Season flat iron steak
Season flat iron steak with kosher salt and leave it in a fridge overnight. If short on time, season the steak 4 hours before air frying.
Step 2: Bring flat iron steak to room temperature
Bring flat iron steak to room temperature 30 minutes before cooking. It’ll allow steak to cook faster and evenly throughout. Season it with freshly ground black pepper and coat it with light olive oil.
Step 3: Pat steak dry
For air fryer steak to develop a brown crust steak’s exterior must be dry. Remove moisture buildup from the flat iron steak’s exterior with a paper towel.
Step 4: Preheat the air fryer
Preheat the air fryer to 400° Fahrenheit for at least 10 minutes before cooking the steak. Spray the air fryer basket with cooking oil to prevent the steak from sticking.
Step 5: Cook flat iron steak in an air fryer
Place flat iron steak into the air fryer basket and air fry the steak for 4 minutes before taking it out and flipping it over. Take the basket out and insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the steak. Wait until the temperature stabilizes. Depending on the thermometer, it can take around 15 seconds or less. Turn the steak over and continue cooking until the meat reaches desired doneness. It’s best not to cook flat iron steak past medium. Flat iron steak is the most tender and juicy when cooked to medium rare (135° Fahrenheit/57°C). Remove the steak from the heat source when the internal temperature is 5° Fahrenheit below the desired doneness. The steak will reach the desired temperature while resting. This phenomenon is known as carryover cooking.
Step 6: Rest the steak
Rest the flat iron steak for 5-10 minutes before serving. When the steak is cooking, the juices are pushed toward the center of the steak. It takes time for steak juice to redistribute evenly throughout the steak’s interior. It will make flat iron steak tender and evenly juicy.
Step 7: Slice the steak
When serving, slice flat iron steak against the grain. It’ll reduce the length of the muscle fiber, making steak easier to chew.
How to measure a flat iron steak’s temperature?
To measure the flat iron steak’s internal temperature, take the air fryer basket out and insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the steak. Wait for 15-20 seconds until the temperature stabilizes. Remove from the air fryer when the internal temp is 5° Fahrenheit below the desired doneness. The steak will reach the desired level of doneness while resting.
You can also use a finger test method for taking the steak’s temperature. Using your index finger, press onto the thickest part of the steak. Rare is soft. Medium-rare has some give. Medium steak gives quite a lot. Medium-well has a lot of give. Well done is hard with no give.
Here’ is flat iron steak’s internal temperature chart
- Rare steak: 125° Fahrenheit/52°C.
- Medium rare steak: 135° Fahrenheit/57°C.
- Medium steak: 145° Fahrenheit/62°C.
- Medium-well steak: 150° Fahrenheit/65°C.
- Well done, steak: 160° Fahrenheit/71°C.
How long does flat iron steak take to cook in an air fryer?
Here’s how long it takes to cook flat iron steak in an air fryer at 400° Fahrenheit/204°C:
- Rare steak: 3-5 minutes
- Medium-rare steak: 5-7 minutes;
- Medium steak: 7-9 minutes;
- Medium-well steak: 9-11 minutes;
- Well done, steak: 11+ minutes.
How to store and reheat leftover flat iron steak
Store leftover air fryer flat iron steak in an air-tight container. You can also use a ziplock bag; however, remove as much air as possible to prevent the steak from spoiling. Alternatively, wrap the leftover flat iron steak in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Wrap it tightly to prevent air from entering. Cooked steak can last in a fridge for up to 4 days. If you want to learn more about how long steak can stay in a refrigerator, click this link.
Reheat flat iron steak in an air fryer. Preheat the air fryer to 275° Fahrenheit. It should take about 5 minutes. Spray the air fryer basket with cooking oil. Place the steak in a basket and reheat for 15-2o minutes. There is more than one way of reheating steak. You can reheat the steak with a pan, oven, or water bath.
Is flat iron steak tender?
Flat iron steak is exceptionally tender steak. It’s considered the second most tender steak cut after filet mignon.
How is flat iron steak best cooked?
Flat iron steak is best cooked on a grill or pan. Most flat steaks, including flank steak and skirt steak, benefit from searing on high heat and finishing on medium heat. These two cooking methods deliver the best-tasting flat iron steak.