Flat Iron Steak and Sirloin Steak are two distinct cuts of beef, each with unique characteristics. Flat Iron Steak, also known as top blade steak, is a cut from the shoulder or chuck area of the cow. It is known for its rich marbling, tenderness, and flavor, making it a popular choice for grilling or pan-searing. On the other hand, Sirloin Steak comes from the rear back portion of the cow, specifically the loin area. This cut is leaner and larger than Flat Iron Steak and is well-suited for various cooking methods, including grilling, broiling, pan-frying, and sous vide. Although both cuts are flavorful, the Flat Iron Steak tends to be more tender, while Sirloin Steak offers a leaner option with a slightly chewier texture.
In this post, I’ll explain the differences between these two popular cuts of beef, examining their origins, textures, flavors, and ideal cooking methods. My goal as a chef is to help you make an informed choice, whether you’re a home cook or a seasoned chef.
Difference Between Flat Iron Steak and Sirloin Steak
Here are the main differences between flat iron steak vs. sirloin:
Both flat iron steak and sirloin steak come from different cow areas. The flat iron steak is located in the shoulder area, while the sirloin steak, as the name suggests, comes from the sirloin section, which is split into the top sirloin and the bottom sirloin.
Taste and Texture
Flat iron steak has more flavor, and it’s more tender than cuts coming from sirloin. The reason for that is marbling. Only filet mignon or ribeye steak can match flat iron steak in tenderness. However, sirloin steak has an intense flavor which most steak lovers like.
Sirloin steak is more versatile. You can cook it low and slow and hot and fast. It’s suitable for grilling and roasting. Keep in mind that it’s better to tenderize sirloin steak before cooking. On the other hand, flat iron steak is great for grilling and pan-frying. It’s most delicious when cooked to medium-rare or medium.
Flat iron steak is slightly cheaper than sirloin. Sirloin steak starts at around $10/lb, while you can find flat iron steak for as low as $8/lb.
What is Flat Iron Steak
In case you want to read a full article about flat iron steak, click on this link; otherwise, below is a short version explaining the key features of this amazing steak cut:
What part of the cow does flat iron steak come from?
Flat iron steak comes from the shoulder, better known as chuck. It was a part of the top blade roast not that long ago. However, when a connective tissue was removed, it became two separate cuts. One is a flat iron steak; the other is called the top blade steak. A flat iron steak is a rectangular and thick steak cut. It’s also a well-marbled steak.
What does flat iron steak taste like?
Flat iron steak has a rich beefy flavor. Because it’s a relatively well-marbled cut, it’s more flavorful than lean steak cuts, including sirloin.
The texture of the flat iron steak?
Flat iron steak is one of the most tender steaks cuts you can buy. As steak lovers like to describe, it has a silky smooth texture or a “fork-tender texture.”
How to cook a flat iron steak?
The best way to cook a flat iron steak is on a grill or cast-iron skillet. Season it with kosher salt and some freshly ground black pepper. Use cooking oil to sear the steak. Alternatively, marinating flat iron steak is excellent for adding extra flavor and tenderness. However, since the steak has a muscular structure, it’s best not to cook it past medium. Medium-rare is optimal for the steak’s internal temperature.
How much does flat iron steak cost?
Flat iron steak is a cheap steak, considering its tenderness and flavor. It costs around $9/lb.
Where can you buy flat iron steak?
You can buy flat iron steak at a butcher shop; however, if you’re having a hard time finding it, it’s always available at one of the online stores. Keep in mind that flat iron steak is also known as shoulder top blade steak, top blade steak, top blade filet, butler’s steak, oyster blade steak, and top blade filet, depending on your location.
What is Beef Sirloin Steak
What part of the cow does beef sirloin steak come from?
Sirloin steak comes from the sirloin section near the rear leg. It runs from the 13th rib to the end of the hip bone. The muscle is well-worked, so it can be tougher than a cut from the front part of the loin (short loin). Sirloin is broken down into two cuts: the top sirloin butt and the bottom sirloin butt.
What does beef sirloin steak taste like?
Cuts from the sirloin are flavorful; however, they are lean and less savory than a well-marbled cut like ribeye steak or New York strip steak. In this regard, flat iron steak is a slightly tastier cut since it contains more marbling.
What is the texture of the sirloin steak?
Beef cuts from the sirloin primal have a chewier texture. However, the top sirloin is slightly more tender than the bottom sirloin. Flat iron steak is a more delicate cut than sirloin primal.
How to cook beef sirloin steak
The best cooking methods for sirloin are grilling, pan-frying, or slow cooking (braising). Since it’s a lean cut, it’s best to cook it hot and fast or low and slow. Furthermore, it’s highly recommended to tenderize sirloin steak before cooking. Not only it’ll make it more tender, but you’ll have more room for error.
How Much Does Beef Sirloin Steak Cost
Sirloin steak costs around $10/lb.
Where Can You Buy Beef Sirloin Steak
You can buy sirloin at a butcher shop, supermarket, or specialized online store. Remember that sirloin steak is also known as the top butt, sirloin butt, or rump steak in British butchery, depending on your location.
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The choice between Flat Iron Steak and Sirloin Steak ultimately depends on your personal preference and cooking style. Flat Iron Steak, known for its rich flavor and tenderness, is an excellent option for those who prefer a well-marbled, juicy steak. Sirloin Steak, on the other hand, offers a leaner and slightly chewier texture with a robust flavor profile. Both cuts are versatile and can be cooked in various ways, such as grilling, pan-searing, and broiling. Cost-wise, Flat Iron Steak is slightly more affordable, making it an attractive choice for budget-conscious consumers. Ultimately, both cuts have their unique attributes and can provide a delightful dining experience when prepared and cooked correctly. No matter which cut you choose, the key to a delicious meal lies in selecting high-quality meat and using the proper cooking techniques.
Why is flat iron steak so cheap?
The main reason flat iron steak is so cheap is that it comes from the chuck area. Chuck steak was always a budget-friendly cut. However, even though it’s a cheap steak, it has the properties of a premium cut.
Do you need to marinate flat iron steak?
Since flat iron steak has a lot of marbling, it does not necessarily need marinating. Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper are more than enough for seasoning. However, if you wish to add additional flavor to the meat marinating flat iron steak is a great way to do that.
Can you broil a flat iron steak?
Yes, you can broil a flat iron steak. Broiling is essentially an upside-down grill. If your oven can heat to over 450° Fahrenheit, broiling is a suitable cooking method for flat iron steak.