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Flat Iron Steak vs. Sirloin Steak: What are the Differences

flat iron steak and sirloin steak

Flat Iron Steak vs. Sirloin Steak. What are the differences between these beef cuts? Both come from different parts of the cow. Flat iron steak is cut from the chuck primal, while sirloin steak comes from the top of the cow’s back. Both steaks have incredible beefy flavor. However, flat iron steak is cheaper than sirloin steak, slightly more flavorful, and more tender.

In this article, you’ll find a brief overview of both cuts – the sirloin and the flat iron steak. At the end of the article, there’s a section about the main difference between the two cuts.

What is Flat Iron Steak

what is flat iron steak

What Part of the Cow Does Flat Iron Steak Come FromFlat 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. Flat iron steak is a rectangular and thick steak cut. It’s also a well-marbled steak.

How 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 the lean steak cuts, including sirloin.

The Texture of the Flat Iron Steak – Flat iron steak is one of the most tender steak cuts you can buy. As steak lovers like to describe, it has a silky smooth texture or a “fork-tender texture.”

How To Cook 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 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.

Also Known – Flat iron steak is known as shoulder top blade steak, top blade steak, top blade filet, butler’s steak, oyster blade steak, and top blade filet.

What is Beef Sirloin Steak

what is beef sirloin steak

What Part of the Cow Does Beef Sirloin Steak Come FromSirloin 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.

How 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.

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

Also Known As – Sirloin steak is known as the top butt, sirloin butt, or rump steak in British butchery.

Difference Between Flat Iron Steak and Sirloin Steak

Difference Between Flat Iron Steak and Sirloin Steak

Here are the main differences between flat iron steak vs. sirloin:

Cut

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 the 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.

Cooking methods

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.

Cost

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.

Conclusion

Both steaks are excellent; however, flat iron steak is more flavorful and tender and has better value for the money. It doesn’t mean that sirloin is a wrong choice. It’s still an excellent cut. When cooked properly, it can be as juicy and tender. Of course, it doesn’t have a buttery flavor like ribeye or the smooth texture of tenderloin. Nevertheless, it’s a perfect steak for many occasions.

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FAQ

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.

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