Flat Iron Steak vs. Skirt Steak

flat iron steak and skirt steak

Flat iron steak vs. skirt steak. What are the differences between them? The flat iron steak and the skirt steak come from different cow areas. Both are incredibly delicious; however, flat iron steak is a tender beef cut, while the skirt steak is a lean cut that is quite a bit chewier.

This article will teach you everything you need to know about flat iron steak and skirt steak. You’ll find how these two cuts are different at the end of the article.

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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 chuck shoulder primal. It’s a thick cut and rectangular in shape. It’s a tender, marbled steak cut with an incredibly rich beefy flavor. It resembles an old-fashioned metal flat iron therefore it got the name “flat iron steak”.

How Does Flat Iron Steak Taste Like – Flat iron steak is a highly flavorful cut because it has a good amount of marbling. Compared to the skirt steak, it’s a tastier cut.

The Texture of the Flat Iron Steak – Flat iron steak has a smooth and tender texture. Even though it’s not as expensive as the ribeye steak or filet mignon, it does have a fork-tender texture (similar to the tenderloin).

How To Cook Flat Iron Steak – The best way to cook a flat iron steak is on a grill or cast-iron skillet. Before cooking it, make sure there’s enough heat either on a grill or a pan. It’s best to cook flat iron steak on medium-high heat for a short time. It’s a versatile piece of meat, but it’s best not to overcook the steak because of its muscular structure. Recommended steak doneness is medium-rare or medium at most.

How Much Does Flat Iron Steak Cost – Flat iron steak is a cheap cut coming at around $9/lb, depending on a supplier. Considering it’s a highly flavorful and tender cut, it makes it a bargain.

Where Can You Buy Flat Iron Steak – You can buy flat iron steak at a butcher shop, specialized online stores, and supermarkets.

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

What is Skirt Steak

what is skirt steak

What Part of the Cow Does Skirt Steak Come From – Skirt steak is a beef cut from the plate primal, found below the ribs, also known as the diaphragm muscle area. It consists of two steaks – the inside skirt and the outside skirt. The outside skirt is thicker and more tender than the inside skirt steak. However, the outside skirt has a membrane that needs to be removed. Both cuts are flat and about 24 inches long.

How Does Skirt Steak Taste Like – Skirt steak is a lean cut, but nevertheless it still has an intensely beefy flavor. Compared to the flat iron steak with a good amount of marbling, the skirt steak is less flavorful.

The Texture of the Skirt Steak – because skirt steak is a lean cut with loads of tough muscle fibers, it’s a tough and chewy cut.

How To Cook Skirt Steak – The best way to cook skirt steak is on a scorching pan, grill, or stir fry. However, it’s a tough cut; therefore, it’s best to tenderize steak before cooking it. You can do that in multiple ways – use a marinade or tenderize steak with salt. Since skirt steak is a lean cut, recommended steak doneness is medium-rare. Before serving the steak, leave it to rest for about 5-1o minutes, and after that, slice it against the grain.

How Much Does Skirt Steak Cost – Skirt steak come at around $8-$20 per pound, depending on a supplier.

Where Can You Buy Skirt Steak – You can buy skirt steak at your local butcher shop, specialized online marketplace, or supermarket.

Also Known As – Skirt steak is also known as Philadelphia steak, Romanian tenderloin, Romanian steak, and Arrachera.

Difference Between Flat Iron Steak and Skirt Steak

Difference Between Flat Iron Steak and Skirt Steak

Here are the main differences between flat iron steaks and skirt steaks:


Both flat iron steak and skirt steak come from different cow parts. The flat iron comes from the chuck shoulder primal, while skirt steak is taken from the plate primal.

Taste and Texture

Flat iron and skirt steaks are different in terms of texture and flavor. Flat iron steak has more marbling; hence it’s more flavorful, and because it’s cut in a special way it’s incredibly tender. On the other hand, skirt steak is located in a well-worked cow’s area, so it’s chewier. However, it’s flavorful despite lacking marbling.

Cooking methods

Flat iron steak is more versatile. It’s also more forgiving when cooking because it has more marbling and it’s thicker. You can cook it on medium, medium-high, or high heat using various steak cooking methods. While skirt steak needs to be cooked fast and on a scorching hot grill or pan.


Both cuts are similarly priced; however, you can find flat iron steak for pennies when considering how flavorful and tender the cut is.


Both skirt steak and flat iron steaks are great. Both have excellent flavor, and both cuts can be used interchangeably for tacos, fajita, salads, or pasta dishes. However, flat iron steak is more tender and has a richer flavor than skirt steak.

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Why is flat iron steak so cheap?

Flat iron steaks are cheap because they come from a church area of the cow.

What’s better flat iron or skirt steak?

Since flat iron steak has more marbling, it’s more flavorful than skirt steak. It’s also a more tender cut than skirt steak making it a better option.

Renaldas Kaveckas
Renaldas Kaveckas
Renaldas Kaveckas is an accomplished chef with over a decade of experience in the culinary world, having worked in esteemed, high-end restaurants across Europe. With a talent for combining traditional techniques and innovative flair, Renaldas has refined his signature style under the mentorship of respected European chefs. Recently, Renaldas has expanded his impact beyond the kitchen by sharing his expertise through his online platform. Dedicated to inspiring culinary professionals and food enthusiasts, he offers expert advice, innovative recipes, and insightful commentary on the latest gastronomic trends.
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