Flat iron vs. flank steak. How do these beef cuts compare? Both steak cuts of beef look pretty similar. The flank steak comes from a cow’s abdominal muscle (belly muscle), while the flank steak is taken from the shoulder, better known as chuck primal. The taste-wise flat iron has more marbling; therefore, it’s a more flavorful cut than flank steak. However, even though flank steak is a lean cut of beef, it does pack a good amount of beefy flavors.
In the article, you’ll find everything you need to know about both steak cuts – the flat iron steak and the flank steak. You’ll find the main differences between them. Let’s start with a flat iron steak first:
What is Flat Iron Steak
Here’s everything you need to know about flat iron steak, starting with a cut location:
What Part of the Cow Does Flat Iron Steak Come From
Flat iron steak is a cut of beef from chuck shoulder primal. It’s rectangular and thick, hence the name “flat iron,” named after an old-fashioned metal flat iron. The cut is comprised of a good amount of marbling and fat content.
How Does Flat Iron Steak Taste Like
Flat iron has an extremely rich flavor. Because it has a good amount of marbling, the steak has an incredible flavor profile which is better than flank steak.
The Texture of the Flat Iron Steak
Flank steak is an extremely tender cut. Because the internal connective tissue is removed from the whole top blade, it makes it one of the most tender cuts you can buy. Also, because it’s nicely marbled, it makes it even more delicate. Melting fat helps to lubricate and keep muscle fibers tender when cooking. Compared to flank steak – flat iron steak has a much better texture.
How To Cook Flat Iron Steak
The best cooking methods for flat iron steaks are grilling and pan-frying. Because of a flat iron steak’s distinctive tenderness, it’s best not to overcook the meat. It’s best when cooked medium-rare or medium at most. Here’s a guide explaining how to cook steak in a pan.
How Much Does Flat Iron Steak Cost
Depending on the supplier, flat iron steak can cost around $9/lb.
Where Can You Buy Flat Iron Steak
You can buy flat iron steak at a grocery store, a local butcher’s shop, and a specialized online store. Flat iron steak is also known as butler’s steak, oyster blade steak, top blade steak, or top blade filet.
What is Flank Steak
Here’s what you need to know about flank steak, starting with a cut location:
What Part of the Cow Does Flank Steak Come From
Flank steak is a cut from the abdominal muscles of the cow. It’s a long, flat, one-inch-thick muscle located under the short loin and the bottom loin. It runs from the rib end of the cow to the hip.
How Does Flank Steak Taste Like
Flank steak is a lean cut of beef; therefore, it’s not as flavorful as flat iron steak. However, since the muscle is well-worked, it does have a strong beefy flavor.
The Texture of the Flank Steak
Flank steak is a chewy piece of meat. It’s a lean cut with a tightly woven grain structure and not a lot of marbling. However, when cooked properly, it can be tender.
How To Cook Flank Steak
The best way to cook the flank steak is on a scorching grill or frying pan. Because the steak is tough and chewy, it needs tenderizing. You can learn more about how to tenderize steak. When the steak is marinated – tough fibers will become more tender. However, make sure not to overcook the steak. The best level of doneness is medium-rare. It’s an excellent cut for steak fajitas, tacos, or salads. Learn more about the flank steak recipe. When serving, remember to slice flank steak against the grain. Here’s a detailed guide explaining how to cook steak on a scorching hot grill.
How Much Does Flank Steak Cost
Flank steak costs around $9 per pound, depending on the supplier.
Where Can You Buy Flank Steak
You can buy flank steak in grocery stores across the country and butcher shops. However, it’s more convenient to buy it from an online store. Flank steaks are also known as bavette, jiffy steak, and London broil.
Difference Between Flat Iron and Flank Steak
Flat iron steak or flank steak? What are the main differences? Below you’ll find the answers to all of these questions:
Both steak cuts are cut from different parts of the cow. Flat iron steak is cut from the chuck primal, while flank steak is cut from the abdominal muscles of the cow, better known as a belly muscle.
Taste and Texture
While both steaks look similar, they have different flavors and textures. Flat iron steak is exceptionally tender and flavorful. On the other hand, flank steak is tough and chewy, but it’s packed with a strong beefy flavor.
Since flat iron steak is a more tender cut than flank steak, it’s more forgiving when cooking. You can cook it on medium-high heat, while flank steak is best when cooked fast on high heat. Two steaks can be used for the same dishes as both are flavorful.
Both steak cuts are not considered premium cuts, so they have a lower price tag when compared to the likes of ribeye steak or filet mignon. The flat iron steak and the flank steak come at around $9 per pound; however, you can find flat iron steak for even less.
Both steak cuts are different, but both are great. Flank steak, just like skirt steak or any other tough cut of beef, is slightly chewy but packed with a beefy flavor. However, flat iron steak is a perfect steak because it has a good amount of marbling, it tastes fantastic, it’s tender, and it can be cooked in so many different ways – grilled, stir-fried, or even slow-cooked.
Is flat iron steak the same as flank steak?
No, flat iron steak is not the same as a flank steak. Both are cut from different parts of the cow. The flat iron comes from the chuck, while the flank is located in the cow’s abdominal muscle.
Can I substitute flank steak for flat iron steak?
Yes, you can substitute flank steak for flat iron steak. Both are best when cooked medium-rare or medium, and both have a great flavor profile. However, flank steaks are chewier, so keep that in mind.