How to grill flat iron steak

grilled flat iron steak
Grilled flat iron steak

Flat iron steak is a beef cut carved from the shoulder. It’s about an inch thick, rectangular, and weighs 0,5 pounds. Flat iron steak is also known as oyster blade steak, butler’s steak, shoulder top blade steak, top blade steak, and top blade filet.

It comes from a well-exercised area and has a strong beefy flavor. Flat iron is a relatively lean steak cut; however, it does have a decent amount of marbling which adds a nice flavor. If you’re unsure what beef marbling is, click this link. It’s considered the second most tender steak after filet mignon. Grilled flat iron steak has a fantastic flavor and delicate texture.

Flat iron steak has similarities to other flat steaks, such as flank steak and skirt steak. They can be used interchangeably. However, what sets flat iron steak apart is its tenderness.

Since flat iron steak is a newer cut, it can be hard to find. Most likely, you’re not going to find it in your local supermarket. Look for it at your local butcher shop or specialized online store. If you want to learn more about what is flat iron steak read this comprehensive article.

In this article, I’ll explain step-by-step how to grill flat iron steak on a charcoal grill. Even though it’s a versatile beef cut and can be cooked and prepared in many different ways, I’ll show you how to grill it to perfection using only a few ingredients.

How to grill flat iron steak: a step-by-step guide

Flat iron steak grilling tips
Flat iron steak grilling tips

Below you’ll find a simple flat iron steak recipe that does not require any marinade. Here’s what you need to cook flat iron steak:

The ingredient list for grilled flat iron steaks:

  • Flat iron steak.
  • Kosher salt.
  • Freshly ground black pepper.
  • Olive oil (use a high smoke point oil). Here’s an article explaining different oils for searing meat.

Equipment for grilled flat iron steaks:

  • Charcoal grill or gas grill. It’s the same cooking process whether you’re using charcoal or a gas grill.
  • Tongs.
  • Shark knife.
  • Cutting board.
  • Meat thermometer.

Grilling flat iron steak:

  1. Season flat iron steak and leave it in a fridge overnight. For the seasoning, use kosher salt. Salt will draw moisture out of the flat iron steak and form a salty brine. The same brine will soak back into the steak and tenderize the meat. It’ll also make the steak incredibly juicy and help to achieve better browning and crispy exterior.
  2. Bring flat iron steak to room temperature 30 minutes before grilling. Bringing steak to room temperature allows it to cook evenly throughout.
  3. Prepare the grill. Clean the grill grates and rub them with cooking oil. Oiled grill grates will prevent the flat iron steak from sticking. Prepare the grill for two-zone grilling. If using a gas grill, preheat one side to medium-high heat and leave another on medium. Divide the charcoal grill into two zones – direct heat and indirect heat. The direct grilling zone is a direct heat source and should reach about 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Indirect heat should be clear of any charcoal. At the same time, an indirect heat zone can serve as a safe zone in case of flare-ups.
  4. Place flat iron steak over the direct heat side of the grill and sear it for two minutes on each side until a brown crispy skin forms. Move it to an indirect heat side of the grill and continue cooking. Check the internal temperature using a meat thermometer. Make sure not to cook the steak past medium; otherwise, you’ll make it dry and chewy. It’s best when flat iron steak is medium rare. Remove grilled steak from the grill when an internal temperature is 130° Fahrenheit. The steak will cook for another few minutes when off the heat source and reach 135° Fahrenheit. The process is called carryover cooking.
  5. Rest the flat iron steak for 5-10 minutes. Resting steak will allow meat juice to redistribute throughout the steak’s interior, making it tender and juicy.
  6. Slice thinly against the grain.

How to prepare flat iron steak before grilling?

Season or marinate flat iron steak before grilling. For seasoning, use kosher salt. Using salt is an excellent way to tenderize steak before cooking. Salt draws out moisture and forms a salty brine. The same brine soaks back into the steak and breaks down tough muscle fibers making meat incredibly juicy and tender. It’s one of the best ingredients to enhance flat iron steak flavor. Before grilling, season flat iron steak with freshly ground black pepper.

Use your favorite steak marinade recipe to add flavor to flat iron steak. Best steak marinade should include acidic ingredients, fat, and salt. Cover steak with marinade and leave it in a fridge overnight. Here’s a simple marinade for flat iron steak.

Before grilling flat iron steak, bring it to room temperature. It’ll allow the meat to cook faster and evenly.

Flat iron steak internal temperature guide

flat iron steak temperature chart
Flat iron steak temperature chart

It’s best to grill flat iron steak to medium-rare 135° Fahrenheit (57°C). Grilling beyond medium, you risk overcooking the steak. Overcooked flat iron steak is dry and chewy. You’ll find steak temperatures explained in this article if you want to learn more about different steak temperatures. Here’s the internal steak temperature chart:

  • Rare steak: 125° Fahrenheit.
  • Medium rare steak: 135° Fahrenheit.
  • Medium steak: 145° Fahrenheit.
  • Medium-well steak: 150° Fahrenheit.
  • Well done, steak: 160° Fahrenheit.

To check a flat iron steak’s temperature, use a meat thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the steak. Wait until the temperature stabilizes.

Alternatively, you can use a finger test method if you do not have a meat thermometer. Press your index finger onto the thickest part of the flat iron steak. If it feels soft, it means the steak is still rare. Medium rare should feel soft enough with slight resistance. The medium doneness should give a little more.

Grilled flat iron steak FAQ

How long does it take to cook flat iron steak on the grill?

Depending on the flat iron steak’s size, thickness, and desired doneness, it takes 4-12 minutes to cook it on a grill. You should leave the steak to rest for 5 minutes after grilling.

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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