The reverse sear method is excellent for flat iron steak; however, unlike other cooking methods, it takes a bit longer. This article teaches you how to reverse-sear flat iron steak like a chef. This cooking method requires only a few ingredients and a heavy cast iron skillet.
What is flat iron steak if you are not familiar with it? It’s a beef cut carved from a cow’s shoulder’s top muscle blade. Muscles in chuck primal get a lot of exercises; therefore, they tend to be tough and highly flavorful. Flat iron steak is an exception. Although taken from the shoulder, flat iron steak is exceptionally tender and flavorful. It’s a newer cut discovered in 2002 by the University of Florida and the University of Nebraska. Chefs and butchers devised an innovative way to trim the connective tissue resulting in a tender piece of meat.
Unfortunately, most supermarkets do not offer flat iron steak. Drop by your local butcher shop and ask for it. If the butcher has difficulty understanding, flat iron steak is also known as oyster blade steak, butler’s steak, shoulder top blade steak, top blade steak, and top blade filet. However, the easiest way to buy it is online. An alternative cut to the flat iron steak is flank steak. It’s similar in flavor but has a tougher texture.
Reverse sear flat iron steak
Before cooking flat iron steak, it’s highly recommended to prepare it in advance. It doesn’t matter if you cook flat iron steak on a stovetop or in the oven; preparation may determine how good your cooked steak is.
Before reverse-searing flat iron steak, season it with a generous amount of kosher salt. Leave it in a fridge overnight. However, if you’re short on time, let the steak sit in a refrigerator for at least 4 hours. Salt will tenderize the steak and make it flavorful by drawing out its moisture. The same salty brine will soak back into the steak and break down tough muscle fibers. Even though flat iron steak is the second most tender steak cut using dry brine is still a good idea.
Flat iron steak is excellent for marinades. Marinating flat iron steak will add additional flavor and will tenderize the meat. Use your favorite steak marinade. When cooked, use flat iron steak for steak fajitas and salads, or serve it with your favorite side dishes.
- Flat iron steak.
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Light olive oil.
- Fresh thyme and rosemary.
Cooking directions on how to reverse sear steak:
Step 1: Season flat iron steak
Season flat iron steak with kosher salt and leave it in a refrigerator overnight.
Step 2: Bring flat iron steak to room temperature
Bring flat iron steak to room temperature for at least 30 minutes before reverse searing. It’ll allow steak to cook much faster and evenly throughout. Season with freshly ground black pepper and rub the steak with light olive oil.
Step 3: Pat the steak dry
Pat the steak dry to remove excess moisture. Even though it’s not necessary when reverse searing, it’ll speed up the cooking process slightly.
Step 4: Preheat the oven
Preheat the oven to 275° Fahrenheit. Line the rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. It’ll make cleanup afterward much easier. Place the steak on a wire rack and put a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet.
Step 5: Cook the steak
Place flat iron steak in the oven and cook until the steak’s internal temperature is 105° Fahrenheit/41°C. If you prefer to cook steak more, take the steak out of the oven when the internal temperature is 30°Fahrenheit below the desired doneness. Flat iron steak is most tender and flavorful when not cooked beyond medium. Cooking flat iron steak medium rare is best and should take 23 to 28 minutes, depending on the steak size. Use a meat thermometer to measure the steak’s temperature after 15 minutes of cooking.
Preheat the cast iron skillet on a stovetop over medium-high heat. When the pan is smoking hot, add a tablespoon of olive oil. Transfer the steak to the pan and sear for 45 seconds on each side. Turn heat to medium and add butter, fresh thyme, and herbs to the pan. Baste the steak for additional 40 seconds on each side. It’ll get you an evenly cooked steak. Remove from the heat source when the internal temperature is 5° Fahrenheit below the desired level of doneness. The steak will carry over cooking.
Step 6: Rest the flat iron steak
Rest the flat iron steak for 5-10 minutes. When cooking the steak, the juices are pushed toward the center of the steak. It makes the edges dry. Resting time will allow steak juices to redistribute evenly throughout the steak’s interior, making flat iron steak tender and juicy.
Step 7: Serve
Slice reverse-seared steak against the grain. Slicing against the grain will make muscle fibers much smaller making it easier to chew.
How to take a flat iron steak’s internal temperature?
Take the steak out of the oven 5-10 minutes before transferring it to the pan. Insert the meat thermometer into the thickest part of the flat iron steak. Wait for 15 seconds or less until the temperature stabilizes.
Use a finger test method if you do not have a meat thermometer. It’s an alternative way of taking the steak’s internal temperature. Using your index finger, press onto the thickness part of the flat iron steak. Rare steak feels soft to the touch. Medium rare has some give and still feels soft at the same time. Medium is springy to the touch and has some give. Medium well has very little give and feels quite firm. Well done has no give and feels firm to the touch.
Here’s flat iron steak’s internal temperature chart:
- Rare steak: 125° Fahrenheit/52°C.
- Medium rare steak: 135° Fahrenheit/57°C.
- Medium steak: 145° Fahrenheit/62°C.
- Medium-well steak: 150° Fahrenheit/65°C.
- Well done, steak: 160° Fahrenheit/71°C.
How long does it take to reverse sear flat iron steak?
Here’s how long it takes to reverse sear flat iron steak at 275° Fahrenheit/135°C:
- Rare steak: 18 to 23 minutes.
- Medium-rare steak: 23 to 28 minutes.
- Medium steak: 28 to 33 minutes.
- Medium-well steak: 33 to 38 minutes.
- Well done, steak: 38 to 43 minutes.
How to store and reheat leftover flat iron steak?
If you have leftover steak after reverse searing, you can store them in multiple ways. Place it in an air-tight container. Alternatively, place it in a ziplock bag and ensure to remove as much air as possible. It’ll prevent the steak from spoiling too fast. Or use parchment paper or aluminum foil to wrap leftover steak. Again remove as much air as possible. Cooked steak can last in a refrigerator for up to 4 days if stored properly.
There are multiple ways to reheat the steak. However, one of the best ways to reheat flat iron steak is in the oven. Preheat the oven to 275° Fahrenheit. Place the steak on a wire rack on a baking sheet and place it into the oven on a middle rack. Reheat for 15-25 minutes, depending on the leftover steak size.
How is flat iron steak best cooked?
It’s best to cook flat iron steak on a grill or a stovetop. You should start by searing the steak over medium-high heat and finish it off over medium heat. Like any other flat steak, flat iron steak benefits from cooking fast and hot.
At what temperature do you reverse sear a steak?
It’s best to reverse sear flat iron steak at 200-275 degrees Fahrenheit temperatures. However, reverse searing at 275° Fahrenheit is better since it delivers the same results faster.