Foods | Cooking
Hints & Tips
Flat Iron Steak . . . What’s All The Buzz About?
This Flat Iron Steak article, recipe, and photos were shared with me by Eric
Turner and his very informative website
Just when you assumed there is nothing new under the sun and that the butcher’s meat counter has given
you all it’s got, along comes an outstanding and brand new cut of beef - in a manner of speaking. I’ll explain.
In 2000, the National Cattleman’s Beef Association, in partnership with the Universities of Florida
and Nebraska, conducted a study of 5,600 muscles throughout the beef steer to
judge palatability and tenderness. Among a heap of other findings, the study
arrived at a new way to process the shoulder top blade muscle, producing a cut
that resembles the business end of an old-time flat iron. This ‘new’ cut quickly
came to be known as, you guessed it, the Flat Iron Steak. Furthermore, the study
somewhat surprisingly determined that the flat iron is the second most tender
cut of beef overall, just after the tenderloin. Now that, my friends, is saying
Since then, the Flat Iron steak has exploded across the culinary world and the many great restaurant menus
that dot its landscape.
Having spent my career in retail and wholesale meats, I had a bird’s eye view of the Flat Iron’s
rocketship ride to the top, where it still resides in immense popularity. Nevertheless, I know there are many out there who are only now
learning of this new steak 'invention', if you will. Maybe they have peered with curious eyes into the butcher’s meat counter at this nicely marbled and uniform
cut, or maybe they have been present at one of a million backyard gatherings across America, where the guy a couple of lawn chairs down invariably declares,
“We finally tried some Flat Iron steaks at our last cookout, and let me tell you, they were some of the best we ever had!” So I hope a lot of you who fall
into this category, curious but yet to have the pleasure, will take my advice - try a Flat Iron steak! They’re good.
The current average price for a Flat Iron steak is around $7.00 per pound, give or
take a little in your particular area, well below the price of ‘premium’
grilling steaks. But take a tip from this career butcher; you can save a bundle
more by picking up a top or ‘upper’ blade roast from your butcher’s meat
counter, then asking him to remove the seam from the middle and portion into
steaks. This is where Flat Iron steaks come from, and your butcher should know
just what you’re asking.
Cooking methods for the flavor-heavy Flat Iron steak are generally the same as those of other grilling
and broiling steaks, but owing to its unique grain and sliceability, it is also
a great choice for stir-fry and fajita meat. Check out this recipe to
get acquainted with the excellent Flat Iron, and you may just be the one at the
next backyard gathering raving about your new perfect steak! At a minimum, I
think you’ll see pretty quickly what all the buzz is about.
Beef Recipes using various cuts of beef.
Flat Iron Steak with Red Wine and Rosemary Recipe
Barbecue & Grilling,
Yields: 4 to 6 servings
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 8 min
2 (1-pound each) flat-iron steaks
garlic cloves, mashed
1 teaspoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 cup of dry red
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
Salt and freshly-ground black
In a bowl, combine garlic, parsley, mustard, olive oil, red wine, black pepper, and rosemary; mix together well.
In a shallow baking dish, season the steaks moderately with salt and pepper. Cover the steaks with the marinade mixture and cover the dish with plastic wrap. Allow to marinate in the
refrigerator for at least 1 hour or overnight. Remove steak from refrigerator and bring to room temperature before cooking.
Barbecue grill over medium heat. Place steaks onto the hot grill and grill to the desired degree of doneness, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side for medium rare.
meat thermometer to test for doneness:
What constitutes rare and medium-rare cooked meat? To satisfy government home economists, the Beef
Council says rare beef means an internal temperature of 140 degrees F. Well, that is ok if you like well-done and dry meat. If you like moist, rosy meat (like I do),
rare begins at 120 degrees and starts to become medium rare at 125 or 130 degrees. To cook your meat properly, you must purchase and use a good instant-read digital
is the type of cooking and meat thermometer that I prefer and use in my cooking. I get many readers
asking what cooking/meat thermometer that I prefer and use in my cooking and baking. I, personally, use the
Thermapen Thermometer shown in the photo on the right. Originally designed for professional users, the
Super-Fast Thermapen Thermometer is used by chefs all over the world. To learn more about this excellent
thermometer and to also purchase one (if you desire), just click on the underlined:
Residual Heat or Carry-Over Cooking: Remember, the steak will continue to cook as it sets. The
temperature will rise to 125 degrees F. to 130 degrees F. internal temperature (medium rare) at 15 to 20 minutes. So, pay attention to how long you let the cooked
steak sit before serving.
Slice the meat into thin slices across the grain.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.