How to Grill Flat Iron Steak: 12 Steps (with Pictures) - wikiHow

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23-08-2022, 04:10
Flat iron steak is a faithful favorite for many meat lovers. It’s lean, inexpensive, and a cinch to cook. And when seared to a flavorful finish, it's practically indistinguishable from pricier cuts like ribeye and New York strip. After marinating and seasoning the steaks to your liking, throw them on the grill over medium heat. Proceed to cook them until they're perfectly browned and firm, with flame-kissed grill marks and a juicy pink center.

Part 1 of 3:Marinating and Seasoning the Steaks

  1. Bring the steaks to room temperature. About 20 minutes before you get the grill going, take your steaks out of the refrigerator and set them on the countertop. It’s best to let tougher cuts of meat like flat iron steak warm up a few degrees before plopping them onto a hot grill to ensure that they cook evenly.
    • Leave the steaks in the butcher paper or cover them with a sheet of plastic wrap while they warm up to keep bugs and bacteria out.
    • If your steaks have been stored in the freezer, you'll need to thaw them out well ahead of time. The simplest way to do this is to just stick them in the refrigerator the night before you plan on cooking them. You can also place them in a cold water bath, adding fresh water every half hour.
    • Make sure you don’t leave the meat out for more than about an hour. The longer it remains at room temperature, the more likely it is to spoil.
  2. Marinate the meat for added flavor. Place the raw steaks in a sealed plastic gallon bag with your marinade of choice and let them sit for 20 minutes to an hour. Alternately, you can set the steaks in a shallow dish or on a large serving plate and pour your marinade over the top, using just enough to cover the bottom half. Marinating your steaks while they sit out is a good way to kill two birds with one stone.
    • If you’re marinating your steaks on a plate, be sure to turn them over at the halfway point so that both sides soak up the liquid.
    • Get creative with your marinades. Flavors like soy, citrus, and garlic will compliment the meat especially well.
  3. Season the steaks to taste with mild spices. If you’d rather let the flavor of the meat speak for itself, you can dispense with the marinade and stick to basic seasonings like salt, black pepper, and garlic powder. Add a few shakes to one or both sides of the steaks. The spices will coat the outside, giving it just enough kick to make things interesting.
    • Try mixing up your own spice blends for steaks using ingredients like cayenne pepper, onion powder, ground ancho chiles, and cumin. Keep the hot spices conservative so they don't overpower the more versatile savory seasonings.
    • Since flat iron steak is so lean, it has a tendency to be less flavorful than other, fattier cuts. A conservative sprinkle of seasoning can enhance the notes of the meat without overpowering them.

Part 2 of 3:Grilling the Steaks

  1. Warm up the grill to medium-high heat. If you’re using a gas grill, turn the temperature knob to the appropriate setting and press the starter button to ignite the burner. For traditional charcoal grills, heap the coals near the center until they’re about 3 inches (7.6 cm) below the grate, add a splash of lighter fluid, and use a match or lighter to get them going. In either case, you want the heat to be steady, even, and direct.
    • Wait until the grill is nice and hot before adding the steaks.
    • Go easy on the lighter fluid. It has a tendency to taint the finished flavor of the meat.
  2. Lay the steaks out across the grate. Give the grill about 10 minutes to heat up, then arrange the steaks around the center of the cooking surface where the burners or coals are hottest. Space them out evenly so that there’s 1–2 inches (2.5–5.1 cm) between each.
    • Giving the steaks some room to breathe makes for optimal heat distribution and prevents sticking.
  3. Cook the steaks for 4-5 minutes on the first side. The exact amount of time they’ll require may vary somewhat depending on their size and how you like them cooked. Watch for the outside of the meat to take on a juicy reddish-brown color and pronounced grill marks—these are the signs of a superbly-cooked steak.
    • At this stage, the best thing you can do for the steaks is leave them alone.
    • Keep a close eye on the steaks to avoid burning them.
  4. Flip the steaks and allow them to finish cooking. After the first 4-5 minutes, turn the steaks over and give them another 3-4 minutes. They won’t need as long on the opposite side, since they’ll pretty much be heated through already. You just want to sear them long enough to give them a matching set of grill marks.
    • Use a pair of tongs to flip, not a fork. Stabbing the meat will cause all the good juices to flow out and rob it of flavor.
    • If you want, you can also turn the steaks half a rotation midway through grilling on both sides to create an eye-catching crosshatched pattern with the grill marks.

Part 3 of 3:Determining When the Steaks are Done

  1. Use a meat thermometer. Taking the steaks’ temperature is a quick, no-nonsense means of telling when they’re done—as long as they’re warm enough inside, they’re safe to eat. In this case, you’re looking for an internal temperature of about 130 °F (54 °C). Once you see the magic number, remove the steaks from the heat and dig in.
    • Make sure you insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the steak, which takes the longest to cook through and is consequently most likely to be raw.
    • If you like your steak on the rare side, the thermometer should read 125–130 °F (52–54 °C).
    • Medium steaks should fall into the 140–145 °F (60–63 °C) range.
    • For a well done cut of meat with little or no pink inside, aim for an internal temperature of 160 °F (71 °C) or higher.
  2. Press on the meat to feel how firm it is. Assuming you’re more of an intuitive grill master, you can simply employ the texture test. Undercooked steaks will have a squishy consistency, while overcooked cuts will be tough and leathery. When they’re just right, they’ll have a little give but will spring right back into shape.
    • Texture can only serve as a rough guide. If you’re particular about how your steaks are cooked, you may be better off going with another method.
    • Keep in mind that the steaks will be extremely hot while they’re on the grill. For the sake of safety, it might be best to do your poking with another tool, like the edge of your tongs.
  3. Cut into the steak to check the color. Make a small incision in the center of one of the steaks and pry it open to get a look at how it’s coming along. The more raw the meat is, the redder and more translucent it will appear. By contrast, a well-done steak has an almost gray coloring, and will generally be harder to get your knife through.
    • Doneness is mostly a matter of preference. However, many meat aficionados like to get their flat iron steaks as close to medium (with a dark reddish brown exterior and a cool pink center) as possible to preserve the cut’s subtler notes and keep it from getting rubbery.
  4. Let the steaks rest for 5 minutes before serving. Once you’re satisfied with the look of your steaks, turn off the grill and transfer the steaks to a clean plate. Hold off on portioning them out until they’ve had time to cool. This will give the juices a chance to settle.
    • Enjoy your steak with a splash of Worcestershire sauce, A1, or chimichurri, or keep things simple with a dash of salt and pepper.
    • When sliced thin, flat iron steak is also perfect for topping salads, stuffing quesadillas, or piling onto grilled sandwiches.
  5. Finished.


  • Flat iron steak
  • Salt and pepper (marinade)
  • Meat marinade
  • Steak sauce of choice


  • If the clerk looks at you funny when you request flat iron steak, try asking for a “top blade” cut. This is how it’s identified in some supermarkets and butcher shops.
  • When properly cooked, flat iron steak should be plenty tender (especially if you’ve softened it with a marinade), so there’s no need to pound it senseless.
  • Slicing tough cuts against the grain, rather than with it, can make them easier to chew.
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Things You'll Need

  • Gas or charcoal grill
  • Tongs
  • Meat thermometer
  • Serving platter
  • Large plate or shallow dish (for marinating)
  • Plastic wrap
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