Sous Vide Flat Iron Steak is a simple and foolproof recipe for cooking this inexpensive cut, which delivers intense beef flavor with a tender texture.
The best results are obtained by cooking it to a precise temperature in the sous vide water bath and find fishing with a quick pan sear.
WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE
When making flat iron steaks using traditional cooking methods such as grilling, pan-searing, or broiling, there is a very small window of perfect doneness.
If you miss that window, the meat will toughen and become chewy.
By using precise temperature control, sous vide cooking guarantees the result and ensures vs the steak is perfectly cooked. It also results in meat that is evenly done from edge to edge.
WHAT IS SOUS VIDE?
I understand. Sous vide sounds ridiculously fancy and complicated. But, in reality, sous vide is simply a bath of water heated to a low temperature in order to cook steak perfectly and evenly.
HOW TO MAKE SOUS VIDE FLAT IRON STEAK
- Marinate the steak by pouring the marinade over it and leaving it to sit for 6-8 hours.
- Prepare the equipment: Preheat the sous vide machine to 125oF according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Prepare the steak by patting it dry and sprinkling it with seasonings.
- Sous vide: Place the steak in a food-safe bag and seal tightly to eliminate air pockets. Set the timer for 1 hour and immerse the sealed steak in the water. The sous vide is finished when the flat iron reaches 125oF.
- Sear: Place the steak in a hot skillet with butter. Season with salt and pepper and sear on both sides until a crust forms.
- Flat Iron Steak: This cut is considered to be the tenderest, second only to filet mignon. It is derived from the top blade, which has a lot of flavorful marbling and a uniform thickness, and is less expensive than other tender beef cuts such as rib eye or New York strip steak. This cut is similar to flank steak, skirt steak, and hanger steak in appearance and flavor.
- Olive Oil: The best olive oil for this recipe is regular olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil should be avoided because it has a lower smoke point.
- I used coarse salt, but you can use regular table salt or sea salt instead. The best black pepper to use is freshly ground black pepper.
- Garlic Powder: For this recipe, I used garlic powder, but you can also use freshly minced garlic.
WHAT IS A FLAT IRON STEAK?
The flat iron is fashioned from the Chuck primal and is situated just above the shoulder blade.
The muscle is not a “load bearing” muscle, but rather a “support muscle” for the shoulder, similar to the rotator cuff.
Because the steak comes from the Chuck, it is relatively inexpensive, but because it only serves to support the shoulder blade, it remains a very tender cut.
This steak typically weighs between 1 and 1.5 pounds, is very well marbled, and is frequently misidentified as a flank steak.
The flat iron steak is difficult to remove from the Chuck, and there is a large piece of tough gristle in the center of the steak that must be removed.
FLAT IRON STEAK SEASONING/MARINADE
A simple seasoning of salt, pepper, and garlic powder can bring out the flat iron steak’s natural flavor.
Flat iron steak, on the other hand, is a good candidate for a marinade because it is relatively thin and the flavor can easily penetrate the meat.
SOUS VIDE FLAT IRON TEMPERATURE AND TIME
For medium-rare doneness, cook flat iron steak at 135°F (57°C). If you want a tender, juicy flat iron steak, don’t cook it past medium doneness. If you want to experiment with different temperatures, use the chart below:
|Medium Rare||135°F (57°C)|
|Well Done||165°F (73°C)|
Cooking time for flat iron steak is longer than for most other tender cuts, and I recommend cooking it for 2 hours.
HOW TO VACUUM SEAL THE STEAK WITHOUT A VACUUM SEALER?
If you don’t have a vacuum sealer, a regular zip-top bag will suffice.
The technique is known as water displacement: simply place the seasoned steak in a zip-top bag and seal all but one corner of the bag.
Slowly place it in a bowl of cold water, making sure that everything below the zip-line is submerged. Then seal the remainder of the bag (You can watch the video in the recipe card for a visual tutorial).
CAN A SOUS VIDE STEAK GET A GOOD CRUST?
Totally! The sous vide method gives the meat an ultra tender texture, but once done, you can sear it on the stove and still get that crispy crust we all crave in a good piece of steak.
HOW TO STORE
Leftover sous vide flat iron steak can be tightly wrapped in foil and refrigerated for up to 3 days. To reheat, place thin slices in a preheated skillet with oil or butter and broil for a minute or two.
Frequently Asked Questions
Season the steaks liberally with salt and pepper. Place herbs, garlic, and shallots (if using) in sous vide bags and distribute evenly. Seal the bags and place them in the water bath for the time specified in the charts. Turn on your vents and open your windows to finish in a pan.
Flat iron works particularly well on the grill, and I prefer to grill it whole. You can grill flat iron like any other steak and marinate it if desired. Flat iron is best cooked medium-rare on the grill.
Flat iron steak (US), butlers’ steak (UK), feather blade steak (UK), or oyster blade steak (Australia and New Zealand) is a cut of steak cut against the grain from the animal’s chuck or shoulder. This yields a flavorful cut that is a little tough due to the presence of a gristly fascia membrane that must be removed.
A flat iron steak is cut from the cow’s shoulder, while a flank steak is cut from the belly muscle. Both steaks are flavorful and tender (when properly seasoned and cooked no more than medium), but the flank steak is leaner than the flat iron.