How to Cook Flat Iron Steak On Stove & How Long It Takes

Last Updated on by SteakEat

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This article explain how to cook flat iron steak on stove top to medium-rare and how long it takes.

For some reason I bet that you love eating a tender, flavorful and tasty flat iron steak cooked on stove top. 😉




All you need to do is heat up the skillet, season the steak and then sear it on both sides.

Simplicity in itself. 🙂



Let’s begin with the methods followed by the world’s best chefs.


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Part 1: Cooking Ingredients & Utensils

To begin, make sure you have the following ingredients:

  • 8 ounce / 230g flat iron steak – organic, matured, and grass-fed is best
  • 1 tbsp of coconut oil/ghee
  • Pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 pack of flaked or kosher salt

You will also need the items listed below:

  • A skillet – Look for one that is heavy with thick walls. A non-stick pan, such as one made out of forged aluminum, makes cleanup a breeze!
  • A pair of tongs used to flip the flat iron
  • Meat thermometer – Make sure the one you choose is able to give an instant temperature reading.

Got it? Okay! We are ready to SteakEat!

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Part 2: How to Cook a Perfect Flat Iron on Stove Top – 8 Steps

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Step 1: Wait Until the Flat Iron Steak is at Room Temperature

Some guides will recommend allowing the steak to stand out for about 20 minutes before starting the cooking process.

It has often been found, however, that this is simply not long enough for a 8 ounce flat iron.

For best results, I advise you to wait at least 40 minutes; remember, however, some thicker cuts may require up to two hours.

Why is this important?

For starters, it will help your meat to sear evenly. It also aids in keeping the cooking temperature consistent across the pan.

Do you enjoy your meat on the rarer side?

Then this step is especially important because it helps prevents the middle from being cooler than the rest of the cut.


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Step 2: Pat Dry the Meat Before Cooking

What makes a visually appetizing flat iron steak?

One essential part is browning on the sides.

To ensure the right coloring occurs, make certain you dry the flat iron by softly patting it with a paper tower.

Do not use thin materials such as tissues and toilet paper for the job or they may stick to the meat.


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Step 3: Preheat the Pan

To begin, place the pan on the burner you will be using to cook.

Add one tablespoon of oil (coconut or ghee) and switch on the range to the highest level.

The sign you are looking for a bit of smoke coming from the pan; this means it has reached the correct temperature.

I suggest waiting 20 seconds or so after the smoke appears before going on to the next step.

Remember that this crucial step will not happen instantly.

Some stoves, especially electric ones, take a good few minutes to warm up.

Make sure you wait for the pan to heat properly.



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Step 4: Salt – An Essential Seasoning

You can use your time wisely while you wait for the skillet to reach the right temperature by turning your attention to the meat.

Liberally sprinkle both sides of the cut with either kosher or flaked salt.

Since we are going with a cut of around 8 ounces (230g) the correct amount of salt is a three-finger pinch worth per side – to do this, use your thumb along with your index and middle finger to pinch the seasoning.

If you do not like a lot of salt or have health issues that prohibit its use, the amount can be adjusted accordingly.

The great thing about kosher salt is that it not only has less of a salty taste, but it also boasts a low density.

This means it is harder to over-salt food when using it.

While the addition of pepper is necessary to achieve peak flavor, it should not be added until after cooking is complete.


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Step 5: Add the Flat Iron to the Pan

After waiting the recommended 20 seconds from when the smoke first appeared, it is time to place your flat iron steak into the skillet.

You will be instantly greeted by sizzling, but don’t let it worry you.

It is simply the sound of meat’s moisture boiling and quickly evaporating.



Not sure how long to cook your meat on the stovetop? For a juicy, tender flat iron, aim for medium-rare.

When it comes to preparing a flat iron steak, it is a balancing act.

You want to cook it long enough to get rid of the chewiness, but not long enough to cook out all the flavor.

This is when your instant thermometer will come in handy so you can avoid under- and overcooking.



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Step 6: Turning the Flat Iron

How long to cook flat iron steak on stove?

Only about 6 minutes (3 per side) is needed to allow your meat to reach a perfect medium rare doneness.

It is important to keep in mind that this is an estimate and that cooking times vary.

The type of range you have, the thickness of your cut, along with many other variables may require you to increase or decrease the time.

Six minutes, however, is a good starting point as you hone your cooking skills.

Most professional chefs only turn their flat iron steaks once, so we will aim for that as well.

Using your kitchen timer, allow three minutes per side to sear the meat.



When do you need to check the temperature?

The best time is about 5 minutes and 30 seconds into the process, after the second side has been searing for a couple minutes.

Your thermometer should read between 130-135F (or 55-57C).

If the temperature is too low, allow for an additional 30 to 60 seconds on each side.



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Step 7: Let Your Flat Iron Steak Rest

Once optimal temperate is achieved, move your flat iron from the skillet to a plate.

This step allows the meat to reach its pinnacle of flavor without the risk of becoming overcooked.

To get the most from this stage, sprinkle both sides with pepper and cover the meat with tin foil for about 4 minutes.

Why should you leave it alone for a bit?

This down time allows the flat iron to wallowing in its own juices, sealing in the flavor.

Cutting it now could lead to those delicious juices flooding out of the meat and onto your plate. Be patient!


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Step 8: Slice and Enjoy

Cutting the meat properly is essential.

You should cut perpendicular to the muscle fibers, which are the small lines run through the flat iron.

After adding your preferred side dishes to the plate, you are ready to eat.

The cooking section of this article is complete; keep reading for essential tips on choosing and preparing the most savory cut possible.


steakeat-approvedFREE Bonus:

[ninja-popup ID=2905]Download this ‘How to Cook Flat Iron on Stove’ Guide in PDF format.[/ninja-popup]

It is convenient, EASY-to-print and includes these awesome photos from above!


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Part 3: Your Shopping Guide to Choosing the Right Flat Iron Steak and Kitchen Utensils

The key to enjoying a flawlessly prepared flat iron steak is buying the right cut of meat.

This is essential because the success of all other steps rest on choosing the right beef; no matter how well it is cooked or seasoned, you won’t be able to hide the type of beef you chose.

What to keep in mind while shopping:

  • How much and How Thick – The average person is satisfied with between 7 and 9 ounces of meat. Because we are cooking on the range, I highly advice you to stick with a cut of no more than 1-inch thickness.
  • What the Cow Ate Matters – Much of the beef that is produced today is chocked full of antibiotics and growth hormones.  We want to avoid such meat whenever possible, looking for instead cuts from livestock that was raised on a more natural diet of grass.  Choose organic grass-fed whenever possible.
  • Aged Meat is Better – When done correctly by a professional, the process of dry-aging the beef both tenderizes and intensifies the flavor by reducing the amount of moisture in the cut. It can take 2 to 4 weeks to complete, but you will find it’s well worth the wait. Try 14- and 21-day dry hanged versions and see how you like them. This is highly individual.


Must Haves for the Kitchen

Just because you found a great slice of beef doesn’t mean you are done shopping. There are a few items you need to ensure success.

Every good kitchen needs these essentials:



The first thing you look for is weight – you want a pan with a real heft to it.

Why is this?

A heavier skillet allows for more heat while cooking.

Adding and moving the steak to the pan caused the surface temperature to lower; this could cause such a drop in heat that you would no longer be browning the meat, but instead you are boiling it.

To avoid this, stick with a heavier skillet to ensure the temperature stays relatively the same throughout the cooking process, which is essential to achieving the enticing browned crust on the meat.

What else will the perfect pan have?

Thick walls! These are essential if you plan to add steak to your list of regular entrees.

When it comes to material, look either cast-iron or forged aluminum. They each of their pros and cons, but for many chefs, it comes down to the non-stick surface of the aluminum winning out.

The handle should also be carefully considered.

You will find that the pans with handles attached by two pins instead of a single screw are more stable. This makes it easier to transfer the pan to the over when you want to finish the cooking process in the over.

It is also important that you do not buy a pan that is too big for your range. This will cause an imbalance of heat, which leads to uneven cooking.



When it comes to preparing meat, especially flat irons, it is vital to invest in an instant thermometer.

For both beginners and seasoned chefs, this tool will help ensure your cut is cooked to the proper degree of doneness for both your health and your taste buds.


The Tongs

These are not considered essential by many chefs, but I praise a good set of tongs.

They make transferring and flipping your flat iron quick and easy.

You could use another utensil, but when it comes to searing, I always reach for my handy tongs.


The Right Oil

Not all oil is created equal. Many amateurs err in this regard, choosing to use corn or vegetable oil when searing their meat.

For the best flavor and cooking experience, reach instead for a tablespoon of ghee or coconut oil.



Many people forget the salt, thinking it is nothing more than a flavor enhancer they can live without.

While it does increase the deliciousness of the end product, salt actually has another purpose in cooking.

This ingredient allows a chemical reaction to occur that is essential in achieving a perfectly browned flat iron.

When shopping for the right salt, you need to keep an eye out on density.

Salts that come in thin granular form can easily lead to over-salting, which may ruin your choice piece of meat.

To avoid this, buy kosher or flaked salt; these boast larger bits, but also have the secondary benefit of having a less salty flavor.

Picking one of these options will help ensure your cut is seasoned perfectly.



If all you have is pre-ground pepper, it will do the job.

To get the maximum flavor out of your flat iron steak, however, you should use black peppercorns and wait to ground them until you are ready to serve the cut. This will intensify the aroma created by the spice.


Now that we know which items we need and how to choose the best of the bunch, we can start the cooking process.


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Part 4: Vital Advice on Successful Range Cooking

In this section, I will discuss a few secrets of the trade I have come across that will bring your cooking up to a whole other level.

1 – Nothing helps tenderize and bring up the flavor more than marinating the meat. Why not try one of our suggestions listed here.

2 – To really kick things up a notch, add a dab of organic butter into the pan about a minute before the second side is finished searing. This makes a huge enhancement to the flavor. Remember to skip this step if you have used a fruit or other acid-based marinade; the combination often leads to a sour taste. The addition of two crushed garlic cloves and a few sprigs of rosemary also works wonders.

3 – Looking for the best flat iron steak sauce? Look no further than your skillet! The drippings left in the pan after cooking and the juices in the plate after resting the steak are chocked full of flavor. To enjoy, add three drops of lemon juice, give it a quick stir, and presto! One of the tastiest sauces you will ever try. Be sure to only use residuals juices in this recipe that were not exposed to butter.

4 – A thermometer is essential for perfectly cooked meat. If you don’t currently have one, stick to the estimated cooking times for now.

5 – A great way to ensure the flat iron taste delicious from the first bite to the last is to pre-heat your plates. It is also a simple process – warm up your over to 180F (80C) and let your ceramic dishes sit on the rack for a few minutes. Well worth the effort!

6 – When circumstances beyond your control causes you to delay consumption, do not weep over the cooling flat iron. With your oven preheated to 120F (50C), the delicious entrée will be kept at the perfect temperature until dinner time without being at risk for overcooking.



Ready To Enjoy That Juicy Tender Steak Every Single Time?

1. Get the Best Steak. Cooking steak to perfection is only 50% of success!
The other 50% come from great quality steak and I recommend you get those from here. Especially their grass-fed beef (they also have poultry, pork and loads of game!)