Flat Iron Steak vs Sirloin {Marbling, Tenderness and Flavor}

Stuffed Flat Iron Steak

Flat Iron Steak vs Sirloin {Marbling, Tenderness and Flavor}

There’s nothing quite like the smell of beef hitting the grates of a hot grill. In order to get the intense flavor that you have come to expect from grilled beef, it’s important to choose the cut accordingly.

Flat iron steak vs sirloin is one of decisions you might have to make when shopping for the perfect steak and knowing what to expect from each will help you to decide based on the kind of meal you want to serve.

Flat Iron Steak package

Flat Iron Steak vs Sirloin

Choosing the steak you want to cook matters because you want something that is tender and flavorful. Both the flat iron and sirloin have a lot to offer.

It’s important to understand some of the main differences. The flat iron steak (also referred to as the butlers’ steak) is cut from the chuck or shoulder of the cow. Meanwhile, the sirloin is cut from the posterior, in the same general area as the porterhouse. The sirloin is often broken down into smaller cuts, leaving you with the top sirloin or the sirloin tip.

Tenderness & Flavor

Tenderness and flavor have to be a consideration. The idea of a piece of beef melting in your mouth like butter is highly desirable. You don’t want to spend valuable time at the dinner table chewing and chewing so that you can digest your steak.

The flat iron steak is considered a new cut because it comes off of the chuck steak. It is one of the most tender pieces of steak that you can find. Only filet mignon is considered more tender. There’s not a lot of fat in the steak. Due to the location on the cow, it’s actually quite lean and muscular. It also lends to a very deep and beefy flavor.

A sirloin, particularly a top sirloin, will have a bit of fat marbling. It isn’t as lean because it is found closer to the backside of the cow. There’s a lot of beefy flavor, though there’s also a buttery flavor thanks to the fat marbled within it.


The cost of flat iron steak vs sirloin will vary depending on the grading of the beef as well as where you buy it. Both pieces of meat are typically provided to you without the bone, so the cost is for meat alone.

Flat iron steak will generally cost a dollar or two more per pound. The reason is that you pay for the tenderness. Sirloin is considered one of the more affordable steaks (in comparison to a T-bone or ribeye). Typically, you would buy a flat iron as a cheaper alternative to a filet mignon or a tenderloin.

How to Cook Flat Iron Steak

The flat iron steak is cut from around the shoulder of the cow. As such, it is extremely muscular. You will have to deal with a bit of connective tissue when you get the steak home from the store or butcher.

Since the steak already has an intense flavor on all its own, you won’t need to spend a lot of time marinating it. That being said, you will want to consider at least some kind of marinade to infuse more flavor into the beef.

Flat iron steak can be grilled or broiled. It can also be used in a variety of different dishes:

– Steak with chimichurri

– Beef fajitas

– Stroganoff

– Stir fry

Ideally, you should have the meat reach room temperature before you cook it. Season the meat, either with a marinade, a dry rub, or even salt and pepper.

Place the meat on the hottest part of the grill. The steak is thin, so it won’t need to cook for long. Sear it on each side for approximately one minute. From there, move the steak to a cooler part of the grill and allow it to cook for 10 to 12 minutes.

Be sure to let the steak rest before serving. Cut the steak on the bias and enjoy.

How to Cook Sirloin

Sirloin steak already has the fat marbling, so you’ll want to enjoy the beefy, buttery flavor without a strong marinade. Consider a basic steak seasoning before you get the meat onto the grill. The seasoning should have salt. If you season an hour or so before you grill the steak, you’ll cure the surface of the steak, adding to the intensity of the flavor.

The cooking process is similar to that of the flat iron steak. Depending on the thickness, you may want to sear each side for one to two minutes. From there, you can either let it sit on the grill for 8 to 10 minutes or you can move the steak into the oven to continue cooking.

If there’s not a lot of marbling on the steak, you may want to finish it with a pat of butter on top. You can serve the sirloin whole, allowing everyone to cut into it on their individual plates.

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