When it comes to cooking steak, choosing the right cut can make all the difference in terms of tenderness and flavor. Flat iron and flank steak are two popular cuts that are both known for their unique characteristics.

But which one is more tender? Let’s take a closer look.

What is flat iron steak?

Flat iron steak comes from the shoulder blade area of the cow, specifically from the top blade muscle. It’s a relatively new cut of meat that has gained popularity in recent years due to its rich, beefy flavor and tenderness. Flat iron steak is also known as butlers’ steak or oyster blade steak.

What is flank steak?

Flank steak, on the other hand, comes from the abdominal muscles of the cow. It’s a long, thin cut that’s known for its intense beefy flavor and coarse texture. Flank steak is commonly used in dishes like fajitas or stir-fries.

Tenderness Comparison

When it comes to tenderness, flat iron steak is considered more tender than flank steak. This is because flat iron steaks have a higher amount of marbling (fat within the muscle), making them more tender and juicy when cooked properly.

However, this doesn’t mean that flank steaks can’t be tender as well. With proper preparation and cooking techniques such as marinating or braising, flank steaks can also be quite tender.

Cooking Methods

Both flat iron and flank steaks benefit from high-heat cooking methods such as grilling or broiling. However, since flat iron steaks are more tender, they can also be cooked using dry-heat methods such as pan-searing or roasting.

Flank steaks benefit from marinating before cooking to help break down some of the tough fibers in the meat. Braising (cooking low and slow in liquid) is also a great option for flank steaks to help make them more tender.


In summary, while flat iron steak is generally considered more tender than flank steak, both cuts can be delicious when prepared properly. It’s important to choose the right cooking method and take the necessary steps to ensure that your steak is cooked to perfection.

So next time you’re at the butcher counter, consider trying both cuts and experimenting with different cooking methods to find your favorite.