The flat iron is one of the most difficult to cut yet tender steaks on the animal
“Beef shoulder is not the typically most sought after part of the animal,” says butcher Brent Young. “Heavily used muscles are not usually quite as tender. But deep inside there, we have a super tender, super delicious steak.”
“Turns out the flat iron is also one of the hardest things to actually butcher,” finishes Ben Turley, the other half of Brooklyn butcher shop The Meat Hook.
The two go on to discuss how until very recently, the cow shoulder, or beef chuck, has been mainly used for burger grind or braising and roasting steaks. This is because industrial meat companies realize it takes skilled labor and extra costs to find skilled butchers who know how to seam out the flat iron, and other steaks that hide under the tough muscle of this part of the cow. But Turley and Young believe there’s a lot of value in seeking out the flat iron steak.
The duo compare the flat iron to a famously tender and expensive steak: the filet. “The flat iron is the second most tender muscle on the animal but it has so much more flavor, and is a fraction of the price,” Turley says. “The customers that come in for the first time...they think ‘I gotta get the most expensive thing, that’s going to be the best thing.’ You don’t have to...this is a better value and you’ll be super happy with it,” says Young.
The two demonstrate the quick, simple, and “foolproof” way to grill up a flat iron steak to get the best flavor.