Pan-Seared Flat Iron Steak

The trick to a great crust on this flat iron steak is to use a very hot skillet; a large cast-iron or heavy stainless steel skillet works best. Have your hood fan on high—there will be some smoke. If you can't find flat iron steak in your local market, a top blade chuck or sirloin steak will work just fine.

Pan-Seared Flat Iron Steak
Photo: Beth Dreiling Hontzas; Prop Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller; Food Styling: Marian Cooper Cairns
Prep Time:
5 mins
Cook Time:
10 mins
Stand Time:
5 mins
Total Time:
20 mins
4 servings

Knowing how to successfully sear a steak gives us restaurant-quality results at home. All we need is a trusty skillet, high heat, and great beef. The skillet should be large enough to hold the steaks without crowding. It should also be sturdy, preferably cast-iron or heavy stainless steel, but never non-stick. A non-stick pan would prevent the meat from developing the delicious dark crust. The goal is to deeply brown the steak, not fry it, so make sure the pan is almost smoking hot before adding the meat, and use only enough oil to slick the surface. Flat iron might not be as well-known as other steaks, but they deliver plenty of beefy flavor, which is why some butchers used to keep them for themselves. If you can't find flat iron steak in your market, then top blade chuck, sirloin, or New York strip will work just fine.


  • 1 (1-lb.) flat iron steak

  • 2 teaspoons Montreal steak seasoning

  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil


  1. Rub steak evenly with steak seasoning and salt.

  2. Cook in hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, 4 to 5 minutes on each side, or to desired degree of doneness. Let stand 5 minutes. Cut diagonally across the grain into thin strips.

  3. Note: For testing purposes only, we used McCormick Grill Mates Montreal Steak Seasoning.

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